BetaNews Staff

Use AI to beat the bad guys


As we enter the back half of 2021 there are two top cybersecurity headlines, and they’re both sobering. One, even large organizations now suffer cyberattacks as a near-daily fact of life -- not just mid-sized businesses with resource-strapped SOCs (Security Operations Centers), which historically felt the most pressure.

Two, prevention-forward defense strategies no longer inspire confidence. Malicious, innovative use of AI to find and exploit fruitful attack vectors sees to that. AI has rendered many old go-to defenses less effective, namely firewalls and SIEM (security information and event management) solutions. The third headline, however, is cause for optimism. AI works for cyber defense, too. In the current environment, if you are not leveraging AI to defend your organization, it isn’t optimally defended. Period. I see AI as our greatest ally to create a secure future.

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The fall back-to-school tech most worth your money in 2021

The past year or two have been chaotic for parents and students alike due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Transitioning from traditional, in-person learning to a hybrid or fully remote learning environment proved challenging for many students.

As we enter the latter half of 2021 and begin a new school year, it’s critical to see this moment as a fresh start -- and with a fresh start comes new technology! Students will need the latest and greatest tech to get them through the school year. Whether it’s a new pair of headphones or a snazzy new laptop, consider the six items listed below during your back-to-school shopping experience.

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Overcoming the challenges of IPv4 exhaustion

As hundreds of regional communications service providers rush to deploy broadband and add thousands of new subscribers to their networks, they face a long list of tasks and budget items to be addressed. Most of the budget and buildout schedule will focus on the physical deployment of the fiber (FTTH) or wireless access. However, back in the core network, one of the important decisions -- and one that needs to be made early in the planning process for a network buildout or expansion -- is how to approach IP connectivity.

Given the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses, and the cost and complexity of migrating from IPv4 to IPv6, operators need to think carefully about how they will provide an IP address for every customer. After all, a network won’t run without IP connectivity.

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If cloud technology is the need of the hour, then why do organizations resist adoption?

As we continue our journey through the extended new normal of the pandemic, it is crystal clear that to survive and thrive, companies will have to adapt to be able to respond to the ever-evolving needs of today’s digital consumers. It is not an exaggeration to say that today a successful business needs to be responsive, scalable, secure, and resilient. In this context, one of the most vital strategic decisions that can be made by most organizations is the accelerated shift of their legacy IT infrastructure to 'Cloud Technology'.

According to an IDC report, it is expected that by the end of 2021, approximately 80 percent of the enterprises will put a mechanism in place to shift to cloud-centric infrastructure and applications at a rate double or more of what it was before the pandemic. However, in this race of cloud adoption, many organizations do not have a clear picture of what they want and often underestimate the challenges involved in cloud migration. Lack of appropriate research, the correct approach and the right service provider leads to organizations ending up getting their hands burnt, leading them to put their plans on the backburner.

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Avast One is a comprehensive privacy and security suite that includes a free VPN

Released at the same time as the company undergoes a redesign involving a new logo, Avast One is here to help keep you protected online. This is more than just an antivirus tool -- although an AV component is present -- this is a comprehensive suite of protective tools covering various aspects of security and privacy.

Things start off with Avast One Essentials, which is the free version of the security suite. For anyone with concerns about privacy, even this free version includes a powerful VPN with a generous weekly allowance. There is also protection against spyware, password theft and identity theft. And there is even more to explore in the paid-for editions.

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Cybersecurity is not a one-stop-shop

Laptop security

Since the start of the pandemic, the way business is conducted has changed permanently, with many workforces continuing to work remotely as restrictions have eased. As companies relax and rules have eased, life is expected to return to a form of 'new normal.' But, the issues around cybersecurity are here to stay, and the gas pedal must not be eased -- especially with the increased risks associated with continued remote working. 

If anything, security should be more reinforced now than ever before to ensure all aspects of a business are secure. But this isn’t the case.

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How can developers get going quickly with managed Kubernetes?

Software development has been changing in recent years, continuous deployment and rapid delivery of new versions of applications are now increasingly the norm over slow and massive version changes. This change has led to new ways of working, with applications more commonly deployed using containers, on virtual hosts.

In March 2016, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) completed its first survey on container adoption and found only 23 percent of respondents making use of containers in a production environment. Fast forward to 2021, new research from Civo that surveyed over 1,000 cloud developers found 50 percent of respondents reported that their organization utilizes containers, with 73 percent of those using containers in a production environment.

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Staffing crunch forcing commercial insurance industry to embrace technology

Photo: Norebbo/Shutterstock

The COVID-19 pandemic shone the spotlight on growing labor shortages throughout the U.S. economy. While most of the attention to find entry and mid-level workers has focused on retailers, restaurants, and other service industries, the reality is that the staff shortage is affecting Wall Street banks, construction, manufacturing, trucking, and more. The pandemic has exacerbated long-standing staffing issues for commercial insurance brokers and carriers and is driving more companies to look to technology to bridge the gaps.  

Many common dynamics are driving the overall labor shortage. As the pandemic rose and fell, more Americans reassessed which types of jobs they wanted and at what pay. The rising acceptance of remote work, elimination of the daily commute, lack of access to childcare, desire and opportunity to start a business, and simply workers choosing to leave the workforce altogether are driving the staffing gap. Experts believe the staffing challenge is not a temporary issue but, in fact, the new normal.

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Leveraging keywords in the absence of individual user tracking

It’s not often that an industry valued at over $330 billion faces an existential threat to profitability, but that’s exactly the case for digital advertising.

Scandals like Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, compounded by numerous user data leaks within Big Tech, are changing how the general public and regulators think about programmatic advertising via third-party cookies. Large regulatory bodies across the United States and abroad are clamping down on this data collection process, and industry-leading companies are following suit.

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Web 3.0 is upon us -- and it's set to shake up the digital landscape

Since the arrival of Web 2.0 at the turn of the millennium, the internet has had an escalating impact on the way we go about our daily lives.

As Web 2.0 upgraded the earlier 'read/write' internet model to a medium that was altogether more interactive, we have seen social media platforms become ubiquitous. Little by little, these changes paved the way for the 'social web', with more user-generated content and information-sharing at users’ fingertips.

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Should you buy a used electric car?

Electric cars are rapidly rising in popularity. Last year saw record sales in the UK for electric vehicles, with 59,945 EVs registered throughout the year. December saw EVs have a 3.8 percent split of the UK’s market share, with almost 5,500 electric vehicles registered in the last month of the year. In December 2016, this market share was a lowly 1.7 percent. The rise of new electric vehicle purchases comes in the run-up to the government’s future ban on new petrol and diesel cars in 2030.

While the benefits of electric cars are well documented, especially their no emissions, should the public look into purchasing used electric vehicles if they’re in the market for a new car?

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Security experts predict a global AI-related cyber attack before year-end

As artificial intelligence technologies become more complex and better integrated with new services and products, executives worldwide are concerned about cyber security vulnerabilities. While AI is a strong tool for security, security experts also predict that malicious actors will utilize artificial intelligence to unleash a global cyber incident in the near future.

Today, unauthorized users can get easy access to AI-powered systems to create sophisticated cyber threats. For example, AI chatbots have emerged as a novel doorway to cyber attackers, and the Emotet Trojan malware is hyped as an AI-based cyber threat prototype directed at the financial services sector.

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Assessing the viability of first-party data

data privacy

In the wake of expanding regulations surrounding the use of consumer data for unprecedented purposes, the digital advertising industry is in for a massive overhaul. Google has announced the removal of third-party cookies and, although they have pushed the date of obsolescence back to 2023, companies are now forced to reckon with a future devoid of third-party data collection. Big Tech is looking to lead the rest of the industry in the development of innovative alternatives.

Unsurprisingly, Google has been at the front of these efforts thus far. The technology giant controls the largest browser, adtech, and search engine products in the industry, a powerful trio that leaves them perfectly positioned to navigate the digital advertising industry through uncharted territory. In addition to removing third-party cookies from their Chrome browser, Google is also fostering the development of responsible adtech in their Privacy Sandbox.

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White House Cyber Summit: Why top tech cyber pledges aren't enough

The Biden administration might have called on high profile figures to improve cybersecurity, but the reality is it's down to all businesses to tighten up their IT security measures.

The recent White House Cyber Summit with high profile leaders of some of the world’s biggest tech, energy, and financial services companies was a sign that the Biden administration is doubling down on its effort to prevent cyber attacks.

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Curbing pandemic burnout: 3 steps you can take to support overwhelmed security teams

We’re a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, and burnout is hitting employees hard. Recently, Okta CEO Todd McKinnon used an all-hands meeting with employees to underline the importance of taking vacation. In April, LinkedIn announced it was giving the entire company a full week off to unplug, recharge and help curb burnout. 

For security teams, burnout isn’t a new phenomenon. Given the need to always be on and ready, cybersecurity professionals already face high levels of stress, and the pandemic has added to increasing and alarming burnout rates. On the heels of the Exchange, Kaseya, and SolarWinds attacks, it’s no surprise that cybersecurity teams are overworked and exceptionally stressed -- we’re under a lot of pressure.

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