Russian President Vladimir Putin just signed into law a national ban on crypto payments in Russia!
Find out what’s going on, and what it means for cryptocurrencies in Russia!
Putin Signs Law Banning Crypto Payments In Russia!
On July 16, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin just signed into law a national ban on crypto payments in Russia.
This move comes after the Central Bank of Russia proposed an outright ban on using cryptocurrencies for payments or investments.
This ban does not go so far – it only bans payments using cryptocurrencies, while allowing people to continue investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereal, as well as digital assets like NFTs.
The new Russian law, as translated by Google, states that :
It is prohibited to transfer or accept digital financial assets as a consideration for transferred goods, performed works, rendered services, as well as in any other way that allows one to assume payment for goods (works, services) by a digital financial asset, except as otherwise provided by federal laws.
While it prohibits individuals and companies from paying for, and receiving, cryptocurrencies for goods and services, it allows the Russian government to use cryptocurrencies.
It also does not prohibit investing in cryptocurrencies or digital assets like NFT, leaving that open for now.
This partial ban on cryptocurrency reflects Russia’s precarious financial situation after invading Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
The Russian government had, prior to that, been skeptical, if not hostile, about cryptocurrency. But US and European sanctions are forcing them to hold back.
The lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, for example, just approved a draft bill on June 28 that would exempt cryptocurrency issuers from the Value Added Tax (VAT).
If passed by the upper house and signed into law by Putin, the lower house bill would also lower tax rates on income earned from selling cryptocurrencies – falling from 20% to just 13% for Russian companies, and 15% for foreign companies.
More recently, the Head of Russia’s Financial Policy Department even suggested that Russia could use cryptocurrencies to settle international payments.
Even Putin himself said that Russia had “certain competitive advantages” including a “surplus of electricity and well-trained personnel” to participate in crypto-mining, even though he is against using cryptocurrencies domestically.
If the Russian government chooses this path, it would be considered hypocritical in light of this ban on crypto payments in Russia. Cryptocurrencies are bad for the people, but good for the Russian government.
Please Support My Work!
Support my work through a bank transfer / PayPal / credit card!
Bitcoin rebounded above $20,000 while Ether shot over $1,100, after experiencing record lows! Here is what you need to know…
Bitcoin Rebounds Above $20K, Ether Shoots Over $1,100!
After a terrible week, cryptocurrencies are getting a big respite with Bitcoin rebounding above $20,000. and ether shooting over $1,100!
Last Saturday, Bitcoin crashed through the $20,000 line, and smashed right through the $19,000 and $18,000 support lines. It hit a record low of $17,663.80, wiping out 12% of value in less than a day.
The $20,000 mark was psychologically-important because Bitcoin first hit it in December 2020. It was also the peak of its last bull run, when it hit a high of $19,834 in December 2017. Bitcoin had, for the first time, fallen below the peak of its prior bull run.
But it gradually recovered over Sunday, and actually rose above the $20,000 mark at 7 PM. After a short sell-off early Monday morning, it recovered to above $20,000.
Ether had a terrible Saturday too, falling from $1,069.70 to just $903.23 – wiping out 15.6% of its value in less than 24 hours!
But it recovered quickly, breaching $1,000 by Sunday morning, and then the $1,100 mark by Sunday evening.
Like Bitcoin, Ether saw a sell-off on Monday morning, but it recovered again and stayed above $1,100
Bitcoin + Ether Rally May Be Shortlived
Cryptocurrency investors and traders are sure to be relieved by the rally, which kept both Bitcoin and Ether above those psychologically critical $20,000 and $1,000 price levels, even though they had already breached them two days ago.
The rally seems to be fuelled by investors and traders looking to buy cheap coins. Both Bitcoin and Ether were over 70% and over 80% below their all-time highs of $68,990.90 and $4,865.57 respectively.
However, the Bitcoin rally seemed rather weak – it was vacillating around the $20,000 mark, unable to push above $21,000. Ether did better, staying above $1,000 and rising above $1,100 on Sunday and Monday.
It seems likely that this rally will be short-lived, and could be a short respite before a larger sell-off.
As inflation remains red hot, with rapidly rising interest rates amidst recession fears, there is significant pressure to sell risky cryptocurrencies.
Even though both cryptocurrencies are holding steady right now, be prepared for more sell-offs that could trigger a vicious cycle of forced selling and falling prices.
The 2022 Crypto Winter may have been delayed, and spring isn’t coming soon.
Please Support My Work!
Support my work through a bank transfer / PayPal / credit card!
Alibaba, specifically its research institute – the Alibaba DAMO Academy, just published their top 10 tech trends in 2020.
Here are the highlights from those top 10 tech trends that they are predicting will go big in 2020!
Here Are The Top 10 Tech Trends In 2020 From Alibaba!
Tech Trend #1 : AI Evolves From Perceptual Intelligence To Cognitive Intelligence
Artificial intelligence has reached or surpassed humans in the areas of perceptual intelligence such as speech to text, natural language processing, video understanding etc; but in the field of cognitive intelligence that requires external knowledge, logical reasoning, or domain migration, it is still in its infancy.
Cognitive intelligence will draw inspiration from cognitive psychology, brain science, and human social history, combined with techniques such as cross domain knowledge graph, causality inference, and continuous learning to establish effective mechanisms for stable acquisition and expression of knowledge.
These make machines to understand and utilize knowledge, achieving key breakthroughs from perceptual intelligence to cognitive intelligence.
Tech Trend #2 : In-Memory Computing Addresses Memory Wall Challenge In AI Computer
In Von Neumann architecture, memory and processor are separate and the computation requires data to be moved back and forth.
With the rapid development of data-driven AI algorithms in recent years, it has come to a point where the hardware becomes the bottleneck in the explorations of more advanced algorithms.
In Processing-in-Memory (PIM) architecture, in contrast to the Von Neumann architecture, memory and processor are fused together and computations are performed where data is stored with minimal data movement.
As such, computation parallelism and power efficiency can be significantly improved. We believe the innovations on PIM architecture are the tickets to next-generation AI.
Tech Trend #3 : Industrial IoT Will Power Digital Transformation
In 2020, 5G, rapid development of IoT devices, cloud computing and edge computing will accelerate the fusion of information system, communication system, and industrial control system.
Through advanced Industrial IoT, manufacturing companies can achieve automation of machines, in-factory logistics, and production scheduling, as a way to realise C2B smart manufacturing.
In addition, interconnected industrial system can adjust and coordinate the production capability of both upstream and downstream vendors.
Ultimately it will significantly increase the manufacturers’ productivity and profitability. For manufacturers with production goods that value hundreds of trillion RMB, If the productivity increases 5-10%, it means additional trillions of RMB.
Tech Trend #4 : Large Scale Collaboration Between Machines Become Possible
Traditional single intelligence cannot meet the real-time perception and decision of large-scale intelligent devices.
The development of collaborative sensing technology of Internet of things and 5G communication technology will realise the collaboration among multiple agents – machines cooperate with each other and compete with each other to complete the target tasks.
The group intelligence brought by the cooperation of multiple intelligent bodies will further amplify the value of the intelligent system:
large-scale intelligent traffic light dispatching will realise dynamic and real-time adjustment,
warehouse robots will work together to complete cargo sorting more efficiently,
driverless cars can perceive the overall traffic conditions on the road, and
group unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) collaboration will get through the last-mile delivery more efficiently.
Tech Trend #5 : Modular Chiplet Design Makes Chips Easier & Faster To Create
Traditional model of chip design cannot efficiently respond to the fast evolving, fragmented and customised needs of chip production.
The open source SoC chip design based on RISC-V, high-level hardware description language, and IP-based modular chip design methods have accelerated the rapid development of agile design methods and the ecosystem of open source chips.
In addition, the modular design method based on chiplets uses advanced packaging methods to package the chiplets with different functions together, which can quickly customise and deliver chips that meet specific requirements of different applications.
Tech Trend #6 : Large Scale Blockchain Applications Will Gain Mass Adoption
BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service) will further reduce the barriers of entry for enterprise blockchain applications.
A variety of hardware chips embedded with core algorithms used in edge, cloud and designed specifically for blockchain will also emerge, allowing assets in the physical world to be mapped to assets on blockchain, further expanding the boundaries of the Internet of Value and realising “multi-chain interconnection”.
In the future, a large number of innovative blockchain application scenarios with multi-dimensional collaboration across different industries and ecosystems will emerge, and large-scale production-grade blockchain applications with more than 10 million DAI (Daily Active Items) will gain mass adoption.
Tech Trend #7 : A Critical Period Before Large-Scale Quantum Computing
In 2019, the race in reaching “Quantum Supremacy” brought the focus back to quantum computing. The demonstration, using superconducting circuits, boosts the overall confidence on superconducting quantum computing for the realisation of a large-scale quantum computer.
In 2020, the field of quantum computing will receive increasing investment, which comes with enhanced competitions. The field is also expected to experience a speed-up in industrialization and the gradual formation of an eco-system.
In the coming years, the next milestones will be the realization of fault-tolerant quantum computing and the demonstration of quantum advantages in real-world problems. Either is of a great challenge given the present knowledge. Quantum computing is entering a critical period.
Tech Trend #8 : New Materials Will Revolutionise Semiconductor Devices
Under the pressure of both Moore’s Law and the explosive demand of computing power and storage, it is difficult for classic Si based transistors to maintain sustainable development of the semiconductor industry.
Until now, major semiconductor manufacturers still have no clear answer and option to chips beyond 3nm. New materials will make new logic, storage, and interconnection devices through new physical mechanisms, driving continuous innovation in the semiconductor industry.
For example, topological insulators, two-dimensional superconducting materials, etc. that can achieve lossless transport of electron and spin can become the basis for new high-performance logic and interconnect devices; while new magnetic materials and new resistive switching materials can realize high-performance magnetics Memory such as SOT-MRAM and resistive memory.
Tech Trend #9 : Growing Adoption Of AI Technologies That Protect Data Privacy
The compliance costs demanded by the recent data protection laws and regulations related to data transfer are getting increasingly higher than ever before.
In light of this, there have been growing interests in using AI technologies to protect data privacy. The essence is to enable the data user to compute a function over input data from different data providers while keeping those data private.
Such AI technologies promise to solve the problems of data silos and lack of trust in today’s data sharing practices, and will truly unleash the value of data in the foreseeable future.
Tech Trend #10 : Cloud Becomes The Center Of IT Innovation
With the ongoing development of cloud computing technology, the cloud has grown far beyond the scope of IT infrastructure, and gradually evolved into the center of all IT technology innovations.
Cloud has close relationship with almost all IT technologies, including new chips, new databases, self-driving adaptive networks, big data, AI, IoT, blockchain, quantum computing and so forth.
Meanwhile, it creates new technologies, such as serverless computing, cloud-native software architecture, software-hardware integrated design, as well as intelligent automated operation.
Cloud computing is redefining every aspect of IT, making new IT technologies more accessible for the public. Cloud has become the backbone of the entire digital economy.
A host of new Microsoft Azure technologies for developers have been announced at the Microsoft Build 2019 conference, which took place in Seattle. Here is a primer on what they announced!
Microsoft Build 2019 : New Azure Technologies Unveiled!
With nearly 6,000 developers and content creators attending Microsoft Build 2019 in Seattle, Microsoft announced a series of new Azure services like hybrid loud and edge computing to support them. They include advanced technologies such as,
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
IoT (Internet of Things)
Microsoft Build 2019 : New Azure AI Technologies
First of all, they unveiled a new set of Microsoft Azure AI technologies to help developers and data scientists utilize AI as a solution :
Azure Cognitive Services, which iwll enable applications to see, hear, respond, translate, reason and more.
Microsoft will add the “Decision” function to Cognitive Services to help users make decisions through highly specific and customized recommendations.
Azure Search will also be further enhanced with an AI feature.
Microsoft Build 2019 : New Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Innovations
Microsoft Azure Machine Learning has been enhanced with new machine learning innovations designed to simplify the building, training and deployment of machine learning models. They include :
MLOps capabilities with Azure DevOps
Automated ML advancements
Visual machine learning interface
Microsoft Build 2019 : New Edge Computing Solutions
Microsoft also aims to boost edge computing by introducing these new solutions:
Azure SQL Database Edge
IoT Plug and Play
HoloLens 2 Developer Bundle
Unreal Engine 4
Microsoft Build 2019 : Azure Blockchain Service
The Azure Blockchain Workbench, which Microsoft released last year to support development of blockchain applications, has been further enhanced this year with the Azure Blockchain Service.
Azure Blockchain Service is a tool that simplifies the formation and management of consortium blockchain networks so companies only need to focus on app development.
J.P Morgan’s Ethereum platform was introduced by Microsoft as the first ledger available in the Azure Blockchain Service.
On 28 September 2018, SAP announced that CrowdFarmX will use S/4HANA Public Cloud to bring on-board 10 million Southeast Asian farmers over the next 22 years.
Let’s find out from CrowdFarmX CEO David Tan on how they intend to do that in their mission to tackle world hunger!
How CrowdFarmX Aims To Tackle World Hunger With SAP!
The CrowdFarmX platform connects farmers directly to the global market and equips them with the technology know-how to deliver higher-quantity and quality yields, potentially increasing their net yield by up to 10 times and contributing towards global food sufficiency.
By leveraging the SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, an intelligent ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite, CrowdFarmX will be able to accelerate the on-boarding process for farmers across Southeast Asia. Let’s find out from CrowdFarmX CEO David Tan on how they aim to accomplish that.
Currently, 80% of global food supply is provided by small farmers in a USD6 trillion-dollar industry, but these farmers receive low economic returns for their labour despite increasing consumer demand.
Through smart contracts, CrowdFarmX links them directly to wholesale distributors and retailers, helping the farmers to gain a greater cut of the selling price. Farmers can also leverage brand marketing and financing resources, as well as opportunities for exclusive partnerships with retailers to boost sales through Food Cradles that will be rolled out across the region.
The end-to-end visibility of the supply chain also increases food safety, ensuring that quality food such as pesticide-free produce gets onto tables.
How S/4HANA Public Cloud Helps CrowdFarmX
CrowdFarmX will leverage S/4HANA Public Cloud to drive and integrate production planning and management of associated business processes like sales & distribution, procurement, supply chain, finance control and monitoring.
The SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud reinforces predictive analytics for optimised growth, supporting integration of the supply chain with customers, and supporting the track and trace of safe produce from farmers. The SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud implementation is expected to go live in December 2018.
CrowdFarmX aims to impact more than 1,000 Southeast Asian farmers under a pilot phase by 2020, providing access to sophisticated agriculture technologies that were not readily available before.
This includes IoT irrigation monitoring systems and data analysis on micro-climates and soil moisture, enabling them to maximise the yield per square foot of land by up to 10 times. The higher levels of crop production secures food sufficiency for a growing world population especially amidst declining farmer populations.
Who Is CrowdFarmX?
CrowdFarmX is part of the Netatech Group of Companies, one of Singapore’s leading integrated solutions provider for water and food sustainability technologies. The CrowdFarmX Singapore Food Cradle was established in 2014, comprising of a high-tech greenhouse, automated seeding line, post-harvest packing and cold storage facilities.
With more than 20 farm technologists, researchers, agronomists at the helm, the CrowdFarmX Food Cradle engages in agricultural research and development, farm network connection and safe food production supplying to premium supermarkets islandwide.
NEM officially opened the NEM Blockchain Centre Kuala Lumpur on 3 July 2018. The new NEM Blockchain Centre will serve as a learning centre, incubator and accelerator for organisations in Asia keen to explore blockchain technology and its applications in multiple industries.
Blockchain is gaining global traction in diverse industries including financial services, insurance, education, retail, telecommunications and logistics. Among its applications are automating accounting, medical and scientific records, international remittance, securities trading customer relationship management, notarisations and many more.
NEM is a blockchain platform (as well as a cryptocurrency). Written in Java and launched at the end of March 2015, NEM introduced a number of new blockchain features like Proof of Importance (POI) algorithm, multi-signature accounts, and encrypted messaging.
The NEM blockchain has already been adopted in a number of industries and services in Asia and around the world, including Appsolutely Inc., the largest rewards and loyalty programme company in the Philippines; a point-of-sale terminal for cryptocurrency for the retail industry (Pundi X) in Indonesia; and backend payment and mobile settlement solutions by Dragonfly Fintech Pte. Ltd., Singapore.
NEM Blockchain Centre Kuala Lumpur
With almost 11,000-square-feet of space, NEM Blockchain Centre Kuala Lumpur is the largest of its kind in the region that is fully operated by a blockchain technology organisation. It will house :
the NEM Blockchain Innovation Lab,
a headquarters for research and development,
regional support for organisations interested in using the NEM platform within their IT infrastructures,
a co-working space for blockchain-related learning and knowledge-sharing events.
NEM Blockchain Centre Kuala Lumpur will allow organisations to explore how blockchain technology can help improve data transactions by enhancing speed and security at a lower cost than other current technology platforms. Malaysian organisations can leverage the NEM network and technology to develop blockchain solutions, with access to training events, service providers and technical support.
It will also serve as the headquarters for regional operations for NEM in Asia (excluding China and ANZ). The team will continue to pursue strategic alliances to expand NEM’s reach, secure deeper collaboration, and develop more blockchain hubs. US$5 million will be allocated towards supporting blockchain companies incubated in the NBC in Malaysia.
Great companies are created on the back of innovative products or services. But to maintain their greatness, these companies need to keep innovating. This is becoming increasingly difficult because the development of new technologies is outpacing the ability of many companies to adapt, much less innovate. This is where SAP Leonardo comes in.
Join us for exclusive in-depth presentations on SAP Leonardo. Find out what SAP Leonardo is all about, and how it can help companies innovate faster and better!
What Is SAP Leonardo?
SAP introduced Leonardo at the 2017 SAPPHIRE NOW conference, combining six key digital innovation technologies into a single “digital innovation system” – machine learning, blockchain technology, data intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things, and Analytics.
In addition to those technologies, Leonardo also offers Design Thinking methodologies, data intelligence tools, benchmarking and more. For speedy implementation, SAP even offers “Leonardo Accelerator Packages” that are tailored for specific industries and core functions, such as IoT.
SAP Leonardo Centers
Since its introduction in 2017, SAP has created five SAP Leonardo Centers worldwide, with SAP Leonardo Center Singapore as the latest addition. These are interconnected hubs that serve as points of contact for companies and startups interested in SAP Leonardo.
They are part showcase, and part collaborative centers. Their real-world examples of digital innovation using Leonardo serve as inspiration for SAP customers and partners. They also offer a place for businesses and startups to experiment and innovate, jointly or in collaborative efforts.
Innovating With Purpose
Scott Russell, President of SAP APJ, kicked things off with his keynote speech, Asia Soaring : Innovating with Purpose.
Tour & Real-World Examples
For those who missed our coverage of SAP Leonardo Center Singapore, check out this tour of the SAP Leonardo demos by Thorsten Vieth, Director of Industry Innovation at SAP South East Asia. These are actual real-world examples of Leonardo at work.
Becoming An Intelligent Enterprise With SAP Leonardo
Mala Anand, President of SAP Leonardo and Analytics, now explains how to become an Intelligent Enterprise with Leonardo. If you want to understand what SAP Leonardo is about, and how it can help your company, you must watch this!
Innovation, Integration & Scaling For CFOs
This presentation by Richard McLean, CFO of SAP APJ, is specific for CFOs (Chief Financial Officers). He brought in Anja Langhoff, Head of Finance Shared Services (SAP Singapore), who shared how machine learning technology helped improve the efficiency and employee satisfaction of her team. Manik Saha, CIO of SAP APJ, and McLean, also shared about the use of Leonardo analytics in the finance department.
Improving Customer Experience
Maggie Buggie, SVP and Global Head of SAP Leonardo Services, explains how SAP Leonardo technologies can help businesses improve customer experience.
The Hanon Systems Story
Hanon Systems, a manufacturer of automotive thermal and energy management solutions, was one of the first SAP Leonardo customers in South Korea. Robert Oh, their Global CIO & Business Transformation Executive, explained how Hanon Systems plans to launch a pilot program of Leonardo to achieve real-time visibility and monitoring capabilities, for better productivity as well as preventive maintenance.
Hanon Systems also plans to use Leonardo to automate data analysis of product detects to mitigate risks, and improve production quality. In short, Leonardo is expected to help them to create smart factories through real-time monitoring of sensing data, while improving their products using predictive analytics of their product quality data.
Connecting Innovation To The Digital Core
Paul Marriott, SVP of Digital Core & Industry Solutions, SAP APJ, summed up all the key points of the previous presentations on Leonardo, before demonstrating how artificial intelligence allows businesses to easier access business intelligence through digital assistants.
On 8 May 2018, SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) announced the establishment of the SAP Leonardo Center Singapore, to help their customers, partners, and foster faster innovation throughout the broader ecosystem of universities and start-ups across the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region.
Join us for an exclusive look at the new SAP Leonardo Center Singapore, including a tour of the digital innovations that SAP Leonardo offers enterprises and businesses.
SAP Leonardo Center Singapore
SAP Leonardo Centers are interconnected hubs that serve as points of contact for companies and startups interested in SAP Leonardo. They are part showcase, and part collaborative centers. Their real-world examples of digital innovation using SAP Leonardo serve as inspiration for SAP customers and partners. They also offer a place for businesses and startups to experiment and innovate, jointly or in collaborative efforts.
Leonardo Center Singapore expands SAP’s presence in the APJ region, which already boasts three SAP Innovation Centers and four SAP Labs. It will be the fifth in the global network of SAP Leonardo Centers, serving a “front-end” to assist SAP customers in transforming their businesses with SAP Leonardo and Design Thinking.
SAP Leonardo brings together the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Blockchain technology, Big Data Analytics and Data Intelligence on the SAP Cloud Platform. It also applies SAP’s technological capabilities and deep knowledge of 25 industries to deliver the promise of Intelligent Enterprise.
“The SAP Leonardo Center in Singapore will showcase the art of the possible in digital innovation and help our customers scale quickly, easily and effectively,” said Scott Russell, President, SAP APJ. “Together with our customers and partners, we aim to leverage the SAP Leonardo Center Singapore as a think tank to drive purpose-led innovation that will ultimately improve the lives of one billion people and deliver the Intelligent Enterprise for over 70,000 customers in APJ by 2022. The SAP Leonardo Center in Singapore will play a key role in realizing our growth strategy and drive customer success in the new Intelligence era.”
The SAP Leonardo Center Singapore aims to foster a collaborative environment for businesses, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises to experiment and innovate.
It will also serve as a hub for SAP’s broader digital technology ecosystem including universities, startups, tech communities and accelerators.
Through the SAP University Alliances program, SAP APJ helps to educate 1.7 million students in educational institutions across the region. SAP APJ has also established 13 labs in APJ with plans to open more in the future.
Tour Of SAP Leonardo Center Singapore
Thorsten Vieth, Director of Industry Innovation at SAP South East Asia, took us on a tour of SAP Leonardo Center Singapore. SAP created various booths to showcase real world examples of SAP Leonardo at work.
They include traffic management of an entire city, how a smart stadium manages crowds, predictive maintenance of smart trains, and ensuring safety of drivers and passengers in smart buses.
They also showed how machine learning can be used to simplify the maintenance of home appliances with IoT capability, while providing a transparent and secure service record using blockchain technology. Such capabilities not only improve the customer experience, they also reduce costs for businesses.
Ettienne Reinecke, Dimension Data’s Group Chief Technology Officer, reveals the Dimension Data 2018 IT Predictions!
The Dimension Data 2018 IT Predictions
The Dimension Data 2018 IT Predictions that was just published, noted the importance of blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics as well as virtual and augmented reality in 2018. They all have the potential to “deliver disruptive outcomes” and “reshape digital business”.
Ettienne Reinecke, Dimension Data’s Group Chief Technology Officer, says Blockchain has gone from strength to strength. “Last year, when we looked at the top digital business trends for 2017, we predicted that centralised transaction models would come under attack. We were spot on. In the financial services sector, we’ve seen the US and European capital markets moving onto Blockchain platforms, and similar activity in markets such as Japan. Considering how conservative and compliance-focused this sector is, that’s quite remarkable.
“It’s ironic that the cybercriminals who perpetrated the recent WannaCry ransomware attack could hold a federal government to ransom and demand to be paid in Bitcoin. Bitcoin might be a crypto-currency, but it’s based on Blockchain, and if cybercriminals are confident that Bitcoin provides a safe mechanism for the payment of ransoms, it indicates just how secure the distributed ledger approach is. I believe that Blockchain has the potential to totally re-engineer cybersecurity, but the industry has yet to come to terms with it.”
Blockchain And IoT
Reinecke predicts that Blockchain will also deliver on the promise of Internet of Things (IoT) in the year ahead.
“In the world of IoT you’re generating millions of small transactions that are being collected from a distributed set of sensors. It’s not feasible to operate these systems using a centralised transactional model: it’s too slow, expensive, and exclusive. To extract the true value from IoT technology you have to be able to operate in real time. Once a sensor alert is received from a control system you must react to it, meter it, and bill for it instantly – all of which negates the viability of a centralised transactional authority. The cost of the transaction has to be near-zero or free, and the cost elements of a centralised model simply don’t support the potential business model in IoT,” he explains.
In 2018, some interesting applications of Blockchain and IoT in the area of cybersecurity will emerge. Significant attacks have recently been launched from low-cost IoT endpoints, and there’s very little incentive for manufacturers of these devices to incur the cost of a security stack, which leaves them extremely vulnerable. Blockchain can play a fundamental role in securing these environments.
New Wireless Technologies
Another exciting trend to look forward to is the boom in new wireless technologies that will enable IoT and bring us a step closer to the dream of pervasive connectivity. Some of these advancements will include 5G and Gbps Wi-Fi, new controls, virtual beacon technology, and low power, long distance radio frequency.
There’s also a “digital fight-back” coming on the part of certain incumbent players. Established businesses that have proactively transformed into digital businesses, modernised their architectures, and embedded high levels of automation into their operations have a window of opportunity to claw back market share in the year ahead. That’s because there’s been an increase in the number of cloud-born start-ups themselves starting to be disrupted in certain industries.
“I predict that a number of digitally transformed incumbents will successfully start reclaiming their markets because they have more credibility, longer histories, an established customer base, and assets that can stand the test of time,” says Reinecke.
David Rajoo, Director of Systems Engineering, Symantec Malaysia, reveals the Symantec 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions. They will help CIOs and cybersecurity experts prepare for the onslaught of cybersecurity threats in 2018.
The Symantec 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions
This past year, cyber criminals caused major service disruptions around the world, using their increasing technical proficiency to break through cyber defenses. In 2018, we expect the trend to become more pronounced as these attackers will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to launch even more potent attacks.
Gear up for a busy year ahead. Incidents like the WannaCry attack, which impacted more than 200,000 computers worldwide in May, are just the warmup to a new year of more virulent malware and DDoS attacks. Meanwhile, cyber criminals are poised to step up their attacks on the millions of devices now connected to the Internet of Things both in offices and homes.
The cybersecurity landscape in 2018 is sure to surprise us in ways that we never imagined. As 2017 draws to a close, here is what you can expect over the course of the upcoming year:
The Symantec 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions Part 1/3
Blockchain Will Find Uses Outside Of Cryptocurrencies But Cyber criminals Will Focus On Coins and Exchanges
Blockchain is finally finding applications outside of crypto-currencies, expanding its functions in inter-bank settlements with the help of IoT gaining traction. However, these use cases are still in their infancy stage and are not the focus for most cyber criminals today.
Instead of attacking Blockchain technology itself, cyber criminals will focus on compromising coin-exchanges and users’ coin-wallets since these are the easiest targets, and provide high returns. Victims will also be tricked into installing coin-miners on their computers and mobile devices, handing their CPU and electricity over to cyber criminals.
Cyber criminals Will Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) To Conduct Attacks
No cyber security conversation today is complete without a discussion about AI and ML. So far, these conversations have been focused on using these technologies as protection and detection mechanisms. However, this will change in the next year with AI and ML being used by cyber criminals to conduct attacks.
It is the first year where we will see AI versus AI in a cybersecurity context. Cyber criminals will use AI to attack and explore victims’ networks, which is typically the most labour-intensive part of compromise after an incursion.
If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!
The Symantec 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions Part 2/3
Supply Chain Attacks Will Become Mainstream
Supply chain attacks have been a mainstay of the classical espionage and signals-intelligence operators, compromising upstream contractors/systems/companies and suppliers. They are proven to have a high-level of effectiveness, with nation-state actors using a mix of human intelligence to compromise the weakest link in the chain.
These attacks are moving into the cybercriminal space, becoming mainstream. With publicly available information on suppliers, contractors, partnerships and key-people, cyber criminals can find victims in the supply chain and attack the weakest link. With a number of high profile successful attacks in 2016 and 2017, cyber criminals will focus on this method in 2018.
File-less and File-light Malware Will Explode
2016 and 2017 have seen consistent growth in the amount of file-less and file-light malware, with attackers capitalising organizations that lack in preparation against such threats. With fewer Indicators of Compromise (IoC), use of the victims’ own tools, and complex disjointed behaviours, these threats have been harder to stop, track and defend against in many scenarios.
Like the early days of ransomware, where early success by a few cyber criminals triggered a gold-rush like mentality, more cyber criminals are now rushing to use these same techniques. Although file-less and file-light malware will still be outnumbered by orders-of-magnitude as traditional style malware, they will pose a significant threat and lead to an explosion in 2018.
Organisations Will Still Struggle With Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) Security
Adoption of SaaS continues to grow at an exponential rate as organizations embark on digital transformation projects to drive business agility. This rate of change and adoption presents many security challenges as access control, data control, user behaviour and data encryption vary significantly between SaaS apps. While this is not new and many of the security problems are well understood, organizations will continue to struggle with all these in 2018.
Combined with new privacy and data protections laws adopted by regulators across the world, these will pose major implications in terms of penalties, and more importantly, reputational damage.
Organisations Will Still Struggle With Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Security – More Breaches Due to Error, Compromise & Design
IaaS has completely changed the way organisations run their operations, offering massive benefits in agility, scalability, innovation and security. It also introduces significant risks, with simple errors that can expose massive amount of data and take down the entire system.
While security controls above the IaaS layer are customer’s responsibility, traditional controls do not map well – leading to confusion, errors and design issues with ineffective or inappropriate controls being applied, while new controls are ignored. This will lead to more breaches throughout 2018 as organizations struggle to shift their security programs to be IaaS effective.
If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!
The Symantec 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions Part 3/3
Financial Trojans Will Still Account For More Losses Than Ransomware
Financial Trojans were some of the first pieces of malware to be monetised by cyber criminals. From simple beginnings as credential harvesting tools, they have since evolved to advanced attack frameworks that target multiple banks, and banking systems that send shadow transactions and hide their tracks. They have proven to be highly profitable for cyber criminals.
Today the move to mobile application-based banking has curtailed some of the effectiveness, so cyber criminals are now moving their attacks to these platforms. Cyber criminals’ profits from Financial Trojans is expected to grow, giving them higher gains as compared to Ransomware attacks.
Expensive Home Devices Will Be Held To Ransom
Ransomware has become a major problem and is one of the scourges of the modern Internet, allowing cyber criminals to reap huge profits by locking up users’ files and systems. The gold-rush mentality has not only pushed more and more cyber criminals to distribute ransomware, but also contributed to the rise of Ransomware-As-A-Service and other specializations in the cyber criminal underworld.
These specialists are now looking to expand their attack reach by exploiting the massive increase in expensive connected home devices. Smart TVs, smart toys and other smart appliances can run into thousands of dollars and users are generally not aware of the threats to these devices, making them an attractive target for cyber criminals.
IoT Devices Will Be Hijacked and Used in DDoS Attacks
In 2017, we have seen massive DDoS attacks using hundreds of thousands of compromised IoT devices in people’s homes and workplaces to generate traffic. This is not expected to change with cyber criminals looking to exploit the poor security settings and management of home IoT devices.
Furthermore, the inputs and sensors of these devices will also be hijacked, with attackers feeding audio, visual or other faked inputs to make these devices do what they want rather than what users expect them to do.
IoT Devices Will Provide Persistent Access to Home Networks
Beyond DDoS attacks and ransomware, home IoT devices will be compromised by cyber criminals to provide persistent access to a victim’s network. Home users generally do not consider the cyber security implications of their home IoT devices, leaving default settings and not vigilantly updating them like they do with their computers.
Persistent access means that no matter how many times a victim cleans their machine or protects their computer, the attacker will always have a backdoor into victims’ network and the systems that they connect to.