Tag Archives: IoT

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag : Hands-On Preview!

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag : Hands-On Preview!

Together with the Galaxy S21 smartphones, Samsung also introduced their Galaxy SmartTag Bluetooth tracker!

Take a look at the new Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, and find out what exactly it does!

 

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag : Hands-On Preview!

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag is a Bluetooth tracker, which you can attach to keys, bags, or anything important you want to keep track of.

It emits a Bluetooth Low Energy signal, which lets your Galaxy devices locate the tracker, and thus the attached item.

Just tap the Ring button in the Samsung SmartThings app, and the SmartTag will emit a piercing tone, at up to 89 dB.

You can also find your Samsung Galaxy smartphone using the SmartTag. Press its button twice, and your smartphone will ring!

In case its tone is too soft or muffled, the SmartThings app will give you its signal strength, letting you pretend that you are tracking Aliens, albeit without direction.

And even if it’s out of range, nearby Galaxy devices will pick up its signal and transmit it to you through the Galaxy Find Network.

It can also act as a remote control for IoT routines. You can program its button to trigger different IoT devices like turning on the smart lights and the thermostat in your home.

However, the Galaxy SmartTag only works with Samsung Galaxy devices. So you can forget about using it with non-Samsung devices, or an iPhone.

The SmartTag is powered by a single CR2032 battery, and is IP53-rated, which means it is not waterproof but can withstand water splashes (like raindrops).

 

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ : UWB Coming Soon!

While there were rumours that it would support UWB (Ultra Wideband), that capability will only be introduced in a future Galaxy SmartTag+ tracker.

The UWB capability of SmartTag+ will allow you to see on a map the direction of the tracker, making it easier to locate than the Bluetooth version.

But it will only work with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy Note20 Ultra, which support UWB.

 

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag is available in two colour options – Black and Oatmeal.

It has an official price of US$29.99 / £29 / RM119, but here in Malaysia, it’s available at a discounted launch price of RM79.

Here are some online purchase options :

 

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TÜV AUSTRIA Cybersecurity Lab Official Launch In Malaysia!

TÜV AUSTRIA and LGMS just officially created the TÜV AUSTRIA Cybersecurity Lab in Malaysia, to offer cybersecurity testing and certification to the Asia-Pacific region.

 

TÜV AUSTRIA Cybersecurity Lab Official Launch In Malaysia!

The formation of the TÜV AUSTRIA Cybersecurity Lab in Malaysia is a major joint venture between TÜV Trust IT (a member of TÜV AUSTRIA) and LGMS of Malaysia.

The Austrian Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr. Michael Postl, was the guest of honor to inaugurate this partnership, which aims to deliver both cybersecurity testing and certification to the Asia-Pacific region.

TÜV AUSTRIA : A Quick Primer

TÜV AUSTRIA is an international testing, inspection and certification (TIC) company, with more than 2,000 staff members in more than 20 countries globally. Founded and based in Austria, TÜV AUSTRIA generates more than €220 million in annual revenue.

LGMS : A Quick Primer

LGMS – a proudly Malaysian cybersecurity company – has been accredited with multiple international certifications and is recognised internationally by IDC as one of the world’s leading IoT key penetration testing vendors in their 2019 report.

 

TÜV AUSTRIA Cybersecurity Lab : The Quick Details

The new TÜV AUSTRIA Cybersecurity Lab will house a global Cybersecurity Testing and Certification Center of Excellence (CoE) in Malaysia to serve both domestic and international markets.

Staffed by a mix of TÜV AUSTRIA and LGMS staff initially, they plan to add a hundred more cybersecurity positions over the next few years.

The new team’s focus will be to help organisations identify vulnerabilities within their IT infrastructure, and recommending measures to maintain and improve on their cybersecurity practices.

This Austrian-Malaysian joint venture will also stimulate Industry 4.0 Cybersecurity Testing and Certifications both locally and internationally, as well as drive the protection Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) as encouraged by the Malaysian government.

This joint venture is also supported by MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation), which is striving to promote Malaysia as the Asian hub for cybersecurity testing and certification.

 

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Here Are The Top 10 Tech Trends In 2020 From Alibaba!

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.

 

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Dell Forecasts The Future of Connected Living In 2030!

Dell Technologies just shared with us the key findings from their research that explore the future of connected living by the year 2030!

Find out how emerging technologies will transform how our lives will change by the year 2030!

 

Dell On The Future of Connected Living In 2030!

Dell Technologies conducted their research in partnership with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and Vanson Bourne, surveying 1,100 business leaders across ten countries in Asia Pacific and Japan.

Let’s take a look at their key findings, and find out why they believe the future is brimming with opportunity thanks to emerging technologies.

 

Technological Shifts Transforming The Future By 2030

IFTF and a forum of global experts forecast that emerging technologies like edge computing, 5G, AI, Extended Reality (XR) and IoT will create these five major shifts in society :

1. Networked Reality

Over the next decade, the line between the virtual and the real will vanish. Cyberspace will become an overlay on top of our existing reality as our digital environment extends beyond televisions, smartphones and other displays.

This transformation will be driven by the deployment of 5G networks that enable high bandwidth, low-latency connections for streaming, interactive services, and multi-user media content.

2. Connected Mobility and Networked Matter

The vehicles of tomorrow will essentially be mobile computers, with the transportation system resembling packet-switched networks that power the Internet.

We will trust them to take us where we need to go in the physical world as we interact in the virtual spaces available to us wherever we are.

3. From Digital Cities to Sentient Cities

More than half of the world’s population live in urban areas. This will increase to 68% over the next three decades, according to the United Nations.

This level of growth presents both huge challenges and great opportunities for businesses, governments and citizens.

Cities will quite literally come to life through their own networked infrastructure of smart objects, self-reporting systems and AI-powered analytics.

4. Agents and Algorithms

Our 2030 future will see everyone supported by a highly personalised “operating system for living” that is able to anticipate our needs and proactively support our day-to-day activities to free up time.

Such a Life Operating System (Life OS) will be context-aware, anticipating our needs and behaving proactively.

Instead of interacting with different apps today, the intelligent agent of the future will understand what you need and liaise with various web services, other bots and networked objects to get the job done.

5. Robot with Social Lives

Within 10 years, we will have personal robots that will become our partners in life – enhancing our skills and extending our abilities.

In some cases, they will replace us, but this can mean freeing us to do the things we are good at, and enjoy.

In most cases, they can become our collaborators, helping to crowdsource innovations and accelerate progress through robot social networks.

 

Preparing For The Future Of Connected Living By 2030

Anticipating Change

Many businesses in APJ are already preparing for these shifts, with business leaders expressing these perceptions :

  • 80% (82% in Malaysia) will restructure the way they spend their time by automating more tasks
  • 70% (83% in Malaysia) welcome people partnering with machines/robots to surpass our human limitations
  • More than half of businesses anticipate Networked Reality becoming commonplace
    – 63% (67% in Malaysia) say they welcome day-to-day immersion in virtual and augmented realities
    – 62% (63% in Malaysia) say they welcome people being fitted with brain computer interfaces

Navigating Challenges

These technological shifts are seismic in nature, leaving people and organisations grappling with change. Organisations that want to harness these emerging technologies will need to collect, process and make use of the data, while addressing public concerns about data privacy.

APJ business leaders are already anticipating some of these challenges :

  • 78% (88% in Malaysia) will be more concerned about their own privacy by 2030 than they are today
  • 74% (83% in Malaysia) consider data privacy to be a top societal-scale challenge that must be solved
  • 49% (56% in Malaysia) would welcome self-aware machines
  • 49% (43% in Malaysia) call for regulation and clarity on how AI is used
  • 84% (85% in Malaysia) believe that digital transformation should be more widespread throughout their organisation

 

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NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX : World’s Smallest AI Supercomputer

On 7 November 2019, NVIDIA introduced the Jetson Xavier NX – the world’s smallest AI supercomputer designed for robotics and embedded computing applications at the edge!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the new NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX!

 

NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX : World’s Smallest AI Supercomputer

At just 70 x 45 mm, the new NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX is smaller than a credit card. Yet it delivers server-class AI performance at up to 21 TOPS, while consuming as little as 10 watts of power.

Short for Nano Xavier, the NX is a low-power version of the Xavier SoC that came up tops in the MLPerf Inference benchmarks.

Recommended : NVIDIA Wins MLPerf Inference Benchmarks For DC + Edge!

With its small size and low-power, it opens up the possibility of adding AI on-the-edge computing capabilities to small commercial robots, drones, industrial IoT systems, network video recorders and portable medical devices.

The Jetson Xavier NX can be configured to deliver up to 14 TOPS at 10 W, or 21 TOPS at 15 W. It is powerful enough to run multiple neural networks in parallel, and process data from multiple high-resolution sensors simultaneously.

The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX runs on the same CUDA-X AI software architecture as all other Jetson processors, and is supported by the NVIDIA JetPack software development kit.

It is pin-compatible with the Jetson Nano, offering up to 15X higher performance than the Jetson TX2 in a smaller form factor.

It is not available for a few more months, but developers can begin development today using the Jetson AGX Xavier Developer Kit, with a software patch to emulate Jetson Xavier NX.

 

NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX Specifications

Specifications NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX
CPU NVIDIA Carmel
– 6 x Arm 64-bit cores
– 6 MB L2 + 4 MB L3 caches
GPU NVIDIA Volta
– 384 CUDA cores, 48 Tensor cores, 2 NVDLA cores
AI Performance 21 TOPS : 15 watts
14 TOPS : 10 watts
Memory Support 128-bit LPDDR4x-3200
– Up to 8 GB, 51.2 GB/s
Video Support Encoding : Up to 2 x 4K30 streams
Decoding : Up to 2 x 4K60 streams
Camera Support Up to six CSI cameras (32 via virtual channels)
Up to 12 lanes (3×4 or 6×2) MIPI CSI-2
Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet
OS Support Ubuntu-based Linux
Module Size 70 x 45 mm (Nano)

 

NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX Price + Availability

The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX will be available in March 2020 from NVIDIA’s distribution channels, priced at US$399.

 

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Why Cybersecurity Is Critical For Industry 4.0 Success

Yeo Siang Tiong, the General Manager of Kaspersky Southeast Asia, recently shared with us why cybersecurity is critical for Industry 4.0 initiatives to succeed.

While he uses Malaysia’s drive to implement Industry 4.0 as an example, the lessons are universal and apply across the world.

Let’s hear it from Mr. Yeo Siang Tiong!

 

Why Cybersecurity Is Critical For Industry 4.0 Success

The term Industry 4.0 was first used at the Hanover Fair, as a reference to the latest industrial strategy which has been termed the fourth industrial revolution.

According to the explanation by Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia [1] I have read months ago, Industry 4.0 is referred to as production of manufacturing based industries digitalization transformation, driven by connected technologies.

Together with autonomous robots, big data analytics, cloud computing, Internet of Things, additive manufacturing, system integration, augmented reality and simulation, in my opinion, cybersecurity is among the main pillars of Industry 4.0.

Why? Because while the cyber-physical systems connected without wires, automated and with lesser human touch points promise more efficient processes and communications, this also exposes systems to potential cyberattacks.

Greater connectivity brought about by Industry 4.0 will require greater security attention for ICS security because the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a double-edged sword which countries and companies should use wisely.

It is great to note that Malaysia is currently ranked third globally among 193 International Telecom Union members, in terms of the level of national commitment to addressing cybersecurity risks.

In 2018, Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia launched INDUSTRY 4WRD, a national policy on Industry 4.0, to place policies and guidelines in place to ensure Malaysian manufacturing industry and its related services would be ready, to be smart, systematic and resilient.

The policy has the overarching philosophy – A-C-T, Attract, Create and Transform.

The government’s efforts are indeed being commended worldwide. Proof is the Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018 [2] which put Malaysia in the “Leader” quadrant, positioned well for the future. Malaysia and China are the only two non-high-income countries in this coveted quadrant.

One important area for improvement that I know if will be the human force. Malaysia has shortage of required talents, skills and knowledge for Industry 4.0, particularly in the areas of IoT, robotics and AI.  The lack of talents in the fields of IoT is hypocritical for Malaysia Industry 4.0 especially in the areas of exposure to cyber threats.

However, let us not miss the commitment uttered by the Ministry of Education Malaysia [3] saying that cybersecurity must be introduced at the grassroot level, especially among the schoolchildren. The department of Polytechnic and Community College Education and Politeknik Mersing in Johor is also off to set up the Cyber Range Academy, which provides the students with an authentic learning environment in the threat landscape.

For our part, Kaspersky understands the cyber security needs in ensuring the success of Industry 4.0 and have solutions in place – Industrial CyberSecurity (ICS), with the aim to protect companies from three main risks [4].

Firstly, unintentional infection of an industrial network.  In theory, industrial information networks should not be connected to office networks, and should also not have direct access to the internet.  However, sometimes without intending to cause any harm, staff will connect infected removable drives to industrial computers or access the internet to update software on the server, resulted malware manages to penetrate the network.

Secondly, it is not unusual for people who are professionally versed in industrial systems to try and use that knowledge to trick their employer, which cause serious harm to the business.

Thirdly, cyberwar, targeted actions that are intended to cause damage. Two years ago, a massive data breach saw more than 46 million mobile subscribers in Malaysia leaked on to the dark web.

For companies to reach their Industry 4.0 goals, all components have to be protected.

Remember ShadowHammer [5] which Kaspersky team highlighted in the research back in March?  Executable files, found in reputable and trusted large manufacturer, contained malware features, which upon careful analysis confirmed been tampered by malicious attackers.

To avoid being victims and ensuring a clearer path to achieving Industry 4.0 [6], we suggest to:

    • Regularly update operating systems, application software, and security solutions
    • Apply necessary security fixes andaudit access control for ICS components in the enterprise’s industrial network and at its boundaries
    • Provide dedicated training and support for employees as well as partners and suppliers with access to your network
    • Restrict network traffic on ports and protocols used on edge routers and inside the organization’s OT networks
    • Use ICS network traffic monitoring, analysis and detection solutions for better protection from attacks potentially threatening technological process and main enterprise assets
    • Deploy dedicated securitysolutions on ICS servers, workstations and HMIs, such as Kaspersky Industrial CyberSecurity. This solution includes network traffic monitoring, analysis and detection to secure OT and industrial infrastructure from both random malware infections and dedicated industrial threats
    • Form a dedicated security team for both IT and OT sectors
    • Equip these security teams with proper cybersecurity training as well as real-time and in-depth threat intelligence reports

[1] FAQs on Industry 4.0

[2] National Policy on Industry 4.0

[3] Bridging the talent gap in cybersecurity

[4] Securing Industrial Revolution 4.0

[5] Operation ShadowHammer: a high-profile supply chain attack

[6] Almost every second industrial computer was subjected to malicious cyber activity in 2018

 

What Is Industrial Revolution 4.0?

Industrial Revolution 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, is a term that is applied towards the current trend of intelligent automation that is enabled by information technology, interconnectivity and data analytics.

 

Industry 4.0 employs a wide range of technologies to achieve those aims, such as mobile devices, Internet of Things, smart sensors, big data analytics, augmented reality, cloud computing, and more.

Countries and corporations that successfully make use of these technologies will greatly improve their productivity. Hence, there is great interest by governments and companies to develop and accelerate their IR 4.0 capabilities.

 

Pat Gelsinger Reveals 2019 VMware Strategy + Plans!

On the second day of Dell Technologies World 2019, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger shared his 2019 vision for VMware. Here is a sneak peek at the 2019 VMware strategy and plans!

 

Pat Gelsinger Reveals 2019 VMware Strategy + Plans!

VMware was a major force at Dell Technologies World 2019, demonstrating VMware’s great importance in the Dell Technologies family.

They announced amongst other things, Dell Unified Workspace which is based on VMware Workspace ONE, Dell Technologies Cloud in collaboration with Dell EMC, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, and Azure VMware Solutions in collaboration with Microsoft.

But that was not all, as Pat Gelsinger would soon reveal…

 

Pat Gelsinger Reveals 2019 VMware Strategy + Plans!

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger comes from a “hardware” background, serving as Intel’s first Chief Technology Officer before taking over as President and CEO of EMC.

A point he makes in his talk about the Superpowers of Tech – Cloud, Mobile, AI/ML and Edge/IoT.

  • VMware’s vision still focuses on enabling any cloud resource and application, from the past or the present, to work on any device, while improving intrinsic security over time.
  • The hybrid cloud is the best answer for almost every single workload, because of three “laws” – the laws of physics, the laws of economics, and the laws of the land.
  • VMware and Dell Technologies are focusing on the hybrid cloud architecture with VxRail as its building block.
  • To bind together and manage disparate cloud and on-premise solutions with greater visibility, VMware is offering CloudHealth on all VMware Cloud solutions on Amazon, Azure and Google.
  • VMware is making great investments into Kubernetes as the “middleware for the cloud“.
  • VMware is partnering with Pivotal to make VMware PKS available as VMware Enterprise PKS, VMware Essential PKS and VMware Cloud PKS.
  • VMware is also rebuilding their security architecture and products, with AppDefense and vSphere Platinum, giving virtual machines an AI capability to learn the users’ behaviour, as well as end-to-end encryption throughout the network infrastructure.
  • The newly-announced Dell Unified Workspace leverages VMware’s Workspace ONE unified endpoint management to maintain the user’s devices in good health, while allowing them to seamlessly access any native, SaaS (Software as a Service), or internal application, with a single sign-on from any device.

 

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The Maxis NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) Service Unveiled!

Maxis just launched their first Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) service. Here are the full details!

 

The Maxis NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) Service

The Maxis NB-IoT is a dedicated network for IoT devices. It offers 5G-like capabilities for low bandwidth applications and supports millions of connected things.

It also uses less power which allows for longer battery life. The NB-IoT network will enable expansion of  advanced data analytics to enable companies to quickly make decisions in areas, like

  • potential cost savings
  • improved efficiency
  • business opportunities

 

Maxis NB-IoT Coverage Areas

Maxis started operating their NB-IoT network on 16 April 2019 in selected areas within key IoT market centres, including :

  • Cyberjaya
  • Penang
  • Kuching
  • Putrajaya
  • Johor Bahru
  • KLCC

 

Maxis Partners Vodafone In Its NB-IoT Services

Thanks to their collaboration with Vodafone, Maxis will have access to Vodafone’s experience in NB-IoT deployment in various countries and tap into Vodafone’s extensive global NB-IoT network.

Vodafone will also support Maxis in developing their NB-IoT ecosystem through the sharing of knowledge and access to the technology.

 

Maxis IoT Innovation Lab

Maxis set up its IoT Innovation Lab in 2018 as an experiential showcase for enterprise customers of NB-IoT solutions that include :

  • smart lighting
  • parking monitoring
  • smoke alarms
  • smart metering
  • environmental monitoring

NB-IoT also presents great possibilities for key players like the government, state councils and Malaysian businesses in the prime areas of agriculture, utilities and Smart Cities.

“There is an immense amount of opportunities for NB-IoT especially around big data analytics and in enabling real life use cases.

The launch will encourage the development of an ecosystem of partners, developers and customers that will offer even more opportunities for enterprises, to better manage and optimise their assets, their environment, their energy usage and the safety of their people, and to unlock the potential for the delivery of new services in the Malaysian market.

This is a significant step for us as it sets the standards in the deployment of IoT solutions,” said Paul McManus, Head of Enterprise, Maxis.

 

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The 2019 Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index Summarised!

The 2019 Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index is out! Here is a summary of its key findings!

 

The 2019 Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index

The 2019 Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index is the third survey conducted by Dell EMC in collaboration with Vanson Bourne.

The survey involved 2,200 IT decision makers from public and private organisations (of 250+ employees) across 18 countries and 11 industries. It was designed to reveal the state of data protection in the Asia Pacific and Japan region.

 

What Did The 2019 Data Protection Index Reveal?

The 2019 Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index revealed a large increase in the amount of data managed – from 1.68 petabytes in 2016 to a staggering 8.13 petabytes in 2018.

They also saw a corresponding increase in awareness about the value of data, with 90% of the respondents aware about the value of the data they manage. However, only 35% are monetising their data.

The Index also noted that despite an impressive jump in the number of data protection leaders (from 1% to 13%) and “adopters” (from 8% to 53%) since 2016, most of the survey respondents still face challenges in implementing the right data protection measures.

  • Organisations in Asia Pacific & Japan managed 8.13 PB of data in 2018 – an explosive growth of 384% compared to the 1.68 PB managed in 2016
  • 90% of businesses see the potential value of data but only 35% are monetising it
  • 94% face data protection challenges, and 43% struggle to find suitable data protection solutions for newer technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • More than a third (34%) of respondents are very confident that their data protection infrastructure is compliant with regional regulations, but only 18% believe their data protection solutions will meet all future challenges

 

The State Of Data Protection In APJ

Data disruptions and data loss happen more frequently in APJ organisations, than the global average. Some 80% of the APJ respondents reported experiencing some type of disruption over the last 12 months.

This is higher than the global average of 76%. Even worse – 32% were unable to recover their data using existing data protection solutions.

Although system downtime is a problem, the loss of data is particularly expensive. On average, 20 hours of downtime cost businesses US$ 494,869. The average data loss of 2.04 terabytes, on the other hand, costs nearly twice as much at US$ 939,703.

 

Challenges To Data Protection In APJ

The vast majority of respondents (some 94%) report that they encounter at least one barrier to data protection. The top three challenges in APJ was determined to be  :

  1. The inability to keep track of and protect all data because of growth of DevOps and cloud development – 46% agree
  2. The complexity of configuring and operating data protection software/hardware – 45.6% agree
  3. The lack of data protection solutions for emerging technologies– 43.4% agree

They also struggled to find adequate data protection solutions for newer technologies :

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning data – 54% agree
  • Cloud-native applications – 49% agree
  • Internet of Things – 40% agree

 

Cloud Is Changing The Data Protection Landscape

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According to the 2019 Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index, organisations have increase their use of public cloud services – up from 27% in 2016 to 41% in 2018.

Nearly all of those organisations (99%) using public cloud, are leveraging it as part of their data protection strategy. The top use case – backup or snapshot services to protect data and workloads.

More than 60% of the respondents also consider the scalability of data protection solutions important, in anticipation of the inevitable boom of cloud workloads.

 

Regulation Is Not A Key Concern

Compliance with data privacy regulations like the UE’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not a key concern for most of these organisations. Only 36% listed it as a top data protection challenge.

 

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2019 Samsung Forum – Family Hub 4.0, POWERstick + More!

The 2019 Samsung Forum just kicked off in tropical Singapore with a slew of new home digital appliances!

In this article, we will share with you what they revealed – the new Family Hub 4.0 smart refrigerators and RS5000 side-by-side refrigerators, as well as the WW7800M QuickDrive washing machine and the new POWERstick Jet200 portable vacuum cleaner!

 

The 2019 Samsung Forum

Marking their 10th anniversary, the 2019 Samsung Forum is an annual showcase of the latest Samsung home technologies and appliances. This is where Samsung will show off their latest home entertainment products and home appliances.

 

The Samsung Family Hub 4.0 Refrigerator

The Samsung Family Hub 4.0 boasts enhanced AI and IoT capabilities, as well as the new Family Board – a communal display that family member can use together.

The Family Board can be used to create and share each family member’s schedules and messages. On top of that, it has a more analogue feel with a new Whiteboard that recognises handwriting, with a drawing function that can identify the objects you draw.

It will also feature a new and better Bixby digital assistant, which will offer more services and allow you to seamlessly control and monitor other IoT devices and services from your kitchen… using your voice alone!

The new Bixby can also identify each family member’s voice using its Voice ID technology. This allows Bixby to customise its responses and the information it provides to the individual’s needs.

The Samsung RS5000 Refrigerators

Samsung is also introducing a new generation of side-by-side refrigerators – the RS5000 series.

They will feature the new Space Max technology, which uses thinner insulation for ducts and the inner walls, creating more storage space for the same refrigerator size.

The Samsung RS5000 refrigerator will also offer Flex Zone, which allows you to individually control the temperature for separate compartments.

Finally, they offer All-Around Cooling using multiple cooling ducts, as well as a Power Cool / Power Freeze function to quickly cool new items that you just added to the refrigerator.

The Samsung WW7800M QuickDrive Washing Machine

The Samsung WW7800M washing machine is an IoT device, offering smart features allowing you to control it remotely and receive notifications via the SmartThings app.

It also features the Bixby smart assistant with features like a Laundry Planner, Laundry Recipe and a HomeCare Wizard to manage your laundry needs.

The Samsung WW7800M also comes with AddWash and QuickDrive technologies. AddWash allows you to add clothes at any time during the wash cycle, while QuickDrive lets the WW7800M cut washing time by 50% and reduce energy use by 20%.

The Samsung POWERstick Jet200 Portable Vacuum Cleaner

The new Samsung POWERstick Jet200 portable vacuum cleaner comes with a more powerful 200 watt digital inverter motor, a Jet Cyclone system and a new Turbo Action Brush head.

The POWERstick Jet200 also boasts a 5-layered HEPA filtration system that captures 99.999% of dust and allergens. And it has a 60-minute battery life, letting you clean your house on a single charge!

 

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2019 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report Highlights!

Symantec held an exclusive briefing on the newly-released 2019 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report. In this article, we will share with you the full briefing video, as well as highlights from that Symantec cybersecurity report!

 

The 2019 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report

The 2019 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report is the 24th volume published so far. Based on data from Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network, the ISTR is designed to give businesses and the public an overview of the cybersecurity threat landscape.

The Symantec Global Intelligence Network, incidentally is the world’s largest civilian cybersecurity threat intelligence network. It records events from 12 million attack sensors across more than 157 countries worldwide, blocking 142 million threats every day.

 

The 2019 Symantec ISTR Briefing Highlights

Briefing us on the 2019 Symantec ISTR was Sherif El-Nabawi, Vice-President of Sales Engineering, Symantec APJ; and David Rajoo, Chief Cybersecurity Architect, Symantec ASEAN.

Diminishing Returns Of Ransomware + Cryptojacking

Ransomware, which encrypts and holds data hostage in return for payment in the form of cryptocurrency, has been hit by declining cryptocurrency values as well as increasing adoption of cloud and mobile computing. This led to a 20% drop in infections.

Cryptojacking, in which malware is used to steal computing power from consumers and enterprises to mine cryptocurrency is similarly hit by the drop in cryptocurrency value. Symantec noted that cryptojacking activity declined by 52% in 2018. Even so, it is still a major problem – they blocked 3.5 million attempts in December 2018 alone!

Formjacking Overtakes Ransomware + Cryptojacking

With diminishing returns from ransomware and cryptojacking, cybercriminals now prefer formjacking.

Formjacking is basically a form of virtual ATM skimming. They basically inject malicious code into an online shopping site to steal shoppers’ payment card details.

According to Symantec, more than 4,800 websites are compromised with formjacking code every month, and they blocked more than 3.7 million formjacking attacks on endpoints in 2018.

Generally, small and medium retailers are most widely compromised, and a third of the attacks happened during the business online shopping period of the year – from November through December.

Cloud Is The New Weak Point

With the greater adoption of cloud computing, the same security mistakes are happening in the cloud… with exponentially greater consequences. In 2018, more than 70 million records were stolen from poorly-configured AWS S3 buckets.

Hardware vulnerabilities like Meltdown, Spectre and Foreshadow also put cloud services at risk of being exploited to gain access to every protected memory space in the compromised server. In a single server, data from hundreds of companies could be stolen by a single exploit.

Living off the Land Attacks On Supply Chain

Supply chain attacks using Living off the Land (LotL) tools have increased by 78% in 2018. For example, the use of malicious PowerShell scripts increased by 1,000 percent last year, with Symantec blocking 115,000 of them each month – less than 1%.

These attacks are hard to defend against, because they use the same tools users and organisations need to function. Identifying and blocking them will require the use of advanced detection methods like analytics and machine learning.

Internet of Things (IoT) Attacks Are Changing

While the volume of attacks of IoT devices remains high and consistent with 2017 levels, their profiles are changing. In addition to routers and wireless cameras, attacks now have access to smart light bulbs and virtual voice assistants.

Smartphones Are The Greatest Spying Devices

According to Symantec, smartphones are the greatest spying devices ever created. Their research show that :

  • 45% of the most popular Android apps and 25% of the most popular iOS apps request location tracking,
  • 46% of popular Android apps and 24% of popular iOS apps request permission to access the smartphone camera, and
  • email addresses are shared with 44% of top Android apps and 48% of top iOS apps!

 

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SUFECS – Imagine Cup Asia 2019 People’s Choice Winner!

Team Caeli from India may have won the 2019 Imagine Cup Asia, but another team stood out from the crowd of truly excellent teamsTeam SUFECS from Malaysia. In fact, they impressed Microsoft Ignite Sydney participants so much, they gave the team an award!

Find out what the SUFECS project is all about, and why the team won the Microsoft Ignite People’s Choice Award!

Updated @ 2019-02-25 : Added a new video of Team SUFECS’s pitch at the Imagine Cup Asia 2019, with additional details on the SUFECS system.

Originally posted @ 2019-02-20

 

Team SUFECS From UTHM, Malaysia

The SUFECS team was formed by four students from Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).

  • Seah Choon Sen : Team Leader & Data Scientist
  • Tan Wei Yang : Technology Developer
  • Mek Zi Cong : Operations
  • Muhammad Adam bin Mazlan : Web Developer

 

What Is SUFECS All About?

Short for Smart Urban Farming with Automated Environmental Controlled System, SUFECS was developed to make urban farming easier and more accessible to both entrepreneurs and the common people.

Built to automate hydroponic vertical farming, it will continuously monitor and automatically adjust critical environmental parameters to ensure optimal growth. To do that, this enterprising team leveraged IoT devices, cloud computing and machine learning.

  • Multiple electronic sensors monitor conditions within the hydroponic system
  • A control module sends the environmental parameters to Microsoft Azure for processing and logging
  • Deviations from optimal conditions are automatically detected and corrected

The team has demonstrated that SUFECS does not only make it easy for anyone to grow their own crops in an urban, indoor environment, they are able to significantly speed up growth, reducing the time between planting and harvest.

They also showed that SUFECS has successfully increased the size of the plant, and the yield of the crops. This means their system will not only make it easier to setup and maintain an urban hydroponic farm of any size, it will create bigger and better crops.

 

What Can SUFECS Monitor & Control?

SUFECS is currently able to monitor and control six environmental parameters :

  • ambient temperature,
  • water temperature,
  • humidity level,
  • water level,
  • pH value, and
  • ambient light.

It will also monitor plant height, and alert you when it is ready for harvest.

The team is working to add the ability to monitor and control two additional environmental parameters 

  • electrical conductivity
  • dissolved oxygen level

The team has, so far, developed datasets for five different plant types using machine learning.

 

SUFECS Wins People’s Choice Award @ Microsoft Ignite Sydney

Microsoft held the Microsoft Ignite Sydney a day after Imagine Cup Asia, where they showcased the projects of the top 12 Asian teams.

At the end of Ignite, Team SUFECS received the most vote, and won the People’s Choice Award! Congratulations!

 

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Three New Western Digital RISC-V Developments Revealed!

Western Digital just announced three new open-source innovations to support its internal RISC-V SweRV Core development efforts and those of the growing RISC-V ecosystem. Learn more about Western Digital’s latest RISC-V move right here!

 

The New Western Digital RISC-V Developments

Western Digital’s Chief Technology Officer Martin Fink unveiled plans to release a new open source RISC-V core, an open standard initiative for cache-coherent memory over a network and an open source RISC-V instruction set simulator.

These innovations are expected to accelerate development of new open, purpose-built compute architectures for Big Data and Fast Data environments. Western Digital has taken an active role in helping to advance the RISC-V ecosystem.

This includes multiple related strategic investments and partnerships. Western Digital has also demonstrated progress toward its stated goal of transitioning one billion of the company’s processor cores to the RISC-V architecture.

“As Big Data and Fast Data continues to proliferate, purpose-built technologies are essential for unlocking the true value of data across today’s wide-ranging data-centric applications,” said Fink.

“Our SweRV Core and the new cache coherency fabric initiative demonstrate the significant possibilities that can be realized by bringing data closer to processing power.”

“These planned contributions to the open-source community and continued commitment of the RISC-V initiative offer exciting potential to accelerate collaborative innovation and data-driven discoveries.”

 

What Is RISC-V?

RISC-V is an open, scalable instruction set architecture that enables the diversity of Big Data and Fast Data applications and workloads proliferating in core data centers and in remote and mobile systems at the edge.

As an alternative to current, standard, general purpose compute architectures, RISC-V can be utilized to enable specialty processing, memory centric solutions, unique storage and flexible interconnect applications.

Western Digital is planning to open source its new RISC-V SweRV Core, which has a 2-way superscalar design. Western Digital’s RISC-V SweRV Core is a 32-bit, 9-stage pipeline core that allows several instructions to be loaded at once and execute simultaneously, shortening the time taken to run programs.

It is a compact, in-order core and runs at 4.9 CoreMarks/MHz. Its power-efficient design offers clock speeds of up to 1.8 GHz on a 28 nm CMOS process technology. The company plans to use the RISC-V SweRV Core in various internal embedded designs like flash controllers and SSDs.

Open sourcing the core is expected to drive development of new data-centric applications such as Internet of Things (IoT), secure processing, industrial controls and more.

 

OmniXtend

Western Digital’s OmniXtend is a new open approach to providing cache coherent memory over an Ethernet fabric. This memory-centric system architecture provides open standard interfaces for access and data sharing across processors, machine learning accelerators, GPUs, FPGAs and other components.

It is an open solution for efficiently attaching persistent memory to processors and offers potential support of future advanced fabrics that connect compute, storage, memory and I/O components.

 

SweRV Instruction Set Simulator (ISS)

Also introduced was its open-sourced SweRV Instruction Set Simulator (ISS) which offers full test bench support for use with RISC-V cores.

An ISS is a computer program that simulates the execution of instructions of a processor. It allows external events to be modeled, such as interrupts and bus errors, and assures the RISC-V core is functioning properly.

The company utilized the SweRV ISS to rigorously simulate and validate the SweRV Core with more than 10 billion instructions executed. Western Digital expects both the SweRV Core and SweRV ISS will help to accelerate the industry’s move to an open source instruction set architecture.

“Speeds, feeds, and brute compute is no longer the winning formula for edge and endpoint computing. As more data moves to the edge for real-time processing and inferencing, configurable architectures will be better suited to meet the needs of heavy and often dynamic application workloads, especially for those driven by artificial intelligence and Internet of Things,” said Mario Morales, program vice president, enabling technologies and semiconductors, IDC. “Power efficiency, configurability, and low power will become the key metrics for edge and endpoint computing architectures.”

 

Availability + Resources

Western Digital’s SweRV ISS and OmniXtend architecture are available now for download at the following locations:

Western Digital’s RISC-V SweRV Core will be available in CY Q1 2019.

 

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Xiaomi And IKEA To Bring Smart Homes To Consumers!

Xiaomi and IKEA will bring smart homes to consumers in China. Find out what this means for the future of smart homes!

 

Xiaomi And IKEA Bring Smart Homes To Users!

Xiaomi and Ikea In Connectivity

IKEA’s full range of smart lighting products will be connected to Xiaomi IoT platform and be controlled via Xiaomi products. This includes Xiao Ai voice assistant and the Mi Home app.

The lights can also be paired to other Xiaomi IoT smart devices such as sensors and electrical appliances for smart scene management. The smart lighting products will be connected to Mi Control Hub through the ZigBee protocol.

Xiaomi And IKEA In Smart Homes

This is the first time that Ikea has partnered with a Chinese technology company. Xiaomi IoT platform has connected more than 132 million smart devices (excluding mobile phones and laptops), and has more than 20 million daily active devices in more than 200 countries and regions around the world.

Anna Pawlak-Kuliga, CEO and president of IKEA Retail China believes the partnership will enable both companies to serve customers worldwide with smarter solutions at home.

“IKEA and Xiaomi share very similar values and I believe our cooperation will accelerate the development of the smart home industry across the world.”said Fan Dian, General Manager of the IoT platform department of Xiaomi.

Xiaomi + Third Party Developers

Since the inaugural MIDC conference in 2017, Xiaomi has been developing initiatives for developers to take advantage of the opportunities in AI and IoT. The Xiaomi IoT Developer Program was first launched last year to third-party developers access to the Mi Home platform for controlling smart home scenarios with cloud + AI + big data capabilities.

Xiaomi continues to open up AIoT possibilities by announcing that it will invest RMB 100 million to build the “Xiaomi AIoT Developer Fund”, which will be used to support AI developers, hardware equipment manufacturers and AI technology companies.

 

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Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 (NCS 2) Launched!

At its first artificial intelligence (AI) developer conference in Beijing on Nov. 14 and 15, Intel kicked off the event with the launch of the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 (Intel NCS 2). NCS 2 is designed to build smarter AI algorithms and for prototyping computer vision at the network edge.

 

Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 (NCS 2) Launched!

Based on the Intel Movidius Myriad X vision processing unit (VPU) and supported by the Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit, the Intel NCS 2 speeds the development of deep neural networks inference applications while delivering a performance boost over the previous generation neural compute stick.

The Intel NCS 2 enables deep neural network testing, tuning and prototyping. Developers can go from prototyping into production leveraging a range of Intel vision accelerator form factors in real-world applications.

“The first-generation Intel Neural Compute Stick sparked an entire community of AI developers into action with a form factor and price that didn’t exist before. We’re excited to see what the community creates next with the strong enhancement to compute power enabled with the new Intel Neural Compute Stick 2.” – Naveen Rao, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the AI Products Group

What Does The Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 Do?

Connecting computer vision and AI to Internet of Things (IoT) and edge device prototypes is made easy with the enhanced capabilities of the Intel NCS 2. It will also enable developers working on a smart camera, a drone, an industrial robot or the next must-have smart home device to prototype faster and smarter.

It may look like a standard USB thumb drive but it is so much more inside. The Intel NCS 2 is powered by the latest generation of Intel VPU – the Intel Movidius Myriad X VPU. Its the first to feature a neural compute engine – a dedicated hardware neural network inference accelerator delivering additional performance.

Combined with the Intel Distribution of the OpenVINO toolkit supporting more networks, the Intel NCS 2 offers developers greater prototyping flexibility. Additionally, the Intel AI: In Production ecosystem allows developers to port their Intel NCS 2 prototypes to other form factors and productize their designs.

 

How The Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 Works

With just a laptop and the Intel NCS 2, developers can have their AI and computer vision applications running in minutes. The Intel NCS 2 runs on a standard USB 3.0 port and requires no additional hardware. This enables users to seamlessly convert and then deploy PC-trained models to a wide range of devices natively and without internet or cloud connectivity.

The first-generation Intel NCS which was launched in July 2017 has fueled a community of tens of thousands of developers. It has been featured in more than 700 developer videos and has been utilized in dozens of research papers. With NCS 2, Intel is empowering the AI community to develop many more ambitious applications.

 

Where To Buy Intel Neural Compute Stick 2

Here are some direct links to purchase the Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 :

 

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How CrowdFarmX Aims To Tackle World Hunger With SAP!

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.

 

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The Philips Hue Introduction + Experiential Tour

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) today gave us an introduction and experiential tour of Philips Hue. Join us for our coverage of the Philips Hue Experience!

 

An Introduction To Philips Hue

Philips Hue was introduced in 2012, and first entered the Malaysian market in 2017. It is a personal wireless lighting system that allows you to remotely control your home lighting. As an IoT platform, Hue is upgradable and future-proof, with more features being added over time.

As these are IoT devices, you have the ability to remotely control them from outside of your home. In fact, you can conveniently manage your lighting – everything from brightness to colour – from your mobile device or computer. You also have the ability to save your personal light settings and recreate them at a touch of a button.

 

The Philips Hue Experiential Tour

The tour showcased the many features of the Philips Hue lighting system – Ambience, Feel Secure, Daily Activities, Wake Up and Go To Sleep Naturally, and Entertainment.

The Hue system comes with what they call “Light Recipes” – pre-programmed lighting settings based on Signify’s research on the biological effects of lighting on the body. They dynamically adjust the bulbs to the optimum shade and brightness of light to help you relax, read, concentrate or energise.

 

Philips Hue Sync

They also announced the availability of Philips Hue Sync, which increases spatial immersion of your entertainment – be it gaming on a PC, watching a movie on your TV, or listening to music on your radio.  Signify wants us to think of it as surround sound for our eyes.

It is a free app (Windows 10 or macOS) that allows you to synchronise the Hue smart bulbs with games, videos and music that are being played on your computer.

 

Philips Hue Price + Availability

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Signify offers a Starter Kit (RM 849 / US$ 212) that comes with three white and colour ambience light bulbs, and a bridge controller that plugs into your WiFi router.

Here are some direct purchase links for the Philips Hue Starter Kit, and other components:

You can also purchase the starter kit, extra bulbs and components from Philips authorised retailers, Apple resellers and major IT and electronics stores.

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The SAP Leonardo Digital Innovation System Explained!

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.

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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.

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Exclusive Tour Of SAP Leonardo Center Singapore

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.”

 

Collaborative Hub

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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.

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The 2018 LG Electronics Home Technology Showcase

LG Electronics today showcased their new line-up of home technology products. With the theme, “Create a better life“, the 2018 LG Electronics home technology showcase includes their new OLED and Super UHD TVs, InstaView Refrigerators, and TWINWash washing machines.

 

The 2018 LG Electronics Home Technology Showcase

The 2018 LG Electronics home technology showcase kicked off with a performance by the VIVAS LED water drummers – an all-female ensemble. LG Electronics specifically featured them to showcase “pitch perfect black” quality of their new OLED TVs.

 

Pitch Perfect Black With 2018 LG OLED TVs

The new 2018 LG OLED TVs redefines the viewing experience with its ability to deliver pitch perfect black. They also feature Cinema HDR capability, projected through Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolour, HDR10 Pro and HLD Pro.

The 2018 LG OLED TVs also feature the α9 Intelligent Processor that deliver better picture quality through these improvements :

  • Noise Reduction – the processor cleans away grainy imaging and expresses smoother contouring of colours.
  • Image Enhancement – the processor analyses the image frequency, allowing it to increase depth and image quality.
  • True Colour Accuracy – the processor supports the 33x33x33 colour space, which is 7.3x larger than the conventional 17x17x17 colour space, allowing more accurate colour reproduction, and a wider colour spectrum.
  • 4K High Frame Rate (HFR) : HFR reduces eye fatigue with a smoother motion, and a more life-life picture quality.

The new LG ThinQ AI technology is also embedded in the 2018 LG OLED TVs, enabling users to command the televisions to perform instructions. They also support the Dolby Atmos surround sound technology.

 

2018 LG Super UHD TVs With Nano Cell Display

The 2018 LG Super UHD TVs boast Cinema HDR capability, as well as Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) for deeper blacks, a wider colour gamut and a greatly improved contrast ratio. These new LED TVs also have a wide viewing angle of 60 degrees, with a wide colour gamut, thanks to its Nano Cell Display with IPS Nano Dots.

For a more immersive viewing experience, the 2018 LG Super UHD TVs also support Dolby Atmos, which realistically renders a 360-degree soundscape for a true home cinema experience.

 

2018 LG InstaView Refrigerators

The 2018 LG InstaView refrigerators provide improved accessibility with the Knock-On feature. With just two knocks on the screen, the user can check on items inside without opening the door, reducing cold air loss by up to 41%.

This year, the Knock-On feature will be available in side-by-side models, as well as the multi-door models. To further improve energy efficiency, they will feature the LG Inverter Linear Compressor. By , using a linear piston drive, it is possible to reduce power by up to 32%, with up to 25% less noise.

The Inverter Linear Compressor also offers these other benefits :

  • LINEARCooling – allows even cooling, with granular temperature regulation in steps of 0.5 degrees Celsius
  • NatureFRESH – precise temperature control keeps produce in the refrigerator fresh for longer
  • DoorCooling – allows for even and fast cooling in any part of the refrigerator

 

2018 LG TWINWash Washing Machines

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The 2018 LG TWINWash incorporates TurboWash, with multi-spray capability for faster and better cleaning performance. These LG washers with TurboWash and TWINWash capabilities allow customers to wash two loads of laundry of different wash cycles at the same time.

 

2018 LG DUALCOOL Air Conditioners

The 2018 LG DUALCOOL air conditioners is now filled with R32 refrigerant, which delivers faster cooling performance while being environmentally-friendly. Its Dual Inverter Compressor saves up to 70% of energy used, while deliver 40% faster cooling performance.

These new air conditioners are also enhanced by Smart ThinQ, allowing you to access and control their functions using an app. The app can also alert you about low levels of refrigerant, helping you maintain the air conditioner’s performance and lifespan.

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Exclusive : Tech ARP Interviews Keith Martin Of F-Secure!

F-Secure Regional Director of APAC and Japan, Keith Martin, flew into Singapore to ink a major regional partnership agreement with ACE Pacific Group. Timothy Shim from Tech Barrista and I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Martin about cybersecurity trends in Asia Pacific and worldwide.

 

Tech ARP Interviews Keith Martin

Keith Martin is the Head of Asia Pacific Corporate Business, F-Secure. Here was our exclusive interview with Mr. Martin after he officially signed the APAC partnership agreement with ACE Pacific Group.

The Cybersecurity Business

Tech ARP : How has your long experience in Japan helped you with F-Secure’s business in Japan?

Keith Martin : Japan is one of the largest market for F-Secure, and we are trying to replicate that (success) in the APAC region.

Tech ARP : Are you still based in Japan?

Keith Martin : Yes, but I have now racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles.

Tech ARP : What are your thoughts on the cybersecurity market in the APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan) region?

Keith Martin : Japan is a large market, but the growth rates are relatively stable. We look at the Asia Pacific region (which includes India, Australia and New Zealand), as the next source of growth for F-Secure.

Tech ARP : What are your plans, and areas of focus, for the APJ region?

Keith Martin : Without question, Singapore is going to be a major focus for F-Secure, as well as Australia and New Zealand. We just signed a major partnership agreement with ACE Pacific, which will be a cornerstone of our strategy in coming years.

Cybersecurity Backdoors

Tech ARP : Chinese and Russian companies have been hit by accusations of cyber espionage and hacking, loose security and/or inserting backdoors into their products. Do you see this as a good opportunity to promote F-Secure’s products, or is this a poison pill for the entire industry?

Keith Martin : I don’t think it’s a poison pill for the entire industry. I have never seen any direct evidence that these go beyond mere accusations, but I understand the need to be cautious. One of the things that F-Secure is proud of is our policy that we will never add a backdoor into our products.

We are willing to walk away from any business if it means adding a backdoor. This is just the way we operate, because Finland has extremely tough privacy laws.

I think it’s absolutely an opportunity for us to differentiate ourselves (from the other cybersecurity companies) with our public pledge never to add backdoors in our software.

Tech ARP : Some countries like China and Russia are demanding access to encryption keys, and in some cases, requiring registration of VPN services. How do those tightening laws affect F-Secure products like Freedome VPN?

Keith Martin : F-Secure is very focused on maintaining the security of our products, so if those are the requirements, we will decline and get out of those markets. We would rather walk away from the potential business, than compromise the security of our products.

Government Interest

Tech Barrista : On the geopolitical implications of malware, do you feel that governments are increasingly more focused on cybersecurity on a national scale?

Keith Martin : For sure. We now see nation states attacking each other. There’s no denying that fact. Look at Stuxnet, that malware (which was targeted at Iran) got released into the wild and suddenly, people have the technology to use it elsewhere for nefarious purposes. I think that any country that does not pay attention to cybersecurity is sticking their heads into the sand.

Tech Barrista : Do you feel that this presents a greater opportunity for F-Secure?

Keith Martin : It represents opportunity, of course, but our mission as a company is to stop the spread of malware and cybersecurity attacks, wherever they happen. It’s a kind of Catch-22 situation, where we wish that nation states would not attack each other, but yes, we have the opportunity to help them protect themselves against such attacks.

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Transparency

Tech ARP : What is F-Secure doing to promote and enhance source code transparency? Like opening up transparency centers?

Keith Martin : At this point in time, there are no plans to do so. We have a very good reputation throughout our 30-year history of being straightforward and upfront. I have never seen any accusations against us of malicious activities.

Tech ARP : Does F-Secure allow corporations or countries with concerns to inspect their code?

Keith Martin : I don’t know of any specific situations in Asia Pacific where F-Secure has allowed this. It may have been allowed in other regions, where governments have specific concerns, but I’m not aware of those situations.

Malware Galore!

Tech ARP : Ransomware and phishing attacks are big problems these days. Can you detail how F-Secure can help users prevent or mitigate the risks of ransomware and/or phishing attacks.

Keith Martin : Third-party analysis of our software show that we are actually better at detecting these 0-day attacks than any other companies out there. We pride ourselves in detecting not just the malware we know about, but also the malware we don’t about, using technologies we have been developing over the last 20 years.

We have a multi-layered engine, where we use everything from the basic pattern matching technology, to heuristics, etc. so that if it doesn’t catch the malware on the first layer, it will catch the malware on the second or third or fourth layer.

Tech Barrista : Is malware-as-a-service now common?

Keith Martin : It is becoming more and more common. The entry barrier to launching a malware attack is now much lower due to the ability to outsource the creation of the malware.

Cybersecurity Risks Of IoT Devices

Tech Barrista : With cybercriminals leveraging the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, how much more complex do you see the cybersecurity landscape becoming?

Keith Martin : It’s becoming incredibly complex. Our Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypponen said, “Once you connect something to the Internet, it’s vulnerable“. Billions of devices connected to the Internet become potential attack vectors for cybercriminals.

Most IoT devices don’t have good security. If you can get into one of those devices, you can get into the network through them.

Tech ARP : Does F-Secure have any products to mitigate the risks of poorly-secured IoT devices?

Keith Martin : On the consumer side, we have F-Secure Sense, which protects every device on your network.

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Keith Martin’s Professional Bio

Keith Martin has been Country Manager for F-Secure Japan for 2 years, before being promoted in February 2018 to oversee the entire Asia Pacific region.

Prior to joining F-Secure in 2015, he spent a decade in the telephony and contact center space, first working for four years in Avaya Japan as Director of Multinational Account Sales, followed by six years serving as Japan Country Manager for Interactive Intelligence, a pioneer in cloud contact center technology.

Before that, Keith also spent three years at internet startup ValueCommerce helping build their web hosting platform business before the company was acquired by Yahoo Japan. He got his start at global IT services provider EDS (now HP), delivering IT services to numerous financial industry accounts.

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TUV Rheinland : Cyber Risk Management for Industry 4.0

On 19 March 2018, TUV Rheinland invited us to an exclusive Industry 4.0 cybersecurity seminar. Entitled Cyber Risk Management for Industry 4.0, it looks at the role of cybersecurity in securing critical infrastructure and heavy industries, and paving the way for Industry 4.0.

Join us for the presentations by TUV Rheinland cybersecurity experts on how you can secure your company against the latest cyberthreats.

 

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 refers to the new industrial trend of creating “smart factories” with highly-networked manufacturing technologies.

Also referred to as the 4th Industrial Revolution, it makes use of cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, cloud computing and cognitive computing, to automate almost every aspect of the manufacturing process.

Fun Fact : The name Industry 4.0 comes from the German “Industrie 4.0” from the high-tech strategy of the German government to promote the computerisation of manufacturing.

 

TUV Rheinland : Cyber Risk Management for Industry 4.0

The Cyber Risk Management for Industry 4.0 seminar is a platform for TUV Rheinland to share their insights on developing cybersecurity measures to manage operational cyber risk, be it for smart factories, smart devices or smart vehicles.

According to TUV Rheinland, the discipline of Cyber Risk Management can be effectively implemented if cybersecurity and privacy are addressed by design – both in strategy as well as operations. Let’s hear from their experts…

Operational Technology Protected

by Nigel Stanley, Chief Technology Officer of TUV Rheinland Industrial

Automotive Cyber Security

by Rajeev Sukumaran, Director of TUV Rheinland Consulting Services

Critical Infrastructure Protection – Railways & Utilities

by Tarun Gupta, Principal Consultant of TUV Rheinland Industrial Security

Privacy & Security In The IOT World

by Urmez Daver, Vice President of TUV Rheinland Consulting Services

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CES 2018 : The Samsung + HARMAN Tech Updates

It hasn’t been a year since HARMAN International became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, and the two companies have already leveraged their combined teams and resources to drive future mobility forward.

Unveiled today at CES 2018 are a host of unique connected car solutions that support HARMAN and Samsung’s joint mission to become the leader in connectivity and autonomous driving: connecting the lives of people, whether at home, on the go, or together in the car.

 

The Samsung + HARMAN Tech Updates

These key innovations showcase an integrated approach to a rich digital car experience, including:

  • A reinvented digital cockpit platform for all vehicle segments that has given the interior of the car a makeover;
  • A new telematics solution along with the industry first automotive-grade 5G-ready connectivity solution; and
  • An ecosystem of partners and solutions to further build out the Samsung open autonomous platform, along with a showcase of our first implementation of this together with TTTech.

Each new solution was made possible through the HARMAN-Samsung alliance that leverages Samsung’s global scale, R&D capabilities, dominance in mobile/TV/semiconductors and distribution channels and HARMAN’s leading connected car heritage, relationships, market knowledge and growing community of innovation partners. Both companies are also making global investments in start-ups to help OEMs meet growing consumer demand for in-vehicle technology through scalable solutions that enhance the user experience for every vehicle segment.

 

New HARMAN Digital Cockpit Platform

The new Digital Cockpit platform includes a suite of flexible and scalable premium experiences that support today’s connected lifestyles without compromising safety or performance. It’s available in standard and advanced system configurations and can seamlessly integrate the instrument cluster with center console via voice, haptic feedback, and physical knobs and steering wheel controls in a single, center screen for all vital vehicle information and features. This also supports a multi-modal approach for interactions with different human-machine interfaces to allow customization in terms of HVAC, media and user settings.

The Digital Cockpit platform brings an entirely new generation of communication and ergonomics inside vehicles, allowing drivers to focus on the road ahead while intuitively and safely interacting with their in-car technology. This is made possible through a projection mode for services and apps via a user’s smartphone, allowing for increased personalization. A greater IoT ecosystem via cloud technology in the entry-level segment, as well as mid/high-level configurations, not only improves connectivity, but helps lower costs and overall vehicle weight.

In a premium configuration, the Digital Cockpit weaves together a driver’s entire connected lifestyle across the Internet of Things. Through a multi-display layout that leverages HARMAN’s Ignite Platform, the in-car user experience can be personalized for the driver and passenger via services such as virtual personal assistants, portable profiles, augmented reality and more. This also allows for the Android OS to be integrated on four displays – a first for the industry.

Focused on a future generation of shared mobility, the premium Digital Cockpit personalizes occupant experiences, so drivers and passengers feel like the car is theirs even if they don’t own it. By leveraging the phone as a key service, the system can automatically access subscription services associated with user profiles while Bixby offers intelligent personal assistance to help occupants complete tasks by voice, touch, gesture and context-based triggers.

The Digital Cockpit is scalable and made available for every automotive segment, offering future proof and safety focused features within a developer-friendly open ecosystem.

 

First 5G Automotive Telematics Solution and Customer

HARMAN and Samsung are jointly developing modular approaches for advanced telematics, capable of 1 Gb/s bandwidth.

HARMAN and Samsung will deliver the industry’s first 5G-ready automotive solution and multi-band conformal antenna to enable secure, fast and reliable data communications. The solution consists of a telematics control unit with a modular design accommodating a network access device (NAD) supporting LTE CAT 16 connectivity today and 5G in the future leveraging the same hardware design.

5G represents a paradigm shift in the future of mobility. In the automotive sector, 5G delivers safety-enhancing C-V2X capability that is an essential enabler for autonomous transportation. 5G boosts speeds up to 100X faster than current 4G LTE standards to provide incredibly fast high-resolution streaming, immersive virtual and augmented reality features and seamless cloud-based applications in fast-moving cars.

Ultra-reliable and with low-latency response times of just 1ms, 5G enables C-V2X and cloud-based compute and storage for the next generation autonomous vehicles. HARMAN today announced that a leading European automaker will be the first customer for this solution. At CES 2018, HARMAN and Samsung will demonstrate high speed connectivity in a future mobility concept vehicle powered by the Samsung Networks 5G infrastructure.

 

Samsung + HARMAN DRVLINE Platform

Developed in close collaboration with HARMAN, Samsung announced its new DRVLINE platform, an open and modular platform for autonomous driving designed to scale from Level 3 automation up to Levels 4 and 5.

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The two companies will continue to focus on engineering, high-performance computing, sensor technologies, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and cloud and connectivity solutions that are scalable and capable of lower-level autonomy through to Level 5.

The first HARMAN/Samsung-developed ADAS product will be a forward-facing camera featuring lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, collision warning and pedestrian warning algorithms. The new system combines Samsung’s heritage in camera technology with HARMAN’s ADAS 360 solution that blends machine learning and data science with augmented reality to create a self-learning virtual co-passenger to ensure the connected driving experience is personalized and safe.

The new system will begin shipping in 2018.

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The Dimension Data 2018 IT Predictions Revealed!

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”.

Blockchain

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

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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.

Digital Disruption

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.

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The Symantec 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions

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.

Next Page > The Symantec 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions Part 2/3

 

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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.

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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.

Next Page > The Symantec 2018 Cybersecurity Predictions Part 3/3

 

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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.

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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.

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The Digi iFleet Fleet Management System Revealed!

On 8 June 2017, Digi Telecommunications revealed to us the first IoT solution to debut from their Connected Vehicle project – the Digi iFleet fleet management system. This is a B2B solution targeted at commercial vehicles, offering an all-in-one solution for businesses to track their vehicle fleet in real-time.

 

Digi Connected Vehicles

Digi is transforming from its beginnings as a telecommunications provider into a digital company. To diversify their revenue streams, they are leveraging their 4G+ network to offer IoT solutions. Their Connected Vehicles project is the first of many IoT verticals that Digi is venturing into.

Digi is particularly interested in the commercial vehicle market, which boasts more than 27.6 million registered vehicles. The market is also projected to grow at 60,000 additional vehicles per year. With SPAD ICOP safety guidelines requiring these vehicles to have real-time tracking systems, this is a huge market for a fleet management system. This is where the new Digi iFleet service comes in.

 

Digi iFleet Fleet Management System

Digi iFleet is a B2B solution targeted at commercial vehicles. This is the first IoT solution Digi is introducing from its range of Connected Vehicle offerings. This fleet management service enables businesses to track their fleet in real-time. Digi believes it’s the most robust all-in-one solution in the market, with the following advantages over its competitor :

  • All inclusive solution that takes care of hardware, software and connectivity at one go
  • Advanced tracking technology providing greater fleet insights to improve business productivity
  • Driver behaviour insights and scoring to instil safe driving culture
  • A continuously evolving value-added solution introducing features beyond tracking, such as smart fuel management and usage-based insurance (UBI) ready to name a few

While Digi is rather late to the fleet management market, they believe that Digi iFleet will disrupt the market with its end-to-end system, and affordable fee with no major cost outlay. How does Digi iFleet do that? For that, we have Selina Wong, the Digi iFleet Product Manager, who explains it all in this video.

The Digi iFleet solution consists of both hardware and a cloud-based service. When a business signs up for iFleet, a tracking module will be attached to the battery of their vehicles. The tracking module has independent sensors and a built-in modem that transmits data to the Digi iFleet system every 10 seconds. It also has an internal battery that last 4 hours, and 8 MB of flash storage.

If necessary, Digi can enable roaming for vehicles that need to cross national borders during their deliveries. Otherwise, the internal flash storage is sufficient to store about a month’s worth of data. The module is designed to transmit the data whenever it is within range of the Digi network.

According to Digi, iFleet is already being used by logistic providers like SnT Global, and piloted across diverse industries like FMCG, automobile and infrastructure with brands such as Peugeot, Kia, Gamuda and Citylink.

 

Digi iFleet Price & Availability

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Digi iFleet is available to all Malaysian enterprises at just RM 90 per vehicle per month.

Companies that are Digi Enterprise Business customers will be entitled to a special offer. If they sign up by 30 June 2017, they only need to pay RM 75 per vehicle per month – a 16.67% discount.

 

Coming Soon In 2H 2017 : B2C & UBI Solutions For Private Vehicles

Digi will introduce a B2C connected vehicle solution in 2H 2017 that will offer private vehicle owners a solution that encompasses tracking, driver safety, vehicle security and smart in-vehicle services for an affordable price.

In addition, Digi is also preparing to introduce usage-based insurance solutions when the insurance tariff is liberalised in July 2017. They will allow private vehicle insurers the capability to price motor insurance premiums according to actual individual vehicle or fleet performance. This will reward good drivers with lower premium payments.

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Cenviro moves to the cloud with SAP Suite on HANA

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 03 April 2017 – Cenviro today announced that it will be deploying multiple SAP solutions including SAP Suite on HANA with IS-U Waste Management as part of the organisation’s digital transformation. The deployment will leverage on the services of Deloitte Consulting SEA with iTelligence Outsourcing MSC as hosting partner.

Cenviro, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, is a leader in the Malaysian green solutions revolution, providing innovative environmental solutions through a cradle-to-cradle philosophy. The company leads in all areas of waste management, from treatment to recycling, recovery and final disposal.

Cenviro also owns and operates Malaysia’s first integrated waste management centre in Negeri Sembilan, a state-of-the-art facility which meets stringent international and local standards.

One of the pressing requirements that Cenviro needed to address, as its business grows, is reconciling financial data from different sources. The management was also aware of the need to improve operational performance monitoring throughout the group of companies.

Upon evaluating several options, Cenviro decided to work with SAP and its partners, Deloitte Consulting and iTelligence Outsourcing MSC, to deploy a fully-integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. In the process of evaluation, Cenviro’s management recognised that SAP had the ideal, proven solution to address these issues, and the possibility of customising unique modules tailoring to Cenviro’s requirements.

 

The Cenviro Implementation Of SAP Suite On HANA

At the initial phase of its implementation, Cenviro will look towards the SAP Suite on HANA with IS-U for Waste Management. IS-U is SAP’s industry specific solution for the utilities vertical which includes best practices for waste management within an integrated system.

The platform is designed to facilitate business process simplification and improve decision making and to pave the way for future innovations. It includes capabilities to optimize activities for performance management, sales, finance, operations and human resources. With this, Cenviro sets its sights on becoming more efficient as it consolidates its processes by leveraging business intelligence solutions.

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Ultimately, SAP waste and environmental services solution is intended to streamline and optimize commerce, service, logistics, billing, and customer engagement activities. The software will enable Cenviro to meet critical business, technical, and personnel-related requirements cost-effectively to help it offer better and more efficient waste disposal services.

“SAP has long been a forerunner in helping companies simplify their operations and our mission is to lead the global transformation in the new digital economy, empowering companies to reimagine their business using the SAP digital business framework. We’re excited to be working with Cenviro on a project of this scale and look forward to working hand-in-hand with the company as it embarks on further expansion,” said Terrence Yong, Managing Director, SAP Malaysia.

“SAP S/4HANA is the digital core that paves the way for latest technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, real-time analytics, mobile, business networks, third-party systems, and more. With SAP solutions, Cenviro can now run its business more efficiently and in ‘real time’,” added Yong.

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Sophos Mobile 7 Enhanced With Unified Security And Control

28 February 2017Sophos, a global leader in network and endpoint security, today announced Sophos Mobile 7, the latest version of its Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution. This new version extends containerization support for Android Enterprise (formerly “Android for Work,”) enables IT administrators to manage IoT devices, strengthens security features and will be available through the Sophos Central cloud-based management platform.

 

Sophos Mobile 7

Sophos Mobile 7 security enhancements include anti-phishing technology to protect users from malicious links in emails and documents and improvements to Sophos’ Android security and anti-malware app. There are also usability enhancements to the Secure Workspace and Secure Email app where users now can open, view and even edit encrypted and secure Office format documents and attachments without leaving the secure and encrypted container.

Sophos Mobile 7 is the latest in an increasing number of products that are available through the integrated Sophos Central management platform, including the next-generation XG Firewall, Sophos Endpoint Security, Sophos Intercept X, Sophos Email Security, Sophos Server Protection, Sophos Encryption and Sophos Phish Threat.

The new IoT functionality will provide basic management features to organizations that are designing and deploying solutions at scale using low-cost Android Things or Windows 10 IoT devices. This includes management tasks such as applying policies, checking the online device status, monitoring battery levels or confirming or updating firmware.

Sophos will be one of the first security companies to provide organizations with a cost-efficient way to add management and security capabilities to their IoT projects, offering a communication and management framework that can be built into industrial and commercial IoT solutions such as POS/retail or connected classrooms.

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Sophos Mobile 7 Availability

Sophos Mobile 7 is available now for on-site installation and will be available through cloud-based Sophos Central in mid-March 2017. For more details of Sophos Mobile for IoT, customers and partners can email Sophos-Mobile-IoT@sophos.com.

Sophos will also be demonstrating Sophos Mobile 7, including the new IoT features, at stand 5H31 in hall 5 at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, 27 February to 2 March 2017.

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Sophos Predicts Top 10 Cyber Security Trends for 2017

22 December 2016 – 2016 saw a huge number and variety of cyber attacks, ranging from a high-profile DDoS using hijacked Internet-facing security cameras to the alleged hacking of party officials during the US election. The year also saw a rising tide of data breaches, from organizations big and small, and significant losses of people’s personal information. With the year almost over, Joergen Jakobsen, regional vice president for Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) at Sophos, looks into his crystal ball to predict the top cyber security trends for 2017:

#1 : Shift from exploitation to targeted social attacks.

Cybercriminals are getting better at exploiting the ultimate vulnerability – humans. Ever more sophisticated and convincing targeted attacks seek to coax users into compromising themselves. For example, it’s common to see an email that addresses the recipient by name and claim they have an outstanding debt the sender has been authorized to collect. Applying shock by pretending to be borrowing authority or law enforcement are common and effective tactics. The email directs users to a malicious link that they are panicked into clicking on, opening them up to attack. Such phishing attacks can no longer be recognized by obvious mistakes.

#2 : Financial infrastructure at greater risk of attack.

The use of targeted phishing and “whaling” continues to grow. These attacks use detailed information about company executives to trick employees into paying fraudsters or compromising accounts. We also expect more attacks on critical financial infrastructure, such as the attack involving SWIFT-connected institutions which cost the Bangladesh Central Bank $81 million in February. SWIFT recently revealed that there have been other such attacks and it expects to see more, stating in a leaked letter to client banks: “The threat is very persistent, adaptive and sophisticated – and it is here to stay”.

#3 : Exploitation of the Internet’s inherently insecure infrastructure.

All Internet users rely on ancient foundational protocols, and their ubiquity makes them nearly impossible to revamp or replace. These archaic protocols that have long been the backbone of the Internet and business networks are sometimes surprisingly flaky. For example, attacks against BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) could potentially disrupt, hijack, or disable much of the Internet. And the DDoS attack on Dyn in October (launched by a myriad of IoT devices), took down the DNS provider and, along with it, access to part of the internet. It was one of the largest assaults seen and those claiming responsibility said that it was just a dry run. Large-scale ISPs and enterprises can take some steps to respond, but these may well fail to prevent serious damage if individuals or states choose to exploit the Internet’s deepest security flaws.

#4 : Increased attack complexity.

Attacks increasingly bring together multiple technical and social elements, and reflect careful, lengthy probing of the victim organization’s network. Attackers compromise multiple servers and workstations long before they start to steal data or act aggressively. Closely managed by experts, these attacks are strategic, not tactical, and can cause far more damage. This is a very different world to the pre-programmed and automated malware payloads we used to see – patient and evading detection.

#5 : Growth of malvertising and corruption of online advertising ecosystems.

Malvertising, which spreads malware through online ad networks and web pages, has been around for years. But in 2016, we saw much more of it. These attacks highlight larger problems throughout the advertising ecosystem, such as click fraud, which generates paying clicks that don’t correspond to real customer interest. Malvertising has actually generated click fraud, compromising users and stealing from advertisers at the same time. [adrotate group=”2″]

#6 : Ransomware evolves.

As more users recognize the risks of ransomware attack via email, criminals are exploring other vectors. Some are experimenting with malware that reinfects later, long after a ransom is paid, and some are starting to use built-in tools and no executable malware at all to avoid detection by endpoint protection code that focuses on executable files. Recent examples have offered to decrypt files after the victim shared the ransomware with two friends, and those friends paid to decrypt their files. Ransomware authors are also starting to use techniques other than encryption, for example deleting or corrupting file headers. And finally, with “old” ransomware still floating around the web, users may fall victim to attacks that can’t be “cured” because payment locations no longer work.

#7 : Emergence of personal IoT attacks.

Users of home IoT devices may not notice or even care if their baby monitors are hijacked to attack someone else’s website. But once attackers “own” a device on a home network, they can compromise other devices, such as laptops containing important personal data. We expect to see more of this as well as more attacks that use cameras and microphones to spy on households. Cyber criminals always find a way to profit.

#8 : Rising focus on exploits against virtualized and cloud systems.

Attacks against physical hardware raise the possibility of dangerous new exploits against virtualized cloud systems. Attackers might abuse the host or other guests running on a shared host, attack privilege models, and conceivably access others’ data. And, as Docker and the entire container (or ‘serverless’) eco-system become more popular, attackers will increasingly seek to discover and exploit vulnerabilities in this relatively new trend in computing. We expect active attempts to operationalize such attacks.

#9 : Destructive DDoS ioT attacks will rise.

In 2016, Mirai the malware that turns computer systems running Linux into remotely controlled “bots”, that can be used in large-scale network attacks, showed the massive destructive potential of DDoS attacks as a result of insecure consumer IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Mirai’s attacks exploited only a small number of devices and vulnerabilities and used basic password guessing techniques. However, cybercriminals will find it easy to extend their reach because there are several IoT devices containing outdated code based on poorly-maintained operating systems and applications with well-known vulnerabilities. Expect IoT exploits, better password guessing and more compromised IoT devices being used for DDoS or perhaps to target other devices in your network.

#10 : Technical attacks against states and societies.

Technology-based attacks have become increasingly political. Societies face growing risks from both disinformation (e.g., “fake news”) and voting system compromise. For instance, researchers have demonstrated attacks that might allow a local voter to fraudulently vote repeatedly without detection. Even if states never engage in attacks against their adversaries’ elections, the perception that these attacks are possible is itself a powerful weapon.

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Smart Home: IoT Adoption And Security Accountability

5 December 2016 – One day, everything will be buttonless. Nobody will ever need to grab the remote to turn on the television or hit a switch to kill the lights. These devices will just do what they’re supposed to, all by themselves, without any physical prompts from the user. They won’t be set off by claps, or voice commands, or hand gestures in the air. They will gain a certain level of independence that will diminish the need for human interaction. This is the very inevitable, very near, and very real future. Smart technology is here, and it’s only getting smarter.

Welcome to the Smart Home

Often, people talk about these technologies and the internet of things (IoT) as if automation were the only criteria for gadgets and infrastructure to be called smart. But it’s more than just that.

Firstly, for any device to fall under IoT, it needs to go beyond its original basic functions. It has to be able to receive, process, and transmit digital information the way a personal computer normally does. In order to do this, it should meet a second requirement—connectivity. The device should have the ability to connect to the internet or even communicate with other smart machines around it.

Think of it this way: A smart home fitted with automated blinds can have them immediately open once the sun rises. This triggers the smart lightbulbs inside the house to turn off. This relay of actions allows natural sunlight to come in, illuminating the house while saving on energy. Another example of devices communicating with each other is when a smart TV’s volume goes down every time a phone call comes in. This makes it easier for the user to notice the call.

Both automation and connectivity have helped push IoT forward, but, in the same way, they have also held it back.

The Inevitable Rise of Home IoT Adoption

For a number of years, the mass adoption of IoT has stalled. Users found smart devices impractical. The production of these one-off gadgets was very costly, thus driving up their prices. A few years ago, they were more of a luxury than a necessity. On top of this, not every country in the world has the kind of infrastructure needed to make internet access available to everyone. The early adopters were limited to enthusiasts who had the money to afford IoT devices and were based in regions that allowed them to optimally use their devices.

But the market has since shifted. People are clamoring for smarter things to either ease their daily lives or be a source of personal pleasure. And the industry is taking notice.

The market has since shifted. People are clamoring for smarter things to either ease their daily lives or be a source of personal pleasure. And the industry is taking notice.

Multi-billion dollar companies out of Silicon Valley are trying to one-up each other in terms of innovation, offering a very diverse collection of IoT devices to the public. Companies, regardless of size, that are not willing to acknowledge this shift will eventually get left behind. Some things that come to mind are those cellphone giants that did not respond to the shifting consumer demand for smarter phones. They eventually disappeared.

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Research and advisory firm Gartner even predicted that there will be over one billion connected devices in use by 2018, and that figure alone is just for smart homes. Another billion devices are projected to be used in smart commercial buildings. The remaining billion devices are divided accordingly to industries such as healthcare, transportation, and other organizations that make up fully functional smart cities.

Japan and Germany are two of the many countries whose urban areas are already embracing smart homes. In these places, IoT has become ingrained in people’s lives to the point of necessity.

In metropolitan Japan, where commuting takes a big toll, workers are able to save time and energy during their long rides from their office to their house through home automation. Apartments with smart cookers, for example, can churn out meals which should be ready by the time their owners step through the front door.

In Germany, where the elderly make up a significant portion of the population, a number of people have opted to use smart health-monitoring devices. In the event of an emergency, like a heart attack, the device can trigger a call for emergency assistance. These monitors can save people’s lives.

Holding Accountability for Home IoT Security

The rise of the home IoT adoption rate will ultimately increase the competition between several players in the market. But with no unified regulating body to instill functional and security standards on these devices’ manufacturers, this can lead to several security issues in the long run.

This then begs the question: Who should be responsible for IoT security?

The IoT landscape is continuously evolving. As IoT branches out from user homes and into the city, users become significantly more powerless.

Should it be the IoT users? At the moment, it seems to be the case. Users have the freedom to decide which IoT devices to introduce to their homes. They can opt to install a smart home entertainment system in their house knowing what kind of information they could be sending back to the device manufacturer every time they use it. It’s an ongoing tradeoff, with users weighing their personal privacy and safety against their personal comfort and satisfaction.

But the IoT landscape is continuously evolving. As IoT branches out from user homes and into the city, users become significantly more powerless.

A good illustration would be new smart condominium units already being fitted with IoT devices like security cameras or emergency sensors. People who will be moving into these spaces will have no other choice but to opt in to that level of surveillance. Just imagine if all future building developments, both private and public, were required to have these IoT devices in place.

Once smart technologies get broadly used for public utility buildings or vehicles, users will have no reign over their privacy and personal security. The brunt of that responsibility ultimately shifts from the users to the IoT manufacturers. What risks should manufacturers foresee to protect both their users and their organizations from potential disaster?

 

 

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