The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook laptop features a carbon-fiber reinforced chassis which makes it extremely durable. It comes with Windows 10 Pro, 7th generation Intel Core processors, and a 14" Quad-HD display. Business News Daily gave it an award at the recent Consumer Electronics Show for best business technology.
Flexxible|SMB Cloud, a new hyper-converged infrastructure appliance for small to midsize businesses, helps simplify the deployment, operations and support of virtual desktop infrastructure environments and applications. The company claims that their hyper-convergent turnkey appliance (servers, networks and storage) can be ready in a maximum of two hours. The appliance, which was developed using Citrix technology, can be used on premise or in the cloud. The device provides SDI and VDI infrastructure, applications, personal and shared storage functions and pre-configured applications like Office 365.
Thycotic`s Weak Password Finder provides a fast and easy way to identify the riskiest passwords among your Active Directory users. The complimentary tool can analyze any Active Directory account, including Domain Admin accounts, end user accounts, and service accounts. The application can be run on a single or multiple Domains and it uses more than 1.5 million common passwords from publicly available lists to determine “weak” passwords, and you can quickly add your own weak passwords in a text file.
The future of containers, which are used by developers to package applications, is bright in many analysts' estimations. For example, 451 Research projects a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the container market to $2.6 billion by 2020. The research firm estimates that eight vendors are each earning more than $20 million a year from container revenue, and these include Docker, Red Hat and Engine Yard.
Globally, the share of ATMs located away from bank branches rose to 51% in 2015, according to RBR`s study Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2021. The research firm concludes that "growth in the off-site ATM sector is being driven by banks` efforts to serve existing clients more cost-effectively, attract new customers and by the expansion of independent ATM deployers." IAD terminals now account for 16% of ATMs globally.
As cardless ATMs proliferate, some observers believe that fraud will escalate on these machines that permit accountholders to withdraw money by using just their mobile phones. For example, in an account takeover scenario, if the scammer has access to the online banking username and password, they can add a new mobile phone number and device. At that point they can extract cash from a cardless ATM since no card or PIN is involved in the withdrawal.
Mobile banking proponents contend that banks must constantly be updating their mobile banking platform's features and functionalities in an effort to make their platform provide as much functionality and their online banking system, or even what can be accomplished in the branch. A big question is how to prioritize the upgrades. Some experts suggest closely listening to customers' wants and needs which can be accomplished by:
- customer surveys
- gathering contact center data
- branch and employee feedback
- culling app reviews
- monitoring competition
Synaptics has unveiled a multi-factor biometric “fusion engine” that will offer users a variety of authentication methods across multiple platforms. Currently they support fingerprint and facial recognition - the two methods can be used concurrently for authentication of financial transactions or other sensitive tasks or individually for regular logins. Their authentication methods support smartphones, tablets and notebooks.
Email reading habits, keywords, and demographic and psychographic information can all be tracked via hidden embedded trackers in emails which some people call spymail. Though many email trackers are used for legitimate purposes, malicious spymail is a growing concern. Case in point: MailControl notes that 40% of all email of its clients contains tracking code, and nearly 1% of that code is "high risk." MailControl's software detects a diverse array of email and spymail trackers and provides the company with insights about the email ecosystem. Scammers can use spymail to customize their phishing methods. Perhaps the easiest defense against spymail is to adjust the settings of your email program so there is no image rendering by default.
IRONSCALES announced a new server-side remediation feature to its automatic email phishing remediation product dubbed IronTraps. The company says that the new feature, available both on premise and for cloud-based email apps, will enable automatic remediation of ransomware, spear-phishing, whaling and other social engineering attacks before a malicious email can be engaged by unaware employees. They say that it uses machine learning to automatically detect and remediate suspicious emails within minutes before ever hitting the endpoint.
Battling Security Fatigue – Working Towards Usable Security
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Marketers are struggling to align their digital and physical campaigns according to a new report from the CMO Council and IBM. Their study revealed that:
- 42% of respondents plan to better integrate campaigns into a comprehensive, connected customer experience
- 37% of respondents will address connecting physical and digital experiences
- 29% of marketers intend to invest in more technologies to manage data
One of the biggest goals of those CMOs responding was to create an omni-channel experience for consumers where they can interact with them on a more personal, content-rich level.
Javelin Strategy & Research's "P2P Market Sizing and Introduction of Real-Time Payments" report reveals that more than 1 in 3 U.S. consumers in 2016 made a P2P (person to person) payment either online or through a mobile device, demonstrating the broad appeal of these transfers. Javelin predicts this will reach 1 in 2 U.S. consumers by 2021, as 129 million people will have used a P2P service. To achieve almost 50% consumer adoption, Javelin sees several forces at play that will be catalysts for the P2P growth: voice-driven P2P services, higher usage of in-app payments and proximity payments, and greater availability of P2P.
AutoGravity has developed a smartphone-based app that they say streamlines the process of buying and financing a car from start to finish. First consumers can use AutoGravity to search, both locally and nationally, for vehicles by make and model, and then quickly compare loan and lease financing options. Then prospective buyers can scan their driver`s license and connect to LinkedIn for employment information as part of their mobile loan application process. The app can submit their info to up to four different lenders and even has an optional e-contracting module that financed buyers can use to scan the VIN, negotiate a firm purchase price, submit the information digitally to the lender, and obtain an e-contract.
Sprint is expanding their Ethernet availability to reach businesses outside their TDM footprint - their goal is to provide Ethernet access services to more than 96% of their U.S. customers' locations by the first quarter of 2017. As part of the Ethernet service expansion, Sprint has increased the amount of IP MPLS nodes it operates in 2016 and 2017. The telco's Ethernet services are targeted at organizations that need 2 Mbps to 10 Mbps speeds. Sprint also will perform professional installation, while offering Business Class Service Level Agreements (SLAs), 24x7x365 monitoring and support, multiple classes of service, and access to the Sprint Compass Management Tool.
SD-WANs (software defined wide area networks) and hybrid WANs are often confused, but you can build a hybrid WAN without an SD-WAN, and you could build an SD-WAN that is a hybrid WAN. According to research and consulting firm SD-WAN Experts, SD-WANs speak about the overlay (a virtual abstraction of the underlying physical network) while hybrid WANs speak about the underlay. The SD-WAN Experts consultants note that hybrid WANs can combine a mix of data services - MPLS, Ethernet, 4G, IP VPNs, etc. - and that hybrid WANs are often no different that "regular" WANs because many WANs have backup or secondary Internet connections for redundancy.
By some accounts, more people are using messenger apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber, etc.) than social networks. Perhaps that is why so many contact center experts believe that virtual assistants and chatbots are poised for mass adoption in 2017 and beyond. Some are convinced that these technologies, boosted by AI and machine learning, will proliferate across consumer and enterprise sectors, creating new workflows, operational efficiencies and opportunities for improved service.