Archive for October 14, 2020

Critical Trust Virtual Summit: Keynote Speakers Announced

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

Individuals from Netflix and Microsoft will be keynote speakers for Keyfactor’s upcoming Critical Trust Virtual Summit, taking place on October 21-22, 2020.  Session information and details are below:

Looking Past the Pandemic: Futureproofing Against Data Risk

Presented by Ann Johnson, Microsoft – Corporate VP of Security, Compliance & Identity (SCI) Business Development

October 21, 2020 @ 2:25pm ET

People will create more than 175 Zettabytes of data by 2025. While this abundance of data fuels machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation, this abundance also presents risks to our security, economies and fundamental right to privacy as data also becomes one of our great assets to help address global challenges. Enterprises must now look beyond AI as just a proactive defense and consider data both an asset and a risk.

More info: https://summit.keyfactor.com/talks/looking-past-the-pandemic-futureproofing-against-data-risk/

How Netflix Delivers with Speed and Agility (And you can too!)

Presented by Andy Glover, Netflix – Director of Productivity Engineering

October 22, 2020 @ 2:30pm ET

As security teams work more closely with DevOps engineering, they need to move fast and be agile.  Andy will discuss how Netflix’s competitive advantage is the ability to innovate with speed and agility, which is facilitated by their culture. He’ll share his lessons learned from investing in automation to building centralized teams and how these benefits can also be adopted by your organization.

More info: https://summit.keyfactor.com/talks/guest-keynote-day-2/

Keyfactor’s two-day online event will offer over a dozen additional sessions and panels delivered by industry-leading innovators and practitioners specializing in crypto-agile best practices across IT, security, engineering and DevOps:

You can register here.

ServiceNow Teams Up with the NBA and WNBA

Posted in Commentary on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) today announced a multiyear partnership that makes ServiceNow their inaugural Official Workflow Partner. ServiceNow, the company that makes work, work better, will deliver the products and technologies needed to create and streamline workflows across the NBA and WNBA.

As part of the multiyear partnership, the NBA and WNBA used ServiceNow’s Employee workflows to manage the complex, manual processes associated with the 2019‑20 NBA Season Restart and 2020 WNBA season. ServiceNow’s workflows enabled the NBA and WNBA to execute essential onboarding and health‑screening processes to promote a safer environment on their campuses. This month, the NBA and WNBA safely completed seasons in Orlando and Bradenton, respectively, bringing basketball back to fans around the world amid the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Using digital workflows, ServiceNow helped the league to facilitate screening for more than 2,600 league staff, vendors and guests who entered the NBA and WNBA campuses in Florida and successfully process more than 13,000 essential documents. Through the use of ServiceNow technology, the league demonstrated that a safe, careful return to play was possible with the right tools and protocols in place.

In addition to ServiceNow Employee Workflow products, the NBA and WNBA plan to rollout additional products throughout the multiyear partnership, including:

COVID-19 Has Shifted Canadians’ Views on Living in a Long-Term Care Setting: NIA & Telus Health Survey

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

Today, the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) and TELUS Health together released the findings of an online national survey gauging the perspectives of 1,571 Canadians during the pandemic on where they want to live as they age, concerns about living independently, caregiving, and social isolation.

Nine-in-ten (90 per cent) agree that as they age, they intend to do whatever they can to stay active and maintain their optimal health and independence. Eight-in-ten (80 per cent) Canadians say they are open to receiving advice on how to live safely on their own from trusted friends and family. 

COVID-19 has also shone a light on caregiving and social isolation. The survey found that most Canadians are not prepared personally or financially to become caregivers, with only 43 per cent reporting that they are prepared. Two-thirds (67 per cent) of Canadians believe that a lack of companionship and social connection with other people negatively impacts their overall health and well-being. Nearly half (47%) say they have been experiencing a lack of real companionship and regular social connections with other people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Younger Canadians aged 55 and under, are significantly more likely to agree with statements regarding lack of companionship compared to those aged 55+.

More people than ever before have become interested in doing whatever is necessary to stay active and maintain their optimal health and independence, but 30 per cent of older Canadians do not feel prepared should they be alone when a medical emergency occurs, and 79 per cent say they have not spoken to their healthcare providers about what to do if a fall occurs. The full findings of the survey can be found in the report, Pandemic Perspectives on Ageing in Canada in light of COVID-19: Findings from a National Institute on Ageing/ TELUS Health Survey

The online survey of 1517 Canadians aged 18+, was completed between July 24-27, 2020, using Leger’s online panel. With a sample of 1517 respondents, the margin of error is +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Gift Card Bank Partners With Excella To Support Families In Need During COVID-19

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

Gift Card Bank, a Bay Area nonprofit focused on utilizing gift cards to support those in need, is partnering with Excella–a pioneer for Agile technology solutions–to help support the well-being and financial security of people affected by Covid-19. Through this partnership, Excella has applied its Agile software development and product management expertise to create a state-of-the-art online platform that allows Gift Card Bank to identify, verify, and support families on a national scale.   

As part of its mission to support those struck by Covid-19, Gift Card Bank aggregates unused and donated gift cards from individuals, philanthropists, grocers, and retailers, and identifies people and families who need support through food banks and other fintech platforms. Once identified, Gift Card Bank securely distributes gift cards to those families during their greatest time of need. 

The brainchild of Khalil Fuller, Gift Card Bank was founded in March in response to those being affected by the Covid-19 global pandemic. Fuller, a graduate student at Stanford University, saw an opportunity in the $95 billion gift card market to help people. 

Since its inception, Gift Card Bank has received over 2,000 gift cards from top-tier companies and has helped over 400 families. Khalil and team have surpassed their goal to disburse over $35,000 by the end of September and will begin scaling nationally in the Fall. 

Excella has over 18 years of experience successfully leading Agile Transformations, modernizing legacy IT systems, and delivering artificial intelligence solutions to leading organizations, federal agencies, and nonprofits.

Slalom & IG Wealth Management Rollout Wealth Management Salesforce Solution In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

Slalom, a modern strategy, technology, and business transformation consulting firm, has partnered with IG Wealth Management (IG), part of IGM Financial Inc. and one of Canada’s leading diversified wealth and asset management companies, to develop a Wealth Management Advisor Portal that will deliver a modern digital experience for IG’s advisors and enhance the client experience across mobile and web channels.

Built on Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, the IG Advisor Portal provides advisors and their teams “360-degree views” of their clients and prospects.  It can also streamline advisor/client interactions through guided digitized business flows and electronic signatures, allowing advisors to work with their clients anytime and anywhere on mobile devices. Slalom helped IG Wealth Management – as part of their digital transformation journey – to vision, architect and deploy the innovative Advisor Portal solution.

Using an agile delivery approach at scale was critical to deliver new features and functionality to the field in monthly releases.  Roll-out was completed through COVID-19, in a fully remote support model, to 67 regional offices and approximately 5,000 users nationwide.  The IG Advisor Portal was well received and quickly became a critical application for advisors during the pandemic when in-person interactions were severely limited.

Slalom is also providing ongoing application management development services to help IG run and develop Salesforce platform capabilities.

Thales Alerts on the Risks Linked To Cybercrime In Its New Edition Of The “Cyberthreat Handbook: Organised Cybercrime”

Posted in Commentary on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

For the 2020 edition of Les Assises de la Sécurité, Thales launches the newest edition of its CyberThreat Handbook, this year dedicated to cybercriminals. Thales’ experts unveil their analysis and conclusions when it comes to cybercrime, an extremely dangerous network with a large number of hackers groups. Interactions and permanent movements unite organised cybercrime and bring it to life. Without protection or proactive means, the attacks of cybercriminals will create each time more damage. To face their always-evolving technics, a better understanding of the threat is key; advanced tools and services such as Threat Intelligence are an asset to anticipate this threat as much as possible.

By interacting as a network of cybercrime groups, cybercriminals are able to function increasingly effectively: each group specialises in a particular area, and the different groups collaborate to benefit from each other’s expertise. It is this specialisation that makes cybercriminals more effective, allowing them to concentrate on a given type of attack, while drawing on know-how from within the network.

Various groups of the most technically adept cyber attackers, with highly sophisticated compromise strategies and substantial financial resources, head this organisation. These are the “Big Game Hunters”, whose tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) and technical infrastructure are similar to certain state-sponsored hacking groups. They attack specific targets, such as political institutions and major companies, using ransomware to demand large sums.

To achieve their objectives, cybercriminals use a combination of technical expertise and the panic that they sow in companies and institutions. Panic can have a devastating impact in terms of the consequences of an attack. It is vital not to give in to threats or blackmail. Cybercriminals’ targets are extremely diverse and opportunistic; any organization can suffer from it. Thales’ experts strongly recommend bearing in mind that anyone can be a target in order to be prepared and to adopt a clear and detailed cyber crisis strategy.

Surprisingly, 60% of these huge revenues come from illegal online markets, 30% from theft of intellectual property and trade secrets and only 0.07% from ransomware which however do the most damage. With revenues estimated up to  $1.5 trillion a year  – meaning 1.5 times more income (as an annual average) than counterfeiting, and 2.8 times more than the illegal drugs trade – this network is a whole economic system that can now endanger any company or organization with severe consequences on the world’s economy.  

For more information, here’s the report.

Nikon Canada Announces The Z 7II & Z6II Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

Today, Nikon Canada Inc. unveiled the next chapter of the Z series with the arrival of two new full-frame mirrorless cameras that significantly improve upon the previous generation by adding more power, more features and more of what users want. The ultra-high resolution Z 7II is for those with an eye for impeccable details, offering professionals and advanced photographers a powerful tool to capture immense resolution in every shot. For dynamic creators who need a device as versatile as they are, the Z 6II balances powerful performance and an expert-level multimedia feature set to bring any creative vision to life. Together, the Z 7II and Z 6II, along with new accessories expand the Z series into a more robust mirrorless platform, incorporating many performance and design upgrades while maintaining the most popular features of their award-winning predecessors.

The Nikon Z Mount- The Most Light Means the Best Images

The Nikon Z mount is larger than any other full-frame mount, letting in significantly more light for the best possible image quality. The wider mount also allows for radical new concepts in optical design, giving lens designers the flexibility to create NIKKOR Z lenses with more edge-to-edge sharpness than ever thought possible. These new cameras expand the possibilities of the superior Z mount with performance upgrades designed to improve the quality, workflow and shooting experience for Nikon Z series users.

New Features and Upgrades: Customer-Focused Innovation Drives Creativity

  • Dual EXPEED 6 Processors for Twice the Power: At the heart of the new Z 7II and Z 6II is the implementation of two EXPEED 6 image processors, turbocharging performance to improve processing speed and increasing burst capability for stills – all while increasing power efficiency. 
  • Enhanced Focus System: With an updated, feature-rich autofocus system, the Z 7II and Z 6II quickly acquire focus and track subjects throughout the frame. For more precise autofocusing, Eye and Face-Detection AF is now available in the Wide-Area AF (L) mode, which works to avoid focusing on distracting elements by isolating selected portions of an image. Additionally, both models have an improved low-light AF detection range that is capable of acquiring subjects in challenging lighting.
  • Advanced Video Capabilities: Expanding the boundaries of 4K UHD video, the Z 7II and Z 6II enhance video output with an increased frame rate of 4K (UHD) 60p, plus Eye-Detection AF mode when recording video. While currently available in the Z 7II, the 4K 60p option is planned to be available in a free firmware upgrade for the Z 6II in February 2021. As a result of pro user feedback, the models also allow users to reverse the focus ring orientation on the fly, benefitting those who are used to manual focusing using traditional cine lenses on set. For added flexibility in post-production, 10-bit N-Log and HDR (HLG) output offers more detail, dynamic range and contrast in captured footage, while the optional 12-bit ProRes RAW upgrade delivers greater creative control for professionals and advanced videographers.
  • Built for Confidence, Built for Creators: The cameras retain robust weather sealing, user-focused ergonomics and an intuitive interface—distinctions that Nikon users have come to rely on. The new models also offer improvements such as dual memory card slots, with one CFexpress (type B)/XQD slot and one SD card slot (UHS-II), for maximum versatility and peace of mind. Users will also benefit from more power and comfortable vertical shooting with the addition of the optional new MB-N11 battery pack with vertical grip.

Nikon Z 7II: Absolute Immersive Masterpiece

The Z 7II promises high-resolution stills and video for discerning users who need ultimate performance to achieve exceptional image quality in every shot. A powerful upgrade to the Nikon Z 7, the Z 7II is the ideal camera for capturing highly detailed portraits, landscapes, weddings, events and commercial photography when there is no compromise on image quality.

The Z 7II features a 45.7-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor to help capture intense detail, ultra-shallow depth of field and clarity that overwhelms. The exceptionally clean native ISO range from ISO 64 to 25,600 offers the functional freedom to shoot at wide apertures in bright light or in-studio with minimal noise.

With up to 10 fps maximum shooting speed at full resolution in Continuous H (extended), the Z 7II can handle fast burst rates with more than triple (3.3x) the buffer capacity of the Z 7 (in 12-bit lossless compressed RAW).
The Z 7II’s 493 on-sensor phase-detect autofocus points cover 90 per cent of the frame, quickly and accurately acquiring subjects, even at its far edges. The Z 7II is capable of acquiring focus in half the light (as low as -3 EV), making it the reliable tool for low-light scenes such as weddings and indoor events.

Nikon Z 6II: True Multimedia Powerhouse

The Z 6II is the most versatile Z series camera yet, balancing speed, power, low-light ability and advanced video features for dynamic creators who need pro-level performance and reliability.

Building on the vast pro-calibre video capabilities of the Z 6, the Z 6II is capable of recording 4K UHD video quality with full pixel readout, demonstrating the advantages of mirrorless technology. The camera is capable of a variety of frame rates, including 4K UHD 60p with full pixel readout, which is planned to be available in February 2021 via a firmware update. It is also capable of 4K 30p, as well as Full HD 120p for slow motion.
Built with videographers in mind, the Z 6II’s AF speed and tracking sensitivity is adjustable to meet creative needs, while the focus ring is also reversible. Useful indicators for focus peaking, zebra stripes and timecodes help capture the best possible footage in-camera and simplify workflow.
For both models, 10-bit output to an external recorder with N-Log is possible as well as the capture of new HDR (HLG) video and output in 12-bit ProRes RAW with the optional upgrade. For upgrade customers, additional support will also be included for Blackmagic RAW when using the Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G HDR recorder. This upgrade will also be provided for existing customers who have already purchased a ProRes RAW upgrade for the Nikon Z 6 or Z 7.

The Z 6II and Z 7II are the first Nikon cameras to support Eye-Detection AF and Animal-Detection AF with video recording, enabling continuous focus on the eyes of humans, dogs and cats.

The Z 6II features a 24.5-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor for crisp stills and video capture with impressive detail, ultra-shallow depth of field and impressive low light performance. To confidently shoot in challenging light, the camera has an impressive ISO range from ISO 100–51,200, expandable up to ISO 204,800 equivalent.

Thanks to the addition of dual EXPEED 6 Processors, the Z 6II boasts a fast 14 fps continuous shooting speed, providing quick performance for capturing action, with more than 3.5x the buffer capacity of the Z 64.
The Z 6II’s enhanced AF system features 273 on-sensor phase-detect autofocus points for easy subject acquisition and tracking throughout the frame, including at the edges. Capable of focusing in half the light (down to -4.5 EV), the Z 6II easily acquires focus in extreme low light scenarios, making it an ideal option for capturing nightscapes and events.

The Nikon Experience: Reliability & Workflow

Both the Z 7II and Z 6II adopt the Z series’ durable Magnesium Alloy build and extensive weather-sealed design for all-around protection in rugged environments. Both models focus on improved workflow with intuitive features and controls that enhance the creative process. 

The Z 6II and Z 7II enable convenient iMenu access for autofocus modes such as the new Wide-Area AF (L) mode for people or animals, with built-in Eye and Face-Detect autofocus, allowing users to quickly switch between controls while shooting.

USB power delivery can be enabled while the cameras are in use, drawing power from the USB source first, to preserve camera battery or charging while the camera is turned off (when using the EN-EL15b or EN-EL15c battery).

The Z 6II and Z 7II also include in-camera exposure choices for up to 900 seconds for capturing super slow-shutter nighttime cityscapes and astrophotography.

Both the Z 6II and Z 7II are compatible with the Nikon Webcam Utility software beta, ensuring seamless webcam functionality for all occasions. When using this function with a USB-C cable, power can be supplied to the camera to power it while using it as a webcam, making turnkey webcam functionality as easy as plugging in a USB-C cable.

In addition to its seamless file transfer and remote camera control, the Nikon SnapBridge app can be used to streamline the firmware update process by wirelessly sending the latest firmware file directly to the Z 7II or Z 6II for updating, no card reader or computer necessary.

Portions of the information display can be hidden with still-image shooting and video recording, allowing an unobstructed view of the scene.
In-camera vibration reduction (VR) provides camera-shake compensation equivalent to 5-stops.

A Rapidly Expanding Ecosystem

Nikon is committed to expanding the NIKKOR Z lens lineup to complement the exceptional power of these latest mirrorless cameras, with 16 NIKKOR Z lenses currently available, including the recently announced NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S and 14-24mm f/2.8 S. The lineup will expand to include a total of 24 innovative optics by the end of 2021, providing Z series users with the tools to achieve the highest level of optical excellence.

The ecosystem is also expanding with more accessories, including the addition of the new MB-N11 Power Battery Pack with vertical grip for the Z 6II and Z 7II. This new grip features convenient external controls for additional manual operation and customization, along with more comfortable portrait orientation shooting. While battery life is extended up to 1.9x (CIPA standard), the battery grip also includes a hot-swappable chamber, granting users the ability to remove or replace one battery while shooting for uninterrupted power- a true benefit for content creation. The vertical grip also adds a secondary USB-C port for standalone charging and simultaneous communication with other devices.

Additionally, Nikon has announced new wireless transceivers for remote triggering and radio-controlled lighting, the WR-R11a and WR-R11b. The new wireless transceiver units use radio frequencies to communicate and are designed for users who need minimal release lag when shooting wirelessly, or those that use one or more remote flashes (AWL). The user can control additional remote cameras simultaneously using the WR-T10 remote, or via a main camera equipped with the WR-R11a/b. The WR-R11a uses a 10-pin connector, while the WR-R11b connects through the accessory terminal that can be found on Z series mirrorless cameras and select DSLRs. The units can also trigger Nikon radio-controlled flash units, such as the popular SB-5000 Speedlight, without the need for an additional receiver unit. Engineered with a new hinged design, the WR-R11a increases durability when attached to a camera.

Pricing and Availability

The Nikon Z 7II will be available in December 2020 in two configurations, body-only for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $4,199.95 and a one-lens kit with the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 for an MSRP of $4,999.95. The Nikon Z 6II will be available in November 2020 and will also be available in two configurations, body-only for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $2,799.95 and a one-lens kit with the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 for an MSRP of $3,599.95. The MB-N11 Battery Pack with vertical grip will be available in November 2020 for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $529.95. The WR-R11a and WR-R11b (sold separately) will be available in December 2020, and each will have an MSRP of $269.95 for the controller only. They will also be available as a set including the controller and the WR-T10 wireless remote controller for an MSRP of $379.95.

For more information on the latest Nikon products, including the new Z 7II and Z 6II mirrorless cameras, please visit www.nikon.ca.