Archive for November 25, 2020

New Workforce Challenges Emerge In Canada As Remote Work Expands: SAP

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2020 by itnerd

Changes to the workplace are accelerating in Canada, forcing leaders to adapt to unexpected disruptions, anticipate future challenges, and plan for strategic changes, according to a survey released today by Oxford Economics, the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and SAP SuccessFactors, a division of SAP SE.

Some 50 per cent of Canadian respondents said they expect flexible work policies to be a talent differentiator, according to the report “The Future of Work Arrives Early: How HR Leaders are Leveraging the Lessons of Disruptions.” However, 57 per cent expect maintaining productivity given new ways of working to be an ongoing challenge. More than 37 per cent of respondents said that establishing a culture that supports remote employees will also be a challenge when the pandemic subsides, and most acknowledge that their workers have had very different experiences depending on if they are salaried, hourly, office or field workers. Nearly 30 per cent of respondents plan to invest in listening tools or employee surveys, which could help organizations keep a pulse on employee sentiment as changes to the workplace continue.

The report found that 74 per cent of respondents in Canada said their company has the technology it needs to navigate the changing work environment, and 37 per cent expect to invest in remote collaboration tools. Still, only 22 per cent of respondents said that their workers can work remotely and have the necessary technology and environment to do so effectively. Some 38 per cent of respondents expect to reduce their office footprint.

When it comes to attracting talent, 17 per cent of respondents in Canada believe competing for talent will be a major challenge. Top factors to attract and retain talent include flexible work policies (62 per cent), finding new ways of delivering/selling/marketing existing products and services (61 per cent), and the financial stability of the organization (59 per cent).

Looking forward, only 27 per cent of respondents in Canada are planning to invest in learning programs for reskilling and upskilling over the next 12 months. This compares to 22 per cent of U.S. respondents and 38 per cent of respondents outside of the U.S., despite employee readiness to learn new skills.

The Future of Work Arrives Early: How HR Leaders are Leveraging the Lessons of Disruption” reportsurveyed HR leaders in 10 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The data in this press release represents more than 300 HR leaders in Canada. Download the Canadian report and the global report.

Darktrace Comments On Cyber Threats Lurking ahead Of Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2020 by itnerd

As we near Black Friday and Cyber Monday, widely recognized as one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, consumers and businesses alike are prepping for the inevitable influx of online shopping brought forth by the past year of increased remote work and social distancing. The need for online operations to run smoothly is greater and so is the need for organizational data to stay secure from cyber threat.

David Masson, Director of Enterprise Security, Darktrace had this to say:

We are now battling attackers that understand their victims’ business models extremely well – using this knowledge to hit where, and when, it hurts the most. Black Friday is typically a busy and important day for retail, but now with increased pressure on online shopping, hackers are preparing attacks to profit from this and take advantage.

Hackers are using ransomware to not just disrupt the cyber realm, but also to grind organizations to a halt and interrupt critical business processes – we can expect many more of these types of attacks to hit the retail sector at the tail end of this year. At Darktrace, we’ve seen the rising trend in ransomware firsthand, and our AI has already stopped several attempted ransomware attacks across the retail sector in the past month alone. 

As the retail sector braces itself for an online shopping season like never before, with a more stretched out timeframe than just one day of deals and savings for their customers, companies must proceed with caution. Increasing their cyber defenses are critical for benefiting from strong sales and keeping their businesses operational. Artificial intelligence is already a crucial ally for the retail sector across Canada – the technology is always on, it doesn’t take breaks and it augments human defenders at a time that will make or break many retailers.

ESET Launches Safer Kids Online

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 25, 2020 by itnerd

ESET, a global leader in cybersecurity, recently announced the launch of Safer Kids Online, a new resource platform for kids, parents and educators dedicated to building a safer online environment for children across North America. The website and corresponding newsletter features blogs, vlogs, parental guidance and expert insight that helps children enjoy the full potential of the Internet in a secure digital world.

While the Internet can be a valuable resource for information and news and provide a vital connection to the outside world – especially as many children are now learning from home – it can expose children to cyberbullying, unsolicited attention and inappropriate or unsafe content. 

It can also expose children to identity theft. 

According to a 2018 study by Javelin Strategy & Research, more than one million children were the victims of identity theft in 2017, with two-thirds of those children under the age of eight and 20 per cent between the ages of eight and 12.

In addition to drawing on the knowledge of ESET’s cybersecurity professionals, the content on Safer Kids Online will be developed in consultation with child Internet safety experts and feature a variety of topics, including social media, cyberbullying, creating strong passwords, how to recognize malware and how to stay safe while gaming online. To find out more or to sign up for Safer Kids Online monthly newsletter, visit

To further support its efforts to foster a safe Internet for kids, ESET has become a member of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international, non-profit organization that brings together leaders in industry, government and non-profit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions and policies in the field of online safety.

For more information, visit

Should I Get 8GB Or 16GB On My New M1 Mac? And What About The Storage And GPU Options?

Posted in Tips with tags on November 25, 2020 by itnerd

My inbox got flooded with questions about the M1 Mac starting moments after I posted this review on the MacBook Air with the M1 processor. The main question being if one should get 8GB or 16GB of RAM.

Here’s the short answer: If you can afford it get 16GB of RAM.

Here’s the detailed answer: The Apple M1 processor is a SOC or system on a chip which is similar to what they do with the iPhone. Meaning everything is integrated on the chip. CPU, RAM, GPU (graphics processing unit), everything. That means you get whatever is on the chip and you can’t upgrade it later. That makes deciding on how much RAM you need a big decision. Here’s the thing, Macs last a long time. I am typing this article on a 2015 15″ MacBook Pro which is still is able to run the latest operating systems, and it still gets security updates, and doesn’t feel slow (by Intel standards) despite being five years old. It’s not unusual to get as many as six or even seven years out of a Mac. Thus by going to 16GB regardless of what you are doing, you are truly future proofing things and avoiding the possibility that you may need to buy a whole new computer should your needs evolve.

Now, here’s the only caveat that I will point out. If you’re using these M1 Macs as a bridge to get a quick speed increase while waiting for the Apple Silicon Mac of your dreams, then you might have an argument to only get 8GB. But the flip side of that is that this is dependent on your workflow. If your workflow is RAM intensive, photo or video editing is a great example of this, then you’re going 16GB regardless.

While I’m here, I’ll also help you with your storage requirements. All of the M1 Macs that Apple has released come with 256GB of storage. Will that work for you or do you need more? Here’s my rule of thumb for that:

  • If you currently have a computer with 256GB of storage, get 512GB.
  • If you currently have a computer with 512GB of storage, get 1TB.
  • If you currently have a computer with 1TB of storage, get 2TB.

The reason being that storage creep is a thing. As in you slowly tend to run out of storage as you use your computer because you save more music, more movies, more pictures and the like as you use it. Thus getting more storage than you need now will save you headaches later.

There’s one final thing. When it comes to the MacBook Air specifically, the base model comes with 7 GPU cores and the more upscale model comes with 8. Neither the 13″ MacBook Pro or the Mac Mini with the M1 processor have this option. Does it matter? Given my experience with a base MacBook Air with 7 GPU cores, I would say no. The computer was so insanely fast that I suspect that the 8th core would only give you marginal gains unless you were using your MacBook Air to edit 4K video or something like that. The flip side to that is that if you’re really interested in editing 4K video on a regular basis, you should really be looking at the the 13″ MacBook Pro with the M1 processor as that comes with cooling fans that will give you a bit better performance on top of the fact that it comes out of the box with 8 GPU cores.

Hopefully that helps you to configure the right M1 based Mac for your needs. If you still have questions, email me and I will help you as best as I can.