Archive for January 22, 2021

SAP & Microsoft Expand Partnership

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 22, 2021 by itnerd

 SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Microsoft Corp. announced plans to integrate Microsoft Teams with SAP’s intelligent suite of solutions. The companies also formalized an extensive expansion of an existing strategic partnership to accelerate the adoption of SAP S/4HANA® on Microsoft Azure. This builds on a joint commitment by the companies to simplify and streamline customers’ journeys to the cloud. 

Much has changed in the last year as work has become more virtual, increasing reliance on Microsoft Teams for meetings, communication and collaboration. To facilitate these business and societal changes, SAP and Microsoft are building new integrations between Microsoft Teams and SAP solutions, such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP® SuccessFactors® offerings, and SAP Customer Experience. This can enable innovation, increase employee productivity and engagement, deliver collaborative learning and support global growth. These integrations are planned for delivery in mid-2021.

The companies also are expanding their endorsed cloud partnership announced in 2019 to introduce new offerings in cloud automation and integration for SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure. Together, Microsoft and SAP are expanding the ability to run a mission-critical intelligent enterprise on Azure while helping customers modernize their enterprise applications. SAP and Microsoft will provide customers with:

  • Simplification when moving on-premise editions of SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. In addition to the industry-specific journey maps to the cloud and reference architectures, SAP and Microsoft will continue to co-innovate around SAP S/4HANA on Azure.
  • Expanded joint engagements with customers and partners. In addition to product integration work, SAP, Microsoft and system integrator partners will continue to provide digital enterprise road maps for customers. This includes immediate and actionable reference architectures and technical guidance to help customers on their journey to the cloud. 
  • Increased investments in platform and infrastructure. The companies will further develop automated migrations, improved operations, monitoring and security.

Customers broadly favor Azure when moving on-premise SAP S/4HANA to the cloud.

SAP’s endorsement of Azure for ERP cloud migration is reflected in positive customer feedback on the collaboration between the companies. SAP and Microsoft will continue to make migration simpler and increase customers’ confidence in running their digital enterprises in the cloud. At the same time, many customers express a desire to maintain multi-cloud environments. SAP continues with its long-standing policy of supporting choice for those customers who request alternatives based on business requirements.

SAP and Microsoft recently announced an update to enable customers to design and operate intelligent digital supply chain and Industry 4.0 solutions in the cloud and at the edge.

TikTok Launches Creator Portal

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 22, 2021 by itnerd

Creators are the heart and soul of TikTok. They make the app a welcoming place where millions of people come for entertainment, learning, and fun. TikTok offers anyone a chance to reach a global audience, and is taking that a step further today with the launch of the TikTok Creator Portal.

While becoming a creator is as simple as tapping a few buttons, thriving as a creator takes time, dedication, and some education. The TikTok Creator Portal is filled with educational resources for creators to learn the basics of getting started on TikTok, connecting with their audience, and cultivating best practices to bring their videos to the next level.

Launching today, the Creator Portal is broken down into the following six learning categories:

  • Getting started on TikTok 
  • TikTok creation essentials 
  • TikTok foundations for success 
  • TikTok content strategy 
  • Community guidelines and safety 
  • Getting paid to create 

These categories cover some of the most frequently asked questions and give key insights into what it takes to have fun and grow as a content creator on TikTok. The TikTok Creator Portal offers in depth guides and videos designed to further support Canada’s growing creator community, and help them get the most out of their time on TikTok.

Please note: The TikTok Creator Fund is currently available to creators in the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain.

Intel Pwned By Hackers…. Forced To Release Financials Early As A Result

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 22, 2021 by itnerd

Intel said it was the victim of a hacker who stole financially sensitive information from its corporate website on Thursday, prompting the company to release its earnings statement ahead of schedule:

The US computer chipmaker believed an attacker had obtained advanced details about a strong earnings report it was due to publish after the stock market closed, said George Davis, chief financial officer. It published its formal earnings announcement upon discovering the problem, six minutes before the market closed. Intel’s shares rose more than 6 per cent on Thursday, including almost 2 per cent in the final 15 minutes of trading. “An infographic was hacked off of our PR newsroom site,” Mr Davis said. “We put [our earnings] out as soon as we were aware.” He did not provide more details, but said that the leak was the result of an illicit action that had not involved any unintentional disclosure by the company itself. An Intel spokesperson added: “We were notified that our infographic was circulating outside the company. I do not believe it was published. We are continuing to investigate this matter.”

At least Intel was looking for trouble and were able to take quick action upon finding it. But the fact that they got hacked is still problematic. Clearly there will be a deep dive to figure out how to make sure that this never happens again.

Judge Says No To Injunction Forcing Amazon To Bring Parler Back To Life

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 22, 2021 by itnerd

You might remember that Parler sued Amazon Web Services for Thanos snapping them off the Internet because according to Amazon, they had violated their terms of service by not moderating their content. Especially content related to the Capitol attacks that left five dead. Well, that lawsuit isn’t going so well. A US federal district judge has turned down Parler’s request for a preliminary injunction to force Amazon Web Services to host the right wing social network. The ruling [Warning: PDF] is pretty clear:

The Court rejects any suggestion that the public interest favors requiring AWS to host the incendiary speech that the record shows some of Parler’s users have engaged in,

Well, that’s pretty definitive.

Parler is free to appeal the ruling. Though if you read the ruling the judge figured that Parler would not succeed unless their lawyers for the site find new legal arguments. Good luck with that.

Google Hasn’t Updated Its iOS Apps In Ages…. Is It Because Google Has Something To Hide?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 22, 2021 by itnerd

As of December 8 Apple has been requiring developers to provide privacy label information to their apps. The Purpose is to outline the data that each app collects from users when it is installed. Many app developers have included the labels, but there’s one notable outlier. And that’s outlier is Google:

Google has not updated its major apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome, and YouTube since December 7 or before, and most Google apps have to date have not been updated with the Privacy Label feature. The Google Translate, Google Authenticator, Motion Stills, Google Play Movies, and Google Classroom apps do include privacy labels even though they have not been updated recently, but Google’s search app, Google Maps, Chrome, Waze, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Photos, Google Home, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Assistant, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, Google Slides, Google One, Google Earth, YouTube Music, Hangouts, Google Tasks, Google Meet, Google Pay, PhotoScan, Google Voice, Google News, Gboard, Google Podcasts, and more do not display the information. 

On January 5, Google told TechCrunch that the data would be added to its iOS apps “this week or the next week,” but both this week and the next week have come and gone with no update. It has now been well over a month since Google last updated its apps.

You have to wonder what Google has to hide? Is it perhaps that their data harvesting activities are so invasive that if people knew what Google was actually doing, they’d dump Google apps en masse? This is why I don’t have Google apps on my iPhone 12 Pro. I simply don’t trust Google, and to be frank, neither should you. Especially given that there are alternatives to pretty much anything that Google offers.

Colliers International Group Pwned By Hackers

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 22, 2021 by itnerd

It’s January 2021 and the pwange by hackers continues.

Toronto-based commercial real estate services and investment management firm, Colliers International Group, has acknowledged it was the victim of a cyberattack but isn’t disclosing whether the incident was ransomware, following a listing on the dark web by the Netfilim ransomware gang.

“In November 2020, Colliers’ information technology team discovered a cyberattack to the company’s IT infrastructure in North America,” company communications director Pamela Smith said in an email. “Thanks to the immediate and decisive actions taken by Colliers’ IT team, the impacts on business continuity were limited. Colliers conducted a comprehensive investigation with the support of leading cybersecurity experts in an effort to determine what data may have been impacted during the recent event. Colliers continues to monitor the situation closely and will continue to notify affected individuals or organizations. The Colliers IT network is secure, safe and fully operational at this time.”

The spokesperson was mum when asked to confirm if the attack was ransomware, that files had been copied, whether the information affected was corporate or personal, and, if personal, did it involve current and former employees.

Well, that does not inspire confidence in the slightest. When someone refuses to answer questions about a hack, it’s usually never good.

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

While exact details on the attackers’ modus operandi is yet to emerge – this latest attack comes as no surprise.

We have entered a new era of cyber-threat where attackers act in more targeted ways than ever before. As sophisticated threat actors work to disrupt not just financial stability, but company reputation, the potential damages of a cyber breach have never been more devastating.

All industries have sensitive data to protect, and rather than simply stealing it, attackers are now looking to weaponize that data in ways that benefit them. Ransomware gangs have upped their tactics from simply locking up private info in exchange for payment to now releasing it, causing embarrassment and reputational damage, and using it as blackmail.

Beyond stealing or exposing data, businesses need to be on high alert for what we call ‘trust attacks’ – we are seeing an increase in attacks where hackers go after data not only to extort ransom payments, but to actually change the data and undermine its integrity – or use disinformation to smear a brand. For the real estate industry, there is a very real danger that data stores can be deliberately tampered with undermining transactions and redirecting funds into their own accounts. Next generation attacks like these are increasingly outpacing security teams and require sophisticated defenses and AI to respond instantaneously when they strike.