Archive for July 13, 2021

WARNING! A New Text Message #Scam Involving TD Bank Is Making The Rounds

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2021 by itnerd

If you are a TD Bank customer, you need to pay attention to this scam that hit my iPhone a few minutes ago.

Now I have redacted my phone number. But I left the scammer’s number in place so that you can compare it if you get this text message. The big hint that this is a scam is that it states that “Your Debit Card starting with ‘4724’ has been flagged and disabled for further use.” Ignoring the bad grammar, every TD debit card starts with ‘4724’ which makes this a pretty generic phishing attempt. The one thing that I have to point out is that while most people will ignore this, there are a few who will fall for this. Because a scam doesn’t have to be successful in volume to be successful.

In the interest of science, I replied Y to see what happened next. But I did not get any response. If I do, I will let you know. But in the interest of shutting these scumbags down, I sent this to TD via Twitter:

To their credit, TD replied pretty quickly:

I sent the email that they requested with the screen shot above. Hopefully TD can shut these scumbags down. In the meantime, keep your head on a swivel so that you don’t fall victim to a scam like this.

Infamous Ransomware Gang REvil “Vanishes” From The Dark Web

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2021 by itnerd

President Biden has made several statements about ransomaware gangs from Russia. Specifically that if Russia didn’t do anything about these gangs, the US would. Now it seems that the most infamous gang, REvil, seems to have disappeared from the Dark Web:

It’s not yet known if the sites were down temporarily or if the group — or law enforcement — took its websites offline. “It’s too early too tell, but I’ve never seen ALL of their infrastructure offline like this,” said Allan Liska, senior threat analyst at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, in a text message. “I can’t find any of their infrastructure online. Their extortion page is gone, all of their payment portals are offline, as is their chat function.” Liska said the websites went offline around 1 a.m. Eastern time. The sudden outage comes just days after President Joe Biden said he pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to act against hackers in his country blamed for recent ransomware attacks.

Have the Russians done something about REvil and taken them out? Did this gang get scared? Has Biden taken down this gang? What’s the deal here? We’ll have to watch this space to find out the details behind this story as I find it difficult to believe that REvil has just vanished.

New Canadian Data: How Values Are Driving Consumer Behaviour Post-Pandemic

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2021 by itnerd

For Canadian consumers, actions speak louder than words when it comes to corporate values. According to new survey data from Salesforce Canada, the vast majority of Canadians (87%) want to shop with brands or companies that are open and honest about their values. Half of Canadians care so much about a company’s values that they’ll actively research them before deciding to shop from it.

Sustainability is a clear top priority (84%) for Canadians coming out of the pandemic. Brands now need to reassess to determine how they’ll prioritize their values, internally and externally, and communicate it back to their consumers. 

Other key stats include:

CANADIANS HAVE SPOKEN: COMING OUT OF THE PANDEMIC, CONSUMERS OVERWHELMINGLY WANT TO SHOP WITH BRANDS THAT ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND USING THEIR BUSINESS AS A PLATFORM FOR CHANGE

The vast majority of Canadians (83%) want to support brands/companies that prioritize values and profit equally. 

  • Majority of Canadians (87%) want to shop with brands/companies that are open and honest about their values. 
  • Half of Canadians will even actively search for a brand/company’s values before shopping with them.

AUTHENTICITY MATTERS: CANADIANS EXPECT BRANDS TO DO MORE THAN DECLARE THEIR VALUES – THEY NEED TO WALK THE WALK

  • 91% of Canadians ranked Trust as one of the most important values to them coming out of the last year. They want to trust that the brands they shop with are acting in the best interest of society. 
  • 51% of Canadian shoppers said that brand can earn their trust by publicly acknowledging when they make mistakes or missteps
  • 45% of Canadian shoppers said that a brand can earn their trust by providing transparency when it comes to their supply chain (ie. the vendors, suppliers and partners they work with) 
  • 38% of Canadian shoppers said that brand can earn their trust by quantifying and sharing their efforts publicly 
  • 35% of Canadian shoppers said that brand can earn their trust by having transparent hiring practices

A CLOSER LOOK: SUSTAINABILITY IS A TOP PRIORITY FOR CANADIAN SHOPPERS COMING OUT OF THE LAST YEAR

  • 84% of Canadians say sustainability is their top priority coming out of the pandemic.
    • Boomers (55+) find it more important (86%) than any other generation
  • About 2 in 3 most Canadians (62%) say brands/companies have the greatest responsibility to address climate change.
  • 35% of Canadians would sacrifice shipping time in order to purchase a product that is more sustainable, over half (54%) would sacrifice nice packaging and 1 in 3 (29%)  would even be willing to sacrifice price. 
  • Five years ago, only 9% of Canadians made an effort to shop with sustainably minded brands. Today, that number has more than tripled with 34% of Canadians planning to spend their dollars with sustainable businesses over the next two years.

A GENERATIONAL LENS: MILLENNIAL AND GEN Z SHOPPERS ARE BOLDLY VOTING FOR VALUES WITH THEIR DOLLARS

  • A quarter (23%) of Millennials/Gen Z (18-34) started shopping with a brand because it openly supported a cause that mattered to them
  • When discovering that a brand’s values don’t align with their own, 1 in 4 Canadian millennials will unfollow the company on social media. Another 23% will actually stop buying their products.

About the survey: 

From June 18th to June 20th 2021 an online survey of 1,522 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Simply Easier Payments Integrates With Partner Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2021 by itnerd

Leading digital payments provider Simply Easier Payments is integrating with the popular agency management system Partner Platform  giving the independent insurance agency’s clients more options for accepting digital payments. 

The integration will allow clients of Strategic Insurance Software’s Partner Platform to offer their insureds a convenient, simple and secure way to pay their premiums through the agency website, client portal, or agency mobile app.

With this integration Simply Easier Payments joins a growing list of “Partner Allies” that provide products and services which work together with the Partner Platform agency management system to enhance the independent agency’s capacity to retain, grow, and service clients. These relationships are more than just an integration, but also a commitment from like-minded vendors working together to improve the experience of our agencies.

Using Simply Easier Payments will help agencies that want their brand-client relationship to remain primary, as it allows them to make the payment experience seamless while keeping the agency’s branding front and center.

Founded in 2006, Simply Easier Payments is a leading no-cost total payment solution partner for insurance and other industries accepting mobile or online payments. Providing a one-stop credit card payment processing solution designed especially for insurance agencies, brokers and carriers, it offers a hassle-free experience without the high fees other providers charge, and it’s 100 percent compliant in all 50 states in the U.S. For more than a decade, Simply Easier Payments has provided secure, compliant and reliable payment solutions to thousands of businesses around the nation. Since its inception, reliability and affordability have been the cornerstone principles for delivering real, working solutions to its customers.

Digital Defense Expands Reach Into The United Kingdom & South Africa

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2021 by itnerd

Digital Defense, by HelpSystems, a leader in vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions, today announced that it has entered into a managed service provider (MSP) agreement with data security specialist Private Protocol.

Headquartered in South Africa, with offices in the United Kingdom and Mauritius, Private Protocol offers data protection and IT security solutions that prevent data leakage and improve overall data security. The partnership will allow Private Protocol to expand its cybersecurity portfolio by offering and implementing Digital Defense’s Frontline vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions, taking the company from a data and access security solutions provider to a complete IT security company with an expanded security product line. Partnering with Private Protocol allows Digital Defense to further expand its international reach into the UK and South Africa regions, helping companies of all sizes better protect their data and IT infrastructure from cyberattacks.

The Digital Defense MSP Partner Program, along with Digital Defense’s cloud-native SaaS platform, Frontline.Cloud, creates actionable opportunities for MSP, MSSP (managed security service providers) and MDR (managed detection and response) partners to help more clients in the rapidly growing cybersecurity market.

For more information about Digital Defense’s partner programs or to become a partner, visit: https://www.digitaldefense.com/partners/.

Martin Musierowicz Joins Keyfactor As Chief Revenue Officer

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2021 by itnerd

Keyfactor, the pioneer of PKI as-a-Service, and leader in machine identity management, today announced the appointment of Martin Musierowicz as chief revenue officer. Musierowicz will be responsible for leading the strategic design and execution of Keyfactor’s global go-to-market operatives, including direct sales, marketing and channel.

With over 20 years of experience in enterprise software, Musierowicz brings an extensive track record of growing sales and partner channels that builds upon Keyfactor’s  164% year-over-year revenue growth. Most recently, Musierowicz spent seven years as head of global channels at Atlassian, where he took the company’s partner reseller program from its infancy to over $1B in bookings. Musierowicz’s responsibilities included scaling and establishing Atlassian operations and growing its EMEA presence in Amsterdam and London, as well as across APAC in Tokyo and Seoul. Prior to Atlassian, Musierowicz held executive sales and operation roles at Alfresco where he led global growth from $0 (pre-product) to just over $100M in annual recurring revenue.

The rise of securing machine identities – cryptographic keys, digital certificates and secrets – and outage mitigation has become a mission-critical priority for Identity and Access Management (IAM) leaders. Recent research from the Ponemon Institute found that 88% of responding companies continue to experience unplanned outages due to expired certificates.

Musierowicz’s appointment follows Keyfactor’s year of unprecedented revenue growth which includes ranking on Deloitte’s 2020 Technology Fast 500 List and recognition as the Fastest Growing Certificate Automation Provider on the 2020 Inc. 5000. Additionally, Keyfactor is a sample vendor in Gartner’s Technology Insight for X.509 Certificate Management, 2020 and leads G2’s certificate lifecycle managementcategory with the most satisfied peer reviews.

To learn more about how Keyfactor is helping enterprises secure their machine identities and move their Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to the cloud, visit: www.keyfactor.com/.

Zoho Announces New business Intelligence & Analytics Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 13, 2021 by itnerd

Zoho Corporation today announced its new Business Intelligence (BI) Platform — an AI-driven data analytics solution empowering businesses to surface precise and actionable insights through self-service data preparation and augmented analytics. Combining newly launched Zoho DataPrep with an enhanced version of Zoho Analytics, Zoho’s end-to-end self-service BI Platform enables organizations to cleanse, unify, and analyze cross-departmental data, obtain an encyclopedic view of the company, and ultimately move toward a more competitive business strategy based on real-time insights.

Zoho’s BI Platform brings together pre-built, visual dashboards, comprehensive data integrations, data preparation, augmented and embedded BI, security and privacy capabilities, flexible deployment models (cloud or on-premise), and scalability. Below are four standout pillars of this platform, which allow businesses to perform better and remain competitive in their industries:

  1. Augmented Data Prep and Management – Zoho DataPrep, a new application, is an AI and machine learning-driven self-service data preparation tool. The addition of Zoho DataPrep to the BI Platform allows business users to easily create and manage data pipelines that enable them to integrate, model, cleanse, transform, enrich, and catalogue data before making it ready for analysis. 
  2. Data Stories – Zoho’s BI Platform now offers an integrated enterprise portal builder (Zoho Sites) and presentation software (Zoho Show). Embedding live reports and dashboards into a website or presentation allows administrators to wrap additional context around data and foster more iimmersive discussion on business matters. Data Stories reduces friction within an organization, so that businesses can be data-driven without needing to learn new tools.
  3. Augmented Analytics – Ask Zia, Zoho’s conversational AI, enables business users — with or without technical know-how — to surface data through natural language querying. Additionally, the all-new Zia Insights provides textual narration of key insights from reports and dashboards, which significantly reduces the time and effort required to explore data and glean insights. Zia Insights also includes what-if capability, enabling scenario analysis for effective decision-making.
  4. Marketplace – Through Zoho Marketplace, an apps marketplace , Zoho is enabling partners to develop and publish analytical apps and integrations to complement Zoho Analytics users, thereby strengthening the BI and Analytics platform. Another dimension is the launch of deep native analytical apps, with domain-specific advanced analytics, in third-party marketplaces such as Shopify, ServiceNow and Atlassian.

The new Zoho BI Platform is built for scale and is extensible to more than 250 data sources—including Zendesk, HubSpot, Microsoft, Mailchimp, Stripe and Google—allowing businesses to integrate and analyze data sourced from diverse third-party systems.  Blending with outside data sources has always been one of the key strengths of Zoho Analytics, and a value demonstrated  by the fact that 60%of existing users have chosen it as their BI tool while solely running on non-Zoho applications and data sources..  

The BI platform gives users on-demand insight into operational data to inform critical business decisions with the support of Zia, Zoho’s AI tool. Zia augments data preparation and visualization by using natural language querying and generation, text narration of key insights from reports and dashboards, and cognitive and advanced analytics. . These self-service and real-time capabilities make it possible to capture actionable data insights to boost operational efficiency and productivity. 

With more than 50,000 organizations already using it, Zoho Analytics has consistently been one of the company’s fastest growing products. Within the last two years, Zoho Analytics has grown by 30%  YoY with a 40%YoY increase in the enterprise segment. The application has seen a 10% jump in customers switching from competitive platforms. Also, 50% of the customers have chosen Zoho Analytics after evaluating multiple competitive BI products. With this new BI Platform, Zoho expects above 45% YOY revenue growth.

I got a demo of this last week and I walked away impressed. Tasks such as cleansing data which is usually the domain of people with BI backgrounds can be done by end users. And it integrates incredibly well with Zoho Show (which is Zoho’s presentation software) to the point where slides can be “live” which allows you to get those deeper insights on the fly. The bottom line is that the Zoho BI Platform takes BI out of the realm of a few, and democratizes it.

Pricing and Availability

Zoho BI Platform, which includes Zoho Analytics and Zoho DataPrep, is available immediately in two versions, cloud and on-premise.  For monthly option, the cloud version is $8 per user, per month. The on-premise version is $30 per user, per month. For annual option, the cloud version is $108 per user, per year. The on-premise version is $360 per user, per year. 

Zoho DataPrep is also available as a standalone. The standard plan starts at $40 per month for 2 million rows including 3 users while the enterprise plan is highly customizable and the pricing is based on the customization.

For more information, please visit https://www.zoho.com/analytics/