Archive for September, 2021

Unit 42 Threat Report Shows The Full Scope Of Supply Chain Attacks In The Cloud

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 30, 2021 by itnerd

Unit 42 released a threat report from analyzed data from a variety of public data sources around the world to draw conclusions about the growing threats organizations face today in their software supply chains. In the analysis, Unit 42 found:

  • 63% of third-party code templates used in building cloud infrastructure contained insecure configurations.
  • 96% of third-party container applications deployed in cloud infrastructure contain known vulnerabilities.

Saumitra Das, CTO and Cofounder, Blue Hexagon had this to say:

     “Given business pressure on developer teams, it is impractical to assume you can harden yourself to be fully secure via IaC checking and vulnerability management. Organizations are unable to enforce IaC companywide and even known CVEs can take weeks and months to patch just on external facing workloads. Even simpler fixes like misconfigurations take days and weeks to fix even after detection. This report is in line with what we see at organizations trying to be secure in the cloud. The key is not to put all your eggs in the shift-left basket but perform continuous lifecycle threat detection and response in the cloud.”

Companies should have a look at this and take the advice of Saumitra to ensure that they stay safe and do not become the next headline.

Toronto’s Global Tech Summit Hosts The World’s largest gathering of Black tech professionals and allies on October 28-29th

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 30, 2021 by itnerd

Toronto-based BPTN (Black Professionals In Tech Network) will host its third annual Global Tech Summit BFUTR (Be Future) 2021, the world’s largest virtual tech summit for Black professionals and allies on October 28th-29th. This year’s Summit features over 60+ Black professionals and allies participating in keynote addresses, workshops, and panel discussions, while boasting an exciting lineup of movers and shakers from major corporations across North America. 

This year’s lineup is stronger than ever, and features industry titans from across sectors and industries; from D.L. Hughley (actor, broadcaster, comedian), Michelle C. Meyer-Shipp (MLB – Major League Baseball executive), and Janeen Uzzell (CEO, National Society of Black Engineers), all the way to Canadian tech stars including Lola Oyelayo-Pearson (Shopify) and Gladstone Grant (Microsoft). 

At this year’s Summit, attendees will get exclusive access to the impressive list of local and international speakers from leading global organizations who are shaping the future of technology, and leading the way in diversity and inclusive leadership. You don’t want to miss it! 

Tickets Available: HERE

Review: Spigen EZ FIT GLAS.tR SLIM Screen Protector For The iPhone 13

Posted in Products with tags on September 30, 2021 by itnerd

When Apple shipped the iPhone 12 series, they brought forward “Ceramic Shield” to make the screen far more shatter resistant. However shatter resistance is inversely proportional to scratch resistance. In other words, your new and really expensive iPhone 13 has a screen that is more likely to scratch. Which means that you need a screen protector. That’s where the Spigen EZ FIT GLAS.tR SLIM Screen Protector For The iPhone 13 comes in.

It claims to be an extremely to easy to apply 9H hardness screen protector that will protect your iPhone 13. Let’s test that to find out. Here’s what you get in the box:

Inside the box you get two screen protectors, a pack of screen cleaning wipes, microfibre cloth, dust removal tape, and instructions. The cool thing about this screen protector is that it is built into the tray which is exactly sized for your iPhone. Not pictured is a squeegee.

All of this means that installation should be pretty straightforward. At it is…. For the most part: 

  • First you need to remove your old screen protector if you have one and use one of the screen cleaning wipes to clean the screen. Then use the dust removal tape to remove any dust that’s left on the screen. 
  • Next is to put the installation tray on the screen after removing the backing tape on the screen protector.

Then you need to slide your finger up and down the channel in the middle of the screen protector to get rid of as many bubbles as possible. Wait 30 seconds then pull the tab off. Then you remove the front tape and use the squeegee to get rid of any remaining bubbles. In my case there were a few. Once you do that, you can declare victory and have a beer. Although my installation wasn’t 100% perfect. I had a couple of specks of dust that I didn’t clean. So I had to redo it with the second screen protector to get this result:

One other thing that you should note is that this screen protector is not an edge to edge screen protector. That’s because it’s designed to be used with cases as an edge to edge screen protector may pop off if you use a case with it. In my case my wife’s daily driver is this Spigen Tough Armor case and because it is from the same company, it works very well as that case does not interfere with it. The last thing that I note is that thus far, this screen protector seems to resist smudges and fingerprints, is easy to clean, and interacting with it doesn’t feel any different. All of which is a good thing. Now I didn’t test scratching it and seeing if it survives an impact. That’s because I would argue most of these screen protectors advertise 9H hardness as this one does and they tend to scratch with a 6 or 7 pick on the MOHS scale which is pretty tough. So any testing in this regard in my opinion is kind of irrelevant as you will get a decent amount of protection out of it as long as you don’t abuse it as long as you don’t buy something that’s too low on the food chain. Which this one is not. 

The Spigen EZ FIT GLAS.tR SLIM Screen Protector For The iPhone 13 goes for $34.99 USD. It’s relatively easy to install, gives you great clarity, and should give you the protection that you need for the screen of your new iPhone 13.

Citrix Survey Provides Insights Into Actions Canadian Businesses Can Take To Attract & Retain Talent

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

Canadian companies may struggle with a potential talent shortage if they do not address workers’ preferences, including remote and flexible work options. According to a survey conducted by Citrix Systems, Inc. 40 percent of Canadian office workers surveyed have left or are considering leaving their jobs. So what are employees looking for? And what can enterprises do to mitigate its impact?

Among the key findings of the Citrix survey:

Flexibility is Key

Today’s workers prefer flexible arrangements that give them the freedom to choose where they work best, including at home, in the office or on the road. 

  • 83 percent of respondents said it was “very” or “somewhat” important that they be able to work from anywhere
  • 49 percent said they would accept a pay cut in return for the ability to do so
  • Canada is leading the U.S. in this regard – 37 percent of Canadian knowledge workers state they currently have the option to fully work remotely compared to only 19 percent in the U.S. 

Employee Experience has Never Mattered More

Modern workers want to engage in innovative work, be productive and make meaningful contributions to the business that are valued – without interference from complex technology and processes. As the Citrix survey reveals, they’re likely to move on if they can’t:

  • 27 percent of workers polled left jobs for positions that provide more opportunities to innovate and try new things
  • 26 percent were not engaged in or passionate about their former role
  • 31 percent were frustrated by overly complicated technology and processes
  • 33 percent believe they can do more meaningful work in their new roles
  • 33 percent feel their contributions are valued and recognized

Fear of the Digital Divide is Real

The global pandemic has made clear that remote work can boost employee engagement and productivity. But as companies transition to hybrid models, there is fear it will open a new digital divide. 

Respondents to the Citrix poll support this notion:

  • 34 percent believe remote employees will be at a career disadvantage for not working out of a central office location
  • 53 percent think they will be less likely to be considered for promotion/advancement opportunities

In addition to revealing why workers are leaving jobs, the Citrix survey also sought to understand what keeps them around. Of the respondents who indicated they have not changed jobs: 

  • 48 percent like what they do
  • 46 percent say their benefits are competitive and beyond financial security, provide for their physical and mental well being
  • 42 percent can work flexibly
  • 34 percent are afraid to make a change given the ongoing uncertainty
  • 29 percent feel trusted and empowered to work when and how they work best

Citrix provides a complete digital workspace platform that companies can use to enable hybrid work and create the space employees need to succeed, wherever they happen to be. Click here to learn more about the company’s solutions and how they can empower your team to be and do their best. 

Guest Post: Interest In Keyword ‘Cybersecurity’ On Google Search Hits An All-Time High Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

Cybersecurity lately has become a hot topic for many governments and businesses around the world.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, interest in ‘cybersecurity’ reaches an all-time high on Google Search, according to Google Trends data. Furthermore, the statistics show that Singapore is a leading country in cybersecurity interest, followed by Saint Helena and the United States.

The first significant rise of cybersecurity interest happened in February 2016, as it held a score of 49. However, the increase seemed to be temporary as the following month value dipped to 27.

Cybersecurity keyword interest came back up to a score of 49 again in October 2017. Since then, it has been steadily going up only with a few set downs. Almost four years after, right now, concern in cybersecurity is at its highest point — 100 value.

Cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN William Sword shares his thoughts on the increased interest in cybersecurity:

Cybersecurity and online privacy have become important topics in the current climate. As cyberattacks continue to grow, more people understand that they can become victims of a hack with devastating consequences. So educating yourself about cybersecurity and looking into security products and services can help you become more resilient against cyber threats.”

Countries with the most interest in cybersecurity

Cybersecurity interest has been growing more in countries that have invested money to spread general awareness. At other times, interest grew because of first-hand experiences when lacking knowledge on the topic caused significant cyber issues.

Singapore stands out among other countries for interest in cybersecurity as they scored 100points in Google Trends.

The second place for interest in the keyword ‘cybersecurity’ goes to Saint Helena, which collected a score of 59. Important to note that value means a higher proportion of queries and not a higher absolute query count. Most likely, that is why St. Helena island, populated by about 5,000 people, got so high on the list.

On the other hand, the United States earned a score of 48 over the ten years. Multiple cyberattacks on American businesses and government administrations indeed made people turn their heads to cybersecurity.

Next up, Kenya reached 4th place for interest in cybersecurity, and Hong Kong followed 5th, collecting 42 and 35 points in Google Trends, respectively.

To read the full article, head over to:https://atlasvpn.com/blog/interest-in-keyword-%E2%80%98cybersecurity%E2%80%99-on-google-search-hits-an-all-time-high

Scotiabank Partners with Google Cloud

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

Scotiabank and Google Cloud today announced a strategic partnership to deepen the Bank’s cloud-first commitment and accelerate its global data and analytics strategy. As a Scotiabank trusted cloud partner for data and analytics, Google Cloud will help create a more personal and predictive banking experience for Scotiabank customers in the Americas and across the globe.      

This partnership builds on the significant progress Scotiabank has made on its cloud strategy over the last several years. By moving its customer data onto Google Cloud and leveraging its leading data analytics and AI solutions, Scotiabank will be able to: 

  • Leverage Data for Predictive Offers: The Bank will be able to process data faster, understand customer sentiment insights and deliver relevant offers in a timely manner. Using Google Cloud’s machine learning models, Scotiabank can reduce the time spent predicting customer offers from 14 days to just hours.
  • Improve Customer Interactions through AI: Through this partnership, Scotiabank is empowering its engineers and data scientists with Google AI solutions such as Natural Language Processing, Voice, and Vision capabilities to help the bank automate document processes and onboarding — ultimately improving customer interactions.
  • Unify Data Silos Across the Organization: The migration of data to Google Cloud will help remove data silos within the Bank, uncovering previously hidden insights that will allow the Bank to provide better financial advice to its customers. 

As a Scotiabank trusted cloud provider, Google Cloud will enable Scotiabank to run sensitive workloads in a highly secure cloud environment, while complying with the Bank’s security control objectives.

TikTok Announces Changes To Make The Platform More Accessible

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

Today, TikTok has launched auto captions to help the platform’s deaf and hard of hearing users better use and enjoy the platform.

This new feature, first launched in the U.S. and is now available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and UK, allowing creators to enable auto-generated subtitles based on the audio from their videos as well as edit captions. TikTok builds its platform with inclusivity in mind to support its diverse creator and viewer community.

Current accessibility work on the platform include:

  • An animated thumbnail that replaces animated thumbnails with static images.
  • creator warning that notifies creators when they produce videos with effects that could trigger photosensitive epilepsy.
  • photosensitivity feature allows users to skip photosensitive content, which can be harmful for people with epilepsy.
  • text-to-speech feature which converts text to voice.

You can read the full announcement here

BREAKING: YouTube Is Blocking Anti-Vaccine Content

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

From the “why the hell didn’t they do this sooner” file comes the news that YouTube is “Thanos snapping” anti-vaccine content off its platform. Here’s the details from The Washington Post:

As part of a new set of policies aimed at cutting down on anti-vaccine content on the Google-owned site, YouTube will ban any videos that claim that commonly used vaccines approved by health authorities are ineffective or dangerous. The company previously blocked videos that made those claims about coronavirus vaccines, but not ones for other vaccines like those for measles or chickenpox. 

Misinformation researchers have for years said the popularity of anti-vaccine content on YouTube was contributing to growing skepticism of lifesaving vaccines in the United States and around the world. Vaccination rates have slowed and about 56 percent of the U.S. population has had two shots, compared with 71 percent in Canada and 67 percent in the United Kingdom.

And this is YouTube’s reason for dragging its heels on this issue:

YouTube didn’t act sooner because it was focusing on misinformation specifically about coronavirus vaccines, said Matt Halprin, YouTube’s vice president of global trust and safety. When it noticed that incorrect claims about other vaccines were contributing to fears about the coronavirus vaccines, it expanded the ban. 

“Developing robust policies takes time,” Halprin said. “We wanted to launch a policy that is comprehensive, enforceable with consistency and adequately addresses the challenge.”

I call BS on that. This is a problem that is literally killing people and dragging out this pandemic needlessly. YouTube has a responsibility to do something about that in a timely manner. But clearly they only wanted to do something about it when they felt that they had no option but to do so. I give YouTube a #Fail on this.

Review: Spigen iPhone 13 Tough Armor Case

Posted in Products with tags on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

Protecting my wife’s new iPhone 13 was top of mind for me because when you spend the kind of cash that Apple wants you to spend on a phone, you want to make sure that nothing happens to it. For that reason, I went with the my go to case which is the Speigen iPhone 13 Tough Armor case.

This is a case that offers the following features: 

  • All-new foam technology for an extra layer of shock resistance
  • Combination of TPU and Polycarbonate for dual protection from drops and scratches
  • Reinforced kickstand with raised lips to protect screen and camera
  • Certified [MIL-STD 810G-516.6] protection and Air Cushion Technology for anti-shock protection
  • This case completely covers every edge of the iPhone for complete protection. 

Let’s dive in a bit. Starting with the first two items:

You can see it uses a combination of materials to give it the ability to fully absorb shock. Which is exactly what I want as I want to make sure that this phone will survive a drop. 

Next up is the kickstand:

The case has a built in kickstand to allow you have the iPhone in landscape mode on a table handsfree. That makes it perfect for watching videos. The kickstand snaps into place so that you don’t have to worry about it flopping around and snapping off.

The case has duplicate buttons are very large and tactile in terms of pressing them, and cutouts for the silent switch, speakers, and Lighting port. The edge of the case around the screen is slightly raised, which means that if you put the iPhone face down, the screen isn’t going to touch the surface. It’s also wireless charging compatible and Apple Pay seems to work fine with it. The case isn’t bulky which means it doesn’t change how you hold your iPhone, but it isn’t thin either. Likely because you need it to be that way to provide meaningful protection. And it terms of looks, my wife notes how the red that Spigen used in this case matches well with the Product Red of her iPhone 13 as evidenced by this picture.

I can say that this is my go to case because I have dropped my iPhone 12 Pro that has the same case in server rooms and off tables with no ill effects for my iPhone. And as a bonus, if you want MagSafe compatible version, Spigen can help you with that.

This case is $40 USD, though I will mention that you can find it for less on Amazon. As far as I am concerned it’s worth every penny. Especially if you’ve spent a lot of money on your iPhone 13. I highly recommend this case if you value your iPhone.

Citrix Radically Simplifies App Delivery and Security With The Launch Of Citrix App Delivery & Security Service

Posted in Commentary on September 29, 2021 by itnerd

Securely delivering apps is among the most painful tasks IT has to manage. But that’s about to change. Citrix Systems, Inc. today announced the launch of Citrix App Delivery and Security Service™, a new, intent-based cloud solution that automates the process in real-time. The first and only solution of its kind, Citrix App Delivery and Security service removes the complexity from every step of app delivery, including provisioning, securing, on-boarding, and management, empowering IT to deliver a superior experience that keeps users engaged and productive.

Always Learning. Always Adapting. Always Protecting.

Citrix App Delivery and Security Service is uniquely designed to help IT transform app delivery from a slow, manual process based largely on guesswork into an efficient, automated one driven by intent so they can gain the agility needed to keep pace with the business and deliver meaningful outcomes. Among the key features of the solution:

  • Intent-based – Automatically translates business and technical intent into application delivery and security policies and configurations. Administrators can, for instance, define a maximum acceptable application latency threshold for a region, and servers and systems will adjust to keep app delivery within the parameters.
  • Self-Healing and Continuously Optimizing – Auto-detects and corrects application delivery issues like performance degradation, new demands and outages. When a slow server is uncovered, it can be automatically removed from the load balancing pool.
  • Internet-State Aware – Collects and analyzes 10 billion data points a day from more than one billion users across 50,000 networks in 200 countries to provide real-time visibility into state of the Internet through Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management™.  Armed with this data, IT can optimize the application experience for individual users and prescribe the best locations for additional hosting sites if traffic increases to maintain service levels.
  • Integrated App and API Security- Integrated web application firewall, Bot management and API protection fuels holistic protection of most valuable and vulnerable assets.

Availability

Citrix Application Delivery and Security Service will be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2021. To learn more about the solution and the value it can deliver for your organization, click here