Archive for September 1, 2021

TekSavvy Asks Voters To Demand More Affordable Internet Access

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. today invited Canadian voters to visit paylesstoconnect.ca, where they can quickly use an online tool to demand concrete federal action that will lower monthly internet bills. In this election, affordability remains top-of-mind for most voters. Recent polling by Abacus Data shows that 64% of Canadians believe the cost of things you use day-to-day have gotten worse over the past 2 years. In another poll conducted by Leger on behalf of TekSavvy, nearly 80% of Canadians say the cost of their internet service is too high.

According to an election backgrounder released by TekSavvy today, the CRTC’s 2019 rate decision confirmed that Canada’s largest carriers, such as Bell and Rogers, broke federal rate-setting rules to inflate costs for competitors, which in turn drove up Canadian retail prices. The CRTC set new rates to bring “more affordable prices for consumers” that were expected to take effect this year. However, on May 27th, the CRTC stunned observers when it caved to Big Telecom and arbitrarily reversed its own 2019 rate decision. The reversal is bad news for consumers, as it ensures Canadian internet prices –already among the highest in the world—will continue to rise through the pandemic. 

TekSavvy has formally petitioned the Federal Cabinet to overrule the CRTC and lower Canadians’ cost of living by enforcing the CRTC’s evidence-based 2019 rate decision. “With the stroke of a pen, Cabinet can deliver lower internet prices for Canadians, simply by reinstating the CRTC’s pro-consumer 2019 rate decision, which was based on years of process and mountains of evidence” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, TekSavvy’s vice president of Regulatory and Carrier Affairs. 

TekSavvy noted there is widespread public support for this clear-cut federal measure that will lower the cost of living for millions of voters. Using paylesstoconnect.ca, over 250,000 Canadians have urged the federal government to support the CRTC’s 2019 decision.  TekSavvy further highlighted the recent unanimous resolution passed by Ontario’s Big City Mayors —comprised of mayors of Ontario’s largest cities and collectively representing nearly 70% of Ontario’s population—calling “on the Federal Cabinet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and ISED Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne to overrule the CRTC’s reversal and immediately implement the evidence-based 2019 Rates Order”  to deliver lower prices. 

The Toronto Tech Summit Is Back For Their 9th Annual Event!

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

The Toronto Tech Summit is returning online for 2021 and they’re bringing you more of what you loved from last’s year virtual event!

This year’s event will look to the future and the changing nature of work, transportation, travel and business, including a fireside chat with Anthony di Iorio and Raine Maida!

Don’t miss out on these engaging and forward-thinking discussions from industry thought leaders and influencers, all presented in a ‘byte-sized’ package that can easily fit into your busy schedule.

Your ticket includes:

  • Access to all sessions, including the post-event CONNECT session
  • A chance to win exciting giveaways (open to residents of Canada only)

EARLY BIRD PRICING IN EFFECT UNTIL SEPT. 6, 2021. Click here for more info and to register.

Find out more about the Toronto Tech Summit at: https://torontotechsummit.com

If you have questions about the TTS, contact: TorontoEvents@genesys.com

Blue Hexagon Announces AWS S3 Object Lambda Integration

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

Blue Hexagon, a leading agentless cloud-native AI Security platform, today announces their latest integration with AWS S3 Object Lambda. With this integration, customers can deploy Blue Hexagon Cloud Security for AWS to protect their cloud environment against ransomware and advanced threats targeting their AWS workloads, network and S3 storage. Powered by Real-Time Deep Learning AI, Blue Hexagon scans files in S3 storage and network in sub-seconds to convict and classify ransomware and malware. With the latest Object Lambda integration, any attempt to access an object in an enabled AWS S3 bucket is gated by the Blue Hexagon Lambda integration that grants access only to a benign object while denying access to any object deemed malicious by the Blue Hexagon Deep Learning AI platform. 

AWS S3 is a scalable, managed storage platform for business applications ranging from Pinterest to large healthcare companies like Pacific Dental for storing, processing and archiving data. With work-from-home being more prevalent in the last two years, data privacy and security is of paramount importance for customers of the public cloud and is top of the mind for CISOs and Security Architects. The growing need to both prevent unauthorized access to AWS S3 and to prevent the use of AWS S3 buckets as a vector for malware is becoming critical. Threat actors are increasingly gaining access to legitimate applications by uploading malicious payloads indirectly through the application into AWS S3 or directly through stolen credentials. 

With Blue Hexagon AWS S3 Object Lambda integration, cloud-first and cloud-enabled enterprises can:

  • Stop ransomware and any malware from infiltrating their cloud environment. 
  • Prevent unauthorized access to AWS S3 from malicious hosts. 
  • Deploy robust user, application and cloud security, by preventing lateral movement of threats.
  • Achieve cloud storage compliance with instant detection and full visibility. 

For security leaders, having the ability to better assess compliance, security, privacy and cloud-migration risks is of top priority. To ensure your cloud migration efforts are supported by effective and adaptive cloud security strategies, Blue Hexagon will be working with SC Media and Nemi George, CISO of Pacific Dental Services, for joint presentation at a two-day virtual event—Secure Cloud Migration: Create a plan for flexibility, scalability and automation – starting Tues., September 14 at 7:45 a.m. PT/10:45 a.m. ET, where industry leaders will share their insights and experiences on cloud migration security strategies. 

Attendees will learn how to enforce consistent security and policy compliance with modern AI-powered cloud solutions and ensure that their cloud migration efforts are on the right flight path, supported by an effective and adaptive cloud security strategy. Also, security professionals will earn 6.5 CPE credits by attending the event session.

To attend SC Media’s Secure Cloud Migration eSummit, please register here: https://www.scmagazine.com/esummit/secure-cloud-migration?source=bluhexagon

Modern cloud threats, such as supply chain attacks, use TTP’s involving malware and command-and-control to infiltrate VPC’s through the network and persist in managed storage, such as AWS S3 to achieve their objectives later. To mitigate these threats, AWS and Blue Hexagon recently announced a new service and native integration that combines breaking new ground in supercharging the ability to block these threats natively and in real-time. Blue Hexagon will be hosting a webinar with Dr. Arun Raman, VP of Cloud, Blue Hexagon, and James Wenzel, Sr. Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services —Security News: Stop Modern Threats and Supply Chain Attacks Natively in Cloud—on Wed., September 8, at 10 am PT/1 pm ET. In this live session, DevSecOps and Security pros will learn how to:

  • Deploy cloud service integrations for true multi-vector defense.
  • Secure the cloud against modern threats, without requiring any code changes. 
  • Maintain an effective runtime cloud security posture.
  • Reduce DevOps overhead and accelerate time to deploy.

To attend this webcast, please register here: https://www.sans.org/webcasts/security-news-stop-modern-threats-and-supply-chain-attacks-natively-in-cloud/?source=bluehexagon1

Blue Hexagon Agentless AI Security provides the most accurate threat detection from the network vantage point and supersedes legacy signature-based network controls and sandbox technologies. Blue Hexagon dynamically detects novel threats that may be trying to infiltrate and spread in the cloud environment and creates and updates IP/domain block-rules within AWS Network Firewall in real time to drop connections and stop threats in their tracks. Real-Time Threat Defense is designed for all workloads including against zero-day threats, without impacting performance and privacy. Continuous Compliance allows mid to large cloud-enabled organizations to maintain and meet compliance requirements for multi-vector, multi-cloud and multi-platform deployments. Deploy in minutes and manage integration using CloudFormation templates and apply the advanced protection firewall policy uniformly across VPCs, regions, and accounts. 

Blue Hexagon has been recognized in Forbes AI 50 for Next Gen NDR innovation, included in the 2020 Gartner Market Guide for Network Detection and Response, named to CNBC’s Upstart 100 list of “World’s Most Promising Startups”, was tested by Miercom as the most effective of four leading security products against the most lethal zero-day malware, ransomware, worms, botnets and evasive malicious threats and was named to the 2021 CB Insights AI-100 list of “Most Innovative Artificial Intelligence Startups”, CRN’s “10 Hottest AI Security Companies You Need to Know”, and most recently recognized by Analytics Insights “Top 100 Artificial Intelligence Startups to Lookout for in 2021”.

Generali Global Assistance Honored with Two Stevie Awards

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

Generali Global Assistance‘s (“GGA”) Identity and Cyber Protection Division today announced it has been honored with two Stevie® awards in the 18th annual International Business Awards. The Company was awarded bronze level in the “Achievement in Sales or Revenue Generation” and “Customer Service Department of the Year” categories.

GGA has now been recognized for the “Customer Service Department of the Year” award nine times, demonstrating the Company’s commitment to outstanding customer service. This dedication to caring for their customers was shown in last year’s metrics: the Identity and Cyber Protection Division’s Resolution Team was able to manage an increase in call volumes and customer interactions while sustaining an NPS score in the high 70s. GGA’s Identity and Cyber Protection Division was also recognized for achievements in sales which have increased significantly over the past year resulting in an 80% YoY increase in the number of ID Theft Resolution cases, 220% increase in the number of ID Monitoring inquiries, and 5,630% increase in employment-related fraud cases.

The Stevie® Awards are the world’s premier business awards created in 2002 to recognize positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. They recognize “best in class” customer service, sales, revenue, ethics, and many other aspects within the business realm.

Details about The International Business Awards and the lists of Stevie® Award winners are available here: https://stevieawards.com/iba/2021-stevie-award-winners

Guest Post: 43% Of All Malware Downloads Are Malicious Office Documents Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

Even though infecting office documents with malware has been established for a long time, it is still very successful at tricking people.

According to recent Atlas VPN team findings, 43% of all malware downloads are malicious office docs. Harmful office files are popular among cybercriminals as they usually can evade many antivirus software from detection.

A year ago, in the second quarter of 2020, only 14% of all downloaded malware were malicious office docs. After that, in the third quarter of last year, the percentage jumped to 38%

Later on, downloaded malicious office documents slightly decreased to 34% in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. Despite that, downloaded malware as office documents went right back up to new highs at 43% the next quarter.

One of the most dangerous malware EMOTET was spread via Word documents before being disrupted in early 2021 by global law enforcement. What made EMOTET dangerous is that it opened doors for other malware installations such as information stealers, trojans, and ransomware.

It seems EMOTET’s success spread quickly in cybercriminal groups, inspiring more hackers to try out a similar technique. Another reason for malicious document success is that they can bypass antivirus and tend to manipulate being a trustworthy source.

For example, cybercriminals would mask malicious files and emails during the pandemic as registration for the vaccine or other financial benefits. It is easier to make people fall for malware when it is associated with reliable documents.

Cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN William Sword shares his thoughts on malware attacks:

“Cybercriminals have benefited from the popularity of Microsoft Office and Google Docs by inserting malicious code into the files. Organizations must implement and maintain a cybersecurity strategy addressing both the technological and human components to protect users from falling victim to malware threats.”

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/43-of-all-malware-downloads-are-malicious-office-documents

hayu Brings Top Reality to Bell Fibe TV

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

Reality TV fans looking to get their daily dose of drama with The Real Housewives, go Below Deck or binge-watch every season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, can now do so more easily than ever before.

Today, NBCUniversal announced that hayu – the all-reality TV and ad-free subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service – is bringing the best in reality content to Bell Fibe TV, offering customers direct access to over 300 popular shows.

As the partnership rolls out across Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic Canada, Bell Fibe TV customers can now access hayu via the Bell Fibe TV app menu. Those who are currently subscribed to hayu can sync their subscriptions to enjoy a lean-back viewing experience of their favourite reality TV moments.

Targeting the broad base of viewers who are fans of the reality genre, hayu offers over 8,000 episodes of top reality TV content. The service offers extensive choice, with a wide variety of unscripted sub-genres in English language including: Home and Design, Dating, Cooking, Crime, and Fashion. With the majority of shows available on hayu the same day they premiere on TV, Canadians can watch their favourite shows without worrying about spoilers or being an episode behind their friends. Subscribers can also exclusively stream shows such as Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and Love Island.

In multiple markets globally, hayu has distinguished itself as the must-have, all-reality streaming service. Fans of reality in Canada can subscribe for $5.99 (+applicable taxes) per month.

For more details or to sign-up, visit www.hayu.com/bell.

Aptum Launches Enhanced Tiers For Managed Azure Cloud

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

Aptum, a global hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider,today introduced new tiers for its Managed Azure Cloud services, allowing customers to easily select an Azure managed service level that meets their business needs and cloud adoption goals, wherever they are on their cloud journey. Aptum’s Managed Azure Cloud now includes three enhanced tiers: 

  • Foundation – an offering designed for companies with significant internal IT resources and minimal skills gaps, with low-cost managed services and tools included
  • Advanced – geared towards customers who have gaps in cloud competencies or available resources; includes proactive support from Aptum
  • Premium – designed for customers looking to focus on their core business, while outsourcing many of their IT functions – such as operating system support — so they can focus on non-IT related tasks. Ideal for customers who need support with cloud adoption planning, or hybrid or complex environments.

All three tiers give customers access to Aptum tools, programs and resources for their cloud transformation, including Aptum’s Cost Insights Dashboard, 24×7 support and advisory services. They also allow customers to tailor their Managed Azure Cloud services to suit their specific needs.

Aptum’s Managed Azure Cloud provides customers with day-to-day operational management within the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform, including best practice advice, configuration assistance and troubleshooting services, as well as OS patching, anti-malware, monitoring and backup. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for businesses to supplement in-house knowledge and expertise and free up IT resources for other priorities; reduce overall costs; improve performance and speed; and enable reliable cloud consumption forecasting, while maximizing security. 

Aptum’s Managed Azure Cloud enhanced tiers are available immediately. For more information, please visit https://aptum.com/services/cloud/managed-azure/.

Uconnect 5 Comes To 2022 Ram Lineup With New Features, Content & Capability For Truck & Fleet Owners

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

New for the 2022 model year, Ram is adding to its tech title with the integration of the award-winning Uconnect 5 system. The company’s most advanced in-car technology delivers faster operating speeds, new content and improved customization for Ram pickups and Ram Commercial vehicles. Uconnect 5 also offers new convenience and connected services, keeping Ram truck customers and fleet owners engaged and informed while drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Customizing Uconnect 5

Pickup and commercial vehicle owners are unique when it comes to vehicle information because most of the time they operate close to or at maximum capability. Uconnect 5 allows users to create an exclusive home screen with a familiar feel. Customers can personalize the Uconnect home screen with frequently used features for quick and easy access via one-touch operation. Whether it be towing 16,824 kilograms (37,090 pounds) in a Ram 3500 or hauling a heavy payload of recreational vehicles with family in the cab, the Uconnect 5 system can be customized to quickly give drivers the information they need in the cluster screen, centre screen or the heads up display (HUD). For example, if towing a heavy load up a steep grade with 35+ degree Celsius temperatures, the operator may want to view a customized cluster of gauges to monitor the truck’s powertrain temperatures. Or if the vehicle is equipped with Ram’s Off-road package, customers can create a direct link to the Off-Road Pages app in the centre screen, all with one touch or less.

Uconnect 5 features several fully customizable interfaces storing up to five different user profiles. In the case of a pickup or multi-driver commercial vehicles, each operator can build their own profile, featuring preferences for music and vehicle operation. The system also connects vehicle-side systems to a driver’s profile such as temperature, seating position and mirror placement. Switching between user profiles can be handled by a single touch.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto make it easy to stay connected to the vehicle and wireless charging further simplifies the experience. Additionally, when equipped with the available 12-inch touchscreen, Apple Car Play can now occupy the entire space.

Uconnect 5 also features a dual phone application that makes connecting and sharing easy for Ram pickup and Ram commercial fleet customers. Uconnect can manage input from both devices with the ability to name one a priority over the other for various functions, including navigation, music selection and text messages.

Navigation

Uconnect’s navigation is an intuitive built-in solution from TomTom and includes traffic and connected services, giving drivers the latest information for a safer and smoother journey. Additionally, turn-by-turn navigation is available in the cluster and HUD with or without Apple Car Play or Android Auto.

Maps Over the Air and Last Mile Navigation also are new to Ram. The feature automatically detects, downloads and installs relevant available map updates in the background. Last Mile Navigation provides walking directions from your vehicle to your final destination, via the Uconnect companion smartphone app.

New Over-The-Air (OTA) Capabilities

Servicing and updating your Ram has never been easier. The new Telematics Box Module (TBM) preps for growth and assists in quickly moving large amounts of data, engineered for the fastest speeds available. The trusted and secure ecosystem provides an optimal environment for continuous improvement through a built-in cellular network. Notifications work in harmony with the Vehicle Health Report, Vehicle Health Alert and Ram mobile app. For some updates, OTA capability will automatically load the improved software to the vehicle, seamlessly. Other services can be handled at your local dealer with a Service Scheduling feature.

Alexa

Uconnect 5 brings Amazon Alexa directly into the vehicle itself, giving occupants the freedom to interact with Alexa from home to car and car to home. Using natural speak, occupants can ask Alexa to play music, podcasts and audiobooks; add items to their to-do list and check real-time information. Alexa’s responses use the vehicle’s audio system, allowing all passengers to interact.

Voice Recognition

Uconnect 5 features an advanced voice recognition engine with natural voice capability. Statements that would normally be understood in human-to-human conversation can be used to communicate with the navigation system, such as, “Find an available truck stop near me.” The advanced voice control system also improves its listening ability in high background noise situations, such as a rolled down window or rain hitting the windshield. Additionally, the embedded voice recognition system has wake up word capability that correlates to the Ram brand: “Hey Ram, change the temperature to 20 degrees.” Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also can be controlled via voice by using the voice recognition button.

Ram Telematics

For the 2022 model year the Ram Telematics feature receives a major upgrade, allowing preferred third-party fleet data collection companies to offer monitoring services for fleet owners. More detailed information helps provide savings across the fleet in terms of fewer accidents, regular maintenance, avoided downtime and general operational efficiency.

Under the direction of the fleet owner, Ram’s new TBM sends information related to those specific vehicles to the cloud, where it can be collected by assigned third-party companies. The data collection companies then package the information for the fleet owner to use in making decisions on how best to organize routes, appropriate vehicles, driver changes and loads.

Uconnect Mobile App

With the available Uconnect app, a smartphone can start the engine, lock or unlock doors and receive notifications. Inside the vehicle, SOS Call provides external assistance at the touch of a button. An automatic feature calls for outside assistance if the vehicle senses a crash has taken place. With Assist Call, owners can contact the Uconnect customer care team for help with their vehicle or instructions on using a Uconnect system. Stolen Vehicle Assistance helps police track a vehicle’s location and Family Drive Alerts delivers notifications to concerned parents when boundary, curfew or speed limits are exceeded. Owners can also receive a notification when someone else drives the vehicle while in Valet Alert mode.

UX in the Market

The Uconnect digital platform has become a significant reason for purchase, tailored for each brand, vehicle and region. Research has shown that 51 per cent of new-car buyers consider in-vehicle technology as part of their purchase. Also, 64 per cent of customers reported their technology experience made them more likely to buy from the same brand. The award-winning Uconnect system has led the industry in content and exclusive features since its inception in 2003 and the fifth generation continues the momentum.

General Motors & TELUS Redefine Automotive Connectivity For Canadians

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

GM Canada and TELUS are working together to connect GM’s next-generation vehicles to TELUS’ 5G network. This represents the first time GM has selected a domestic communications company to provide connected-vehicle services for Canadian customers.

GM and TELUS are collaborating to enable high-performance wireless network capabilities that will meet the unique needs of an all-electric and autonomous vehicle future.  Network enhancements will include:  

  • Improved roadway-centric coverage
  • Faster music and video downloads with higher quality
  • Faster, more reliable, and secure over-the-air software updates
  • Faster navigation, mapping, and voice services 

The first GM vehicles with built-in connectivity to TELUS’ high-performance 4G-LTE and 5G network are expected to be introduced with the 2025 model year. Additionally, through GM’s fifth generation rollout, current 4G LTE-equipped model year 2019 and newer vehicles will be able to migrate to the new TELUS network. As a result, current Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac owners in Canada will experience faster connectivity speeds and some of the same performance benefits of future 5G-equipped vehicles.

As part of GM’s innovation and growth efforts, these network improvements will be foundational for the future of GM’s growing over-the-air update strategy. With more advanced features, robust software, and faster download speeds, more data is accessible to provide a more convenient customer experience.

When launched, GM will provide access for its strategic partners to leverage TELUS’ 5G network, raising the bar for the interoperability and scale necessary to deliver future mobility services, such as e-commerce, smart city and vehicle-to-electric grid.

GM first introduced connected-vehicle services in Canada with OnStar in 1999. Since then, GM has expanded the portfolio of connected services to offer live traffic information, streaming entertainment services, and remote vehicle commands through mobile apps and connected home devices.