Archive for June 15, 2022

Bell introduces 5G+

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 15, 2022 by itnerd

Bell today announced the network readiness of 5G+, to be deployed across the country on Canada’s fastest and most awarded 5G wireless network, and offering unprecedented mobile data speeds.

In 2021, Bell secured prime 3500 MHz spectrum in urban and rural markets across the country, adding high-capacity airwaves critical to the evolution of Bell 5G on its network. Bell is now poised to deploy 3500 MHz wireless spectrum and unleash the next phase of 5G advancement. Bell plans to continue its network leadership position and deliver to customers the fastest 5G+ network in Canada, with its world-class network technology strategy and prime spectrum position.

Optimized for demanding apps and services, 5G+ is the fastest mobile technology yet in Canada. From gaming to streaming, to video conferencing, everything is expected to be faster and more responsive with peak theoretical download speeds of up to 3Gbps in select areas.

Bell 5G customers with compatible devices will soon have access to 5G+ capabilities, starting with those in Toronto. For all other 5G customers, until 5G+ is available in their area, they can continue to enjoy 4G, LTE and 5G on Canada’s best network. Bell will work towards offering 5G+ coverage to approximately 40% of the Canadian population by the end of 2022.

Only 42% Canadian Organizations Plan To Invest In Security Tools This Year: Trend Micro

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 15, 2022 by itnerd

Digital transformation since the pandemic has pushed many organizations over a technology “tipping point”. The more they invest in digital infrastructure to drive sustainable growth, the more they are exposing themselves to cyber risk.

Trend Micro, leader in cloud security, published a new study which found that over two-thirds (69%) of Canadian businesses  are  concerned about having a broadening attack surface. However, only 42% plan to invest in security tools and technologies to combat it this year.

Visibility challenges appear to be the main reason organizations struggle to manage and understand cyber risk in these environments. In Canada, even though a majority (88%) of respondents believe their organization have a well-defined way to assess the risk exposure of its digital attack surface, 60% said they have blind spots that hamper their security.

Other Canadian findings include:

  • Nearly half (48%) of respondents consider cloud service misconfigurations of cloud assets as the biggest risk exposure when it comes to their organization’s attack surface
  • One-third (34%) of organizations feel fully exposed to the cyber risk of phishing
  • 44% of respondents consider email attacks as the primary way of a cyber-attack starting against their organization
  • 88% of respondents in Canada believe their organization have a well-defined way to assess the risk exposure of its digital attack surface
  • More than half of the respondent (53%) would describe their organization’s digital attack surface as being “complex but controlled.”58% of organizations currently have a moderate risk exposure
  • 8-in-10 (84%) of organizations review/update their risk exposure in relation to their digital attack surface at least once a month
  • Just 18% review risk exposure on a daily basis

Those responsible for securing their enterprises should click here to give this study a read as it is eye opening.

Aptum Report Calls For Big-Picture Thinking To Close The Gap Between Cloud’s Promise And Reality Of Secure Operations 

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 15, 2022 by itnerd

Aptum, a hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider, has announced Part 2 of its annual Cloud Impact Report 2022, titled Solving the Data Security Equation. The report examines the complexities inherent in hybrid cloud environments and their implications on security, data governance, compliance and disaster recovery. In particular, it finds that while companies are convinced of the value of cloud computing, its drivers have evolved.

Drivers to the cloud
When it comes to the value of cloud, the majority of respondents (91%) consider cloud computing to be essential for data management. In fact, more than half (54%) believe cloud transformation has had a positive impact on data governance. 

While financial considerations have traditionally been a common driver, the study shows a shift in focus for many organizations, especially as security concerns evolve and continue to be top-of-mind:

  • 50% of respondents cited efficiency as the top motivator for cloud investments
  • Increased security is the second most important business driver for organizations investing in cloud computing, with 48% of respondents citing it as a key factor in their investment
  • Resilience is also a primary driver of cloud computing investments for 40% of companies

Managing complexity
During the pandemic, organizations had to hastily increase their cloud deployments to support the increase in remote work, enhance business resilience and enable greater flexibility. As a result, many businesses naturally moved toward a hybrid model. In fact, 86% of respondents said their organization has adopted a hybrid or multi cloud approach to cloud deployments. 

For many organizations, the move to hybrid has meant their environments have become increasingly complex as data and workloads are now located across a range of cloud and non-cloud infrastructures. 

As a result, many are grappling with complexities traditionally associated with hybrid cloud environments, such as data and workloads being located across a range of cloud and non-cloud infrastructures. Of those respondents, the top challenges cited in managing their environments include control and governance of access to cloud environments (90%); a clear mechanism to detect and respond to security threats across all environments (90%); and the ability to efficiently meet requirements of compliance audits (90%).

Impacts on security
The study showed that managing security effectively is no longer just an issue of securing data within each environment; data must also be secured as it moves between locations. 

When it comes to disaster recovery, the study’s results tell a similar story of complexity. Disaster recovery is amongst the top reasons organizations are continuing to move data to the cloud, with 37% of respondents citing improved data backup services and disaster recovery as a driver. However, 87% of respondents cite the ability to provide Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to the business as a key consideration.

Strategy is key to cloud transformation

The study’s results reveal that only 20% of organizations surveyed have a holistic cloud strategy in place. The other 80% have a fragmented approach to cloud transformation that lacks the necessary big-picture thinking.  The results also reaffirm a singular holistic cloud strategy must have security principles embedded in its design at the earliest stage possible. By doing so, businesses can take an integrated approach to security, mitigate threats and minimize risks across their entire infrastructure stack. This will eliminate any disconnect between the cloud’s promise of secure, reliable operations and what organizations will actually experience.

To see the full findings from part two of Aptum’s Cloud Impact Study 2022, Solving the Security Equation, please download the report here: https://aptum.com/cloud-hub/2022-cis-part-2/.

For Part 1 of the report, Hybrid: Why and How– Applying Lessons from Digital Transformation, please visit here: https://aptum.com/cloud-hub/2022-cis-part-1/. (News release)

The study canvassed the opinions and approach to cloud technology of 400 senior IT professionals. Respondents were from organizations with 250+ employees in the U.S., Canada and UK. Industries included financial services, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, public education and the commercial sector. 

The Canadian Centre For Child Protection Introduces The Largest Unwanted Film Festival Unveiling The True Scale Of Online Child Sexual Abuse Material  

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 15, 2022 by itnerd

**The following contains sensitive material featuring stories of sexual abuse and child sexual abuse materials**

Today, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) unveiled The Unwanted Film Festival; the world’s largest festival which never ends, plays in plain sight, and features children forcibly turned into public figures. 

The festival, which launches as New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival winds down, leverages the power of AI to create 85 million movie posters, representing each piece of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) reported in 2021. When all 85 million pieces of CSAM are added together they make up more content than all the world’s film festivals combined. The spectacle aims to spark a necessary change following a 30 per cent increase in CSAM content from 2020 to 2021 – that is one piece of CSAM being uploaded every two seconds. 

The titles and taglines are taken from real CSAM survivor accounts of how this material has profoundly affected all aspects of their lives, and how its continued availability only compounds the trauma and threatens their safety.

The initiative aims to capture global attention and demand all tech organizations and governments to step up. Currently, there are no Western democracies, including Canada, that C3P is aware of that have legislated that tech must proactively scan for known CSAM.

The Unwanted Film Festival brings awareness to the prevalence of CSAM online and the speed at which it is growing globally. Kicking off with a two-day installation in New York, and available globally at unwantedfilmfest.com, the experience generates film posters every two seconds to reflect the rate at which CSAM was uploaded online in 2021, much of which can be found on platforms we use every day. 

The Unwanted Film Festival posters are being displayed in the five most spoken languages around the world: English, French, Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish to reflect this global issue. Additionally, titles will be featured in German as the festival travels to the G7 conference in Germany, bringing the urgent issue to its international leaders who are in the position to make change. Finally, the festival will wrap up in Toronto for the Toronto International Film Festival in the fall. 

Now is the time to slow the rampant escalation of CSAM which, if it continues at this growth rate, could reach upwards of 110 million reported images by the end of 2022. To learn more and join the fight, the public can demand change by visiting unwantedfilmfest.com to sign the petition to stand with survivors and demand that tech organizations stop the upload of known CSAM around the globe. 

You can view a trailer below:

About the Canadian Centre for Child Protection: The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) is a national charity dedicated to the personal safety of all children. The organization’s goal is to reduce the sexual abuse and exploitation of children through programs, services, and resources for Canadian families, educators, child-serving organizations, law enforcement, and other parties. C3P also operates Cybertip.ca, Canada’s national tipline to report child sexual abuse and exploitation on the internet, and Project Arachnid, a web platform designed to detect known images of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on the clear and dark web and issue removal notices to industry.

Guest Post: Apple Pays 5x More Per Exposed Vulnerability Than Samsung

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 15, 2022 by itnerd

A bug bounty program is a reward offered for discovering and reporting a bug in a software product.

According to the data compiled by the Atlas VPN team, Apple pays five times more for exposing a vulnerability than Samsung. Exploits that allow hackers to perform network attacks without user interaction are usually worth the most in bug bounty.

Apple pays from $100K to $1 million to researchers who find exploits in their devices. Our report from earlier in the year found that vulnerabilities in Apple products surged by over 450%.

Huawei’s bug bounty program offers payouts from $200 to $223K for found vulnerabilities in their devices. The company gives out rewards for exploits found in their AppGallery, cloud services, or the phones themselves.

Samsung’s bug bounty program rewards researchers between $200 and $200K for qualified exploits. The amount is determined by the severity level, vulnerability report quality, affected scope, and the difficulty of attacks.

Xiaomi bounty payments range from $800 to $13K for found vulnerabilities. OnePlus and Oppo, both owned by BBK Electronics, bug bounty programs can reward researchers with up to $7K and $4K, respectively.

To read the full article, head over to:

https://atlasvpn.com/blog/study-apple-pays-5x-more-per-exposed-vulnerability-than-samsung

Review: RollingSquare InCharge X

Posted in Products with tags on June 15, 2022 by itnerd

Every once in a while, you or someone you’re with will need to recharge a phone. But assuming that you have a cable on you, is it the right cable for the phone in question. Meaning is it Lightning to USB, or USB-C to USB-C or whatever you need. Even though batteries on phones last longer than ever, that’s a real need that people have. Which is why the RollingSquare InCharge X exists. This is a cable that fits on your keychain that covers any use case that you might have when it comes to charging a phone or any other device.

The cable comes in a box that is clearly made of recycled material. And the only thing inside the box is the cable. The cable as you see it is 7 CM long or 2.7 inches. But fully stretched out it’s twice that length. The cable has metal ends and the flexible part of the cable has a TPU outer shell with nylon and aramid fibre for strength. There’s a cap at the end that feels really snug.

Here’s where things get interesting. If you pull one end of the cable apart, you can see that you have the choice of USB or USB-C which means that you can plug this end into any computer.

At the other end of the cable there’s USB-C and Lightning. But if you look closely, there’s another connector:

Inside the Lightning connector is a micro USB connector. Clever. I tested all the connections and they all fit snugly. Though I will note that it is not inherently clear which end is up when it comes to micro-USB unless you look closely at the connector. But that’s a first world problem.

A close look at one of the cable ends shows that it has a N52 magnet that is used to hold the cable together when it is folded up.

Since I spoke of putting this on your keychain, here’s a picture of it on my keychain. In the week or so that I have had it, it has not come off my keychain. And the cap that covers the connectors is solid enough that it hasn’t become detached.

So let’s talk about charging. RollingSquare claims that you can fast charge your device using this cable with support for up to 100W of power. To test this, I took my wife’s iPhone 13 and charged it using this cable from 48% to 92% in an hour using this cable. Then I had her drain it back down to 48% and did the same thing with an Apple USB-C to Lightning cable and got it up to 91% in a hour. In both cases, the phone was plugged into this charger. Thus I can safely say that this will fast charge your phone. The cable also supports data transfer as I was able to use my iPhone 12 Pro to sync to iTunes and to do backups of the phone to my MacBook Pro.

Gripes? I have only one. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had this cable for a week. But I’ve already have scratches on it as evidenced by this picture:

Now this is the “Lava Black” version of the cable. They have two other versions called “Marble Blue” and “Sapphire Beige”. I don’t know if they would scratch in the same way as this “Lava Black” cable does. But in my opinion, given that this lives in your pocket surrounded by keys, the finish should be more durable than this.

RollingSquare InCharge X is $29 USD and is available from the RollingSquare website. It works as advertised and it will ensure that you always have a cable on hand should you need it. As long as you don’t mind the fact that it will gain some “battle scars” from being in your pocket.

TELUS And Google Cloud New Use Case Enhances Worker Safety

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 15, 2022 by itnerd

TELUS and Google Cloud worked together on a new use case and leveraged the power of Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and 5G to develop a workers’ safety application in their Edmonton Data Center. The solution enables on-premise video analytics cameras to screen manufacturing facilities and ensure compliance with safety requirements to operate heavy-duty machinery. For example, if a worker’s hand is close to a drill, that drill press will not bore holes in any surface until the video analytics camera detects that the worker’s hand has been removed from the safety zone area. The CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras they used are cost-effective and easier to deploy than RTLS (real time location services) solutions that detect worker proximity and avoid collisions. This is a positive, proactive step to steadily improve workplace safety. An example of this can be viewed in this video:

This opportunity is a way for TELUS to tap into their award-winning high speed 5G connectivity to help solve some of the greatest challenges and specifically create safer workplaces with the Connected Worker Safety solution that can be applied across a variety of business verticals – saving lives and preventing injury. Eventually this will be able to enter the market and make TELUS an early adopter of new 5G solutions at the edge, enhancing business and industry partners’ experience in the workplace.

And this is only one example of the many ways that TELUS is working with Google Cloud to create solutions that leverage technology for the better. Recently, TELUS was also awarded with a Google Cloud Customer Award for their introduction of the Contact Centre Artificial Intelligence (CCAI) Insights solution as part of our Voice Call Analytics program (VCA) program. Created to truly transform customers’ experience while unlocking great business and operational value, the tool successfully identifies the true intents and sentiments of customer interactions in TELUS contact centers, and extracts actionable insights using advanced analytics – freeing up agents to focus on more complex challenges and providing more customized service.

With so many Google Cloud integrated programs, TELUS is continuing to dive head first into its digital transformation to create more opportunities to leverage technology and continue their growth into fully integrated Smart Cities.