Archive for November, 2022

Elon Musk Takes A Trip To See Tim Cook…. And Other News From The Twitter Circus

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2022 by itnerd

Elon Musk continues to make news. And I will start with his most recent piece of news which is that Elon paid a visit to the Apple Campus to see Tim Cook.

No word on what they talked about. But seeing as Elon teed off on Apple multiple times earlier this week, and Apple cutting advertising and deleting its Tweets, he might have had to take a trip to make peace with Apple CEO Tim Cook. This despite word that Elon wants to find a way to keep Apple from taking 30% from every Twitter Blue subscription, which by the way means that Twitter Blue is apparently on hold until that part is figured out. Knowing how Elon can’t keep his mouth shut, I am sure that we will find out some version of this story soon enough.

Another story that surfaced today is that Tesla stock has taken a huge hit since Elon took over at Twtter:

Tesla stock is down 30% since Musk, the electric-car maker’s chief executive, completed his acquisition of Twitter on Oct. 28.

And:

Tesla stock is down 52% since Musk first revealed a 9% stake in Twitter in early April.

If you own the stock, you are likely not happy. And if you’re Elon, the ability for Tesla stock to fund the day to day operations of Twitter has decreased as a result.

Next, from the “see I told you so” department is this:

Elon Musk has been told he faces “huge work ahead” to bring Twitter into compliance with new European rules on disinformation or face a possible ban.

European Union commissioner Thierry Breton made the comments in a meeting with Mr Musk on Wednesday.

He said the social media site would have to address issues such as content moderation, disinformation and targeted adverts.

The back-and-forth comes as the new law is set to go into effect.

And what happens if Elon doesn’t get his act together? Well…:

If firms are found to be violation, they face fines of up to 6% of global turnover – or a ban in the case of repeated serious breaches.

And it’s a safe bet that Elon can’t afford the fines, nor can he afford to have Twitter banned in the EU. Which means that he has a problem. Just like I said he would. It will be interesting to see if he tries to comply with the EU, and anger the rather unsavory characters that he’s encouraged to jump onto Twitter. Or he thumbs his nose at the EU, and risks fines that he can’t afford along with potentially being Thanos snapped out of the 27 EU member states.

One thing that was interesting from this report was this:

In a statement after the meeting, Mr Breton said he welcomed Mr Musk’s assurances that he would get Twitter ready to comply.

“Let’s also be clear that there is still huge work ahead, as Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech, tackle disinformation with resolve, and limit targeted advertising,” he said.

“All of this requires sufficient AI (Artificial Intelligence) and human resources, both in volumes and skills. I look forward to progress in all these areas and we will come to assess Twitter’s readiness on site.”

The EU plans to conduct a “stress test” in 2023 ahead of a wider audit, his office said.

So while that sounds like he’s going to comply, I am not willing to put money on that just yet.

Finally Twitter put out a blog post that among other things, said this:

  • First, none of our policies have changed. Our approach to policy enforcement will rely more heavily on de-amplification of violative content: freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.
  • Our Trust & Safety team continues its diligent work to keep the platform safe from hateful conduct, abusive behavior, and any violation of Twitter’s rules. The team remains strong and well-resourced, and automated detection plays an increasingly important role in eliminating abuse.
  • When urgent events manifest on the platform, we ensure that all content moderators have the guidance they need to find and address violative content. 
  • As we improve our policies and processes, bad actors will also develop new methods of disruption. This is not new. Our team of experts is constantly adapting to identify and defuse threats, and we are proud of our early results: impressions on violative content are down over the past month, despite the growth in overall usage on the platform.
  • Finally, as we embark on this new journey, we will make mistakes, we will learn, and we will also get things right. Throughout, we’ll communicate openly with our users and customers, to get and share your feedback as we build. 

We remain committed to providing a safe, inclusive, entertaining, and informative experience for everyone. We will continue to be transparent as we move through this transition period. And we will listen to you, the people who make Twitter what it is: the town square of the internet. 

I’m sorry. But everything that has happened to date seems to indicate the opposite is happening at Twitter. I’d sit here and pick this apart, but I haven’t got that kind of time. The fact is that this blog post is window dressing that was put out there in hopes of putting out the many fires that Elon has started since he took over. Nobody is going to buy this. Not governments, not advertisers, and not the users who feel that Twitter is no longer safe. If Twitter in general, or Elon specifically want to talk about Twitter being a safe space for all, the need to start proving it. Immediately.

Cisco AppDynamics Launches Business Transaction Insights in AppDynamics Cloud

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2022 by itnerd

Cisco AppDynamics announced today major updates to its cloud-native observability solution AppDynamics Cloud. Business transaction insights combines business transaction monitoring with AppDynamics Cloud’s continuous-context experience. This allows organizations to expand observability over cloud-native applications correlated with business context across their Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment and beyond. The AIOps-derived insights enable teams to observe applications the same way customers and end users experience them and quickly take action to optimize performance and remediate issues in near real-time.

The new capabilities will initially support digital services, cloud-native applications, and workloads on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Cisco AppDynamics and AWS continue to empower organizations across the entire IT estate on their journey to full-stack observability.

Modern cloud-native applications can be highly distributed and complex. Ops teams often have to rely on siloed, domain-specific tools to collect and interpret massive amounts of data generated by their technology stack during normal operations. As a result, they can struggle to deliver dependable digital experiences for end-user customers because they lack the correlated insights to identify how critical issues impact business outcomes.

With business transaction insights, teams can leverage multiple streams of data drawn from OpenTelemetryTM and Amazon CloudWatch, all correlated to business context, and then optimize digital experiences at scale. They generate AIOps-driven alerts that allow teams to identify, prioritize, and resolve the most important issues that could impact the user experience and the overall business.

Cisco AppDynamics survey of 1,150 IT professionals revealed that 71% believe their organization will need to allocate resources toward observability of cloud-native applications and infrastructure. The addition of this new capability in AppDynamics Cloud gives technologists the simplicity and insights they need to streamline operations, increase business value of AWS products and services, and maximize current and future investments in areas including Kubernetes®, microservices, and other AWS infrastructure.

Additional Resources:

TELUS and Adera complete new Smart Building in North Vancouver

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2022 by itnerd

TELUS continues to grow its Residential Smart Building footprint with the completion of RED Lower Lynn, a new rental development located in North Vancouver’s vibrant Lynn Creek community. In partnership with west coast modern design builder Adera, this six-storey, 88-unit complex features TELUS’ cutting edge smart building technology and automation, offering luxury and comfort paired with savings and efficiency. Residents at RED Lower Lynn can control their smart suites from their smartphones through the easy-to-use TELUS Residential Smart Building app, giving them the flexibility to remotely lock and unlock their keyless doors, or adjust their lights from anywhere, at any time. 

With TELUS Residential Smart Building, residents are conveniently notified on their smartphone when someone opens the door, the temperature needs to be adjusted, or someone requires entry. RED Lower Lynn’s building operators are also using TELUS Residential Smart Building to access the latest in security technology, 24-hour monitoring, and tools to increase building efficiency, which reduces their carbon footprint and operating expenses. 

To help showcase TELUS Residential Smart Building technology and what it can offer residents and building operators, TELUS has secured a demo suite inside RED Lower Lynn located at 1550 Oxford St, North Vancouver. Anyone in the Vancouver area can experience the benefits of living in a Smart Building by emailing smartbuilding@telus.com to arrange a tour. 

Find out more about TELUS Residential Smart Building, powered by Canada’s fastest network, by visiting telus.com/smartbuilding.

CYBER WEEK RESULTS: Online Sales In Canada Down 8% YoY, But Up 2% globally

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2022 by itnerd

As Cyber Week 2022 draws to a close, Salesforce released its annual Cyber Week report, which analyses shopping data from over one and a half billion shoppers on the Salesforce Customer 360 platform. Overall, global sales reached $280.8 billion, a 2% increase YoY. However, Canadian shoppers held back as compared to last year.

In Canada, over the course of Cyber Week we saw:

  • Online sales down 8% YoY
  • While the online sales were down as compared to last year, the average order value was up by 0.3% at $106
  • Overall traffic was down 1% YoY. In terms of device traffic, mobile proved to be the most popular for shoppers to visit from, with 70% of Black Friday traffic coming from mobile, 29% from computer and 3% from tablet

Further information on the results is available in the Holiday Hub, which has been updated daily over Cyber Week.

UK Updates Cyber Security Regulations To Include MSPs

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2022 by itnerd

The UK Government has just updated their Network and Information Systems (NIS) regulations in order to bring providers of outsourced IT and managed service providers (MSPs) into scope. The regulations were introduced to improve the cyber security companies which provide services to energy, healthcare and transport sectors. Fines of up to £17m will could be issued for non-compliance.

Yaron Kassner, CTO and Cofounder, Silverfort had this commentary:

“The Government’s decision to update these regulations reflects how MSPs present a ripe target for attackers.

“As central points of cybersecurity management for lots of organizations – they provide a jumping-off point for lateral movement inside a large number of environments. As we saw with Operation Cloudhopper – attackers were able to access MSP customers using seemingly legitimate credentials, before moving through the network to exfiltrate data.

“While controls such as MFA on internal resources could technically help address attacks like this, the regulation provides a necessary impetus to ensure MSPs act according to best practice.”

Many clients that I work with use MSPs and they, along with anyone else who uses an MSP should heed this advice.

Telstra Taps Katy Greenfield to Lead Customer Solutions for the Americas

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2022 by itnerd

Telstra has named Katy Greenfield as Vice President of Customer Solutions for the Americas. She will lead a specialized team working directly with enterprises across the region to develop customized network connectivity products and services.

In her new role, Greenfield will draw on a diverse background in retail, commerce, information technology and telecommunications with direct experience in network infrastructure, operations and logistics, product development and cross-functional project management.

Her career includes a range of technical and sales management roles, most recently with Boulder, CO-based Zayo Group as Director of Solutions Engineering. She will report to Noah Drake, President, Americas for Telstra.

Greenfield is a certified AWS Solutions Architect and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Venafi Releases The Top 10 Cybersecurity Trends for 2023

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2022 by itnerd

Venafi, the inventor and leading provider of machine identity management, today released its predictions for the cybersecurity landscape in 2023, indicating that this will be one the most challenging years yet for the cybersecurity industry.

“With economic uncertainty casting a heavy shadow across the globe, the geopolitical landscape the most unstable it’s been in decades and cloud migration marching on relentlessly, cybersecurity has never been more important. This will present unprecedented challenges for security teams in 2023,” comments Kevin Bocek, VP of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi.

The predictions include insights from Bocek; Matt Barker, president of cloud native solutions; Yana Blachman, threat intelligence specialist; Sitaram Iyer, senior director of cloud native solutions; and Pratik Savla, lead security engineer, on the year ahead. Highlights include:

  1. The ransomware cash cow may stop mooing in 2023, forcing hackers to pivot to other revenue generators – like selling stolen machine identities. We’ve already seen a high price for code signing machine identities on dark web markets, and groups like Lapsus$ regularly use them to launch devastating attacks. Their value will only increase this coming year.” – Kevin Bocek
     
  2. In 2023, we will see continued efforts to manage the risk posed by software supply chain attacks, with more start-ups and open source tools – like cosign and sigstore – designed to help in this area. Biden’s SBOM initiative has helped bring attention to the requirement, with The OpenSSF leading the charge. As a result, we expect to see some positive movement in this space.” – Matt Barker
     
  3. Russian cyberattacks will aim to disrupt the West’s greatest asset – their economies – as Russia is excluded from the international finance community. Cyber-enabled economic warfare will be crucial to Russia’s geopolitical strategy, with the aim of either generating revenue or disrupting rival economies. We’ve already started to see this with recent attacks on the US Treasury.” – Yana Blachman
     
  4. Nation state attacks will become more feral as ground war tactics become more untamed and unpredictable, bringing the cyber and physical worlds into a collision course. These will have the potential to spill over into other nations, as Russia becomes more daring, trying to win the war by any means – and could be used as a distraction to target other nations with cyberattacks.” – Kevin Bocek
     
  5. The rise of the platform engineering team will be one of the big trends of 2023. Cloud Native reimagines how companies think about building and operating infrastructure; they require a totally new team to build and support it. Platform engineering teams will build on the learnings of DevOps culture, encompassing every persona needed to build and run IT infrastructure – including Dev, Security and Operations.” – Matt Barker
     
  6. As we build our knowledge of cloud risk, we’ll start to uncover breaches we knew nothing about. We’ll find that threat actors are ahead of the curve and have already infiltrated cloud networks – perhaps weeks, months or even years ago.” – Yana Blachman
     
  7. There will be more failed audits in regulated industries as multi-cloud, multi-cluster complexity causes companies to breach compliance requirements. The increased volume of machine identities in cloud native environments will make compliance with regulations on machine identity management a real challenge. If this process isn’t automated via a control plane, failed audits will become commonplace.” – Sitaram Iyer
     
  8. With cloud costs predicted to rise by as much as a third in the coming year, we will see an increased focus on FinOps – i.e., financial operations – a management practice to promote shared responsibility for an organization’s cloud computing infrastructure and costs. How FinOps is implemented in Cloud Native and which tools you should use to help manage it, including security solutions, will come into sharp focus in 2023.” – Matt Barker
     
  9. In 2023, API security will rise to the top as one of the biggest concerns and priorities for enterprises as organizations increasingly move to an API-first software development approach. This exponential adoption of APIs will exacerbate security concerns, with the potential to cause significant security breaches.” – Pratik Savla
     
  10. As recession bites, we expect to see more everyday people turning to cybercrime as a source of income in 2023. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) will rise, as they enable people that don’t have technical skills to launch attacks.” – Yana Blachman

News From Waze: Canadian Traffic Trends For 2022 And Drive with Santa And Mrs. Claus

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 30, 2022 by itnerd

With the holidays quickly approaching and 2022 coming to a close, community-based navigation app Waze is today sharing two announcements: The first is related to the jolly man himself, while the second concerns a look back at traffic trends across Canada over the last year – including the most trafficked destination and city-related trends:

Canadian Traffic Trends for 2022: Waze’s Year-in-Review Data
Drivers are returning to the office this Fall; eight cities saw a triple-digit percentage jump

1. GO FOR A FESTIVE DRIVE WITH SANTA

Beginning now, drivers can get into the holiday spirit and go for a festive ride with Santa or Mrs. Claus. With the new holiday experience in Waze, you can select Santa as your guide while navigating over the holidays, have his signature Sleigh as your vehicle and swap out your Mood for Santa. This year Mrs. Claus joins the holiday experience (please note: Mrs. Claus is only available for users selecting English US as their Waze voice). As the real brains behind the North Pole operation, Mrs. Claus will offer a twist on the holiday theme as one-part friendly grandmother and one-part savvy business woman — complete with a friendly, but no-nonsense Mood and a vehicle fit for an executive. 

You can activate this holiday experience in the Waze app by tapping “My Waze” and the “Drive with Santa” banner. If Mrs. Claus is available for you, she’ll appear in your selection card. Santa Claus is available in English, French and Spanish globally, and Mrs. Claus is available in English U.S.


For more details about the holiday experience, a blog post can be found here:https://blog.google/waze/go-for-a-festive-drive-with-santa-and-mrs-claus/

2. TOP TRAFFIC TRENDS ACROSS CANADA:

Waze also took a look in the rear view mirror and today revealed the most trafficked destination for Canadians using the app this year, plus other traffic trends for 2022:

  • Home was the most trafficked destination in 2022 to date, followed by school (#2). Food and drink, restaurant and shopping centre round out the top 5 destinations with hospital and medical centre ranked at #6. This is a change since 2021, when home, restaurant and park were top destinations, with school ranking after that. This reflects schools across the country opening back up to in-person learning this past September.
  • While “office” was not included in the top 10 destinations in 2022 (“office'”was ranked #32), Waze found that commuting to “office” across Canada increased significantly in October compared to January 2022. Triple-digit percentage changes in traffic were recorded in these metro areas:
    • Quebec City (+263 per cent)
    • Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (+173 per cent)
    • Calgary (+172 per cent)
    • Hamilton, Ont. (+161 per cent)
    • Montreal (+157 per cent)
    • Ottawa-Gatineau (+146 per cent)
    • London, Ont. (+129 per cent)
    • Greater Toronto Area (+111 per cent)
  • Drives to restaurants across Canada increased 30 per cent, comparing October 2021 to October 2022.  Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo metro areas saw a 69 per cent increase, while Calgary and Edmonton saw a 30 per cent increase. Ottawa, Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Montreal and London all saw at least 20+ per cent increases.
  • Canadians seemed to stay home this Thanksgiving with cities including Winnipeg, Vaughan (Ont.), Ottawa, Edmonton, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and more all showing significant drops in traffic on October 10, when compared to the previous week.

    However in Niagara Falls and London (Ont.), drivers were out and about with traffic increasing in those cities on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Data also showed that August was the month with the most kilometres (kms) driven across the country for 2022, while January was the month with the least kms driven.
  • When looking at busy times in select cities, navigation to popular tourist destination Niagara Falls shot up 94 per cent in August 2022 compared to July. This coincided with the city’s hosting duties for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, which took place August 6-21, 2022. Ottawa also saw a spike; traffic increased 29 per cent during the January 22 – February 23, 2022 timeframe, compared to the previous time period.
  • Back to school resulted in increased traffic in university cities across the country over the Labour Day long weekend, including Waterloo, Ont. (+74 per cent), Kingston, Ont. (+69 per cent), London, Ont. (+26 per cent), Halifax (+22 per cent) and Guelph, Ont. (+11 per cent). Looking at the week after the Labour Day long weekend (September 6-9), Kingston saw a 109 per cent increase in traffic (Halifax +50 per cent; Waterloo +20 per cent; London +9 per cent).

Guest Post: Over 90% of online trackers are from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 29, 2022 by itnerd

Online data trackers on websites are used to follow your browsing habits, IP address, and personal information. According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, 93.7% of online trackers are from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Beyond trackers, other web privacy threats, such as session replay and fingerprinting, are also present.

Notably, Google’s trackers make up 49.9% of all trackers found on the web. They follow your activity on their apps and services and have an extensive set of data based on how you interact and what purchases you make.

YouTube and ad network Doubleclick, which belong to Google, also have a significant share of trackers online. YouTube has a 13.8% share, while Doubleclick trackers make up 8.3%.

Out of all trackers, Facebook’s trackers make up 15.7% of the share. Facebook has suffered multiple data breaches in the past and has been involved in privacy scandals.

Microsoft’s trackers are the least common in this list, with 6% of the share. Finally, Hotjar has a 6.3% share of trackers online. Their tracker helps websites collect your IP address, device type, operating system browser type, window size, and content.

Other web privacy threats

Beyond trackers, other web privacy threats exist that can corrupt your safety online.

Session replay script was found in 35% of the scanned websites. This type of threat captures visitors’ journey on the website. During the recording of the user’s session, the script may also capture personal identifiable information (PII).

Fingerprinting scripts were present in 30.9% of websites. About one out of four (24.9%) websites had a newly registered domain name. Foreign actors from countries like Russia, Belarus, China, and Iran originated 9% of malicious scripts. Malware and bad SSL were each present in just 0.1% of websites.

To read the full article, head over to:

https://atlasvpn.com/blog/over-90-of-online-trackers-are-from-google-facebook-and-microsoft

  over-90-of-online-trackers-are-from-google-facebook-and-microsoft

Take Control of Cloud Costs and Maximize Cloud Benefits: Aptum Cloud Impact Study

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 29, 2022 by itnerd

Aptum, a hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider, has announced Part 3 of its annual Cloud Impact Study 2022, titled Taking Control of Cloud Costs. The findings reveal cloud computing has resulted in higher-than-expected costs for 73 per cent of IT decision-makers – a notable increase of 28 per cent from just over half (57 per cent) of companies in 2021. The report explores the common financial drivers behind cloud computing, and the causes of its unplanned expenses. 

Overall, cloud computing has given respondents more control over IT expenditure, with more than half (63 per cent) of respondents saying cloud transformation positively impacts IT spending, and the majority (86 per cent) saying cloud technology is essential to their company’s financial security. 

The operating expenditure (OpEx) payment structures of cloud computing allow organizations to pay for the compute and storage they use, while also monitoring monthly usage and spend. The study’s respondents concur: 71 per cent believe cloud transformation positively impacts operational efficiency. 

However, 65 per cent of surveyed IT decision-makers reveal they have “wasted significant IT spend due to cloud inefficiencies” and only 20 per cent of respondents have a holistic strategy in place when it comes to their transformation. The report identifies the most common causes of unforeseen costs and details how businesses can overcome these hurdles to succeed and drive business growth. The top causes of unforeseen costs include the following: 

  • Lack of familiarity with the cloud – Limited internal knowledge, expertise and resources are obstacles to managing cloud effectively.
  • Runaway cloud costs – When businesses do not configure the cloud to scale up and down effectively, they often consume more resources than predicted. 
  • The ‘Hotel California of Cloud’ effect – Cloud is temptingly easy to enter, but hard to leave. To avoid egress charges, planning and expertise are crucial to choosing the best cloud infrastructure for workloads.
  • Hybrid complexity – Mixing hybrid, multi-cloud and legacy infrastructure platforms has its own additional management costs associated to it. 
  • Cloud modernization – Organizations are increasingly looking to modernize their cloud applications. However, lack of expertise and legacy systems often add complexity and costs for those looking to do this.
  • Wrong consumption model – Companies unfamiliar with cloud may find themselves adopting the wrong consumption model.

The full report provides detailed insight into the true cost of cloud, and calls for businesses to optimize their cloud environment and make the most of their cloud budgets.
To see the full findings from part three of Aptum’s Cloud Impact Study 2022, Taking Control of Cloud Costs, download the report here: https://aptum.com/cloud-hub/2022-cis-part-3/.

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

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

The study canvassed the opinions and approaches 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.