Archive for the Commentary Category

Green Tech Start-Ups Pitch Investors At Innovation4D Event In Mississauga

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 17, 2017 by itnerd

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Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie presents a certificate of recognition to executives of GreenCentre Canada (GCC), the Research Innovation Commercialization Centre (RICC) and the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) at the inaugural Innovation4D event at the XRCC’s Innovation Hub in Mississauga on Monday, October 16.

Innovation4D was organized by the Innovation Hub and partners to provide Ontario green tech start-ups with the opportunity to pitch venture capitalists on their innovations. The Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, along with Mayor Bonnie Crombie were on hand to open the event. The Innovation Hub was recently cited as one reason for Toronto’s place on the list of Top 10 Cities for Corporate Innovation.

Pictured left to right are Sunil Selby, Trellis Capital and Chair of RICC; Mayor Bonnie Crombie; executive directors of RICC and GCC, Pam Banks and Pete Pigott; the Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science; and, XRCC vice president, Dr. Paul Smith.

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Cybersecurity is Top Concern in Corporate IoT Deployments: BlackBerry

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 17, 2017 by itnerd

BlackBerry Limited announced findings from a new global research whitepaper, which surveyed IT decision makers on corporate IoT deployments. Conducted by 451 Research, the whitepaper titled, “Securing the Enterprise of Things: Opportunity for securing IoT with a unified platform emerging as IoT popularity grows,” reveals that huge opportunities are balanced against significant cybersecurity concerns.

Survey respondents represent a wide range of vertical industries, including financial services, government and healthcare. Below are some key themes from the research:

  • Seventy-eight percent of respondents indicated interest in a solution that allows them to manage all their endpoints in one place.
  • Sixty-three percent noted that security is the “top” concern regarding digital technologies and processes. However, only a little over one-third (37 percent) actually have a formal digital transformation strategy in place.
  • Organizations are least prepared against external threats, with nearly two-thirds (61 percent) citing hackers and cyberwarfare as top concerns.
  • Thirty-nine percent of respondents from very large organizations (more than 10,000 employees) revealed that a lack of collaboration among internal departments is a potential barrier to unified endpoint management, while 51 percent of mid-sized organizations felt the same way.

The new whitepaper is available for download at www.blackberry.com/enterprise-of-things.
For more information about BlackBerry’s EOT solutions, please visit www.blackberry.com/enterprise.

Roku Launches New Roku Express in Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 17, 2017 by itnerd

Roku, Inc. today announced that it is launching the new Roku Express in Canada, which is five times more powerful than its predecessor.The Roku Express is tiny. It comes with everything in the box to start streaming, including a simple-to-use remote control and HDMI cable, and is priced at just $39.99 MSRP.

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Roku devices are powered by the Roku OS and feature a simple home screen. Consumers in Canada can access 4,000+ streaming channels, including 150,000 movies and TV episodes. They can also download the free Roku app for iOS® and Android™ mobile devices which acts as a remote, streams media from a mobile device to the TV, includes a keyboard and features such as voice search and private listening.

The Roku Express is expected to be available in November from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Staples, The Source, London Drugs and other fine retailers at an MSRP of $39.99 CAD.

Canadian Companies Among Finalists For Stevie Awards For Women In Business

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 16, 2017 by itnerd

Finalists were announced in the 14th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, the world’s top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organizations they run.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are produced by the creators of the prestigious American Business Awards and International Business Awards. The Stevies are widely considered to be the world’s premier business awards.

Among the finalists of this year’s Stevie Awards for Women in Business are 16 companies and women from Canada that have prevailed over the global competition.

The organization with most finalist nominations from Canada is Pink Elephant from Burlington. The global training & consulting provider is candidate for nine Stevie Awards in different categories including Lifetime Achievement (Business), Most Innovative Women of the Year (Business Services) and Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Canada.

Another company with multiple finalists is The Colony Project from Toronto with four award winning entries in the categories Employee of the Year (Business), Most Innovative Woman of the Year (Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations), Company of the Year (Business Services – 10 or Less Employees) and Female Executive of the Year (Business Products –10 or Less Employees).

Other finalists in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business include Tigris Events Inc. (Pickering), She Takes on the World Inc. (Kitchener), Managing Matters Inc. (Toronto) and Marketing CoPilot (Toronto).

This year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be announced at an awards dinner at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on Friday, November 17. More than 500 women and their guests from around the world are expected to attend the presentations, which will be broadcast live on Livestream.

More than 1,500 entries were submitted this year by organizations and individuals around the world for consideration in more than 90 categories including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Startup of the Year, Women Helping Women and Women-Run Workplace of the Year.

Nominations were submitted by organizations in 25 nations including Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

Visit http://www.StevieAwards.com/Women for a complete list of finalists by category.

Update Adobe Flash ASAP As Exploits Are In The Wild

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 16, 2017 by itnerd

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but you need to update Adobe Flash ASAP as there are exploits that hackers are actively using them. The really funny part is that the people who came across this was beleaguered anti-virus company Kaspersky.

Yeah. Those guys.

In any case, this exploit is serious as per this:

The warning came after cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab Inc said a group it was tracking, BlackOasis, used the previously unknown weakness on Oct. 10 to plant malicious software on computers before connecting them back to servers in Switzerland, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

Kaspersky said the malware, known as FinSpy or FinFisher, is a commercial product typically sold to nation states and law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance.

Kaspersky said its assessment of BlackOasis shows it is targeting Middle Eastern politicians and United Nations officials engaged in the region, opposition bloggers and activists, and regional news correspondents with the latest version of FinSpy.

The company said victims have so far been observed in Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Iran and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East.

Excellent. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:

Option 1: Download the latest Adobe Flash. Install it and wait for the next Flash based exploit to appear.

Option 2: Uninstall Adobe Flash as there is no real reason to run it. That will make the next Flash based exploit a non-event.

The choice is yours.

Microsoft And Apple Have Already Patched “KRACK” Vulnerabilities

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 16, 2017 by itnerd

Good news for those who are running the latest and greatest, or at least the still supported from either Apple or Microsoft. That rather nasty WiFi vulnerability that I told you about this morning has already been fixed. Apple has disclosed via MacRumors that upcoming updates of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS will have the fixes on board. Microsoft has told The Verge that if you are running a supported operating system and you installed the patches that came out on October 10th, you’re good to go.

Now that’s great for Apple and Microsoft users. But Android users will have to wait weeks for a patch. Maybe months depending on who’s phone you own. And what happens to those who own IoT devices, WiFi routers, etc.? It’s anyone guess if or when they’ll be patched. That means that this will be a problem for some time to come.

“KRACK” WiFi Exploit Affects Every WiFi Device Out There

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 16, 2017 by itnerd

This isn’t good. There’s a exploit that affects any device that uses WiFi and the WPA2 security protocol. Dubbed “KRACK” or Key Reinstallation Attack, it is scary for this reason:

The bug, known as “KRACK” for Key Reinstallation Attack, exposes a fundamental flaw in WPA2, a common protocol used in securing most modern wireless networks. Mathy Vanhoef, a computer security academic, who found the flaw, said the weakness lies in the protocol’s four-way handshake, which securely allows new devices with a pre-shared password to join the network.

That weakness can, at its worst, allow an attacker to decrypt network traffic from a WPA2-enabled device, hijack connections, and inject content into the traffic stream.

In other words: hackers can eavesdrop on your network traffic.

This affects everything from your iPhone to the debit card machine in a restaurant, not to mention IoT devices. That’s not good. Here’s what’s worse. Patches are slowly rolling out now. But it’s an open question as to when a device might get a patch. Assuming that it gets one at all. So you may end up with a device that never gets patched and is at risk for pwnage via this exploit. Hopefully device manufacturers get it in gear and protect their users quickly.