Monday, January 16, 2017


OVERVIEW:
uFace800 facial multi-biometric time & attendance and access control terminal supports up to 1,200 face templates, 2,000 fingerprint templates and 10,000 cards (optional).

With ZKTeco latest hardware platfrom and algorithm, it offers brand new UI and user-friendly operation interface to provide smooth user experience.

With advanced face algorithm and multi-biometric verification technology, the terminal’s security level of verification is significantly enhanced.

Click here to read more >> Face Recognition



ZKTeco uFace 800 Face Recognition and Fingerprint Reader


Iris biometric recognition is an automated method of biometric identification, that uses mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images of one or both of the irises of an individual’s eyes. The patterns are captured using digital cameras and illumination by near infrared technique. The major concern is about the damage to the eye which is overcome by using single LED source to generate infrared rays.

Iris biometric recognition has several advantages such as high accuracy and time performance of the technology. Several countries across the globe have deployed iris biometric systems for automated cross border activities and creating national IDs for the people, The development sliced waiting times while improving national security. Security agencies are using the technology to verify the identity of the people immigrating into their countries. Further, with advancement in technology and rising demand for security, this technology is expected to be used for big residential buildings over the coming years. However, the technology is intrusive and very expensive.


Click here to learn more >> Biometrics


According to openpr.com press release, a market research report by Persistence Market Research evalutates that the rising demand for authentication and extensive support from the government are major factors fuelling the growth of iris biometrics market. Furthermore, the use of biometric recognition in E-commerce and setting up of a hosted security system on cloud-based systems are expected to attract new and existing players towards growing trend in security and authentication.

However, high cost and fear of privacy disturbance are the major concerns that could pose challenge to the growth of the market.

Other factors affecting the growth of the market are the technical issues regarding the compatibility with existing systems and time to develop the iris recognition system.

Iris biometric finds major applications in end-use sectors such as government, defense, immigration, banking, finance, consumer electronics, healthcare, home and commercial security among others. Additionally, services such as access control, time and attendance monitor, national identity and public safety are delivered by the solutions provided in the market.

The leading providers for iris biometric scanners according to the report are MorphoTrak, Smartmatic, Anviz Global, Smart Sensors Ltd., Iris ID Inc., and SRI International among others. Other players in the market include Aditech Ltd., BioEnable Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Human Reco Systems, IrisGuard Inc., EyeLock Corp. and AOptix Technologies Inc. among others.

Additionally, smartphone manufacturers are seeing interest in using iris biometric scanning for improving the safety standards. For instance, Samsung is working a development for using iris biometric scanning solution for their high-end mobile phone segment.

Source: iHLS

Iris Biometric Recognition

Friday, January 13, 2017

 

Android devices are delivered to users packed with a variety of functions & unique features. You can use Android devices to perform a variety of tasks which ultimately affects its speed and performance. To deal with it, you can use certain apps or software to maximize your Android device performance. Let's have a look at some of these useful apps.

Android Cleaner Apps: Your Android device gets cluttered and unorganized over time due to prolonged use. Your device storage space gets cluttered with the lot of data including junk, temporary, log and other unnecessary files. This cluttered data affects your device speed and performance negatively. To deal with this situation you can do the manual cleaning of your device or you can use certain Android cleaning apps like Systweak Android Cleaner to clean your device effectively. This app proves to be a complete package to keep your device intact.

Anti-virus Apps: Keeping reliable security suite or anti-virus software is more like a preventive step to keep your device secure from any malware attack which may cause speed and performance issues. These anti-virus Apps (such as AVG Antivirus) on your device keep your device safe from malware, spyware, adware or any other malicious content. You cannot measure the importance of having reliable anti-virus software installed on your device until malicious content attacks your device. So it is advisable to keep your device safe with latest anti-malware Apps.

Duplicate File Remover Apps: Duplicate files on your device is a major source of cluttered and unorganized storage space. These duplicate files accumulate on your device over time due to various reasons like file transfer, file downloading, data backup etc. This lot of duplicate data on your device affects its performance significantly. You can again do the manual cleaning of this duplicate data which proves time and efforts consuming or you can use duplicate file remover tools like Duplicate Files Fixer to remove all kind of duplicate files. It helps you remove all type of duplicate files (pictures, music, video, documents etc.) from your device effortlessly to improve its speed.

Battery Saver Apps: Lot of improvements have been measured in Android devices since its inception as reliable smartphone device. It offers better storage space, better resolution, better sound quality and lot more today. Battery life still remains the cause of worry even with latest technology Android devices. This is undeniable fact that Android devices are used to perform a variety of tasks except making and receiving calls only. These range of tasks soak battery life considerably. To deal with it, you can perform certain manual tweaks in your device settings or you can use battery saver apps such as Greenify to add that extra time in your device battery life. These battery saver apps help you manage all battery hungry functions and programs on your device.

Launcher Apps: You can have a unique user experience with your "Stock" Android device but if you are planning to ditch your factory settings than Launcher apps prove to be effective. If you are planning for some tweaks in your "Stock" Android experience, then the launcher apps (such as Google Now Launcher) are a perfect fit for you. You can use these apps to change your device look completely. It helps you with a variety of features like gesture control, built-in widgets, icon pack support, specialized themes and animations, cool functions and lot more. These user-friendly apps give you a unique and fresh experience on your old device.

You can use these effective apps to see the difference in your Android device performance. These simple apps are quick and effective to improve your Android experience. You can check for other apps as well to run your Android device smooth and effective.

Best 5 Apps to Maximize Your Android Performance

Thursday, January 12, 2017


As hacks increase in scope and intensity, businesses and governments need to take them seriously or risk great peril.

Picture this: It’s December 24th, and you’re headed anti-clockwise out of London on the M25 at 6:00pm. Coming towards your exit, you think you’ve almost reached the home straight without hitting traffic – could it be a Christmas miracle? But as you approach Junction 12, the vehicles ahead of you grind to a halt. The street lights guiding the way blink off. Ahead of you is a scene of chaos. Resulting from the sudden shutdown of traffic lights, cars and lorries have collided. Traffic queues mount. Irritated drivers beep their horns. You turn on the radio only to realise that the incident isn’t isolated, but has happened at numerous motorway junctions across the UK.   

What may have sounded far-fetched just a few years ago could potentially take place in the not-too-distant future. The expanding IoT is incorporating more public services and critical infrastructure, and without the introduction of adequate security measures these systems will be vulnerable to intrusion, easily manipulated and potentially disabled. 

IoT and cyber security hacks have been big news in the last year: TalkTalk, Tesco Bank, Three Mobile and Dailymotion have been targeted in the past few months alone, and the trend looks set to continue into 2017. Each hack has exposed the inadequate approaches taken by these high-profile companies. According to the government, two thirds of large UK businesses were hit by a cyber breach or attack in the past year. 

Those recent cyber security hacks have resulted in financial and reputational damage, as well as the loss of personal and corporate data. As we enter the era of IoT, however, it is no longer just data at risk, but the running of public services and infrastructure, and the health and safety of British citizens.   

The future is not all doom and gloom. Despite the government’s worrying statement on cyber breaches, it also stated that the most common attacks could have been prevented by following the Cyber Essentials scheme. Securing the IoT will take a multi-pronged approach by all parties involved, and adequate security measures, digital trust and collaboration will all help avoid ‘M25’ scenarios in the future.   

Back to basics

Before we get to the stage of advanced IoT security, there is something far more basic which should not be overlooked: passwords. According to research from Verizon, 63% of data breaches involved weak, default or stolen passwords, and stories of such breaches have been covered extensively by the media: LinkedIn, Dropbox, O2, and in recent times the National Lottery, are just some of the major names that have suffered password-related breaches. Despite widespread media coverage and awareness being raised of the nature of these attacks, the password remains the most common method of authentication today and is the lowest common denominator in all of these attacks.   

Phishing emails which request fake password resets are one route of entry for hackers, in addition to weak passwords and the re-use of passwords for multiple accounts. Even tech aficionado Mark Zuckerberg was revealed to have lax security when his Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts were hacked in June. The reason? The same simple password, ‘dadada’, was used across multiple accounts.

As Zuckerberg has shown, even the most technologically savvy among us still find it difficult to remember login details for our vast array of online accounts. It is down to the platforms and organisations therefore, to reject password authentication and adopt secure alternatives.  They are available, they are easy to implement, and offer much higher levels of security. For example, a service provider could ask an end-user to confirm they are in possession of their own smartphone by requesting they take a photo of a bar code and submit it before moving on to the next level of authentication. Adding the need for a biometric reading like a fingerprint scan would further increase the robustness of the security method.

A new era of hacking  

Gartner has predicted that the number of connected devices will reach 20.8 billion by 2020, 13.8 billion of which will be in the consumer sector. In this saturated, competitive environment, many companies consider security as an afterthought rather than a priority, in their rush to launch devices to the market.

This year has seen a number of high profile distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which have been caused by hackers gaining access to a network via unsecured connected devices like smart cameras and printers. The largest of these targeted internet performance management company Dyn, which resulted in disrupted connections to sites like Twitter and Netflix for users on the US East Coast. The company subsequently stated that the attack involved a record-breaking 1.2Tbps of traffic and targeted 100,000 malicious endpoints. 

When devices reach the hands of consumers many users will fail to reset the device’s default password, leaving it vulnerable to hackers. Strict security should instead be introduced at the point of manufacture, by making use of a device’s Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). The TEE is an area embedded in many connected devices which establishes a secure ‘fort’, protecting application data within its ‘walls’ from outside intrusion and manipulation. The majority of connected devices have a chip of some shape or size which offers the ideal location to embed secure credentials. Chip manufacturers are perfectly placed to utilise the TEE to ensure devices are secure before they even leave the factory and enter the hands of consumers and businesses.    

Building digital trust in a connected era

Chip manufacturers are just one part of the IoT ecosystem and are therefore just one of the many players whose effort is required to create a secure future. Smart devices connect a consumer to the internet, and share data and information between numerous organisations, platforms, and cloud services. Wearables are a prime example of this, as devices like fitness trackers send personal health data to online monitoring services, to personal email accounts and to other devices like the user’s smartphone. CCS Insight predicted that 411 million smart wearable devices worth $34 billion will be sold in 2020. Industry collaboration is therefore needed from all of those involved to gain and maintain trust from end-users, as well as ensuring trust between devices and services, to secure this thriving market. 

As the IoT expands beyond personal gadgets to public infrastructure and services, the threats are even greater. As with the Kings Cross scenario, a hacked IoT ecosystem could pose a significant threat to public safety, and as the healthcare industry embraces IoT, personal health also. Just this month potential security flaws were identified in 10 models of pacemakers used in the UK, meaning hackers could disable the pacemakers directly, run down the battery, or apply electric shocks. 

Fortunately, there have been no reports of such activity, and similarly, the M25 is yet to grind to a halt as a result of a hack. However, these examples should be viewed as cautionary tales, which underline the sobering thought that until governments and businesses start to take security seriously, the next hack could have very different consequences, putting citizens’ virtual and physical safety at risk. 

Source: IT Pro Portal

Securing a connected future

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


It can be a daunting task trying to find the best IT support a company has to offer and the right IT support services for your needs. There are so many factors to take into account, and it can often feel like navigating a minefield.

The truth is that if you want your business to operate at its peak potential, it's a minefield you must conquer. One of the key factors in running a successful business, and optimising your activities and processes, is finding the right IT support company.

Here's a rundown of the process of choosing, and the essential steps to getting it right.

Step 1: Assess your requirements in terms of IT infrastructure

This can be quite an involved process, but it's pivotal that you get it right! Assess your current IT requirements and identify what you need right now, and what you're going to need moving forward.

Step 2: Do some research

Make a list of prospective IT support companies and do some research. Be sure to get several references and, if you can, speak to someone at a company they're currently servicing. Check out their customer reviews and client testimonials -They should have dedicated sections on their website where you can freely view these. Google the company and see if they have a Google business account - this includes reviews!

Step 3: Get in touch

Once you are crystal clear on what you need (now and looking ahead) and you have your list of possible companies, get in touch with them and tell them your requirements. Ask for an obligation-free estimate. Gather responses, and see what they come back to you with. Don't be afraid to meet them in person and discuss your needs. Think of it like any other interview - if you were hiring a new assistant or manager, you wouldn't rely on email or even phone calls, you'd interview the candidates in person. You need to see how you get on, personally, and whether or not you're compatible enough to form a good business relationship. Get them into your office. While they're there, assess their attitude and perspectives, bring up a specific issue or two that you're having, or have had in the past, and see how they react.

Step 4: Read the fine print

A tedious but completely necessary step is to look at the fine print that comes with each of the companies you've met with. How good is their confidentiality agreement? What are their terms? How long would you need to give notice if you needed to change to a new company? Are there any 'hidden' charges that might apply to you? There are a myriad of small details like this that can sway your final decision. Make a pros and cons list for each company based on their estimates, your experience while meeting them, and the benefits and downsides of working with them.

Step 5: Make a decision

It's time to be decisive! Making the final decision really comes down to a combination of price comparison, the benefits on offer, and gut instinct. When all else is equal, go with your gut!

Step 6: Choose a person

The work doesn't stop when you choose a company to work with. It's your responsibility to keep on top of things, take care of all the basics and liaise with your new support company to ensure you are getting exactly what you need. You should appoint a single person to act as the point of contact between your business and your IT support. One person who always deals with them and knows the workings of your relationship backwards. Any problems, on either side, they deal with them - it will make everything run a lot more smoothly!

Step 7: Start a fault log

This is a simple but often overlooked process. Start a log of all faults in your system. It ensures you have a record if you need it and will aid your new support company in looking after you as best they possibly can.

Finding the Right IT Support Company for Your Business

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Present-day technology has changed development in a lot of ways. People have often been on a way of movement, yet on account of technology. Some of the technology progresses has turned into a necessity of life because of their significance and our dependence on them.

Correspondence

One of the regions where present-day technology is most essential is in the domain of correspondence. Long back, speaking with people outside your prompt area was a troublesome procedure, requiring correspondence by physical letter and a much measure of tolerance. The Internet has made long separations practically straightforward, permitting clients to relate with people on the opposite side of the planet in a moment. Technology has additionally expanded our availability, with mobile phones and different gadgets.

Training

Another territory where PCs and the Internet have turned out to be critical is in training. PCs can store a lot of information in a little space; diminishing whole give up work of refer to books down to a solitary CD of information. The Internet likewise serves as an enormous asset for learning, connecting educational locales together and permitting the inquisitive to scan for any subject possible. A solitary PC could store many instructive diversions, sound, and visual lessons and also give access to an abundance of learning for understudy. In the classroom, virtual whiteboards can supplant boards, permitting instructors to give intuitive substance to understudy and play instructive movies without the need to set up a projector.

Wellbeing

Technology has likewise affected the human services industry. Advances in symptomatic instruments permit specialists to distinguish sicknesses and conditions early, expanding the odds of an effective treatment and sparing lives. Progressions in medications and antibodies have likewise demonstrated greatly powerful, about killing infections like measles, diphtheria, and smallpox that once brought about huge plagues. Cutting edge pharmaceutical likewise permits patients to oversee constant conditions that were once incapacitating and life-undermining, such as, diabetes and hypertension. Innovative advances in solution have likewise developed life expectancies and enhance personal satisfaction for people around the world.

Profitability

Technology has likewise expanded efficiency. The capacity of PCs to settle complex numerical conditions permits them to accelerate any undertaking requiring estimation or different figuring. PC displaying of physical impacts can spare time and cash in any assembling circumstance, giving specialists the capacity to renovate structures, vehicles or materials to give essential information on execution before prototyping. Indeed, even in the workplace environment, the capacity of arranged PCs to share and control information can speed a wide assortment of errands, permitting representatives to unite proficiently for most extreme efficiency.

Source: Totalitech

Overview of Modern Technology

Friday, December 30, 2016


“Your business could be next”. This was the industry response following the latest online security breach affecting the National Lottery. The attack, and others like it, serves to highlight the constant threat to customer data and the worrying vulnerability of personal information, such as user profiles or financial records. Data breaches are not just breaches of security, in terms of corporate responsibility they represent a damaging breach in trust. 

The situation has become so serious that some argue there are just two types of company today – those that have been hacked, and those that do not yet know they’ve been hacked. Surprisingly, many companies are simply hoping to avoid a data breach, not fully realising that the probabilities point to them falling victim to some form of data loss - sooner rather than later. 

But it’s not just the immediate loss of data we need to be concerned about - it’s the consequences this has for us, as users, and the effects on our online behaviour which is more alarming, as they threaten to redefine our relationship with the connected world. 

Deeper consequences

None of us, I’m sure, would be happy working for a company that had a policy of sharing confidential staff records with complete strangers and all of us would be devastated by an identity theft caused by a data breach at an organisation we once did business with. This betrayal of trust has destroyed users’ confidence in companies and in their ability to protect data. As a result, according to a recent global SafeNet survey, nearly two thirds of 4500 respondents across five of the world’s largest economies would never, or were very unlikely to shop or do business with a company that had experienced a data breach. In a further study, as many as 59 per cent of users admit they would likely not do business with a company which had suffered a data breach. 

This trend is having a profound impact on our online behaviour. Having trust in the transactions we perform – commercial, social or otherwise – is critical for growing the digital economy and a prerequisite for a globally connected Internet. Any erosion of trust is therefore a destabilising threat that goes to the very heart of the Internet.  

I was recently on the steering group for the Internet Society’s analysis of their impact; the resulting security report drew on a significant study by Ipsos on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.  It found a long term trend; we are becoming more fearful in using the Internet.

Without trust, those online are less likely to volunteer their personal information and those who are not yet online may choose to stay unconnected. Whilst much is made of the reputational implications for a business, some of the responses to the recent National Lottery breach point to a loss of faith. As one hopeful lottery player said, “it just makes me more inclined to go to the shop with cash… it’s worrying when they can get hold of so much of my personal information.”

So what can be done?

According to the Online Trust Alliance, as many as 93 per cent of all breaches to have occurred could have been prevented if the correct counter-measures were in place. And when a breach does occur, it seems that steps are not taken to avoid harm, such as minimising the amount of data stored and encrypting the data that is kept.

Many companies can and do seek advice and are proactive in protecting themselves; there are relatively easy ways to invest in the latest security improvements. But businesses could be doing much more to minimise their exposure to potential attacks.

Given the complexity and the transactional and cross-border nature of the Internet, it is essential that all those involved in the digital economy play their part in helping to combat the data breach threat. 

This includes making organisations more accountable for data breaches, making information security a priority and increasing transparency around security incidents around the world. 

Five key recommendations, contained in the Internet Society’s recent 2016 Global Internet Report, help to map out a way forward for tackling the data breach challenge specifically:


  • Put users -the ultimate victims of data breaches- at the centre of solutions. When assessing the costs of data breaches, include the costs to both users and organisations.
  • Increase transparency about the risk, incidence and impact of data breaches globally. Sharing information responsibly helps organisations improve data security, helps policymakers improve policies and regulators pursue attackers, and helps the data security industry create better solutions.
  • Prioritise data security – organisations should be held to best practice standards when it comes to data security.
  • Increase accountability – organisations should be held accountable for their breaches. Rules regarding liability and remediation must be established up front.
  • Increase incentives to invest in security – create a market for trusted, independent assessment of data security measures so that organisations can credibly signal their level of data security. Security signals help organisations indicate they are less vulnerable than competitors.
  • Shared responsibility


With more and more connected organisations and services, the opportunities for further loss of trust and confidence by having our personal data taken and breached is at an all-time high. We are at a turning point for trust in the Internet. Online security is not achieved by a single treaty or piece of legislation; it is not solved by a single technical fix, nor can it come about when companies or sectors of the economy ignore the fact that security is important.  

We need to address these problems closest to where the issues are occurring. That means initiatives across government, business and among individual Internet users as part of a collective, global effort. This includes companies taking their responsibility by handling users’ data in responsible ways. 

Think about our shared civic duty to keep our streets and cities clean through the use of refuse collection and litterbins and how this results in a clean, sustainable environment in which to live. Internet security demands the same behaviour from us all. 

Source: IT Pro Portal

Is internet security a urban duty?

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Optical fingerprint device vendor SecuGen has announced the launch of the UN20 Serial.

The firm notes that the new device is an OEM fingerprint sensor that is FAP 20 certified by the FBI.

The UN20 Serial is a serial interface sensor with commands that allows the developer to capture fingerprint images, extract templates, and to enroll, search and match fingerprint templates, says SecuGen.

Secugen stated in a press release that the UN20 Serial is the first of the Unity BDP (Biometric Development Platform) line of fingerprint products to be released.

"The solution features SecuGen’s FAP 20 certified U20 sensor and a programmable Linux system and integrated into one compact package almost identical in size to the U20 itself. "

"The Unity BDP provides the tools and technologies that allow for the rapid and efficient development of a wide variety of embedded fingerprint solutions where high quality, rugged design, and affordability are key factors."

SecuGen will be releasing a series of additional UN20 OEM sensors and Unity finished products over the course of the coming months. Development partners may also use the Unity Biometric Development Platform to develop a potentially limitless variety of custom designed fingerprint sensors to suit the needs of their customers.

Jeff Brown, VP of Sales and Marketing for SecuGen stated, “We looked at the old model of a sensor and a separate board running the extraction and matching algorithms and felt it was hopelessly out of date. Our team has been able to unite all the parts of the OEM sensor and shrink them into one very small sensor. Embedding an open Linux development environment in the UN20 Serial makes this product unique in the industry. Combining all of this with an astonishingly low price is a major breakthrough.”

“The SecuGen engineering team has come up with a new approach to delivering world class OEM sensors,” commented VP of Engineering Dan Riley. “The UN20 Serial is the first product resulting from this approach. The Unity BDP upon which the UN20 Serial is based is not just a sensor, it is an entire development platform. The UN20 Serial is just the first product springing from the Unity platform. The uses for the Unity BDP are nearly limitless. It represents a giant leap forward in OEM fingerprint technology.”

Won Lee, CEO of SecuGen, added, “For many years we have focused exclusively on delivering to our OEM partners the tools they need to compete successfully in this highly competitive industry. The UN20 Serial is the first of an amazing new product line, the Unity Biometric Development Platform (BDP). Unity BDP is the culmination of a decade of effort. We are very proud to be able to deliver the first product of this product line. More such products are coming and we believe that the industry will never be the same.”

Source: Plant Biometrics

SecuGen lanuches the UN20 Serial

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Technology in the workplace is developing at a blistering rate. Both consumer tech and uniquely business-orientated innovations are completely changing the working environment, from the boardroom to the basement. Many innovations, such as company-wide instant messaging are now the norm, but we want more. We want our environment and our appliances to think with us; keep our calendars, book our holidays and take care of our daily routine – and new technologies are being developed every day to help us achieve this.   

The year ahead will undoubtedly bring about change and progress towards this future. Below are five innovations that are at the moment in their infancy, but will have a drastic impact over the next year:

The end of the app

Steve Job’s predicted that the individual app would disappear, and this will start to bare truth in 2017. And it’s about time too. Opening individual apps for every tiny function is backwards and with the ascent of virtual assistants, everything from hotel bookings to the fastest routes to our destinations will be handled for us.  Virtual assistants unite the functionality of all the varying apps within a device in a single user interface. 

Thanks to the economy of API’s, it is mostly a matter of linking it all together and sitting back. Within five years, the science fiction film 'Her' will probably be more reality and less fiction.

The rise of cyberspace  

Augmented reality, mixed reality and virtual reality will create a new, separate cyberspace – and 2017 will see a greater move towards this. The technique has come so far as to make really impressive results possible, and engines of games and software platforms now have default support for VR. 

The possibilities are endless and the first applications are already beginning to emerge. At the moment it is largely isolated to entertainment, but it will soon revolutionise business applications. Because why would we still go to meetings if we can meet on a virtual beach in virtual Hawaii with a live video feed around us?  

Social media will also experience a transformation and will start to offer an immersive user experience. It is no coincidence that companies like Facebook are investing so heavily in virtual reality technology.

Artificial intelligence (AI) for the masses  

The rise of artificial intelligence is inevitable and we will start to see more and more applications of AI in the business world. Applications that fully understand human speech, biometric security software and hyper intelligent virtual assistants will all come to the fore. 

For a real world example take Microsoft. It’s made a free deep learning toolkit available on Github, which fits the company's strategy to make AI available to the masses. Developers can use this toolkit to develop smarter applications that can learn from their interactions with humans and other computers. 

Think applications that fully understand human speech, or security software that works on the basis of facial recognition. And AI isn’t isolated to just this example; we have already witnessed its adoption across the business board. Banks use chatbot applications to answer customer enquiries and IBM's Watson for Oncology already advises doctors when making treatment choices. In 2017, AI will increasingly nest in every part of an organisation.      o:p>

Internet of things

We’ve been waiting a while for the Internet of Things to make the transition from our toothbrushes and our thermostats to our office, but there still are obstacles in the way, notably the lack of a common safety standard. That the security aspect still needs attention, was proven last month, when a large part of the Internet in the eastern United States was shut down by a DDoS attack originating from Internet of Things gadgets including smart security cameras and routers. 

Still, in the coming years we will witness an explosive growth of the 'things' and by 2020 there will be 20 to 50 billion devices connected to the IoT . The Industrial Internet of Things is already a reality. Consider the Rolls Royce aircraft engines that continuously send real-time data to the manufacturer to predict potential problems and prevent disasters. Or the John Deere tractors, that inform farmers about what crops they should plant, when and where they need to plough and what is the best route, all thanks to the addition of sensors and data connectivity. 

And it’s not just heavy industry and farming, our offices will also experience an IoT transformation. Companies are working on digital ceilings for example that can transform an ordinary modular ceiling into an intelligent data hub that can increase productivity, lower the operating costs of buildings and provide personalised environments for workers.  IoT is going to change everything, and companies should be aware of the implications.

The business revolution  

This brave new world of technology is not confined to the consumer space. Innovations associated with the consumer sector are increasingly finding their way into the workplace, just as tablets, mobile phones and app stores did during the consumerisation of IT. Companies therefore need to act now or risk being left helplessly standing on the sidelines by the end of next year. The same companies that ten years ago believed the cell phone would not affect their corporate IT, are now trying to cope with the BYOD revolution. 

The same will happen with companies that are failing to acknowledge the impact VR, deep learning, AI and IoT will have on their IT structures.  If businesses fail to recognise the need for change, they will struggle to attract digital native employees, keep their IT and data secure and ultimately keep up with the competition.  Innovation is by nature unpredictable. 

But one thing is certain, it never stops moving forwards. 2016 has seen huge leaps and bounds in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning – and 2017 will see these digital revolutions develop and break into the everyday. 

Source: IT Pro Portal 

Five technologies that will change the world

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


System was installed in BHUs and RHCs to keep check on doctors and paramedics


The biometric attendance system installed in all basic health units (BHUs) and rural health centres (RHCs) has flopped within four months of installation.

A global positioning system-based biometric system was installed in the health facilities across the Punjab to ensure 100 percent attendance of doctors and other paramedics. 
The system was installed in all BHUs and RHCs, because employees used to slip from the health centre by making false entries in the attendance register.

The biometric attendance system was supposed to provide real-time data about the attendance of employees via online dashboard, eliminate ghost employees, ensure transparency, improve capacity and productivity of institutions and departments.

A source in Primary and Secondary Healthcare (P&SHC) Department told Daily Times the biometric attendance system worth millions of rupees and hundreds of attendance machines had been installed to make health delivery network more effective by ensuring presence of doctors and other employees at BHUs and RHCs during their duty hours.

He said the launch of the system was a key component of the government's health reforms agenda for its department and system was linked with pay slips of employees, in case of absence, salary of the relevant staff members would be deducted.

He added that a letter has been written by P&SHC Department Secretary Ali Jan to all executive health officers (health) revealed that all biometric attendance devices installed at BHUs and RHCs have been damaged in each districts under mysterious circumstances.

He said that thumb scanners are found damaged and charging adapter were stolen or misused at various locations. He said action may be taken and names of the violators would be shared so that the same does not happen in the future.

Sources said that in spite of providing medicine and other equipments at these primary level health centers, millions of rupees would be spent in respect of repair of these devices. No Health Department will have to pay Rs 1,365 for battery, Rs 8,400 for fingerprint PCBA complete unit, Rs 7,350 for fingerprint sensor, Rs 210 for fingerprint FPC, Rs 2,730 for LCD and Rs 1,195 for touch panel.

Similarly Rs 1,100 to 13,650 for PCBA, Rs 420 for charging jack, Rs 630 for power adapter, Rs 315 for power button, Rs 1,260 for front housing power button, Rs 315 for antenna, Rs 262 for SIM jacket, Rs 840 for packing box and Rs 1,000 would be spent on miscellaneous expenditures.

 The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has planned to undergo a plan to fix the issues concerning biometric devices at district level, The EDOs are directed to ensure all the non-functional, damaged or dead biometric devices are called in their offices.

Source: Daily Times

New biometric system refuses to work

Monday, December 26, 2016


Visitors to the U.S. under a visa waiver program are being asked by the Department of Homeland Security for information on their social media accounts, a plan that has drawn criticism from civil rights groups for its potential encroachment on privacy.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection unit of the DHS asked for written comments earlier this year on its proposal that would add to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and to a form called I-94W the following entry: “Please enter information associated with your online presence —- Provider/Platform — Social media identifier,” which visitors can fill optionally.

The agency said in June that collecting social media data would provide additional tools to “enhance the existing investigative process and provide DHS greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections.” Although providing the information on social media presence is listed as optional, critics of the plan have said that failure to fill the information by a visitor could also be interpreted as something that requires scrutiny by the authorities.

The current ESTA form asks for information on the “Provider/Platform,” and for the username, handle, screen-name or other identifier associated with the social media profile.



The new field came into force on Tuesday, according to Politico, which quoted a government official.

The visa-waiver program allows most citizens or nationals of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa, if they meet certain conditions.

Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Democracy & Technology and Electronic Frontier Foundation had criticized the DHS proposal, stating that people who pose a threat to the U.S. are unlikely to volunteer online identifiers that could provide information that would raise questions about their admissibility to the U.S. The groups warned that the measure would most likely affect people of Arab and Muslim communities, whose usernames, posts, contacts and social networks will be exposed to close scrutiny.

The move by the DHS comes amidst concern that the new administration of President-elect Donald Trump will tighten the scrutiny of entrants into the U.S., with a focus on Muslims.

In a document to be published officially on Friday, the administration of President Barack Obama said it will rescind a special registration system for visitors from countries with mainly majority Muslim and Arab populations, known as NSEERS for National Security Entry-Exit Registration System.

The dormant program, described by the DHS as obsolete, could have been reactivated by Trump to “fulfill his promise to target Muslim immigrants for ‘extreme vetting,’" said the American Civil Liberties Union. A large number of tech employees have signed a pledge not to help build a database for the government that could be used to target people by race, religion or national origin.

Source: Computer World

U.S. collects social media handles from select visitors

Saturday, December 24, 2016


So, if your company is breached, what do you do? The answer might not be as obvious as you think.

Security has never been a more pressing issue for businesses than it is now. Mobile working, the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated, connected devices, and the growing number of applications relied upon by the modern enterprise all represent potential risks that weren’t apparent in generations past.    

There is a growing fear about the level of damage that cyberattacks could bring, so much so that the United Kingdom has launched a £1.9bn National Cyber Security Strategy to prevent such attacks.    

This is seen as a necessary expenditure, as data breaches now constitute a game-changing loss for businesses. A recent study found that the average consolidated total cost of a data breach has grown to around $4 million.    With this kind of money in play, the level of threat also evolves. The enterprise is no longer dealing with teenaged basement-dwellers. Today, security is all about fending off organised crime syndicates hoping to exploit the security windows evolving technologies have opened.    

So, if your company is breached, what do you do? The answer might not be as obvious as you think.

Life’s a breach

There are several ways that businesses can better equip themselves to tackle security threats, from end-to-end monitoring, which will allow security analysts to witness and act upon any suspicious activity throughout the organisation, to ensuring that the appropriate tool kits are up to date.    

Indeed, knowledge of the current landscape of attacker tools is a huge boon for companies looking to avoid infiltration. By being aware of the tools that attackers are using, you can better equip your company to combat them.    

Of course, it’s not enough to know about what tools an attacker is using. You have to ensure that your tool kit is advanced enough to combat them.  

Essentially, you don’t want to bring a knife to a gun fight.  Herein lies a challenge for security analysts, who struggle with being able to program and code in time to keep up with these advances. Time and resources allotted to this task can reduce risk in the long run.    

So, there are ways to fight off cybercriminals, but what if you discover your business has already been infiltrated?  

Dealing with intruders

Much like finding an unwanted guest in your home, instinct and common sense would usually dictate that, were your company breached, you’d look to weed out the perpetrators and do whatever you could, as quickly as you could, to remove them.   

However, it may be more valuable if, upon learning of the intrusion, your company isolates and monitors what’s going on. Now, this may seem contradictory, like letting a burglar root around your house for a while before calling the police, but bear with us.    

If you see that you have been compromised, you have two options: first, you could immediately change all of your passwords and wipe all machines that may have been accessed. The upside of this is the fact that the breach has been quickly addressed. The downside is that the criminals will immediately know that they’ve been detected, eliminating any further chance of investigation. It’s also very likely that the attackers were able to compromise machines you didn’t notice.    

The alternative is that you wait, and monitor just how far the infiltration goes. It may be best to not let the attackers know that you know that they are there. If this sounds odd (and a bit confusing), that’s because it may feel counterintuitive. It’s also a very advanced technique that you should only undertake if you have sufficient staff and are confident the attackers are isolated from damaging your business.   

However, by being patient, and investigating the way attackers infiltrated your organisation, and the level of access they achieved, you will be better placed to identify the scope of the breach and prevent similar future attacks.    

Enterprise security is likely to dominate the headlines for many years to come, with more money to be made and attackers growing increasingly sophisticated. A considered, measured approach to incident response can help your organisation plan for the future, and ensure that any action taken today will help your organisation tomorrow. 

Source: IT Pro Portal

Information Technology Security: Do not let them know what you know,

Friday, December 23, 2016


Criminals are harnessing digital technology to expand the reach and increase the impact of their crimes. But advances in technology also present law enforcement agencies with an enormous opportunity to transform how they tackle crime. Whilst the Home Office’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy highlights the crucial role that technology will play in the future of the modern crime prevention, there is still a considerable amount more that we can do to enable our police forces to fight crime effectively and reduce their costs.   

Crime has Gone Digital

The nature of crime is clearly changing. Recent ONS figures highlighted that more traditional crimes, such as burglary, theft, and street violence have dropped dramatically over the past couple of decades, but technology-enabled enable crimes such as fraud and cyber-crime are increasing exponentially. And the threat is all the harder to deal with since perpetrators of these new types of crime can launch asymmetric attacks from anywhere in the world.    

This presents a unique challenge to law enforcement agencies and emphasises the critical importance of equipping police forces for modern crime prevention. Only by working closely with the tech industry can the Government and police hope to combat this evolving new threat more effectively. 

What the Government Says

The Home Office’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy, announced by Theresa May in March 2016, highlighted the crucial role that technology will play in the future of the modern crime prevention. The penultimate chapter of the Strategy focusses on how current and emerging technologies can be leveraged to prevent crimes across the spectrum. It describes these technologies as “tools that are critical to successfully preventing crime.” And it is only through the complete incorporation of technological advances and the greater use of data analytics, that law enforcement, businesses, academia and the public can better work together to prevent crime. 

Digital for the Forces

In order to meet the objectives of the Strategy, modern technologies that improve efficiency should be adopted and become the standard for police forces, and also for businesses and citizens alike, so they can protect themselves.   

Online Crime Reporting

Online crime reporting and the digitalisation of CCTV footage has the potential to transform policing, and in doing so deter future criminals. The UK already has an online reporting portal which can be a launch-pad to revolutionise how crime is reported in the UK. Forces should be encouraged to work with industry to develop and promote the use of straightforward, multi-channel reporting tools. 

Adopting new technology which would allow businesses to submit digital evidence online would generate savings of £130m a year in police time spent on low-level crimes,   including allowing investigations to start immediately and removing the need to collect physical media. West Midlands Police Force has already saved itself over £800K by implementing a Facewatch CCTV system that could speed up investigations by 14-21 days.   

Live Streaming

The digitalisation of video footage also allows for the live streaming of CCTV footage into control rooms and alarm monitoring stations. This would make verification of alarms far easier and cheaper. techUK estimates that dispatching officers to false alarms cost the police and fire services a combined £72m last year.  This could be dramatically reduced if video footage was live-streamed to allow for visual verification.

This would also improve officer safety, as situational awareness would be markedly increased. For example, the ability to view CCTV footage remotely saved lives during the Porte de Vincennes siege in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in France in 2015.   

Security and Identity Tools

The Strategy from the Home Office recognises that moving many aspects of our lives online “has far-reaching implications for our identity, for the ‘value’ associated with it and how we protect it.” But given the dramatic rise in cyber-crime and online fraud, this sole mention of ‘identity’ severely underplays the potential of identity-orientated technology solutions to transform crime prevention.   

Identity verification and management tools could significantly aid crime prevention and ease the burden on the police. This can range from digitisation of driving licences to proof of age on smartphones to digital IDs to age verification online.   

However, these measures will only work if the public take responsibility for adopting them. This is why, as well as developing the services, the Home Office and police forces should develop a campaign to increase uptake and understanding of the benefit. 

Adoption of the Cloud

With data being generated in ever larger quantities, cloud computing and data analytics are going to be integral for crime prevention and policing. Adopting the cloud will allow forces to tackle their growing data storage problem in an affordable and scalable way. Once that data is stored in the cloud, analytic tools will be able to provide real-time insights that mean the forces are better informed and officers will be able to use advanced mobile applications on the go.   

Digital Skills in Policing

To fully benefit from the new technology solutions, it is critical that police officers have the requisite digital skills to be effective. The Home Office Strategy does acknowledge the growing significance that digital sources play in police investigations and it commits the Home Office to use money from the Police Transformation Fund to “enable the Digital Investigation and Intelligence (DII) programme to further develop police capability in relation to the skills and technology required to effectively police a digital age and protect victims of digital crime.”  

With over 100,000 police officers in the country, police forces should adopt a three-tiered approach to upskilling:   

  • Run a national training scheme, accredited by the College of Policing, to give all officers a rudimentary understanding
  • Create a digital tool kit, accessible via handheld devices, which would explain in an easily digestible format the various procedures for dealing with digital evidence
  • Establish a framework for policing to access external skills and capabilities for specialist operations.
Smarter Procurement

It is crucial that law enforcement agencies and relevant stakeholders are able to procure the technology they need to meet the aims of the Home Office’s Strategy. While there are several mechanisms designed to reduce administrative burden, there are still challenges that need to be overcome.   

The Government must focus on simple, easy and accessible purchasing. Initiatives such as G-Cloud and Contracts Finder have been welcomed by industry. But a techUK survey of 171 SMEs this year found that one of the top barrier for SMEs accessing the public sector market still is onerous procurement processes. So it is clear that more needs to be done to incentivise the public sector to utilise the tools, raise supplier awareness of them, and to make them user friendly and easy to use. A smarter approach to procurement is one way of making sure that Government and police forces are better able to access innovation. 

The Blue Lights will Burn Brighter   

Adoption of modern technology is necessary for tackling modern crime, but not sufficient. As the Home Office strategy highlighted, to enable our crime-fighters to do the very best job, we need to provide them with the skills, as well as the tools to better serve UK citizens. 

Source: IT Pro Portal

How digital tech will change how we fight crime