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Enterprise of Things gets BB mobile security

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BlackBerry has launched a platform designed for the Enterprise of Things. The platform is designed to be the foundation that drives a company’s move to the cloud, enabling it to address the entire enterprise from endpoint to endpoint.

Data breaches and cybersecurity threats are some of the biggest roadblocks to realizing the greatest potential of the Enterprise of Things, which BlackBerry defines as the network of intelligent connections and endpoints within the enterprise that enable products to move from sketch to scale. It is a collection of devices, computers, sensors, trackers, equipment and other “things” that communicate with each other to enable smart product development, distribution, marketing and sales.

“Businesses must be able to confidentially and reliably transmit sensitive data between endpoints to keep people, information and goods safe,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BlackBerry. “BlackBerry is uniquely qualified to address this emerging market now because of our deep experience, industry leadership and ongoing product innovation that addresses future business needs.”

The totality of the BlackBerry solution is called BlackBerry Secure and is grounded in the company’s mobile software security platform. It helps companies manage and secure their mobile devices and connected things and secures communications for all messaging and file types – ultimately opening up new markets for BlackBerry where multiple endpoint mobile security management and applications are critical. For example, BlackBerry’s platform helps to prevent hackers from penetrating devices and computers, provide intelligence for highly secure supply chain communications, ensure patient confidentiality in healthcare and safeguard assets in the financial industry.

Chen added, “Our customers’ investments are protected because this foundational platform is not only compatible with our current products and third-party software like Microsoft Office 365, but is also ‘future-proofed’ to address upcoming capabilities such as messaging and analytics. It allows customers to build their own apps, workflows and business processes, and will be compatible with future applications and cloud-based systems because we have plans to expand the platform’s features, market segments it supports, and our entire partner ecosystem.”

In addition to more than 80 security certifications, BlackBerry recently ranked the highest in all six use cases of Gartner’s “Critical Capabilities for High-Security Mobility Management” report. The company’s heritage in security has led to the following products that meet the highest security and regulatory requirements, accelerate key business processes and reduce total cost of ownership – ultimately giving organizations complete confidence in their endpoint management:

·         BlackBerry UEM (formerly BES12) – Provides the granular control and visibility that IT needs to secure all endpoints, along with the flexibility to support a wide array of productivity and other business use cases. BlackBerry UEM supports all major OS platforms (Android for Work, Samsung KNOX, iOS, Windows 10, OS X and BlackBerry 10) and device ownership models with a single console. It also supports native MDM controls for managing device policies and MAM capabilities for deploying approved business apps.

·         BlackBerry Dynamics (formerly Good Dynamics) – Delivers a foundation for secure enterprise mobility by offering an advanced, mature development platform and container for mobile apps. BlackBerry Dynamics is designed to eliminate the risk of data leakage by delivering proven security at the app level. It is also flexible enough to support a vast and ever-changing set of apps, workflows, and business processes.

·         BlackBerry Workspaces (formerly WatchDox) – Enables users to share, edit and control their files on every device with the highest level of security due to embedded digital rights management (DRM) protection in the files.

·         BlackBerry 2FA (formerly Strong Authentication) – Allows users to replace the cost and hassle of a physical token and typing in codes with the simplicity of acknowledging a prompt on their secured mobile device for two-factor authentication.

·         BlackBerry Enterprise Identity – Enables users to Single Sign-on (SSO) into a variety of third-party cloud services such as Office 365, Box, Dropbox, Workday and Salesforce. Even more compelling is Mobile Zero Sign-on (MZSO), where simply unlocking the phone grants transparent access to services without requiring a password.

·         BlackBerry SDK – Allows application developers to easily integrate any BlackBerry service (i.e., BlackBerry UEM, BlackBerry Workspaces and BlackBerry Dynamics) into their applications via a Platform-as-a-Service model.

As part of BlackBerry’s platform, the company is launching a new portfolio of business-class applications designed for the mobile-first work environment. Available in January, the apps outlined below are simple for IT to deploy and provide a seamless experience across smartphones, tablets and PCs:

·         BlackBerry Work (formerly Good Work) – Offers a secure, intuitive and integrated collaboration experience. It combines email, calendar, contacts, presence, document access, document editing and more, allowing organizations to mobilize their workforce effectively.

·         BlackBerry Access (formerly Good Access) – Gives your organization the ability to confidently enable mobile access to a broad range of web apps and intranet resources containing sensitive information. 

·         BlackBerry Connect (formerly Good Connect) – Accelerates decision-making by allowing employees to securely connect and collaborate in real time on their choice of mobile device. 

·         BlackBerry Share (formerly Good Share) – Allows employees to safely share documents and other content while on the go, on any device.

·         BlackBerry Tasks (formerly Good Tasks) Provides the ability to securely create, open and prioritize tasks synchronized with Microsoft Exchange.

·         BlackBerry Notes – Enables users to stay on top of business workflows by creating, editing and maintaining a tile-view list of notes.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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SAFTA awards get first streaming video nominees

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The 2019 nominations for The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) were announced late last week, and for the first time in the 13-year history of the awards, a TV series produced for a video-on-demand service was in contention. The result was a surprise boost to streaming service Showmax.

The comedy series Tali’s Wedding Diary, which premiered in December 2017, represented a major step for the then two-year old streaming service. It was the debut Showmax Original, the first time Showmax ventured into producing its own content. The gamble paid off, with the show becoming the most watched of any series on its first day on Showmax, and now Tali’s Wedding Diary has been further recognised with seven SAFTA nominations, making it this year’s most nominated comedy.

“When we first floated the idea of Tali’s Wedding Diary, we joked about winning awards,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “At that point, just getting our first Showmax Original off the ground was already a major challenge and it was more than we could hope for to actually hit it out of the park. I was stunned when I heard the news about the nominations – it’s amazing to be considered in the same company as these other shows and thanks to this we’re already seeing a fresh spike in Tali views.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary was also a first for co-creator and star Julia Anastasopoulos, who until then was best known as YouTube star SuzelleDIY. “I am so thrilled about the SAFTA nominations for Tali’s Wedding Diary,” says Julia, who is up for Best Actress – TV Comedy and Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – TV Comedy, along with her husband Ari Kruger and Daniel Zimbler. 

“It was such a big and daunting step to create a full TV comedy series and intro a brand-new character. I really didn’t know how it would be received and am so happy to have received such positive feedback for the show and the Tali Babes character, along with the nominations. It feels so good to be recognised for something we poured our hearts into. None of it would have been possible, of course, without the incredible hard work and vision of my husband Ari and the incredible team, cast and crew that were part of the show. And a huge thank you to Showmax of course for making it all possible. Congratulations and best of luck to the entire team and to all the other nominees.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary is a mockumentary that follows Tali, a self-obsessed Joburg princess who’s moved to Cape Town and is planning her wedding to property-agent fiancé Darren (Anton Taylor). The series was inspired by Julia’s own wedding to Ari, her SuzelleDIY and Tali’s Wedding Diary co-creator, who is also up for Best Achievement In Directing – TV Comedy.  

In addition to Julia and Ari’s nominations, Tali’s Wedding Diary is up for Best TV Comedy, Art Direction (Keren Setton),  Cinematography (James Adey), and Editing (Richard Starkey). Winners will be announced on 2 March 2019 at Sun City Superbowl.

Following the success of Tali’s Wedding Diary, the second Showmax Original, The Girl From St Agnes, was released earlier this month. A third Showmax Original, Trippin With Skhumba, is slated for release at the end of February.

“With three Showmax Originals now under our belt and more on the way, we’d like to think this is the start of many more SAFTA nominations for shows from a streaming service,” concludes Candice.

South African content currently on Showmax has 110 nominations and includes the most nominated movie (Five Fingers With Marseilles), telenovela (The River), drama (Lockdown) and soap (Isibaya), with more SAFTA nominees scheduled for the coming months.

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