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IBM composes social Verse

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IBM has announced Verse, a social messaging solution that incorporates analytics to help users connect and communicate with the right people and information.

IBM has announced the availability of IBM Verse, a social messaging solution that incorporates built-in analytics to give people a new way to connect, communicate and find the right people and information fast.

A direct result of IBM’s $100 million investment in design innovation, IBM Verse integrates email, calendars, file sharing, instant messaging, social and more – all through a single collaborative, cloud-based environment.

 

“IBM Verse is a natural blending of IBM’s expertise in collaboration and analytics,” said Jens Rauschen, Managing Director of Retail, Hamm-RENO Group, GmbH, one of Europe’s largest footwear retailers which has been beta testing the solution. “It understands who and what is important to me and helps me get to the heart of the most important matters quickly, so I can get back to my business.”

For international marketing and communications firm, Havas Creative, design and speed are key aspects of the solution. “Right away, I was impressed with how intuitive, user-friendly, and modern Verse is,” said Jeff Marshall, CIO Havas Creative North America. Havas Creative manages an IBM Verse beta environment and plans to roll it out to more than 5,000 employees across North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific this year.

Of particular interest to Marshall is IBM Verse’s faceted search. With faceted search, users can pinpoint and retrieve specific information across all the various types of content within their email extremely quickly.

 

IBM provided the following information on key features of IBM Verse:

  • Team Analytics. With just one click, users can see an organizational graph of the people on their thread and gain insights before responding. No longer do you have to wonder who you are corresponding with.
  • Calendaring. As part of Verse’s innovative visual design the calendar is animated, visible and actionable across the bottom of the landing page, making missed meetings a thing of the past. Users can join meetings quickly by merely hovering over the calendar meeting and clicking “Join Meeting” directly from the calendar bar.
  • File Sharing: IBM Verse includes a social file sharing capability to make co-editing, review and commenting on a file easy. When sending an email, users can choose to easily upload a file from their desktop and share it with the mail recipients in a single action. This enables full life cycle management of the files. In addition, owners can track who has downloaded the file and recipients will always have access to the latest version instead of the version that was attached into the email. It is safe, secure and encrypted. These files can be synchronized to users’ desktops, and mobile devices, making sharing and action easy, tractable and also saving space.

Delivered on the SoftLayer Cloud with enterprise-grade security, IBM Verse offers organizations big or small a scalable, cloud-based social collaboration offering. In addition, IBM plans to introduce a new licensing model as part of its Bridge to Cloud program for IBM Connections Cloud that makes it easy for customers to deploy collaboration solutions to cloud, on premises or in a hybrid environment.

 

IBM plans to offer new native mobile apps for Verse that integrate with the IBM MobileFirst platform, including IBM MobileProtect, and starting with IBM iOS for iPhone later this month. IBM will follow that release with apps for Android and iPad in the second quarter.

IBM is also making available a free version, IBM Verse Basic, at www.ibm.com/verse.

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Wannacry still alive

One and a half years after its epidemic, WannaCry ransomware tops the list of the most widespread cryptor families and the ransomware has attacked 74,621 unique users worldwide.

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These attacks accounted for 28.72% of all users targeted by cryptors in Q3 2018. The percentage has risen over the last year, demonstrating more than two thirds growth against Q3 2017, when its share in cryptor attacks was 16.78%. This is just one of the main findings from Kaspersky Lab’s Q3 IT threat evolution report. 

A series of cyberattacks with WannaCry cryptor occurred in May 2017 and is still considered to be one of the biggest ransomware epidemics in history. Even though Windows released a patch for its operating system to close the vulnerability exploited by EternalBlue 2 months prior to the start of the attacks, WannaCry still affected hundreds of thousands devices around the globe. As cryptors do, WannaCry turned files on victims’ computers into encrypted data and demanded ransom for decryption keys (created by threat actors to decipher the files and transform them back into the original data) making it impossible to operate the infected device.

The consequences of the WannaCry epidemic were devastating: as the victims were mainly organisations with networked systems – the work of businesses, factories and hospitals was paralysed. Even though this case demonstrated the dangers cryptors pose, and most of PCs around the world have been updated to resist the EternalBlue exploit, the statistics show that criminals still try to exploit those computers that weren’t patched and there are still plenty of them around the globe.

Overall, Kaspersky Lab security solution protected 259,867 unique users from cryptors attacks, showing a substantial rise of 39% since Q2 2018, when the figure was 158,921. The growth was rapid yet steady, with a monthly observed increase in the number of users.

The rising share of WannaCry attacks is another reminder that epidemics don’t end as fast as they start – there are always long-running consequences. In the case of cryptors, attacks can be so severe that it is necessary to take preventive measures and patch the device, rather than deal with encrypted files later,” said Fedor Sinitsyn, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

 To reduce the risk of infection by WannaCry and other cryptors, users are advised to:

  • Always update your operating system to eliminate recent vulnerabilities and use a robust security solution with updated databases. It is also important to use the security solution that has specialised technologies to protect your data from ransomware, as Kaspersky Lab’s solutions do. Even if the newest yet unknown malware does manage to sneak through, Kaspersky Lab’s System Watcher technology is able to block and roll back all malicious changes made on a device, including the encryption of files.
  • If you have bad luck and all your files are encrypted with cryptomalware, it is not recommended to pay cybercriminals, as it encourages them to continue their dirty business and infect more people’s devices. It is better to find a decryptor on the Internet – some of them are available for free here: https://noransom.kaspersky.com/

·         It is also important to always have fresh backup copies of your files to be able to replace them in case they are lost (e.g. due to malware or a broken device), and store them not only on the physical object but also in cloud storage for greater reliability (don’t forget to protect your cloud storage with strong hack-proof password!)

·         If you’re a business, enhance your preferred third-party security solution with the newest version of the free Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool.

·         To protect the corporate environment, educate your employees and IT teams, keep sensitive data separate, restrict access, and always back up everything.

·         Use a dedicated security solution, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business that is powered by behaviour detection and able to roll back malicious actions. It should also include Vulnerability and Patch management features that automatically eliminates vulnerabilities and installs updates. This reduces the risk of vulnerabilities in popular software being used by cybercriminals.

·         Last, but not least, remember that ransomware is a criminal offence. You shouldn’t pay. If you become a victim, report it to your local law enforcement agency.

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Nokia 6.1 gets slice of Pie

HMD Global has announced that the Nokia 6.1 will start receiving Android 9 Pie – the second smartphone in the portfolio to receive the latest version of Android less than a month after the update arrived on the Nokia 7 plus.

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Packed with Google’s newest software and building on the features of Android 8.0 Oreo, Android 9 Pie’s focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning gives owners a more customised and tailored experience.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the Nokia 6.1 is over 60% faster than its predecessor. Also, now offering enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.

The Nokia 6.1 has been selected by Google to join the Android One family and therefore users get exclusive access to Apps Actions – a feature only available to Android One and Google Pixel devices.  App Actions helps users get things done faster by predicting their next move and displaying the right action on right away.

Now with Android 9 Pie, the Nokia 6.1’s already impressive battery life is further complimented with the introduction of Adaptive Battery, an update that uses deep learning to understand usage patterns and prioritise battery power on the most important apps.

Other key features of Android 9

·       Slices – Identifies relevant information on favourite apps to make them more easily accessible when needed

·       Adaptive Brightness – Automatically adapts phone brightness by learning from interactions with different settings

·       New system navigation – Features a single home button that provides intelligent predictions and suggestions (user enabled)

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