Oracle recently announced that it has expanded its cloud portfolio, releasing new Oracle Cloud services over the past several months to help companies transition to the cloud.
The new services enhance the breadth and depth of Oracle’s extensive cloud portfolio across all layers of the stack — SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
With these new advancements, Oracle provides all of the cloud-based services that organizations need to capitalize on key transformative technologies such as big data analytics, social, mobile, and IoT, as well as continue to extend foundational use cases that enable organizations to move enterprise workloads to the cloud. Oracle continues to help organizations drive innovation and business transformation by increasing business agility, lowering costs, and reducing IT complexity. The new PaaS and IaaS services can be deployed wherever an organization chooses — in the Oracle Cloud or in their own data center via the Oracle Cloud at Customer offering.
“In today’s digital age, consumers are more informed, connected, and selective than ever before. As a result, technology providers need to offer highly personalized and secure cloud services in order to stay competitive,” said Thomas Kurian, president, Oracle. “With these new Oracle Cloud services, Oracle is enabling organizations to leverage the industry’s most flexible, proven, and secure cloud infrastructure. With it, organizations are able to enjoy the double benefit of moving their enterprise workloads to the cloud while providing their customers with highly innovative and accessible cloud-based services.”
Oracle Cloud Applications deliver the only complete suite of modern cloud applications that are integrated with social, mobile, and analytics. Oracle Cloud Applications help organizations deliver the experiences customers expect, the talent to succeed, and the performance the market demands. The latest additions to the portfolio include:
• Customer Experience: Oracle CX Cloud helps organizations deliver consistent, personalized experiences that connect every customer engagement with their brand. New services include: Customer Experience for Financial Services, Customer Experience for Telecommunications, Customer Experience for Consumer Packaged Goods, Customer Experience for Media and Entertainment, Customer Experience for High Technology, Customer Experience for Manufacturing, Social Engagement and Monitoring, Marketing Collaboration, Commerce Assisted Selling, and HIPAA Cloud Platform.
• Supply Chain Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and Enterprise Performance Management: Together the Oracle SCM, ERP and EPM Cloud services provide companies with the tools needed to fast track innovation, streamline business processes and deliver new insights. New services include: Quoting and Order Capture, Order Management, Configurator Modeling, Configurator, Supply Chain Orchestration, Planning Central, Manufacturing (Discrete), Fleet Management, Costing, Advanced Financial Controls, Account Reconciliation, and Financial Reporting.
• Human Capital Management: Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud enables modern human resources organizations to find and retain the best talent and increase global agility. New services include: Talent Management for Midsize, Talent Acquisition for Midsize, Assessments Delivery, and Learning and Development.
The Oracle Cloud Platform provides a complete suite of services to rapidly build and deploy rich applications – or extend Oracle Cloud SaaS applications – using an enterprise-grade cloud platform based on the industry’s #1 database and application server. The latest additions to the portfolio include:
• Data Management: Oracle Data Management Cloud provides a complete and integrated set of capabilities for building, deploying, and managing data-driven applications. New services include: Oracle Big Data Cloud, Oracle Big Data Discovery Cloud, and Oracle Database Cloud Service – Exadata.
• Application Development: Oracle Application Development Cloud, an end-to-end Java EE framework, simplifies application development by providing out-of-the-box infrastructure services and a visual and declarative development experience. New to the family is the Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service.
• Enterprise Integration: Oracle Integration Cloud provides organizations with a unified and comprehensive solution to integrate disparate cloud and on-premise applications. New services include: Oracle SOA Suite Cloud with API Manager and Managed File Transfer, Oracle API Catalog Cloud, and Oracle Internet of Things Cloud.
• Data Integration: Oracle Data Integration Cloud provides a comprehensive way for customers to prepare, extract, transform, move, and govern both batch and real-time data between heterogeneous data sources and targets. New services include: Oracle Golden Gate Cloud and Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud.
• IT Operations Management: Oracle Management Cloud is a suite of next-generation integrated monitoring, management, and analytics cloud services that provides real-time analysis and deep technical and business insights. New services include: Application Performance Monitoring Cloud, IT Analytics Cloud, and Log Analytics Cloud.
• Content and Process: Oracle Content and Process Cloud enables business users to easily collaborate anywhere, simplify business automation, and communicate more effectively. Oracle Documents Cloud Service is now integrated with Oracle Social Network and Oracle Sites Cloud.
• Business Analytics: Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers business analytics for traditional data and big data across the entire enterprise. The newest service is the Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service.
Additionally, Oracle has added a number of new services to its IaaS portfolio:
• Infrastructure: Oracle’s IaaS portfolio delivers a complete set of core services for running enterprise workloads like elastic compute, networking, and storage. New services include: Oracle Compute Cloud, Oracle Network Cloud – Virtual Private Network and Fast Connect, Oracle Storage Cloud – Bulk Data Transfer, and Oracle Messaging Cloud.
Which IoT horse should you back?
The emerging IoT is evolving at a rapid pace with more companies entering the market. The development of new product and communication systems is likely to continue to grow over the next few years, after which we could begin to see a few dominant players emerge, says DARREN OXLEE, CTOf of Utility Systems.
But in the interim, many companies face a dilemma because, in such a new industry, there are so many unknowns about its trajectory. With the variety of options available (particularly regarding the medium of communication), there’s the a question of which horse to back.
Many players also haven’t fully come to grips with the commercial models in IoT (specifically, how much it costs to run these systems).
Which communication protocol should you consider for your IoT application? Depends on what you’re looking for. Here’s a summary of the main low-power, wide area network (LPWAN) communications options that are currently available, along with their applicability:
SigFox has what is arguably the most traction in the LPWAN space, thanks to its successful marketing campaigns in Europe. It also has strong support from vendors including Texas Instruments, Silicon Labs, and Axom.
It’s a relatively simple technology, ultra-narrowband (100 Hz), and sends very small data (12 bytes) very slowly (300 bps). So it’s perfect for applications where systems need to send small, infrequent bursts of data. Its lack of downlink capabilities, however, could make it unsuitable for applications that require two-way communication.
LoRaWAN is a standard governed by the LoRa Alliance. It’s not open because the underlying chipset is only available through Semtech – though this should change in future.
Its functionality is like SigFox: it’s primarily intended for uplink-only applications with multiple nodes, although downlink messages are possible. But unlike SigFox, LoRa uses multiple frequency channels and data rates with coded messages. These are less likely to interfere with one another, increasing the concentrator capacity.
Ingenu Technology Solutions has developed a proprietary technology called Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) in the 2.4 GHz band. Due to its architecture, it’s said to have a superior uplink and downlink capacity compared to other models.
It also claims to have better doppler, scheduling, and interference characteristics, as well as a better link budget of 177 dB compared to LoRa’s 157 dB and SigFox’s 149 dB. Plus, it operates in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, which is globally available for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so there are no regional architecture changes needed – unlike SigFox and LoRa.
LTE-M (LTE Cat-M1) is a cellular technology that has gained traction in the United States and is specifically designed for IoT or machine‑to‑machine (M2M) communications.
It’s a low‑power wide‑area (LPWA) interface that connects IoT and M2M devices with medium data rate requirements (375 kb/s upload and download speeds in half duplex mode). It also enables longer battery lifecycles and greater in‑building range compared to standard cellular technologies like 2G, 3G, or LTE Cat 1.
Key features include:
· Voice functionality via VoLTE
· Full mobility and in‑vehicle hand‑over
· Low power consumption
· Extended in‑building range
Narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT or LTE Cat NB1) is part of the same 3GPP Release 13 standard3 that defined LTE Cat M1 – both are licensed as LPWAN technologies that work virtually anywhere. NB-IoT connects devices simply and efficiently on already established mobile networks and handles small amounts of infrequent two‑way data securely and reliably.
NB‑IoT is well suited for applications like gas and water meters through regular and small data transmissions, as network coverage is a key issue in smart metering rollouts. Meters also tend to be in difficult locations like cellars, deep underground, or in remote areas. NB‑IoT has excellent coverage and penetration to address this.
The LPWAN technology stack is fluid, so I foresee it evolving more over the coming years. During this time, I suspect that we’ll see:
1. Different markets adopting different technologies based on factors like dominant technology players and local regulations
2. The technologies diverging for a period and then converging with a few key players, which I think will be SigFox, LoRa, and the two LTE-based technologies
3. A significant technological shift in 3-5 years, which will disrupt this space again
So, which horse should you back?
I don’t believe it’s prudent to pick a single technology now; lock-in could cause serious restrictions in the long-term. A modular, agile approach to implementing the correct communications mechanism for your requirements carries less risk.
The commercial model is also hugely important. The cellular and telecommunications companies will understandably want to maximise their returns and you’ll want to position yourself to share an equitable part of the revenue.
So: do your homework. And good luck!
Ms Office hack attacks up 4X
Exploits, software that takes advantage of a bug or vulnerability, for Microsoft Office in-the-wild hit the list of cyber headaches in Q1 2018. Overall, the number of users attacked with malicious Office documents rose more than four times compared with Q1 2017. In just three months, its share of exploits used in attacks grew to almost 50% – this is double the average share of exploits for Microsoft Office across 2017. These are the main findings from Kaspersky Lab’s Q1 IT threat evolution report.
Attacks based on exploits are considered to be very powerful, as they do not require any additional interactions with the user and can deliver their dangerous code discreetly. They are therefore widely used; both by cybercriminals looking for profit and by more sophisticated nation-backed state actors for their malicious purposes.
The first quarter of 2018 experienced a massive inflow of these exploits, targeting popular Microsoft Office software. According to Kaspersky Lab experts, this is likely to be the peak of a longer trend, as at least ten in-the-wild exploits for Microsoft Office software were identified in 2017-2018 – compared to two zero-day exploits for Adobe Flash player used in-the-wild during the same time period.
The share of the latter in the distribution of exploits used in attacks is decreasing as expected (accounting for slightly less than 3% in the first quarter) – Adobe and Microsoft have put a lot of effort into making it difficult to exploit Flash Player.
After cybercriminals find out about a vulnerability, they prepare a ready-to-go exploit. They then frequently use spear-phishing as the infection vector, compromising users and companies through emails with malicious attachments. Worse still, such spear-phishing attack vectors are usually discreet and very actively used in sophisticated targeted attacks – there were many examples of this in the last six months alone.
For instance, in late 2017, Kaspersky Lab’s advanced exploit prevention systems identified a new Adobe Flash zero-day exploit used in-the-wild against our customers. The exploit was delivered through a Microsoft Office document and the final payload was the latest version of FinSpy malware. Analysis of the payload enabled researchers to confidently link this attack to a sophisticated actor known as ‘BlackOasis’. The same month, Kaspersky Lab’s experts published a detailed analysis of СVE-2017-11826, a critical zero-day vulnerability used to launch targeted attacks in all versions of Microsoft Office. The exploit for this vulnerability is an RTF document containing a DOCX document that exploits СVE-2017-11826 in the Office Open XML parser. Finally, just a couple of days ago, information on Internet Explorer zero day CVE-2018-8174 was published. This vulnerability was also used in targeted attacks.
“The threat landscape in the first quarter again shows us that a lack of attention to patch management is one of the most significant cyber-dangers. While vendors usually issue patches for the vulnerabilities, users often can’t update their products in time, which results in waves of discreet and highly effective attacks once the vulnerabilities have been exposed to the broad cybercriminal community,” notes Alexander Liskin, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.
Other online threat statistics from the Q1, 2018 report include:
- Kaspersky Lab solutions detected and repelled 796,806,112 malicious attacks from online resources located in 194 countries around the world.
- 282,807,433 unique URLs were recognised as malicious by web antivirus components.
- Attempted infections by malware that aims to steal money via online access to bank accounts were registered on 204,448 user computers.
- Kaspersky Lab’s file antivirus detected a total of 187,597,494 unique malicious and potentially unwanted objects.
- Kaspersky Lab mobile security products also detected:
- 1,322,578 malicious installation packages.
- 18,912 mobile banking Trojans (installation packages).
To reduce the risk of infection, users are advised to:
- Keep the software installed on your PC up to date, and enable the auto-update feature if it is available.
- Wherever possible, choose a software vendor that demonstrates a responsible approach to a vulnerability problem. Check if the software vendor has its own bug bounty program.
· Regularly run a system scan to check for possible infections and make sure you keep all software up to date.
- Businesses should use a security solution that provides vulnerability, patch management and exploit prevention components, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. The patch management feature automatically eliminates vulnerabilities and proactively patches them. The exploit prevention component monitors suspicious actions of applications and blocks malicious files executions.