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These employees will cause your data breach

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When it comes to cybercrime, it is easy to imagine that the biggest threat to your company is external. However, companies are realizing that trusted employees can also pose a threat, says CAREY VAN VLAANDEREN, CEO Of ESET SA.

While some attacks and breaches are caused by employees with a grudge, many occur due to negligence – perhaps ignoring a warning; failing to allow procedure – or simple human error. We have identified three types of employees that can cause a data breach.

  1. Innocent Actions

When it comes to a breach of data, innocent workers can cause as much damage as malicious hackers. Examples – and true-life stories –  of human errors are: a mobile phone being lost, letters being misaddressed and even a filing cabinet containing sensitive data being sold to a third party.

  1. Careless of Negligent

You now the security warning that flashes up on your screen – do you always take immediate action?

A survey by Google in 2013 discovered that 25 million Chrome warnings were ignored by 70.2% of the time partly due to the users’ lack of technical knowledge, which led to the tech giant simplifying language it uses for its warnings.

  1. Malicious

Unfortunately, as well as human error, malicious actions by employees also play a part in insider data breaches. This is illustrated by the story of the UK’s communications regulator OFCOM, which discovered in 2016 that a former employee had sneakily been gathering its third-party data. Shockingly, the malicious activity had been taking place over a six-year period.

What can be done?

Corporations may start reprimanding employees who “misunderstand, misinterpret, or miscalculate longstanding security policies and procedures.

And with the impact of a data leak causing damage to businesses, including financial loss and the damage to a firm’s reputation, it is unsurprising that companies are open to finding ways to mitigate and limit computer misuse.

  1. Increase employee awareness

Perhaps the most logical step for employers is to ensure that all employees are aware of the potential impact of their actions, and how to avoid inadvertent data loss.  It is also important to involve all employees in appropriate training, rather than simply those involved directly with IT.

  1. Keep information safe

There are many reasons why one should encrypt data – while not embraced by all, encrypting data could be an important part of preventing data loss.

  1. Monitor data, and behaviours

Keeping a close eye on computer use and the behaviour of individuals should enable businesses to remain aware of and identify unusual or risky activity. BYOD (Bring your own device) schemes which operate in many companies should also be carefully monitored and controlled.

  1. Look to the future

With the risk posed by employees – however innocent – potentially catastrophic to business, it is hardly surprising that employers seem set to take a much tougher approach to insider security threats in future years.

If you’re looking to improve your workplace cybersecurity effort, ESET’s free cybersecurity awareness training resource is a great place to start.

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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How Quantum computing will change … everything?

Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Google are all focused on developing quantum theories first put forward in the 1970s. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. Given this scenario, Forrester believes it is time for IT leaders to pay attention.

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“We expect CIOs in life sciences, energy, defence, and manufacturing to see a deluge of hype from vendors and the media in the coming months,” says Forrester’s Brian Hopkins, VP, principal analyst serving CIOs and lead author of a report: A First Look at Quantum Computing. “Financial services, supply-chain, and healthcare firms will feel some of this as well. We see a market emerging, media interest on the rise, and client interest trickling in. It’s time for CIOs to take notice.”

The Forrester report gives some practical applications for quantum computing which helps contextualise its potential: 

  • Security could massively benefit from quantum computing. Factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. 
  • Supply chain managers could use quantum computing to gather and act on price information using minute-by-minute fluctuations in supply and demand 
  • Robotics engineers could determine the best parameters to use in deep-learning models that recognise and react to objects in computer vision
  • Quantum computing could be used to discover revolutionary new molecules making use of the petabytes of data that studies are now producing. This would significantly benefit many organisations in the material and life sciences verticals – particularly those trying to create more cost-effective electric car batteries which still depend on expensive and rare materials. 

Continue reading to find out how Quantum computing differs.

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