Wednesday, June 29
technology

How big data can make cities smarter

Urban transition is today increasingly a global reality: According to the UNO, two out of three people will be living in cities by 2030, compared to 30 per cent in 1950 and 54 per cent today. In certain countries, the rate of urbanisation could even reach 80 per cent! Back in 2000, there were 213 cities with more than a million inhabitants and 23 metropolises with more than 10 million inhabitants. 2.5 billion more people will soon join the ranks of city dwellers with non-negligible consequences on transportation, housing, health, work, safety, etc. Although they currently only occupy approximately 3 per cent of the planet’s land mass, cities are already home to half of the world's population, consume 75 per cent of the energy produced and generate 80 per cent of global CO2 emissions...
technology

What the HTTP makeover means for the Internet

There are many things you may remember about the technology of the 90s – whether it’s playing on your Nintendo 64 and paging your friends, or listening to your Walkman CD player whilst out for a jog. Some of you might look back at the technology with disdain, like the music skipping on your Walkman if you knocked it accidentally, or how you used to have to page someone before mobile phones were commonplace. But others can still bring back fond memories – even today, the Nintendo 64 still holds a place in some households and pubs, giving off that 'retro' vibe. One thing most of us won’t reminisce about, however, is slow Internet speeds and webpage loading. Did you know that the last major version of the protocol used by the World Wide Web, HTTP, was introduced in 1997? It wasn’t unti...

Google Calendar goes down, everyone panics

technology

Google Calendar goes down, everyone panics

If you happened to miss any important meetings today, just blame it on Google. Google Calendar went down for millions of users this afternoon, starting at approximately 2.45pm and lasting until just a few minutes ago (around 4.30pm). page says there is 'service disruption,' so some users may still be struggling to piece together their previously highly-organised lives. Luke Whitehead, Head of EMEA marketing at Couchbase commented: 'The need to scale to keep up with online demand is an all too familiar challenge for modern businesses. Google is no exception. To keep up with demand, speed, flexibility and scalability are crucial, this will allow Google to support millions of users across the globe, and devices, all at once. You must deliver great user experience, with a high...
technology

Get your eCommerce site ready for a bumper holiday season

With the Christmas holiday shopping frenzy starting earlier every year, now’s the time for online retailers to start planning ahead for a bumper season. This is an opportunity not to be missed for online retailers, especially as the festive season is when internet users are more likely to buy. But while the conversion rate is much higher than the rest of the year, businesses should develop an action plan to take advantage of the spike in customers. Follow these 7 techniques to boost online sales in the coming months. With just a little advance planning your e-commerce site can reap the rewards of the Christmas shopping season.  

EU aims to certify connected devices for better security

technology

EU aims to certify connected devices for better security

In an effort to improve the security of internet-connected device such as set-top boxes, cameras and other consumer electronics, the European Commission is planning to push new industry governance measures that would make it more difficult for hackers to exploit these devices to carry out attacks. A senior Commission official revealed these plans at a conference in Brussels with the hope of being able to guarantee consumers that their internet-connected products could not be turned against them or utilised as part of a larger attack. . A users whose device had been compromised would most likely be unaware that a hack had even occurred. The European Commission has shifted its focus to IoT and has even created a group called the Alliance for Internet of Things innovation, backed...

What will the connected home connect to?

technology

What will the connected home connect to?

The concept of connected homes is all the rage these days. Home appliances of all sorts are reaching the market that can be controlled from the homeowner’s smartphone and are giving homeowners mobile control of electrical outlets, thermostats, lights and much more. Before we even know it, there will be little in the home that cannot be controlled from our smartphones, if in fact we want to. However, interestingly, much less attention has looked at how a connected home can connect to other things.  
technology

HTTPS Visa sites affected by decade-old ‘forbidden attack’ vulnerability

A number of supposedly secure HTTPS sites owned by Visa are vulnerable to what has been dubbed the 'forbidden attack'. The security flaw makes it possible for hackers to inject content and code into sites, as well as opening up the possibility of performing man-in-the-middle attacks. A team of researchers have published a paper that shows how 70,000 HTTPS servers were vulnerable to the attack, and 184 were found to be particularly at risk. While many of the affected sites have since been patched, sites belonging to Visa and Polish banking associate Zwizek Banków Polskich remain insecure because of reusing a cryptographic nonce in contravention of the TLS protocol (hence the 'forbidden' tag). In reusing data more than once during encryption, it makes it possible for an attacker to...
technology

The average IoT device is compromised after being online for 6 minutes

With the creation of countless new Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are always connected to the internet, hackers have found a new means of easily creating large botnets that can deliver attacks which can be used to take websites offline and shut down businesses. In a recent string of attacks, two packet floods made use of a host of IoT devices to take down the website of the cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs, along with the French web hosting company OVH. Krebs' website was hit by the notorious Mirai botnet whose source code wasallowing anyone to utilise the malware for their own attacks. The attack launched against Krebs spread at the surprisingly fast rate of 620Gbps. The botnet attempted to break into thousands of other devices worldwide through the use of 61 username...
technology

Fraudsters target social media as rising identity theft puts businesses at risk

A new report from fraud prevention service Cifas has revealed that identity theft is on the rise, with serious financial implications for both businesses and individuals. According to the report, identity theft rose by 57 per cent in 2015 as 148,000 Brits were affected compared to 94,500 the year before. More than 85 per cent were carried out online, with criminals increasingly using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as a 'hunting ground' for identities. - also known as- to gain access to corporate information. Simon Dukes, Cifas chief executive, said: 'Fraudsters are opportunists. As banks and lenders have become more adept at detecting false identities, fraudsters have focused on stealing and using genuine people's details instead. 'Society, government and i...
technology

Understanding bots and security: Why not all bots are beneficial

Does your company have a bad bot problem? And if it does, what are you doing to address the issue? If you’re not sure it has a problem, what are you planning to do to find out? These are not trivial questions. Bad bots can cause significant damage to a business if they’re left unaddressed. Bad bots are automated attacks that can target specific holes within company websites or simply abuse a website while impersonating legitimate human traffic. showed that the likely risk of bad bot impact can range from 1.8 to 7.6 per cent of a website’s contribution to annual revenue. On average, the likely median for this is about 4 per cent. If your company site helps generate $10 million in revenue a year, then bad bots are likely to cost you around $400,000 annually. The likelihood of risk ...