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Emerging markets: a breeding ground for cyber attacks

By Zenobia Hegde

As emerging markets race to join the digital revolution they are fast becoming a fruitful feeding ground for cybercriminals, who are preying on their security weaknesses and using them to launch attacks on the rest of the world.

The United Nations (UN) recently reported that that shockingly only 38% of countries have a published cybersecurity strategy, highlighting a huge chasm between countries in terms of awareness, understanding, knowledge and the ability to deploy cybersecurity capabilities and programs “to ensure a safe and appropriate use of technology as an enabler for economic development”, says Jan Howells, contract media specialist at Futurity Media.

The increasing use of mobile technology, the internet, online banking, ecommerce and social media have marked out developing countries such as Brazil, India, Zambia, Vietnam and Namibia as targets for cybercriminals who are singling out everyone from consumers to government and commercial organizations as a potential hit.

Due to increased cybersecurity and data privacy laws throughout developed countries, hackers are using emerging markets to test attacks and later launch them on wealthier countries with advanced defense strategies as it is much easier to protect their anonymity. The Wannacry ransomware attack, which caused more than 45,000 infected machines globally, was felt strongly in India which accounted for 5% of all infected machines, according to Kaspersky Labs. Hackers have also been known to test spear phishing attacks in French and English speaking African companies to iron out any flaws before launching the malware on advanced nations.

A recent report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS), for example, highlighted the fact that four out of five countries in the Latin America and Caribbean regions have “potentially devastating” vulnerabilities. Two out of three countries do not have a command and control center for cybersecurity, for example, and the majority of prosecutors lack the capacity to punish cybercrimes.

While some countries such as Colombia, Jamaica, Panama and Trinidad are working to put cybersecurity strategies in place, although at varying degrees of maturity, others such as Costa Rica, Dominica and Paraguay are only just beginning the process.

Opening the doors to cybercriminals

The risks have grown as emerging markets have rushed to join the digital revolution, often without regard for security or viewing it as an afterthought. Latin America and the Caribbean region is now the fourth largest mobile market in the world and half its population have internet access. These risks will multiply with the advent of IoT, warns the IDB and OAS, if action isn’t taken now.

Consider El Salvador. It has a 30% internet penetration which is growing. However there are no awareness campaigns regarding the threats of cyberattacks, phishing and hacking and general public awareness is low. The private sector, however, has been quick to recognize its importance and is providing training for employees.

Barbados on the other hand has a much higher internet use rate, so you think would be switched on to cybersecurity. But you would be wrong. Around 75% of Barbados’s population is now connected to the internet, but cybersecurity stakeholders are still […]

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GE Digital unveils industrial software solutions to help customers execute complete asset strategy, accelerating digital transformation

By Zenobia Hedge

GE unveiled expansions to its suite of edge-to-cloud technologies and industrial applications, designed to help its customers build a complete asset strategy. These additions to the GE Digital portfolio complement the key software applications that drive industrial productivity, and extend these benefits through Predix, the application development platform for the Industrial Internet.

To help industrial companies get the most out of their industrial assets and drive better buisness outcomes, GE Digital introduced: Predix Edge technologies to accelerate computing at the edge; the Predix platform combined with Microsoft Azure, the cloud for enterprises; new Operations Performance Management software to bridge productivity from assets to operations; enhanced Field Service Management solutions to improve the customer experience; and new platform tools to simplify industrial app development.

“Industrials that unlock data to master asset productivity will be positioned to lead,” said Bill Ruh, chief digital officer of GE and chief executive officer, GE Digital. “To power digital transformation, industrial organisations must understand every stage of the asset lifecycle. The company that designs, builds, operates, maintains and services industrial assets is best equipped to help others with their Industrial IoT journeys. And only GE offers the combination of industrial apps, underpinned by an industrial platform, to ultimately drive customer outcomes.”

Edge-to-cloud intelligence on any industrial asset, anywhere

By 2022, Gartner predicts that 75% of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud. The ability to compute and manage this information both at the edge and in the cloud are essential for industrial companies to truly optimise their operations.

To help customers accelerate their edge strategies and make any asset an intelligent asset, GE Digital is expanding its Predix Edge capabilities to help run analytics as close to the source of data as possible. Predix Edge gives customers with limited connectivity, latency limitations, regulatory, security or other constraints a way to deploy applications closer to the originating data – or at the edge.

Enhancements include:

Predix Edge Manager allows customers to support large fleets of edge devices – up to 200,000 connected devices from a single console.
Predix Machine enables microservice-based applications to run at the edge on customers’ virtualised data centre infrastructure or server-class hardware from GE or its partners. This also supports Predix Edge Manager, which was previously available only as a cloud service.
Predix complex event processing (CEP) allows for faster and more efficient event processing at extreme low latency, available at the edge in Q1 2018.

These edge solutions can help companies move from intelligent asset management to automation to insights-led machine learning across a distributed system. One example is EdgeLINC, a comprehensive edge-to-cloud solution from GE Transportation integrated with Predix Edge Manager, Predix Machine and Asset Performance Management applications. EdgeLINC enables efficient device management, configuration and streaming analytics even when machines, such as rail assets, are constantly moving in and out of communication.

Bill Ruh

Predix platform on Microsoft Azure

GE Digital and Microsoft are bringing together the advanced industrial platform services of Predix with the flexible, enterprise-proven services of Microsoft Azure. Available in North America starting Q4 2017 and […]

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Study: 75% of U.S. Consumers Believe Smart Cities Will Positively Impact Their Lives, When Educated on the Benefits

By IoT – Internet of Things

Silver Spring Networks, Inc. and Power Over Energy recently unveiled the findings from their Smart Cities Consumer Research Study, conducted with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Advanced Grid Research. More than 500 U.S. consumers took part in the online study. Respondents were representative of the U.S. Census, ranging […]

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Actility selects Stripe as payments partner to power up US and global expansion for ThingPark market

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Actility, the provider in IoT network enablers, announced that the company has selected Stripe, a San Francisco based technology company focusing on online payments and commerce infrastructure, to accelerate the global roll-out of ThingPark Market. ThingPark Market is already the market-leading e-commerce platform for LoRaWAN IoT, offering for sale over 175 products from more than 75 […]

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Smart sensor market revenue will reach $81.99bn by 2024, says Esticast Research and Consulting

By Sheetal Kumbhar

The report “Smart sensor market by Product (Image, Touch, motion, temperature, pressure, positions), Industry Trends, Estimation & Forecast, 2016-2024”, says the global smart sensor market was valued at $20.75 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach $81.99 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 18.9% from 2017 to 2024. In 2016, Image […]

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