Posts Tagged ‘opinion’

Opinion: Alex Manea (BlackBerry) on 4 Cybersecurity Trends of 2018

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Based on countless conversations over the past 12 months with customers, partners, government officials, Blackberry’s internal cybersecurity experts, and leaders from both the security and research communities, Alex Manea – Chief Security Officer at BlackBerry – shares what he believes are the Cybersecurity Trends for 2018.

As BlackBerry’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Manea regularly speaks to Fortune 500 C-Suites and leaders representing the world’s top global brands, listening and learning about what security concerns keep them up at night. Alex also tries to spend just as much time speaking with security researchers – ethical hackers devoted to discovering security flaws and vulnerabilities.

As BlackBerry’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Manea regularly speaks to Fortune 500 C-Suites and leaders representing the world’s top global brands, listening and learning about what security concerns keep them up at night. Alex also tries to spend just as much time speaking with security researchers – ethical hackers devoted to discovering security flaws and vulnerabilities.

While many other things will impact the cybersecurity industry this year, I believe those I elaborate below will be some of the biggest trends for 2018.

Though these trends may seem bleak to some, they too present many opportunities and possibilities if we are well prepared.

So here goes…

#1: 2018 will be the worst year to date for cyberattacks

IT departments are being tasked to manage increasingly complex networks, support new types of endpoints, and protect more and more sensitive data.

Legacy systems are still rampant throughout most industries and cannot be easily upgraded or replaced.

“With 2017 being the worst year ever for cyberattacks, it is tempting to think that we have hit rock bottom, but what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

The fundamental issues that have caused the majority of recent cyberbreaches have not been resolved.”

These systems often contain publicly known software vulnerabilities which can be exploited to penetrate the corporate network.

At the same time, attackers are getting increasingly sophisticated and have more incentives than ever to mount cyberattacks.

From building ransomware or mounting DDoS attacks and demanding bitcoin payments, to working with organised crime and even national governments, malicious hackers have numerous ways to monetise their skills and to protect themselves.

Governments and enterprises are recognising these new threats and deploying modern security solutions, but it will take years to decommission all of the legacy systems.

2018 will be yet another year where the shortcuts of the past come back to haunt us.

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Tech focus: Key trends in POS systems for 2015 – Bikash Kumar

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Shopping is a favourite past time in Singapore and at the heart of the vendor’s efficiency and the consumer’s experience is the Point Of Sale (POS) being used.

As we step into 2015, Bikash Kumar shares his thoughts on some of the key trends shaping the evolution of POS technology in 2015.

Mobile POS enables greater consumer interaction with the sales staff.

Mobile POS enables greater consumer interaction with the sales staff.

* This article is a guest post written by Bikash Kumar – MD, Integrated Retail Management Consulting Pte. Ltd. The opinions expressed are his own and do not represent that of tech4tea.com.

Bikash Kumar has a Bachelor of Business Studies (1988-91) from the College of Business Studies in the University of Delhi; and an MBA (1991-93) from the Faculty of Management Study from the same university.

Bikash Kumar has a Bachelor of Business Studies (1988-91) from the College of Business Studies in the University of Delhi; and an MBA (1991-93) from the Faculty of Management Study from the same university.

The Point of Sale (POS) system is where consumers pay for their purchases in a retail store.

Traditionally, the POS systems have been used to generate information on transactions within a retail outlet.

However, the POS technology has been improving significantly, allowing retail staff to deliver multiple operations, besides just scanning merchandise and generating bills.

According to Integrated Retail, a firm that specialises in designing, deploying and maintaining POS systems across the region, the POS systems are likely to see further enhancements in 2015.

Here are five key changes that we are likely to see.

  1. Morphing from Point of Sale to a Point of Service
  2. POS is increasingly mobile and it is lighter
  3. POS systems are becoming inter-connected
  4. POS system activities are traceable in real time
  5. POS is driving up productivity

Below are my thoughts on each of these key changes.

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Infographic: 10 IT innovations that changed our lives

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Technology advancements and developments move so fast these days it’s so easy to take them for granted. For those old enough, can you remember the world before the Internet came about?

Developed by SolarWinds Head Geek, Lawrence Garvin, this infographic explores tech developments - from wireless networking and virtualisation to basic screenshot tools and everything in between - which have significantly impacted our lives, but that we perhaps never thought we actually needed. Click to view full enlarged version.

Developed by SolarWinds Head Geek, Lawrence Garvin, this infographic explores tech developments – from wireless networking and virtualisation to basic screenshot tools and everything in between – which have significantly impacted our lives, but that we perhaps never thought we actually needed. Click to view full enlarged version.

And not too long ago, before the proliferation of mobile devices, wasn’t it so troublesome to make a call or check something out while on the road?

These innovations have definitely made it much easier for us to do many things that used to be so much more tedious and time-consuming to accomplish.

But here’s some food for thought – has our lives actually become easier?

Do you sometimes feel that life in the past was somewhat more blissful?

Perhaps it is our human propensity to fully utilise our time that – instead of sitting back complacently to enjoy the extra time gained from IT innovations – we try to use the additional time gained to do even more.

And the bosses certainly expect that.

On top of that, thanks to greater global and mobile connectivity, your boss can contact you no matter where you are.

And if he/she is in the opposite time zone, start getting used to taking calls in the middle of the night.

The result is that our lives have become more hectic.

Perhaps, life back then was really more blissful.

Apart from the list above that was compiled by Lawrence Garvin, the rest of this post reflect my own thoughts about the impact of technology on our lives.

The line of thought may sound negative, but I still love the beauty of technology, especially its ability to help the less fortunate.

Game-changing technology: wearable unified displays with scalable imagery

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

In a time when new technology and gadgets are launched everyday, and every one of their makers proclaim them to be game-changers, it is truly heartening to see products showcasing technology that has genuine potential to become a game changer in the near future.

Wearable video displays are an example. The Epson Moverio and Google Glass are examples of such gadgets.

Wearable unified displays can be used everywhere and for any purpose in the future, here an aircraft engineer has his hands free while referencing his technical manual through an Epson Moverio.

Wearable unified displays can be used everywhere and for any purpose in the future. Here an aircraft engineer can have his hands free (if he clips the controller to his overalls) while referencing his technical manual through an Epson Moverio.

In my humble opinion, there are two main constraints in consumer devices that represent frontiers in product developments for gadget makers.

Google Glass was showed off by co-founder Sergey Brin (not in this picture) at the Google I/O conference in June.

Google Glass was showed off by co-founder Sergey Brin (not in this picture) at the Google I/O conference in June.

These are display technology and device input.

What defines a smartphone and a tablet, laptop and a laptop, or even a television and even the cinema?

It is the size and form factor of the device.

Apart from the backend processor and performance, a large determinant of their category is simply their screen size.

If it’s a 3-5 inch device (with 3G connectivity), it’s a smartphone. 7-10 inch flat screen (with or without 3G), it’s a tablet (used to be netbook not too long ago).

Beyond that, you have the 13-17 inch notebook computer, and still beyond that – the desktops with even bigger screens.

Sony HMZ T1 Personal 3D Viewer

Sony HMZ T1 Personal 3D Viewer

Need we go into the numerous sizes for TVs, projectors and erm – cinemas?

A large determinant of device portability and usability – which often run counter to each other – is the size of the display.

Greater portability results in more squinting, whereas nice expansive viewing pleasure means bigger heavier screens.

A viewer/display device that allows the user to divorce display size from processing hardware will free the user from having to own multiple devices with different form factors.

Imagine the ability to make calls, read ebooks, play games, work on documents or edit images/video, watch the equivalent of large-screen movies on a single viewer/display.

Wanna look like an X-men? Try the Cyclops look.

Wanna look like an X-men? Try the Cyclops look.

No need to purchase separate bulky devices with their own different-sized displays.

You’d still need to have the little black-boxes containing the different processing hardware and device input.

But imagine sharing the same viewer/display amongst all these devices.

All of them “plug” into the same viewer/display.

There’s no more difference between a smartphone and a 3G-capable tablet computer.

Cameras and camcorders could also pair up wirelessly.

Although the device closest to bringing this to reality is the mounted-visor display/viewer, I’m sure there’ll be other physical means and ways to achieve this “unified display”.

Olympus has just announced its wearable display prototype - MEG4.0.

Olympus has just announced its wearable display prototype – MEG4.0.

Eventually, I can envisage (pun intended) displays embedded in contact lenses or even implanted into the cornea of the eyes.

In fact, patents have already been filed for such designs.

I haven’t seen any patents that bypass the eyes and inject vision signals directly into the brain though.

In a way, nature already unifies human vision through our eyes. We do not put on a different set of eyes to see different things.

The Olympus MEG 4.0 promises to connect to devices via Bluetooth.

The Olympus MEG 4.0 promises to connect to devices via Bluetooth.

Everything we see are through the same pair of eyes.

Why should we require a different screen to view the contents of different devices?

Now this single unified display may not be good news to device makers, although it surely should be the dream of consumers – even if we may not realise it yet.

Surely it’s better to be able to sell a single user multiple devices with different screen sizes if his/her needs forces him/her to do so.

Many users today own separate tablets and smartphones.

Sony HMZ T1 Personal 3D Viewer

Sony HMZ T1 Personal 3D Viewer

Apple, for instance, would rather sell you an iPhone AND an iPad, than only a single mobile device that “throws” its display into a single viewer with a “scalable” image size.

Google Glass with augmented reality.

Google Glass with augmented reality.

I’m sure it isn’t even news to the makers.

It’s a bit akin to traditional airlines offering budget flights.

Why introduce new budget services – even though it would benefit customers – that will change the game and threaten their erstwhile profitable business?

Fortunately, we have entrepreneurs who have broken the ranks to offer such choice to budget travellers.

A closer analogy would be the way netbooks had cannibalised the mainstream laptop market.

Sony HMZ T1 Personal 3D Viewer

Sony HMZ T1 Personal 3D Viewer

We have Asus to thank for “creating” the netbook niche to bring affordable and no-frills portable computing to the masses.

The Epson Moverio and Google Glass are not the first such device on the market, and in their current form are not mature enough for mass adoption by consumers yet – in terms of usability and feature-set, as well as content and consumer readiness.

But hopefully it precipitates more momentum to force makers to get on the bandwagon.

The other frontier

The other “physical constraint” to device form-factor is input interaction, a large part of which is text-input.

The size of screen again comes into the picture again if an on-screen keyboard is used.

And if a physical keyboard is used – be it a BlackBerry style keypad or a bigger portable keyboard – it translates into the overall form factor of the device.

Voice-input represents a means to free a device from a physical or on-screen keyboard, and even provide interactivity – through voice commands and voice search.

It’s also still early days and much development is needed before we can enjoy keyboardless devices

But as consumers and end-users, we can always dream on.

* Photos and illustrations used in this article belong to Epson, Google, Sony, and Olympus.

窥探一下未来的显示浏览器。如今已有一些头目。譬如:Epson Moverio BT-100, Google Glass, Sony HMZ T1 Personal 3D Viewer, Olympus MEG4.0。希望有朝一日,能够只凭一个显示机利用多种电子设备器材。