Unfortunately there was no blogs that matched your keyword search criteria. Please try again or try searching for blogs by Category, Tag or Type instead
by Dominik Bart 01.08.22
According to a report published by Dell Technologies and authored by the Institute For The Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business...
According to a report published by Dell Technologies and authored by the Institute For The Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business and academic experts from around the world, states that 85 per cent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven't even been invented yet.
"The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn 'in the moment' using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable than the knowledge itself," Dell Technologies said in the report Given the rapid pace of change in the workplace, particularly when we consider all of the things that have changed over the last ten years, such as social media, artificial intelligence, and automation, it, it doesn’t seem an unlikely statistic.
The work human beings do will continue to shift as some jobs become obsolete and new jobs emerge as technological advancement will replace outdated positions and produce new ones that combine human and machine collaboration. Moreover, the expertise and skill set we'll require in the future varies greatly from those we currently require. Soft skills will grow in importance as the demand for the thing’s machines can’t do continues to increase. However, the ability to understand and work confidently with technology will still be critical.
With that in mind, here are four digital skills you need to cultivate to thrive in the new world of work:
Digital Literally refers to the abilities required to learn, function, and get around in an increasingly digital world. We are able to interact with technology effortlessly and confidently when we possess digital literacy skills. This entails abilities like:
● Keeping on top of emerging new technologies
● Understanding what tech is available and how it can be used
● Using digital devices, software, and applications – at work, in educational settings, and in our everyday lives
● Communicating, collaborating, and sharing information with other people using digital tools
● Staying safe and secure in a digital environment
The fourth industrial revolution, which is presently underway, is characterised by numerous waves of new technologies that merge the digital and physical worlds. Consider the abundance of "smart" everyday items like watches and internet-connected thermostats that are available on the market.
Data literacy is one of the crucial talents we'll need in the future because all of that new technology is based on data.
A fundamental understanding of the significance of data and how to transform it into insights and value is known as data literacy. You'll need to be able to access the right data, work with it, interpret the results, share your findings with others, and, if required, challenge the data in a business setting.
Today, "technical talents" encompasses a wide range of abilities; future employers won't just require IT and engineering expertise. A wide range of technical abilities remain of utmost value even as the nature of work changes and processes become more automated.
Technical skills are essentially the practical or physical abilities required to do a task successfully. Although it is true that coding, AI, data science, and IT skills are in high demand, there is a far wider market for these skills. Being a plumber requires technical expertise. The same is true for truck drivers, nurses, carpenters, and project managers.
As new technologies emerge, we will require increasingly specialised technical skills in every business. As a result, you should be ready to constantly learn and concentrate on your professional development through a combination of formal education, training, and on-the-job training.
Digital Threat Awareness
The world is becoming increasingly digital, and cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and smarter This implies brand-new dangers that could significantly affect both our personal and professional lives.
Digital threat awareness refers to being aware of the risks associated with utilising digital devices and the internet, as well as having the tools necessary to protect your company and yourself.
Our digital fingerprints are bigger than ever since so many of our activities—from scheduling doctor visits to placing takeaway orders on Friday nights—take place online.
Digital threat awareness means understanding the biggest threats in our everyday lives, including:
● Digital addiction
● Online privacy and protecting your data
● Password protection
● Digital impersonation
● Data breaches
● Malware, ransomware, and IoT attacks
In order to reduce the dangers posed by these cybersecurity threats, we should all strive to have healthy relationships with technology and educate people on how to get the most of technology without letting it take over our lives.
by Jasmine Ellis 04.07.22
Virtualization is a process of creating a virtual environment. It enables users to run different operating systems on a same computer. It creates a...
Virtualization is a process of creating a virtual environment. It enables users to run different operating systems on a same computer. It creates a virtual (rather than physical) version of an operating system, a server, or network resources. Virtualization can be considered as part of a broader trend in IT environments that will govern themselves based on perceived activity and utility computing in many organisations. The most crucial goal of virtualization is to reduce administrative tasks while improving scalability and workloads. However, virtualization can also be used to improve security.
In today's work context, virtualization offers numerous advantages. Running many workloads allows physical server resources to reach their full potential. Operating system instances are able to be divorced from the underlying hardware and move freely between several hosts in a cluster setup without causing any negative consequences.
High-availability mechanisms that were never before possible, such as the ability to restart virtual machines on a separate server if the primary host dies, are now possible. By abstracting the network from the underlying physical network switches, wiring, and other devices, virtualized networking provides many of the same benefits to network traffic.
In this article, we will see how virtualization technology is improving security by means of innovative ways security problems and challenges are being met with virtualized solutions.
Security is of Primary Concern
Organizations today are quickly recognising how critical security objectives are, regardless of the project or business activities involved. However, security is being scrutinised more than ever before, particularly with regard to technology infrastructure. Large-scale, high-profile data breaches that make significant news headlines are not the type of attention that companies want. Ransomware attacks that disrupt business-critical systems are equally alarming. Today's businesses must have a razor-sharp focus on security concerns and how to effectively address them.
With any plans to integrate new technologies or go forward with new infrastructure, security cannot be an afterthought. It must be built into the project as a required component to ensure that essential aspects of the security thought process are not overlooked. The virtualization era has altered the way businesses think about security and privacy. Many of the security boundaries that existed in the strictly physical world have been broken down because to virtualized technology.
After installing new technology, many companies consider the security concerns. Virtualization has numerous advantages, making it simple to sell in IT architectures. Virtualization can help you save money, improve business efficiency, reduce maintenance downtime without disrupting operations, and get more work done with less equipment.
The following are the few ways to minimize risk and improve security through virtualization:
Sandboxing is a security strategy that isolates running applications from untrusted third parties, vendors, and websites. It's commonly used to run untested code or programmes. Sandboxing's major purpose is to increase virtualization security by isolating an application to protect it from external malware, destructive viruses, and stopped-running apps, among other things. Put any experimental or unstable apps in a virtual machine. The remainder of the system is unaffected.
Since your application can be attacked maliciously while running in a browser, it's always a good idea to run your apps in a virtual machine. Virtualization and sandbox technology are closely related. Virtual computing provides some of the advantages of sandboxes without the high cost of a new device. The virtual machine is connected to the Internet rather than the corporate LAN, which protects the operating system and apps from viruses and other malicious threats.
Server virtualization is the process of dividing a physical server into smaller virtual servers in order to maximise resources. The physical server is divided into many virtual environments by the administrator. Hackers nowadays frequently steal official server logs. Small virtual servers can run their own operating systems and restart independently thanks to server virtualization. Stable and compromised programmes are identified and isolated using virtualized servers.
This sort of virtualization is most commonly found on web servers that offer low-cost web hosting. Server utilisation manages the complex aspects of server resources while enhancing utilisation and capacity. Furthermore, a virtualized server makes it simple to detect dangerous viruses or other harmful items while simultaneously safeguarding the server, virtual machines, and the entire network.
Network virtualization combines network hardware and software resources, as well as network functionality, into a single virtual network. Virtual networks, which use network virtualization, reduce the impact of malware on the system. Furthermore, network virtualization produces logical virtual networks from the underlying network hardware, allowing virtual environments to better integrate.
Isolation is an important feature of network virtualization. It allows end-to-end custom services to be implemented on the fly by dynamically combining various virtual networks that coexist in isolation. They share and utilise network resources received from infrastructure providers to operate those virtual networks for users.
Segmentation is another important element of network virtualization. The network is divided into subnets, which improves performance by reducing local web traffic and enhancing security by making the network's internal network structure invisible from the outside. By generating single instances of software programmes that serve many customers, network virtualization is also utilised to develop a virtualized infrastructure to fulfil complicated requirements.
This lets users to generate, change, and delete photos while also separating the desktop environment from the computer that is used to access it. Administrators may simply manage employee computers with desktop virtualization. This protects people from attacking computers with viruses or gaining illegal access.
Additionally, the user gains additional security from the guest OS image for the desktop environment. Such environment allows the users to save or copy data to the server rather than the disk, thus making desktop virtualization more secure option for networking.
On the security front, virtualization is possibly one of the most effective strategies that businesses can use to combat harm and criminal intent. These principles demonstrate how virtualization can help your firm reduce risk and increase security.
Regular upgrades and vulnerability scans are required for all technology-based systems (virtualization included) to reduce the chance of weakness, and the adoption of hardened virtual machine images is strongly recommended.
by Simon Nicholls 28.06.22
High-profile cyberattacks, data breaches, and ransomware attacks have dominated the headlines over the past year or so, causing organizations all...
High-profile cyberattacks, data breaches, and ransomware attacks have dominated the headlines over the past year or so, causing organizations all around the world to review their cybersecurity strategies. For organisations that do not regard cybersecurity as a business investment, the destructive effects of cyberattacks on a company's ability to operate will increase in the future.
The Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, June 20-21 in Sydney, Australia, delivered sobering revelations about the future of cybersecurity — with the aim of helping security and risk management leaders succeed in the digital era.
Richard Addiscott, senior director analyst, and Rob McMillan, managing vice president, of Gartner, highlighted important patterns in their opening keynote talk. One of these trends was the emerging relationship between Executives performance evaluations and the capacity to handle cyber risk.
Gartner’s experts noted that almost one-third of all nations will regulate ransomware response within the next three years; and security platform consolidation will help organisations thrive in hostile environments.
“We can’t fall into old habits and try to treat everything the same as we did in the past,” Addiscott told attendees. “Most security and risk leaders now recognize that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, our philosophy, our program and our architecture.”
Gartner recommends that cybersecurity leaders build several strategic planning assumptions into their security strategies for the next two years:
1. Consumer privacy rights will be extended
Privacy regulation continues to expand and the tech analyst predicts it will be extended to cover five billion people, and more than 70% of global GDP. It said organizations should track subject rights request metrics, including cost per request and time to fulfill, to identify inefficiencies and justify accelerated automation.
2. By 2025, 80% of enterprises will adopt a strategy to unify web, cloud services and private application access
Garter said with the rise of hybrid work, vendors are offering integrated services across web and cloud-application security. The benefit here is tighter integration, fewer consoles to use, and fewer locations where data must be decrypted, inspected and re-encrypted.
3. Many organizations will embrace zero-trust, but fail to realize the benefits
The tech analyst predicts that by 2025, 60% of organizations will attempt to adopt zero-trust security, a concept that assumes there is no traditional 'perimeter' to the corporate network, so all devices and users have to be regularly re-authenticated. But it said more than half will fail to realize the benefits.
Replacing implicit trust with identity -- and context-based, risk-appropriate trust -- is extremely powerful, said Gartner, but requires a cultural shift and clear communication that ties it to business outcomes to achieve the benefits. And not all companies will be successful.
4. Cybersecurity will become key to choosing business partners
Gartner predicts that 60% of organizations will use cybersecurity risk as a "primary determinant" in conducting third-party transactions and business engagements by 2025. Only 23% of organisations monitor third parties in real time for cybersecurity exposure, according to Gartner. But as a result of pressure from customers and regulators, it believes organizations will start to insist on measuring cybersecurity risk, ranging from simple monitoring of a critical technology supplier to complex due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.
5. Ransomware payment legislation will rise
At the moment there is little legislation around when companies can -- and can't -- pay ransomware demands. That could be about to change; Gartner predicts one in three countries will introduce such laws soon. The decision to pay the ransom or not is a business-level decision, not a security one. Gartner recommends engaging a professional incident-response team as well as law enforcement and any regulatory body before negotiating.
6. Hackers will weaponize operational technology environments to cause human casualties
Attacks on OT -- hardware and software that monitors or controls equipment, assets and processes and is often the brains behind industrial systems in factories or power grids -- have become more common and more disruptive, Gartner said, warning that threat actors will have "weaponized" operational technology environments to cause human casualties by 2025. "In operational environments, security and risk management leaders should be more concerned about real-world hazards to humans and the environment, rather than information theft", according to the analyst firm.
7. Resilience will be about more than just cybersecurity
By 2025, 70% of CEOs will drive a culture of organizational resilience to deal with threats from cybercrime, but also from severe weather events, civil unrest and political instabilities, Gartner said: "With continued disruption likely, Gartner recommends that risk leaders recognize organizational resilience as a strategic imperative."
8. Cybersecurity will matter for the CEO's bonus
By 2026, 50% of C-level executives will have performance requirements related to risk built into their employment contracts, Gartner said. As boards now increasingly regard cybersecurity as a business risk rather than just a technical problem, accountability for cyber risk will shift from the security leader to senior business leaders, it said.
DevOps culture and procedure are critical for enterprises to keep up with the pace of cloud-native software development, especially when code...
DevOps culture and procedure are critical for enterprises to keep up with the pace of cloud-native software development, especially when code deployments happen multiple times per day. The capacity to construct, populate, and grow cloud apps and infrastructure in real time, frequently through code, offers for extraordinary agility and speed. Security, on the other hand, is frequently left in the dust when things move so swiftly.
The reality is that many businesses have yet to figure out how to effectively secure the cloud. A lack of cloud security knowledge, along with legacy security regulations that do not cover the cloud and a scarcity of cybersecurity expertise relevant to cloud systems, is a problem. And thieves are eager to exploit these flaws: according to a 2021 research, nearly half of the more than 2,500 publicly publicised cloud-related vulnerabilities were discovered in the recent 18 months.
Security must be integrated at every level of the DevOps life cycle, also known as DevSecOps, due to the flexible nature of cloud technology. Any firm that uses the cloud must adopt a DevSecOps approach, which necessitates new security guidelines, policies, procedures, and technologies.
There are two primary goals of DevSecOps-
1. Secure Code
2. Speedy Delivery
Advances in IT like cloud computing, shared resources, and dynamic provisioning requires application security in every stage, and DevSecOps entails the same.
The Cloud is a Vulnerable Platform Data breaches are one of the most pressing risks for any company today. The methods employed by attackers to enter cloud settings differ from those utilised in on-premises environments. Malware attacks are rare; typically, attackers take use of misconfigurations and other flaws.
Another important worry is that most firms employ multi-cloud, which might result in a lack of visibility. It can lead to cloud workloads and traffic not being properly monitored, allowing attackers to exploit security flaws. DevOps teams also have a habit of giving people considerably more privileges and permissions than they require to do their jobs, which increases the risk of identity-based attacks. According to studies, identity-based assaults were used in roughly 80% of cyberattacks to compromise legitimate credentials.
Installing cryptominers onto a company's system is another option for attackers to profit from cloud vulnerabilities. Cryptocurrency mining necessitates a significant amount of computational power. Threat actors will employ hacked cloud accounts to carry out this operation and make as much money as possible while draining the company's resources.
Security Shifting to the Left Protecting the cloud entails safeguarding an ever-increasing attack surface that includes everything from cloud workloads to virtual servers and other cloud-related technology. Attackers are continuously on the lookout for weak points in systems, especially susceptible cloud applications. With more organisations turning to the cloud than ever before to fulfil the needs of a remote workforce, the number of cloud apps available has grown.
Traditionally, security is applied to code as the final step before it is released. When vulnerabilities are discovered, the release is either postponed or the development team is forced to hustle to fix each security flaw while the security team scrambles to review the updates. Shifting security left for DevOps teams guarantees that vulnerable code is found as it is built rather than during the testing phase, lowering costs and resulting in secure cloud apps.
Shift left security is a critical component of the software development life cycle, and getting it correctly should be a top concern. Organizations can accomplish DevSecOps and greatly reduce security issues surrounding cloud-native software and application development by incorporating security into the early phases of the development process.
Cloud security that is effective can enable DevSecOps
DevSecOps technologies and techniques can help companies develop a strong and secure cloud foundation. Cloud security requires a unified view of multi-cloud environments and constant intelligent monitoring of all cloud services. That unified visibility must be able to detect misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and security threats while also giving developers and DevOps teams with actionable insights and automated remedies.
Additionally, it's critical to have the correct security policies in place that enforce cloud security standards throughout the entire infrastructure to satisfy (or exceed) industry and government regulations. This encompasses everything from multi-factor authentication to general security best practises for all employees, as well as a robust incident response system that guarantees the organisation is ready for an attack.
Up-to-date threat intelligence, on the other hand, should always be at the heart of any good cloud security strategy. Adversaries are continuously devising new techniques to attack the cloud and looking for flaws to exploit. It's critical to have the most up-to-date information about threat actors and their techniques, and then apply it to breach detection. Threat intelligence allows security teams to anticipate attacks and properly prioritise protection, mitigation, and repair in order to avoid them. DevSecOps provides enterprises with the prevention, detection, visibility, and reaction tools they need to defeat attackers by delivering all of this functionality from and for the cloud.
by Dafydd Kevis 25.05.22
Following the European Council and Parliament's provisional agreement on networks and information systems, called NIS2, Europe has moved closer...
Following the European Council and Parliament's provisional agreement on networks and information systems, called NIS2, Europe has moved closer to new cybersecurity standards and reporting requirements. The new measures, first proposed by the European Commission at the end of 2020, look to boost the cyber resilience of entities across range of sectors deemed critical for the economy and society.
NIS2 will take the place of the present Directive on the Security of Networks and Information Systems, or NIS, which was adopted in 2016. The new directive establishes tighter criteria — as well as possible consequences, such as fines – for a broader range of industries that must adhere to computer security regulations.
It also aims to minimise "significant differences" in risk management and security reporting requirements among EU member states by adopting uniform criteria for assessing, reporting, and taking action to mitigate cyber risk.
The existing regulations on network and information system security (NIS Directive) were the first piece of EU-wide cybersecurity legislation, and they cleared the way for a dramatic shift in mindset, institutional, and legislative approaches to cybersecurity in many Member States. Despite their remarkable accomplishments and beneficial influence, they needed to be updated due to our society's expanding digitalisation and interconnection, as well as the increasing amount of cyber harmful operations on a global scale.
To address Europe's increased vulnerability to cyber threats, the NIS2 Directive now includes medium and large entities from a wider range of sectors that are critical to the economy and society, such as providers of public electronic communications services, digital services, wastewater and waste management, critical product manufacturing, postal and courier services, and public administration, both at the national and regional levels. Given the increased security threats that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, it also covers the healthcare sector more widely, for example by incorporating medical equipment manufacturers. The new standards' expanded reach will assist raise the level of cybersecurity in Europe in the medium and long term by effectively compelling more organisations and sectors to employ cybersecurity risk management procedures.
The NIS2 Directive also enhances the cybersecurity standards imposed on businesses, targets supply chain and supplier security, and holds top management accountable for non-compliance with cybersecurity duties. It intends to harmonise sanctions regimes across Member States by streamlining reporting responsibilities, introducing more tougher monitoring measures for national authorities, as well as stricter enforcement requirements. It will aid in the sharing of information and collaboration on cyber crisis management at the national and EU levels.
NIS2 also sets up a European cybercrisis liaison organization network, dubbed EU-CyCLONe, to help manage large-scale online attacks across Europe, and also to coordinate vulnerability disclosure and increase information sharing and cooperation between government and private sector organizations. Meanwhile, companies that don't comply with the new risk management and reporting rules face fines of up to €10 million or two percent of their global annual turnover, whichever is higher.
Once adopted by the Council and European Parliament, member states will have 21 months to incorporate NIS2 into their national laws.
European Commissioners, for their part, welcomed the agreement.
"In today's cybersecurity landscape, cooperation and rapid information sharing are of paramount importance," said Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market, in a statement. "With the agreement of NIS2, we modernize rules to secure more critical services for society and economy. This is therefore a major step forward."
by Dafydd Kevis 30.03.22
The increased reliance of business on their IT functions means that the cybersecurity sector is required to evolve and grow almost on a daily basis....
The increased reliance of business on their IT functions means that the cybersecurity sector is required to evolve and grow almost on a daily basis. From single phishing attacks to nation-state attacks used in the midst of the theatre of war, the versatility required from cyber professionals and organisations has never been so imperative, especially with the constant changes in threat landscapes and business operations.
Although not conventionally correlated, the global pandemic has directly influenced complexities in developing robust security architectures. The rise in remote working and the increased preference for cloud-based approaches have ensued major shifts in not just technical advancements, but also in operational.
How has COVID influenced operational arrangements?
The position of CISO has seen advancements in many aspects, from increased salary ranges to restructured hierarchies. With cybersecurity being viewed more as a business risk as opposed to a technological risk, the role of CISO has become fundamental to every business and therefore expanded to include business continuity decisions and liaising with board members for wider business decision making.
As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve the more prevalent the CISO is in the overall success of a business, especially considering the shift to more remote working. We have seen an increased requirement for senior cyber professionals to join organisations and begin maturing and building out their internal security functions.
What technological advancements are influencing the cybersecurity landscape?
The biggest driver of change has been the quick implementation of cloud-based services since the onset of the pandemic. This has meant that cybersecurity strategies have too required quick implementation of new and robust procedures and tools to remediate the increased variety in threats.
The increased aggregation of company data into cloud systems means an efficiency and practicality on terms of the client, however the provider becomes a prime target for data breaches and attacks. With the likes of IaaS and PaaS, the responsibility of securing data, user access, applications and operating systems falls under the remit of the organisations and at differing levels, requiring comprehensive plans and strategies to ensure robust security protocols. IAM and PAM requirements are prevalent in job specifications at the moment, simple access practises are no longer acceptable in environments with increase collaboration and remote access requirements.
What does the future of the cybersecurity landscape look like?
Ultimately, the cybersecurity landscape will continue to evolve and develop to coincide with the constant shifts in attack vectors. Organisations will continue to utilise the most up-to-date systems and platforms available and with this leaning more towards cloud-based computing, robust security strategies, functions and tools will become highly sought after.
There are increasing calls for more governmental regulated approaches to cybersecurity and defence, particularly due to recent events in which cyber attacks are being used in the theatre of war.
There is no doubt that cybersecurity will be at the top of corporate agendas in the post-COVID era, it will be interesting what innovations and transformations will come as a result of this.
by Lauren Greene 28.03.22
Who, what, where, when, why? Despite common misconception, the concept of a metaverse isn’t a new one. First introduced in 1992,...
Who, what, where, when, why?
Despite common misconception, the concept of a metaverse isn’t a new one. First introduced in 1992, sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson coined the term 'metaverse' to describe a 3D virtual space. This idea was then realised for the first time in 2003 through an online multimedia platform called “Second life”.
Since then, there have been numerous examples of gaming platforms exploring the potential applications of this concept. For example, in 2020 the immensely popular video game Fortnite conducted a virtual Travis Scott concert within the game, and 12.3 million people worldwide tuned in. A more general example is any game within the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer On-line role-playing game) genre such as World of Warcraft, where thousands of players can inhabit the same virtual space, with players logging in and out continually, and able to interact in various ways.
The Covid 19 pandemic has been a large extrinsic motivator for the growth of this industry, accelerating and driving the convergence of physical and digital. Companies invested heavily within collaboration and messaging technologies such as Teams, Zoom and Skype, and have now created a digital hiring, onboarding, and remote working world.
Meta, the rebrand of Facebook, and Microsoft, are leading the path for the metaverse alongside other large names in the tech industry which are all racing towards securing their name and real estate in the 3D VR world that will soon become a reality.
The evolution of emerging technology and digital transformations will see a huge transition for the main 3 pillars of human activity: Work, Education and Entertainment.
Over the years, Retail as an industry has taken a huge, and successful move onto online platforms, saving money for physical resources, allowing mediation of our activities remotely, and putting products in the hands of consumers worldwide. The metaverse could be the next evolution of this journey, allowing consumers to get that physical feel whilst they shop online from the comfort of their own homes.
Many companies are already looking at being a part of this virtual world and benefiting from a dedicated virtual space in which they can conduct interviews, doctors’ appointments and try on clothes without moving a muscle.
On a larger scale, geopolitics will see an impact, which could be both a help and hinderance to have present governing bodies for smaller counties but to also create communities transcending borders in reality.
Understanding how the Metaverse will be accessed
To first give a broad understanding of how the metaverse will be accessible, you first need to understand the different tech behind it. Extended Reality (XR) covers both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) where VR enables you to fully immerse yourself in a 3D platform with the use of a headset whilst AR will overlay images onto the real world.
Whilst the metaverse doesn’t have to exclusively exist in XR, it’s the version of it that does that’s getting the most attention. This is because more immersive, experiential environments are central to the whole concept – something that XR interfaces lend themselves to very well.
Meta is focusing heavily on the VR aspects through its well renowned and recently bought hardware brand Oculus. 3D environments, avatars, and gamification – three fundamental aspects of the concept – all fit well with VR interfaces. And AR, too, with its potential to blur the distinction between virtual and real worlds, is another idea that meshes well with the metaverse concept.
2022 should see the release of Meta’s Horizon platform as an expanded VR world, this will be the first step into giving people a sensation of what the metaverse could become, and VR will be the window through which they experience it.
How will it ‘feel real’?
As a running trend for technology becoming smaller and more powerful, over the next few years we will also see this for VR which is a huge benefit for lighter headsets.
First seen in CES 2022 was the rebrand of the chunky VR sets to sleek and easily wearable AR devices which will be made available to buy over this coming year. HTC also made a device called the flow which is a slimmer stand-alone model making this device easier to use which focuses on entertainment and mental health.
AR devices will get lighter, too – California start-up Mojo-Vision has already demonstrated the potential for AR contact lenses that project information directly onto the retina.
Other innovations will attempt to solve the problem of enabling realistic movement within virtual environments (which will always be a problem if your actual environment doesn’t match the size and proportions of your virtual one and isn’t free of hazards that might cause you to trip over!). Proposed solutions to this problem include both boots, as offered by Ekto VR, and treadmills, like the one developed by Virtuix.
Another technology known as haptic feedback will attempt to solve the problem of providing sensations of touch in XR environments. One example is the Teslasuit that provides tactile feedback through electrostimulation. The suit currently costs around $20,000 and, among other uses, is used by NASA for astronaut training, but we can expect to see smaller-scale consumer versions on the market in 2022.
We can also thank the 5G rollout which is picking up pace in 2022 to become a mainstream proposition with speeds 20 times quicker than existing networks for data transmission. In addition to increasing this differential, the benefits also include different types of data and services. This is likely to include the large data volumes needed to run XR, making wireless and cloud-based VR and AR a possibility. Plutosphere, for example, and other start-ups offering similar services, let users stream VR games from cloud servers. This will dramatically lower the barriers to entry for many businesses wanting to deploy XR solutions without making large infrastructure investments.
How will this impact us?
Within education, XR technologies make it easier for students to visualize concepts – from the numbers used in accounting to historical events or even the inner workings of reality exposed through quantum physics – in interesting and engaging ways. Evidence suggests that when we learn through experiencing in this way, rather than simply reading dry facts, we can improve our knowledge retention by 75 to 90%.
Examples in a working environment include VR being used for training and to simulate operations in dangerous situations, such as the FLAIM system used to train firefighters to tackle wildfire and aircraft fires. AR is increasingly being used to provide real-time inputs to trainees during on-the-job learning, such as using computer vision-equipped glasses and headsets to recognize and warn of potential dangers in the work environment.
For businesses, AI will be able to inform target audience creation, creative optimization, and inventory forecasts.
In the agricultural world we have seen a ‘bovine’ matrix for happy cows testing in Turkey, where cows will experience a virtual open field and sunny setting rather than cooped up in a milking parlour which has proved results in higher quantity and quality of milk. Despite the positive results for farmers, the process raises serious questions about ethical farming. Would more milk be worth putting animals in a bovine matrix where they have no perception of the real world (a cooped-up milk farm with tens of other cows)?
Complexities and challenges of a new reality
Regulators will need to be put in place with facial expressions, blood pressure etc. being tracked for digital rights. On top of this if this is a pixelated replica of our universe, will this face balkanization as seen in our world where the internet already operates in different parts of the world.
Even more of a frightening thought is with a Metaverse containing so much private information, what risk is there for digital espionage and how much technical support will the Infrastructure and Security of a platform of this size need?
Control of data will also be the control of market. The opening advantage in the metaverse will go to those with the data to make the new virtual activities relevant to the user. The result is no different from the present online world in which those with the data hoard it to control the market.
Facebook algorithms are programmed to maximize user time on the site to maximize the number of advertisements that can be sold. As the algorithms are programmed to maximize engagement this means the algorithms send to each user news that is in line with their pre-established views, not news that creates a shared foundation. Even worse, is that one of the best ways to hold engagement is to create conflict and outrage, regardless of the veracity of the claim. This brings us around to the development of government-overseen behavioural standards protected consumer, workers, and competition in the industrial revolution—while simultaneously enabling a vibrant and growing economy. Where the digital revolution requires similar government-overseen standards. Facebook is currently discussing behavioural standards for the metaverse, but it is not sufficient. Many people are looking to distract from our current challenges with the shiny new metaverse, however we have yet to resolve the challenges in the current online universe—problems that will simply metastasize into the metaverse if not dealt with.
by Charlotte Robinson 14.02.22
Microsoft launched Windows 11 on the 5th of October 2021 as a free upgrade. Throughout the previous 3 months, I have had many interesting discussions...
Microsoft launched Windows 11 on the 5th of October 2021 as a free upgrade. Throughout the previous 3 months, I have had many interesting discussions with candidates on whether Windows 11 is as good as it has been made out to be. Throughout this article post, I will discuss some of the benefits and disadvantages of Windows 11 and everything you need to know to make the decision on whether it's time to upgrade.
Microsoft has made it clear that Windows 11 is available to all. There is no additional cost associated with installing Windows 11. However, it is not available to everyone because the update is only compatible with a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 and an Intel Core 8th generation processor that was released in 2017. As a result, most PCs older than four years will be unable to download the update. Since Windows 10 will only receive one upgrade per year until 2025, when it will be retired, this is a major issue for businesses using older technology. Companies have only three years to change their computer hardware as a result of this.
Despite the fact that the update is difficult to obtain, it has its advantages. For gamers, it features automatic HDR, which enhances the vibrancy of game pictures, and direct storage, which allows the graphic card and the Solid State Drive (SSD) to communicate more quickly.
Additionally, given Microsoft has chosen a new MacOS-style taskbar, it should be easier for MacOS users to navigate Windows 11. Unlike MacOS, which allows you to pin the task bar to any of the four corners of the screen, Windows 11 only allows you to pin it to the bottom, which could be inconvenient. Furthermore, customers have been perplexed by the fact that they are unable to see their live programmes on the task bar, making navigating more difficult.
As well as the new tool bar, Windows 11 will also come with a “Microsoft Chat” App, very similar to iMessage and Facetime from Apple. The Chat App uses the users Phone Number or Email-ID to enable the chat feature.
One of my favourite new features will be the various Window Sizes; by that, I mean that Windows 11 has "Snap Layouts" that allow you to have multiple applications or documents open on your screen at the same time. As someone who works in a second language, I find that online dictionaries are my closest friend. Having a dictionary and a document open on the same screen at the same time will help tremendously. Individuals will be able to get more work done as a result of this feature, as they will be able to view a greater variety of jobs they are working on. Home office plays a key part in our working lives at the moment with not all of us having access to multiple screens, “Snap Layouts” provides us with an alternative. On the other hand, having more tabs open may lead to more distractions because you are not focused on a single job.
"Edge Browser" is the preferred browser for Windows 11. Sleeping tabs are available in this browser, allowing you to save memory and Central Processing Unit (CPU) usage. This means you have the ability to re-open the apps you had the previous time you turned on your computer. This has the advantage of allowing you to pick up just where we left off, but it also implies that if we want to start fresh the next day, we must ensure that all apps are closed at the end of the day.
I am really excited to be able to use the new Windows 11. I look forward to using the new taskbar, the “Snap Layouts” and the setting to have my last opened applications open again when I start in the morning.
by Chris Burnett 24.01.22
When it comes to IT, companies must make critical strategic decisions all the time. In doing so, it is essential to keep an eye on industry trends...
When it comes to IT, companies must make critical strategic decisions all the time. In doing so, it is essential to keep an eye on industry trends and developments. Looking ahead to 2022, there are several themes that have emerged because of the pandemic, as well as some that come up year after year.
In this article, we've compiled a list of our top IT trends for 2022, as well as looking at the overall direction in which the information technology market is moving.
With more staff working remotely and the cloud becoming the norm, it's critical for businesses to start thinking about network security in new ways. Cybersecurity mesh is a flexible architecture that combines best-of-breed, stand-alone security solutions to improve overall protection. It enables organisations to separate policy decision-making from policy enforcement: a cybersecurity mesh creates security perimeters around individuals rather than just the company. Organisations will be better equipped to protect data and information using this mesh technology, including what's inside the facility walls as well as what's on the outside.
Data is one of a company's most valuable assets. To be able to carry out operational and transactional activities reliably and cleanly, it is vital to maintain excellent data quality. The "cleaner" the data, the more accurately, solidly, and confidently it may be examined and used to make business decisions."Data fabric," according to Gartner, is a design idea that acts as an integrated layer, or fabric, of data and processes. Data fabric makes use of both human and machine skills to access data that is already in place or to facilitate data consolidation when necessary. It allows for the flexible and reliable integration of data sources across platforms and business users, ensuring that data is available wherever it is needed, regardless of its location.
Gartner defines PEC as featuring three technologies that protect data while it is in use. These technologies include:
- A trusted environment where sensitive data can be processed or analyzed.
- Performs processing and analytics in a decentralized manner.
- Encrypts data and algorithms before analytics or processing.
With this trend, organizations are empowered to conduct research securely across regions and with competitors without betraying their confidentiality.
According to Forbes, PEC allows different parties to extract value and achieve significant results from data in untrustworthy environments, letting them to interact without disclosing personal or sensitive data. According to Helpnet Security, as privacy and data protection legislation become more prevalent, more breakthroughs in data privacy have been created. PETs uses privacy-protection to extract value from data in a safe manner without jeopardising confidentiality, using a data-driven approach to security and privacy.
For a long time, Hyper Automation has been spoken about in aspirational terms, with the technology being dubbed '"the next frontier for organisations globally" by Deloitte. It's been featured on Gartner’s top 10 key technology trends for 2020 and 2021 and according to Gartner, during the next year, 85 % will enhance or maintain their hyperautomation investment strategy. Hyper automation is a method for quickly identifying, vetting, and automating as many business and IT activities as possible. The faster provisioning and utilisation of IT infrastructure saves time, people resources, and money. Employees will be able to focus on more critical / strategic duties as a result. Additional benefits include reduced error rates and faster scaling of various IT infrastructures, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or hybrid.
Cloud computing surged in 2020 and 2021 as businesses turned virtual to adapt to the worldwide pandemic by focusing on digital service delivery. In 2022 we will undoubtedly witness further rapid acceptance and growth in 2022, with predictions from Gartner, global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over $482 billion in 2022. Cloud-native platforms take advantage of cloud computing to provide enterprises with elastic and scalable capabilities that allow them to respond quickly to digital change. Cloud-native solutions are an improvement over the typical lift-and-shift approach to cloud, which loses out on the benefits of cloud and adds complexity to maintenance.
Every day, the world generates approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and this figure is growing at an exponential rate. However, the effectiveness of that data is limited by the processes in place to manage, control, and assess it. Because this massive effort is practically impossible to complete manually, businesses therefore turn to artificial intelligence (AI). To make AI delivery more efficient, AI engineering automates data, model, and application upgrades. AI engineering, when combined with robust AI governance, will operationalize AI delivery to assure its long-term economic value.
By addressing common business challenges, the top strategic technology trends will advance digital capabilities and generate growth. Different trends will have different impacts on people organisations. Because most of the trends are tightly intertwined, different combinations of technology are likely to be necessary to compete at different stages of the company growth cycle.
by Adriana Timme 13.10.21
Cyber security is one of the fastest expanding businesses in the UK and throughout the world, with no indications of slowing down. Cyber criminals...
Cyber security is one of the fastest expanding businesses in the UK and throughout the world, with no indications of slowing down. Cyber criminals are always inventing and adapting in order to find new ways to hack, attack, and steal information online. It's a rapidly growing sector with several opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in it. Cybersecurity professions, like many other technologically focused sectors, are overwhelmingly dominated by males.
The gender gap in cyber security is one that is regularly talked about.
The gender imbalance in the cyber security sector is one of the most apparent irregularities. Women make up just 11% of the worldwide cyber workforce, according to a recent survey from the Women's Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC). Women are sorely underrepresented in cyber security and often don’t see the occupation as a viable option due to a number of factors such as a lack of female role models within the industry, stereotyping and pay gaps.
Many businesses are beginning to see the value of having a gender-balanced workforce, particularly in fast-paced areas like cybersecurity. There are numerous reasons why this is an excellent career choice for women.
We've compiled a list of reasons why women might consider pursuing a career in cybersecurity:
1. Job Diversification
Cybersecurity is not confined to a single type of employment; it comprises a wide variety of positions in many areas and industries. Each area of cyber demands a unique and specialised skill set, from forensics to incident response strategy to counselling large corporations.
Working in cyber is also highly varied in terms of day-to-day responsibilities; with the environment continuously evolving, no two days are same. Multitasking and a great aptitude for problem-solving are required to solve cyber security issues. It is, without a doubt, a fascinating industry to be a part of.
One of the greatest barriers women face in their professions is a lack of professional flexibility. Unfortunately, childcare is still primarily the responsibility of women, making strict work environments challenging for women who wish to strike a healthy work-life balance while simultaneously achieving success.
Because most of the work in cybersecurity is done online, many positions lend themselves to flexible working hours and remote work.
3. Financially Rewarding
The cyber security industry is an extremely rewarding career path, especially at the moment where this skillset is in demand. The average salary for a cyber security analyst is around £51,000, with a career in the industry leading to a salary upwards of £70,000.
4. Boost Innovation
It has been established that having a higher percentage of women in the workforce increases team productivity and creativity, both of which are critical in the cybersecurity sector. We can enhance the potential talent pool and build a more strong workforce to meet the rising cyber threat of the upcoming years if we have more women in cyber.
by Simon Nicholls 06.10.21
The importance of cybersecurity is increasing. Fundamentally, our society is more technologically reliant than it has ever been, and this tendency...
The importance of cybersecurity is increasing. Fundamentally, our society is more technologically reliant than it has ever been, and this tendency shows no signs of slowing. Technology's development and expansion have had a beneficial impact on human existence, but the ease has come at the cost of cyber-attacks. If you utilise a tech device for any reason, you're likely to be a victim of a cyber-attack.
You'll need to be secure, which is where cyber security comes into the equation. Whether you're a person, a small business, or a huge corporation, you rely on computer systems on a daily basis. When you combine this with the rise of cloud services, poor cloud service security, smartphones, and the Internet of Things (IoT), you have a slew of cybersecurity risks that didn't exist only a few decades ago.
The protection of electronic data and information is known as cyber security. It protects electronic systems on devices like as computers, phones, servers, and networks against harmful assaults. It is critical, regardless of who you are, to protect your data from unwanted access.
Cyber-security is at an all-time high, and we must all do our share to be protected. Everyone has a role to play. This does not imply that everyone should become a cybersecurity specialist; rather, we must raise awareness of the threats that your users encounter so that they are not caught off guard when they are attacked.
Here are some top, simple tips to kep yourself and your business protected against unwanted Cyber Attacks:
Many of your personal accounts may be accessed through your email, putting you exposed to identity theft.
Important security upgrades are included with software and app updates to help safeguard your devices from cyber criminals.
To ensure the security of your data, two-factor authentication is advised for email accounts.
Password managers can assist you in creating and remembering passwords.
With a screen lock, you can keep your smartphone and tablet safe and add an added degree of protection to your devices.
Back up your most valuable material, such as photographs and essential papers, to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage solution.
by Matthew Bell 20.07.21
At nearly 18 months into the pandemic, numerous lockdowns, multiple vaccinees and a completely new way of working – it’s safe to say that...
At nearly 18 months into the pandemic, numerous lockdowns, multiple vaccinees and a completely new way of working – it’s safe to say that the world has changed quite drastically.
Technology has been a huge enabler of this change. Microsoft’s Brad Smith said two years of digital transformation took place in the first two months of the pandemic.
As England emerges from lockdown with a promise of a return to “normality”, which of these tech innovations will stick?
Perhaps the most notable “new tech” is the increased use of video calling, not only as a work tool, but also to stay connected to our loved ones. So much so that Zoom became a verb.
While Zoom-fatigue did hit hard and the thought of another virtual pub quiz is a little sickening, it’s clear that video calling is is a welcomed tool in the workplace, if not in our personal lives.
Unsurprisingly, in-person interactions with friends and family are preferred to virtual ones, but the use of Zoom, Teams and other video conferencing tools have facilitated the new era of flexible working. It’s safe to stay that Zoom is here to stay, whether we like it or not.
Cyber-criminals have had a field day since the pandemic started. Businesses globally were forced to adopt a remote working model where employees were often working from personal PCs, laptops and phones with limited antivirus software.
The ever-growing amount of data breaches means an ever-growing demand for cyber-security professionals. The unemployment rate in cybersecurity has been at 0% since 2011, so the responsibility lies with businesses, organisations and educational programmes to upskill people in the skills needed to fill the gap.
There will always be people looking to exploit a situation. As users of tech, we must remain diligent to phishing attacks, while keeping our devices updated and secure.
Fitness and wellness apps
As gyms remained closed for large parts of the pandemic, people looked for new ways to remain fit and healthy. Apps such as Strava and Nike Run Club were downloaded in mass.
Strava went from just over 2 million sessions each week pre-pandemic, to over 6 million sessions by May 2020. This figure remained even with the reopening of gyms.
While the gym isn’t going anywhere yet, it’s clear that people’s exercise habits have changed. Perhaps it was the efficiency of a home workout vs going to the gym that has kept the momentum going.
Awareness around mental health rose in 2020 as months in lockdown took their toll. Mindfulness and meditation apps such as Calm, which raised new funding at a $2 billion valuation in December 2020, were downloaded globally to combat the lockdown-lows.
The fact that these apps have held on to their users throughout the past 18 months points to a shift in the way we manage our fitness and wellbeing.
With so much uncertainty around what the immediate future will look like, it’s difficult to determine whether the tech we use today will be relevant tomorrow. Certain habits from the past 18 months were indeed welcomed and here to stay – many of which were enabled by technology.
written by Evangeline Hunt
by Leonie Schaefer 13.07.21
Once again, social media platforms are facing calls to tighten regulations on their platforms, following the hurl of racial abuse to members of the...
Once again, social media platforms are facing calls to tighten regulations on their platforms, following the hurl of racial abuse to members of the England football team. After losing to Italy in the final of the Euro 2020, certain players received swarms of abuse on social media, which critics say lies in the hands of these platforms to regulate.
London Mayer Sadiq Khan directly called on social media platforms to ‘act immediately to remove and prevent this hate’.
What kind of responsibility do these platforms have to prevent the spread of hate? Is there a way to leverage automation and machine learning to make this job easier?
Traditional media in the UK has an agreement with regulator Ofcom that makes them accountable for any form of abusive response to content. For example – a racist comment left on a BBC News article – the BBC would be accountable.
Ofcom doesn’t have this agreement with social media platforms because they aren’t considered to be publishers or broadcasters. These platforms remain self-regulating, so the question of accountability remains a grey area.
The difficulty these tech giants face is the huge volume of user-generated content, which swamps the efforts of human moderators employed by these platforms. It’s not expected that human moderators can sift through every piece of content, as soon as it’s posted, to see if it contains hate. The solution has to be automation.
We can already see social media platforms utilising automation to prevent misinformation around COVID-19. For example, Instagram immediately fags any content that contains information about COVID, and points users to the World Health Organisation for accurate advice. Critics have suggested this same technology be used to detect racist and abuse content.
Automation is already built into the algorithm in this way, such as a blanket banning of certain hashtags and words. But it can only do so much. Automation is currently unable to understand context, nuance, different cultures, etc. A certain emoji may not be offensive if said to one person, but when the context is different, the intention also changes. Instances such as this is where automation fails.
So what is the solution? Stopping trolls from posting hate on these platforms is of course, the ideal solution. But alas, an impossible ask. The more likely solution will take time – develop automation technology that is intelligent enough to detect the context of hate. Until then, there remains some power in the hands of users to report hate content when they see it.
What do Bitcoin, Charlie Bit My Finger, and Beeple’s digital art all have in common? They’re all powered by blockchain – a digital...
What do Bitcoin, Charlie Bit My Finger, and Beeple’s digital art all have in common? They’re all powered by blockchain – a digital list of records that are linked together using cryptography.
Blockchain-powered tech has risen in popularity, most notably in the form of cryptocurrency. But more recently, the sale of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) online for often millions of dollars has created a new buzz around blockchain.
Blockchain was originally created in 1991 with the purpose of timestamping digital documents so that they couldn’t be tampered with. This new tech went mostly unused, until it was adapted by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 to create the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
A blockchain is a decentralized ledger that is open to anyone. The complex properties of a blockchain make it near-impossible to tamper with. Each block contains a unique “hash” – like a fingerprint, plus the hash of the previous block. If a single block is tampered with, the hash will change and won’t correctly match the hash of the next block – invalidating the chain. This makes blockchains a very secure way of storing data.
These days, blockchain is essentially a peer-to-peer network that enables trusted trade between individuals without the need for a mediator. Mediators can be anything from banks, online servers such as eBay or Amazon, or physical shops.
This is all well and good, but it sounds a bit hypothetical. Where is blockchain being used in our lives as of now, and where can we expect to see it in the future?
Like any new technology, its potential is still being unlocked. The most commonly known use for blockchain tech as of present is Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency uses blockchain encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify their transfer between users of the peer-to-peer network. This removes the need for banks and even physical money.
In theory, blockchain can be applied to any sort of trade – be it goods or services, energy, or something like voting.
Most recently there has been a surge in the sale of non-fungible tokens, which are powered on the Ethereum blockchain. Non-fungible means something unique and can’t be replaced with something else – like a piece of art, or a song. Bitcoin, or a dollar, is fungible – one bitcoin can be traded for another bitcoin and it’s exactly the same.
The Ethereum blockchain is the cryptocurrency used to support NFTs – it stores extra information that makes them work differently. NFTs can really be anything digital, such as art, music, tweets, memes, videos, etc. A lot of the excitement surrounding NFTs is around digital art. Yes, artist Beeple did sell a piece of digital art at Christie’s Auction House for $70 million… The exact piece of art can be viewed online by anyone – yes anyone. But only one person “owns” it. The authenticity of this ownership is powered by blockchain.
Is paying $70 million for a piece of digital art crazier than buying a tweet from the founder of Twitter for $3 million? I can’t decide…
What makes blockchain so interesting is that its potential is only just being unlocked. Until recently, we wouldn’t have thought that it was possible to “buy” a tweet – but apparently it is. Who knows where this exciting new tech will go next… any ideas?
by Dominique Lianos 29.04.21
The shortage of cybersecurity professionals is nothing new. The unemployment rate in cybersecurity has been at 0% since 2011 – a fact unmatched...
The shortage of cybersecurity professionals is nothing new. The unemployment rate in cybersecurity has been at 0% since 2011 – a fact unmatched by any other industry. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide by the end of the year, up from 1 million positions in 2014.
This issue has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Businesses globally were forced to adopt a remote working model where employees were often working from personal PCs, laptops and phones with limited antivirus software.
According to IBM, remote working increased the average cost of a data breach by $137,000. Despite these heightened security threats, many businesses are still cutting their cybersecurity budgets as we move through 2021.
Even with the ever-growing threat of smarter and more advanced security breaches, the security industry is under-resourced to fight hackers.
What can be done to address this issue?
Upskill more people
Sounds simple, but giving people the skills needed to fill these roles is the single more effective way to close this talent gap. It’s clear that there isn’t enough talent to fill the roles needed, so businesses, organizations and educational programs need to take responsibility in training people in the skills needed.
Organizations already have the wheels in motion for this. Massachusetts-based MassCyberCenter is partnering with businesses, academia and the public sector to train new cybersecurity workers to fill the more than 9,000 vacant cybersecurity jobs.
The NYC Economic Development Corporation has launched Cyber NYC, which aims to grow the city’s cybersecurity talent pool through training and education programs.
The Cyber Innovation Center in BossierCity, Louisiana, plans to broaden its cyber skills preparation to 10 million students and 50,000 teachers in K-12 across the US – building a pipeline of young cybersecurity talent.
Build a youth movement
Encouraging and nurturing young people to become future cybersecurity experts will ultimately solve the cyber skills shortage of the future. Instilling enthusiasm and excitement around cybersecurity and STEM from an early age will organically grow a new generation of talent.
Various organizations are doing this already. Girls Scouts of the USA have joined forces with Palo Alto Networks to deliver the first-ever Girl Scout Cybersecurity badges for girls in K-12.
The National Security Agency has been educating young people in cybersecurity through their GenCyber program since 2014. The NSA’s summer camp, Camp Cryptobot, runs annual cybersecurity camps to build the next generation of cybersecurity workers.
Focusing on the impact that a cybersecurity professional can have on people, businesses and even nations can encourage young people to become invested in the industry. Framing cybersecurity as a career that helps people, does good and is morally right is something that young people in today’s world are keen to make time for.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are particularly important in the fight against skills shortages. Untapped talent pools exist that often go unnoticed in the recruitment process.
How can the cybersecurity industry tap into neurodiverse talent pools, for example? Autism affects more than one in 100 people which means a huge amount of talent. However, only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time employment, and out of the ones that aren’t, 77% would like to be according to the national autistic society’s research.
The lack of awareness around neurodiversity often acts as a barrier of entry for neurodiverse professionals looking to enter the cybersecurity space. Educating decision-makers in unconscious bias is one way to create a more inclusive hiring process that can open doors for unnoticed talent.
As recruiters in the cybersecurity space, we know too well the need for talented candidates in this space. Do you have a cybersecurity role that you’re struggling to fill? We have a pool of talent that could be the perfect fit for your role, so don’t be afraid to get in touch.
by Jamie Fitzgerald 13.10.20
October marks European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) – an annual EU campaign that promotes cybersecurity and provides accurate online security...
October marks European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) – an annual EU campaign that promotes cybersecurity and provides accurate online security information by sharing good practices. Every year in October, hundreds of activities take place across Europe, such as conferences, workshops, training and webinars, to promote digital security.
Organisers of ECSM provide the knowledge and tools to promote the safer use of the internet for all EU citizens. Since 2012, the ECSM has reached its key priorities by bringing together parties from across Europe under the slogan ‘Cybersecurity is a Shared Responsibility’ to unite against cyber threats.
ECSM 2020 launches with the motto of ‘Think Before U Click’. The month is split into two themes – the first two weeks focus on ‘cyber scams’ and the second on ‘digital skills’.
Kicking off the month with ‘cyber scams’, this theme provided insights on current and potential cyber threats to help businesses and individuals minimise risk. COVID-19 has led to an increase in e-commerce and online payments, which hackers have used to their advantage. The key message of this theme encourages users to have a heightened awareness of cyber scams when conducting online transactions.
The second theme, ‘digital skills’, presents educational activities that inform on internet security. COVID-19 has increased the digitalisation of everyday life, which requires people to be on top of digital trends to remain safe online. The theme covers e-privacy matters such as data protection, cyber bullying and cyber stalking.
For a full list of activities occurring in your region, please check the timetable here.
by Steven Ewer 19.03.20
Video calls and online chats are important social tools for many of us, so why not use them for business too? At a time when meeting face-to-face is...
Video calls and online chats are important social tools for many of us, so why not use them for business too? At a time when meeting face-to-face is being discouraged in a bid to contain the outbreak of Covid-19, many firms are doing just that and using virtual methods, such as video conference calls, to encourage business continuity.
In the recruitment business, interviews are key. They are the chance for candidates to meet their potential employer, get a feeling for the people and the business, and also to showcase who they are and what they can do. For employers, they are the chance to meet the potential employee, get a feeling of whether they would fit in with the office culture and obviously, to quiz them about their skills and experience. Doing this over the phone or by video link rather than face-to-face is a very different proposition.
Remote interviews can save time and stress
“Remote interviewing is nothing new,” says Steven Ewer, head of Franklin Fitch’s UK and US operations, adding that many of his clients have been using it for the initial interview stage for a long time. “Collaboration tools are so strong that actually there is no reason why the quality of your interview process needs to change.”
In reality, remote interviews can save time and stress both for the candidate and the company. Individuals need to set aside less time as they don’t have to travel and can fit a video call into a lunch break or even before work. Similarly, companies can schedule more interviews if they don’t need to spend time showing each person into the office.
That however, is a concern for some people. Steven says he has clients who are concerned that candidates want to see what the office environment is actually like and there is also the issue of how you check technology knowledge that would normally be tested in the confines of a controlled environment. In actual fact, he believes the company culture is the people and you can get a good feeling for that from a video call.
Treat it the same as any interview
“You need to treat a video interview in the same way you would a face-to-face interview,” says Steven, adding that many people forget they can be seen and can become easily distracted. He believes a video interview is preferable to a phone-only interview as it not only helps concentration and focus but you also get a better sense of the individual’s character. He does point out however, that it can be harder to gauge reaction and that body language is hyper-exaggerated on screen – not a big issue, but something to be aware of.
“And if you really want your candidates to see the office, the technology is there,” he says. “You can do virtual walkthroughs if you want and thanks to Google it is now even possible to see into buildings.”
“You don’t miss much by interviewing remotely,” he says. “It’s more of a mental issue.”
Companies need to adapt their hiring processes
Given the current situation – many European countries and much of the US is on lockdown and the majority of office-based staff are working from home, face-to-face interviews are a no go for the time being. Companies that want to hire – and there are still plenty of them – will have to change their recruitment processes and adapt.
There are signs this is already happening. Global downloads of business apps that facilitate remote interviews and working such as WeChat Work, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack have risen nearly five-fold since the start of the year, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. In the first week of March there were 6.7 million new users across the App Store and Google Play, compared with 1.4 million in the first week of January.
So, gone are the days of being judged on your pre-interview handshake. Now, if you get it wrong, it’ll be the quality of the video backdrop that you’re remembered for. So don’t forget to move away from the drying washing!
We're still hiring
For anyone looking for a position in IT infrastructure or companies with roles to fill, we are still here and busy making the most of the technology on offer to continue hiring both for ourselves and clients as normal. Give us a call on 0203 696 7950 or email email@example.com.
Remote interview advice for candidates:
Remote interview advice for interviewers:
by Claire Shoesmith
by David Annable 17.03.20
It’s official, the coronavirus is here. Yesterday the UK Prime Minister advised people to avoid non-essential travel and where possible to work...
It’s official, the coronavirus is here. Yesterday the UK Prime Minister advised people to avoid non-essential travel and where possible to work from home to help slow the spread the of the Covid-19 virus that has already killed thousands of people around the world. Many European countries and parts of the US are already on lock-down. At Franklin Fitch we are heeding the advice and from today, most of us are working from home.
Thanks to technology such as Skype, Microsoft’s Teams and Zoom Video Communications, to name but a few, remote working is relatively simple. Provided you have access to a computer and an internet connection, most people can continue doing their job in the same way they would in an office. Meetings, document sharing and even interviews (we will return to this in a separate blog) can all be done remotely online – it just requires a bit more planning and perhaps a little more discipline from the individual workers to ensure they remain engaged and motivated.
It's about collaboration and communication
Some companies had already made the decision for their employees to work remotely before yesterday’s announcement, but it was one that was not taken lightly at Franklin Fitch. Ultimately we are a business built on collaboration and communication, and while this can be successful at a distance, it is something that David Annable, the firm’s founder, believes is even better done face-to-face.
“We are all about collaborative working,” says David. “And what’s the easiest way to achieve that? – to sit at a desk with other people.” For him, there are huge benefits to sitting in an open-plan office surrounded by colleagues doing a similar job. As well as the collaborative aspect, he believes the learning and emotional support provided by nearby colleagues is very important.
“Being present in the office means you are more aware of what is going on with your colleagues and are able to see the visual clues to help you provide the right emotional support at the right time,” he says.
People can work just as well remotely
Still, the government advice is very clear and we fully support the move to reduce close contact in the office, especially when our employees can do their job just as well remotely. We will continue to offer the same level of training and support to our staff and engagement with our candidates and clients via email, phone and video conferencing.
For many, flexible working is nothing new – in fact, according to a study by business payment advisers Merchant Savvy, 61% of global companies already allow their staff to work remotely for at least some of their working week. But for those who usually travel into an office each day and not only enjoy the company of, but also learn from, the colleagues sitting around them, the isolation of home working can be difficult. We at Franklin Fitch are very aware of this and will be keeping in close contact with all our employees, candidates and clients to ensure that not only business continues as usual, but also that their health, both mental and physical, remains strong .
We are open for business
Contact us on 0203 696 7950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Jamie Fitzgerald 03.03.20
Looking for a career in cybersecurity? Well you’re in demand - provided you get in there before the robots do. Oliver Tattersall, head of...
Looking for a career in cybersecurity? Well you’re in demand - provided you get in there before the robots do.
Oliver Tattersall, head of the German cyber and information security team at Franklin Fitch, believes that the majority of small and medium-sized businesses are vastly underprepared for the threat of a cyberattack and are leaving themselves open to billions of pounds/euros of financial damage. Whether it’s a lack of funding or ignorance that it won’t happen to them, the need for skilled cybersecurity specialists has never been greater.
“There is a distinct lack of awareness of cybersecurity in SMEs,” says Oliver, adding that even if the awareness was there, there is the added complication of finding people with the right skills. “It’s a very candidate-short market at the moment, particularly in cybersecurity, and this is making it very hard to find the right people.”
The potential damage from an attack is huge
Failing to implement the right cybersecurity measures can have a devastating impact on a company that falls victim to an attack both financially and in terms of reputational damage. While allocating funds for appropriate security at a time when many companies are cutting spending is not ideal – the average mid-sized company spends tens or even hundreds of thousands on cybersecurity - the outlay is small by comparison to the damage that could be caused.
So, what cybersecurity-related skills are most in demand and how can potential specialists get the job they want and help these companies stave off an attack?
“Candidates need to be able to communicate, get stakeholders on board, be hungry for knowledge and have good technical skills,” says Oliver.
Companies need to innovate to attract skilled workers
He is currently seeking to fill an array of cybersecurity roles in Germany, particularly in the areas of embedded security, defence analysts, cyber analysts and risk specialists. While he is quietly confident that eventually he will find the right person for each role, he also believes that German companies need to be prepared to be more flexible if they want to attract the best people. “There are many highly-skilled workers outside of Germany that could add great value to these companies,” he says, adding that now is the time to think outside the box when it comes to recruitment in order to attract the best talent.
In addition, Oliver believes there is an increased tendency nowadays for skills to cross over. It is harder to draw a line between the infrastructure and software sides, meaning that people with a certain skillset might now be able to carry out other jobs too.
How can AI help?
In the future Oliver believes that some of the pressure on the sector may be relieved by Artificial Intelligence (AI). “AI not only removes the human element, which is itself open to risk and manual error, but it can help to identify data and pinpoint where there’s a possible threat,” he says.
Already some cybersecurity companies are teaching AI systems to detect viruses and malware by using complex algorithms so AI can then run pattern recognition software. AI systems can also be used in situations of multi-factor authentication to provide access to their users. It is worth pointing out however that while AI may be great for processing large amounts of data or replacing autonomous manual tasks, it will never be able to replace a security analyst’s insight or understanding of a problem.
In reality, the likelihood is that jobs will change and while some of us may indeed end up working alongside an automated colleague, we will still be needed, but for alternative functions.
by Charlotte Drury 20.01.20
A new year, a new you, or so the saying goes. For some this will mean a new job, for others it will be new resolutions, but for the remainder, it...
A new year, a new you, or so the saying goes. For some this will mean a new job, for others it will be new resolutions, but for the remainder, it will simply be a continuation of the same, picking up where they left off sometime before Christmas. Even if it’s the latter, there’s no room for complacency. The IT world is constantly changing, and so should you if you want to keep on top of your game and get the most out of 2020.
Whilst we at Franklin Fitch have many skills, unfortunately crystal-ball reading isn’t one of them. However, being involved in two of the fastest moving industries – IT Infrastructure and recruitment, we have no doubt that 2020 is set to be an exciting year. So, what do we expect the first year of the new decade to bring, and more importantly, what can you do to ensure you stay ahead?
Here we look at the five top trends we expect to be dominating the market over the next 12 months and how we believe you can use them to your advantage.
There are several reasons for this: unemployment is at its lowest rate for more than 40 years (the latest figures from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) released in December show the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, its lowest level since 1974) and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure from the EU. The upcoming change to the IR35 legislation is also having an impact, but we will examine this in more detail in another article.
Finding individuals with the required skills and experience to fill roles in cutting-edge sectors, such as serverless and cloud technology, DevOps, containerisation, networking and cyber security has never been easy, but it’s now harder than ever. Not only are there not enough Britons out there seeking these positions, but we are now faced with a likely shortage of skilled migrant workers thanks to the uncertainty around Britain’s future immigration policy. While there is much talk of an Australian-style point-based system, which would allow those with the necessary skills to take these roles, David Annable, Franklin Fitch’s founder, says that all the uncertainty is reducing the attractiveness of the UK as a place for non-Britons to work.
While the tight market makes it more difficult for businesses looking to hire highly-skilled security architects, network engineers or chief information (security) officers, it is also an opportunity for the UK’s top technology talent.
The knock-on effect of a shortage of candidates is obviously an increase in salaries. With fewer people to fill the roles, particularly in the highly-skilled areas of networks, servers, security or data, it goes without saying that those individuals capable of doing the job will need to be paid more to attract them to, and keep them in, the role.
Another feature of a tight employment market is that it places the power very firmly in the hands of the candidate. Employers will need to work harder to attract and retain the right people, says Annable.
Training and development will be key to ensuring employees remain engaged and hopefully prevent them being enticed away to other roles. In our 2019 Market and Skills Report, the opportunity to progress featured highly, just behind salary, in the rankings of what candidates consider to be most important when choosing a new job.
Getting the right work-life balance has long been a talking point. While no definitive solution to the age-old challenge has been found, organisations have become much more open to alternative ways of working, including flexible hours, job sharing and the option to work from home. This is understandably not an option for all roles, but in today’s tight job market, organisations are going to have to pay more attention to the requests of individual employees and seek to accommodate their demands to attract the top talent. Again this offers a great opportunity for job seekers.
Improving diversity and inclusion is not just a box-ticking exercise. Organisations are at last starting to realise the benefits of a diverse workforce. According to the latest figures from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS), just over half of the 6.5 million Britons working in professional occupations are women. While this is indeed progress, it has unfortunately not filtered through to the IT and telecommunications’ sectors, where the ratio is just one in six.
However, the IT sector fares better when it comes to ethnic diversity, with the latest ONS figures showing that of the 1.84 million professionals who work in science, engineering and technology, 85.1% are white, compared with 87.6% across the UK workforce as a whole.
While the debate rumbles on as to how to achieve increased diversity in gender, ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation, you can expect organisations to try their own variations of quotas and targets to help achieve their goal. For some individuals, this will be an opportunity.
To conclude, there is no doubt that the tight employment market offers highly-skilled IT candidates the chance to shine and move ahead of the curve, but they aren't the only ones. The market situation also creates a significant opportunity for recruiters to face up to the challenge of finding the right person for the right role in a market where organisations themselves are likely to struggle.
If 2020 is looking like a good year for candidates, then it's also not looking too bad for recruiters.....
by Leonie Schaefer 20.06.19
Diversity and inclusion are very important topics for businesses across all industries. We want to shine a light on the topic specifically for those...
Diversity and inclusion are very important topics for businesses across all industries. We want to shine a light on the topic specifically for those working within IT Infrastructure.
We’ve seen a lot of women in tech initiatives over the years yet still only 10% of participants in this market and skills report were female. Although we were hoping that this is not a representative number, day to day conversations with industry specialist show a similar result.
We are supporting events like CYBERWOMEN 2019 in Germany and hope that initiatives like these will give women and girls the confidence to take on a career in IT Infrastructure.
Although we are huge fans of initiatives encouraging women and girls in tech, we think that this is not enough. Diversity & Inclusion is not only about the female-male divide. It is about tackling biases based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual preference and age (just to name a few) and ending discrimination completely.
We would like to provide a platform for those working within or interested in IT Infrastructure to share their experiences with us and to come up with possible solutions together.
We are conducting interviews with industry experts who are willing to give us their opinions and insights on diversity and inclusion within IT Infrastructure.
Interested? Contact Leonie Schaefer for more information +44 203 696 7950, email@example.com.
We pride ourselves on trusted partnerships, whether you're looking for a new role in IT Infrastructure, talent for your team or considering joining Franklin Fitch. Why not start that partnership today?
Copyright © 2019 Franklin Fitch | All rights Reserved. Designed by Venn Digital
Please indiciate whether you would like us to hold onto your details in order to keep you up to date with relevant opportunities
Or if you prefer email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please indiciate whether you would like us to hold onto your details in order to keep you up to date with relevant opportunities
Franklin Fitch Newsletter
By subscribing to our newsletter, you can stay updated with Franklin Fitch-related news, hot employment opportunities, and current industry news from the tech and recruitment sectors.
I agree to receive your newsletters and accept the data privacy statement.