Is the "Big One" Coming?
Ransomware roared back on the radar this month when Norsk Hydro, a major aluminum producer, was hit company-wide, affecting 25,000 employees and shutting down operations to the point it impacted the global aluminum market. Since the NotPetya and WannaCry attacks, things had been quite in this sphere, and companies became lax in their defensive posture. So, it is unfortunate that such an attack at this must bring ransomware back into focus. We discuss how experts believe that such an attack could have world-wide impact on productivity and cost billions for remediation. Also in March we look at the continuing rise and fall of Windows 10 vs. Windows 7, and Chrome against Firefox and Edge. The underdogs (Edge and Windows 7) staged comebacks last month to regain some market share, and we have details. We also look at how secure messaging services are, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, and how Facebook intends to provide encryption across these different platforms. Finally, we cover the puzzling fact that none of the data from the 2017 Equifax data breach has appeared on the black market, leading security experts to believe that a nation-state obtained this information and are using it for espionage or blackmail, rather than selling it for financial fraud purposes as is usually the case with stolen personal identification. Plus we have other news like the possibility you may be spamming yourself if you whitelist your own e-mail address.
Siri and Alexa find a home in the office
In our February SIMformation, we discuss how Artificial Intelligence and digital assistants are becoming more of a business tool, helping to automate certain tasks and improving collaboration between workgroups. We look at the new version of Android coming out this year and some of the new features it will contain. The Apple Group FaceTime flaw created privacy concerns, so if you use this app and have not updated it, we have the details. Mozilla is increasing anti-ad tracking tools in the latest Firefox browser release, and Windows 10 is a notorious space hog on your hard drive, so we have some tips on how to clean out old and unnecessary files to improve PC performance.
A look at the Tech Crystal Ball
We kick off 2019 with a look at some of the top trends in the forecast for technology. Naturally, security tops the list, along with AI, the Cloud and blockchain. There is speculation that Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, may be going away as Siri and Alexa have shouted her down. Firefox is adding a data breach notification to its browser when there is the possibility that the user's e-mail and credentials have been obtained by a hacker. We discuss artificial intelligence as it applies outside the tech world, specifically for "self-driving" cars and what programming choices may mean in the real world. Finally, we have some tips on add-ins for Microsoft Office that may be a help to you Word, Excel and Outlook users.
Windows Hello, Outlook 2016 and more
In our December issue of SIMformation, we discuss how biometrics may replace passwords for IT security. Facial scans and fingerprints may replace complex passwords and two-factor authentication. Windows 10 supports Windows Hello, Microsoft's biometric program, and we have details. We also look at Outlook 2016 with some tips and hints to get the most from this software. As it is the Christmas season and there are packages under the tree, it may be you will get some wearable technology this year – but is this a security risk to you and your personal information? Also, the season leads to scams and the Secret Sister/Santa pyramid scheme is no exception. We tell you what to look out for. Finally, we start our look at the coming year with a few new features coming from Apple, as we know some of you are dedicated iPhone or Mac users out there.
Cellphone Spam exploding
In our November SIMformation we look at the explosion of robo-calling to cellphones, and what the industry is doing to combat this problem. And, unless you like to hear from "Rachel at Card Services" we have some tips you can use to help ward off unwanted calls. A new security warning from the National Security Agency covers "smart desks" connected to the Internet that might be spying on you, and we have the dossier on this. The October Windows 10 update caused some pain for users as it deleted their Documents folder, so that update was recalled by Microsoft. Our SIM2K Critical Updates plan helps protect you from buggy updates. New statistics are out on the cost to protect data in the US Cybercrime Survey – and yes, the costs have risen again this year. Finally, with new Artificial Intelligence products and Two-Factor Authentication tools, do you still need a traditional signature-based Anti-Virus program? Experts say yes, and we explain why.