What Would James Bond Do? Security Measures Fit for 007 By Scott Kortright

James Bond is known for impeccable taste in clothes, cars and cocktails. Not to mention, cool gadgets and tricks up his sleeve like wristwatch lasers and passenger ejector seats. Along with the style and grace, keeping data safe and intelligence top secret is still top of mind for Bond.

This got us thinking: If given a choice, what would the world’s daring Secret Service agent choose to authenticate his identity? Or has he already used different systems, and in what capacity? As an MI6 agent, however, shouldn’t Bond try to be less conspicuous, and put a premium on security over style?

jamesb2.jpg

Photo by Ludovic Bertron

Mission-critical online service

Bond is on a mission. He desperately needs to access information in an unsecure internet line. Bond is required to log-in using a username and password plus a secondary factor — SMS text to a ‘burn phone’ or an alphanumeric code displayed on his wristwatch. If he’s logging in outside the secure realm of MI6-issued computers, he may be required to scan his fingerprint as well. Multi-factor authentication can deter potential prying eyes from getting access to sensitive data.

But is fingerprint scanning safe enough?

In Skyfall, Bond had a slick, biometrically encoded pistol that uses a palm scanner to lock out unauthorized users. The Walther PPK is coded to Bond’s palm prints to allow him, and only him, to fire the gun. Talk about the ultimate security protection. There’s also a radio transmitter to trace Bond’s whereabouts.

While biometric security is becoming increasingly commonplace as a way to secure and protect assets, the technology has been featured in many Bond scenarios as fingerprint scanners appear quite frequently. But fingerprints and palmprints can easily be lifted from a bar glass (shaken, not stirred) and replicated. 007 should know better!

Technology such as keystroke dynamics could be a better alternative. His overall typing speed, the length of time keys are depressed, common typing errors, or variations of speed moving between specific keys can be used to determine 007’s identity more securely than a fingerprint. There’s also body shape scanning or vein recognition, a type of biometrics based on the vein patterns in the human finger or palm.

Facial Recognition: Is it infallible?

Biometric face recognition technology has received significant attention in the past several years. Compared to other biometrics using fingerprint/palmprint and iris, facial recognition has distinct advantages because of its non-contact process. Face images can be captured from a distance without touching the person being identified, and the identification does not require interacting with the person. In addition, face images that have been recorded and archived can later help identify a person.

In Quantum of Solace, Bond photographs a series of strangers across a darkened opera hall, many facing partly away from him. The photos are beamed to the SIS’s backend systems and the software analyses the faces by breaking them into geometric shapes. They are referenced against a database, and the individual’s identities are rapidly returned.

Facial recognition is getting increasingly sophisticated, even Facebook has developed an algorithm to calculate a face “template.” The key factor is how much of the face the system needs to see to return a match with a confidence level of 80%.

In Skyfall, Raoul Silva a former MI6 operative turned cyber-terrorist who is hellbent on seeking revenge has a changed look. In Silva’s case would the facial recognition hold up as Silva wears a prosthesis to replace the teeth and keep his left cheek up. When taken out his face is disfigured. The polygon analysis normalizes the faces, mapping elements and examining their positions. Perhaps a 3D facial expression database for facial behavior could detect villains who may not look quite the same as they used to.

In essence James Bond has always been ahead of the curve. He has utilized palm print activation, facial recognition and other new and exciting forms of identity verification.

In future films, will we see the use of handwriting, odor, walking style or gait, odor, or actual DNA segments to determine the identities of MI6 agents? What could the future hold for Q’s new inventions and ways to continue protecting 007’s identity?

MFA007.jpg

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What Would James Bond Do? Security Measures Fit for 007 By Scott Kortright

James Bond is known for impeccable taste in clothes, cars and cocktails. Not to mention, cool gadgets and tricks up his sleeve like wristwatch lasers and passenger ejector seats. Along with the style and grace, keeping data safe and intelligence top secret is still top of mind for Bond.

This got us thinking: If given a choice, what would the world’s daring Secret Service agent choose to authenticate his identity? Or has he already used different systems, and in what capacity? As an MI6 agent, however, shouldn’t Bond try to be less conspicuous, and put a premium on security over style?

jamesb2.jpg

Photo by Ludovic Bertron

Mission-critical online service

Bond is on a mission. He desperately needs to access information in an unsecure internet line. Bond is required to log-in using a username and password plus a secondary factor — SMS text to a ‘burn phone’ or an alphanumeric code displayed on his wristwatch. If he’s logging in outside the secure realm of MI6-issued computers, he may be required to scan his fingerprint as well. Multi-factor authentication can deter potential prying eyes from getting access to sensitive data.

But is fingerprint scanning safe enough?

In Skyfall, Bond had a slick, biometrically encoded pistol that uses a palm scanner to lock out unauthorized users. The Walther PPK is coded to Bond’s palm prints to allow him, and only him, to fire the gun. Talk about the ultimate security protection. There’s also a radio transmitter to trace Bond’s whereabouts.

While biometric security is becoming increasingly commonplace as a way to secure and protect assets, the technology has been featured in many Bond scenarios as fingerprint scanners appear quite frequently. But fingerprints and palmprints can easily be lifted from a bar glass (shaken, not stirred) and replicated. 007 should know better!

Technology such as keystroke dynamics could be a better alternative. His overall typing speed, the length of time keys are depressed, common typing errors, or variations of speed moving between specific keys can be used to determine 007’s identity more securely than a fingerprint. There’s also body shape scanning or vein recognition, a type of biometrics based on the vein patterns in the human finger or palm.

Facial Recognition: Is it infallible?

Biometric face recognition technology has received significant attention in the past several years. Compared to other biometrics using fingerprint/palmprint and iris, facial recognition has distinct advantages because of its non-contact process. Face images can be captured from a distance without touching the person being identified, and the identification does not require interacting with the person. In addition, face images that have been recorded and archived can later help identify a person.

In Quantum of Solace, Bond photographs a series of strangers across a darkened opera hall, many facing partly away from him. The photos are beamed to the SIS’s backend systems and the software analyses the faces by breaking them into geometric shapes. They are referenced against a database, and the individual’s identities are rapidly returned.

Facial recognition is getting increasingly sophisticated, even Facebook has developed an algorithm to calculate a face “template.” The key factor is how much of the face the system needs to see to return a match with a confidence level of 80%.

In Skyfall, Raoul Silva a former MI6 operative turned cyber-terrorist who is hellbent on seeking revenge has a changed look. In Silva’s case would the facial recognition hold up as Silva wears a prosthesis to replace the teeth and keep his left cheek up. When taken out his face is disfigured. The polygon analysis normalizes the faces, mapping elements and examining their positions. Perhaps a 3D facial expression database for facial behavior could detect villains who may not look quite the same as they used to.

In essence James Bond has always been ahead of the curve. He has utilized palm print activation, facial recognition and other new and exciting forms of identity verification.

In future films, will we see the use of handwriting, odor, walking style or gait, odor, or actual DNA segments to determine the identities of MI6 agents? What could the future hold for Q’s new inventions and ways to continue protecting 007’s identity?

MFA007.jpg

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What Would James Bond Do? Security Measures Fit for 007 By Scott Kortright

James Bond is known for impeccable taste in clothes, cars and cocktails. Not to mention, cool gadgets and tricks up his sleeve like wristwatch lasers and passenger ejector seats. Along with the style and grace, keeping data safe and intelligence top secret is still top of mind for Bond.

This got us thinking: If given a choice, what would the world’s daring Secret Service agent choose to authenticate his identity? Or has he already used different systems, and in what capacity? As an MI6 agent, however, shouldn’t Bond try to be less conspicuous, and put a premium on security over style?

jamesb2.jpg

Photo by Ludovic Bertron

Mission-critical online service

Bond is on a mission. He desperately needs to access information in an unsecure internet line. Bond is required to log-in using a username and password plus a secondary factor — SMS text to a ‘burn phone’ or an alphanumeric code displayed on his wristwatch. If he’s logging in outside the secure realm of MI6-issued computers, he may be required to scan his fingerprint as well. Multi-factor authentication can deter potential prying eyes from getting access to sensitive data.

But is fingerprint scanning safe enough?

In Skyfall, Bond had a slick, biometrically encoded pistol that uses a palm scanner to lock out unauthorized users. The Walther PPK is coded to Bond’s palm prints to allow him, and only him, to fire the gun. Talk about the ultimate security protection. There’s also a radio transmitter to trace Bond’s whereabouts.

While biometric security is becoming increasingly commonplace as a way to secure and protect assets, the technology has been featured in many Bond scenarios as fingerprint scanners appear quite frequently. But fingerprints and palmprints can easily be lifted from a bar glass (shaken, not stirred) and replicated. 007 should know better!

Technology such as keystroke dynamics could be a better alternative. His overall typing speed, the length of time keys are depressed, common typing errors, or variations of speed moving between specific keys can be used to determine 007’s identity more securely than a fingerprint. There’s also body shape scanning or vein recognition, a type of biometrics based on the vein patterns in the human finger or palm.

Facial Recognition: Is it infallible?

Biometric face recognition technology has received significant attention in the past several years. Compared to other biometrics using fingerprint/palmprint and iris, facial recognition has distinct advantages because of its non-contact process. Face images can be captured from a distance without touching the person being identified, and the identification does not require interacting with the person. In addition, face images that have been recorded and archived can later help identify a person.

In Quantum of Solace, Bond photographs a series of strangers across a darkened opera hall, many facing partly away from him. The photos are beamed to the SIS’s backend systems and the software analyses the faces by breaking them into geometric shapes. They are referenced against a database, and the individual’s identities are rapidly returned.

Facial recognition is getting increasingly sophisticated, even Facebook has developed an algorithm to calculate a face “template.” The key factor is how much of the face the system needs to see to return a match with a confidence level of 80%.

In Skyfall, Raoul Silva a former MI6 operative turned cyber-terrorist who is hellbent on seeking revenge has a changed look. In Silva’s case would the facial recognition hold up as Silva wears a prosthesis to replace the teeth and keep his left cheek up. When taken out his face is disfigured. The polygon analysis normalizes the faces, mapping elements and examining their positions. Perhaps a 3D facial expression database for facial behavior could detect villains who may not look quite the same as they used to.

In essence James Bond has always been ahead of the curve. He has utilized palm print activation, facial recognition and other new and exciting forms of identity verification.

In future films, will we see the use of handwriting, odor, walking style or gait, odor, or actual DNA segments to determine the identities of MI6 agents? What could the future hold for Q’s new inventions and ways to continue protecting 007’s identity?

MFA007.jpg

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10 Years On: How the iPhone Shifted a Whole Industry By Dale Lovell

hurk / Pixabay

Steve Jobs once said, “Every once in awhile a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. Apple’s been very fortunate in that it’s introduced a few of these.”

Arguably, Apple’s most iconic product – the iPhone, which turned 10 recently – seems to epitomise this, with consumers buying more than a million Apple smartphones to date. Recent findings by Gartner state that the iPhone also has cornered the smartphone market, making up 17.9% of the market share.

The impact the iPhone has had on people’s everyday lives, and as a revolutionary technology in itself, has allowed companies to jump on the smartphone bandwagon. Now, more than 2 billion people worldwide rely on these devices. It also catalysed the growth of social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Apple’s app store didn’t officially launch until a year after the first iPhone was released, and then only featured 500 apps to choose from. Today, apps have become ubiquitous within consumers’ lifestyles, with more than 2 million to choose from and a growing number of new apps being launched continuously.

While Apple has become the dominant player on the market, many people tend to forget that they weren’t the first who looked to combine the internet with mobile services. Five years earlier, in 2002, Nokia had created its 3510 model which used General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology.

In addition to drastically changing consumers’ lives, the iPhone had an undoubtedly significant impact on digital advertising spend. In 2007, ad spend on mobile advertising amounted to only $1.7 billion – in contrast, this year it is expected to reach $143 billion. That’s a staggering growth for a decade, made even more impressive by the fact that mobile advertising will make up well over half of total digital advertising spend by 2020.

From a marketing point of view, it’s interesting to see the impact smartphones have had on the evolution and growth of digital advertising – particularly with regard to native ads.

In 2013, native advertising was still in its infancy – brands were experimenting with different formats and native was just coming to the forefront. However, in today’s mobile world, it has become an essential tool for any brand looking to engage with its target audiences. Consumers now expect and demand a flawless mobile experience, free from any interruptions and popup ads. As one piece of research shows, they are becoming less patient towards mobile ads than they are with on desktop. Adopting Native mobile ads in any digital campaign can really help a brand increase engagement levels and reach potential customers by matching different editorial formats and app experiences.

Consumers’ fast adoption of the smartphone in their lifestyles, combined with the desire to have a seamless, uninterrupted online experience direct from their mobile, has largely contributed in helping shift the digital ad environment toward mobile native as an alternative approach to traditional advertising, and this won’t stop anytime soon. In fact, 8 out of 10 consumers say they readily accept native content, and Facebook estimates that about 63% of mobile ads will be native within three years, amounting to $53 billion in ad spend globally.

For the advertising industry as a whole, it is now imperative for all marketers to integrate mobile channels within their overall advertising campaign strategy, and ensure that the appropriate budget is allocated to native content. Consumers live and die by their newsfeeds, and if you want to get noticed, you need to ensure you’re part of this in a way that isn’t disruptive to their user experience.

Ten years ago, the iPhone changed the world – it’s recent anniversary shows just how quickly things can shift. Nothing is forever and smartphones will likely be old news in a few years’ time, overtaken by another future technology. However, one thing is clear: companies who actively adapt and embrace new realities will flourish and profit.

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Choosing a Payment Integration Partner By Alice Chen

Choosing a payment integration partner is an important decision. They are called partners for a reason – whoever you choose needs to be invested in your shared clients’ success and satisfaction. When it comes to selecting the right payment integration partner, keep the following points in mind.

API

Not all APIs are created equal. It’s important to have an API that not only meets the needs of your business and your clients but that is easy for your developers to work with. An API that has a standardized code structure, error messaging, and flexible integration capabilities makes for an easy integration.

Revenue share

Among the 51% of ISVs that receive some form of compensation, 57% receive revenue share on each transaction rather than a one-time referral fee. A fair, profitable revenue share program gives you a percentage of the net revenue generated from your referred clients, which increases as their total processing volume grows. If your clients need traditional terminals for in-store transactions in addition to processing payments through the integration, ask if the integration partner offers revenue share on terminals as well (not all integration partners do this). Some integration partners also offer incentives, rewards, and uncapped revenue share.

PCI compliance

Your clients have enough on their plates without worrying about PCI compliance. While compliance is not legally mandated, non-compliance involves penalties, fees, and in severe cases, account termination. Look for an integration partner that reduces your clients’ responsibility for PCI compliance, ensures every transaction is encrypted, and securely stores sensitive credit card information.

Pricing

Generally, a merchant account provider can offer you lower, more competitive pricing than the fixed rates offered by aggregators – and lower rates attract more clients. Additionally, through the partnership, most integration partners will offer preferred pricing for your referred clients.

Support

Does the integration partner provide support for you, your developers, and your clients? Most integration partners also offer product training for your sales staff to help increase your market penetration, conversions, and revenue. Do they provide co-marketing content, campaigns, and initiatives to help increase account penetration, conversions, and revenue? What type of support does the partner offer your developer(s) before, during, and after integration? Are there guides and resources for your developer team to refer to? Is there a sandbox environment for them to use? Technical difficulties or billing inquiries disrupt your clients’ business; an integration partner that provides prompt 24/7 customer support is invaluable.

Smooth onboarding process

If you partner with a merchant account provider, they’ll need to first set your clients up with their own merchant account to be able to accept payments within your software. Look for a partner that provides a smooth merchant account application and onboarding process. A great integration partner enables your clients to start processing payments as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Reporting

Your clients can either process payments through the mobile app or insert a card reader into the audio jack of the mobile device to accept credit card payments anywhere, anytime.

Product scope

Make sure the capabilities offered by the API aligns with the business needs of your clients. Every software vendors’ customers have unique needs which require different technology sets and payment solutions.

Download Now

This is an adapted excerpt from our latest eBook, Payment Integration 101: A Software Vendor’s Guide to Payment Partnerships. To read more, download the free eBook on the right.

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The Charity Arcade Brings Social Fundraising To Retro Gaming By James Kosur

If you wander through Swedavia Swedish Airports and seek out some retro gaming consoles you’ll stumble across Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Space Invaders.

Much like the original versions of these gaming cabinets, players simply drop in a quarter and begin their gameplay. Unlike original consoles, charitable donations are being collected with every challenge.

Featured at Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Göteborg Landvetter Airport you can now play these classics while helping raise money for the Swedish Red Cross.

Every quarter dropped into the consoles are displayed in a glass collection box located at the bottom of the gaming consoles.

The Charity Arcade is the brainchild of the Swedavia Swedish Airports and the Swedish Red Cross and they have been a big hit.

You can use any international coins to play the games, offering the opportunity for tourists to enjoy a few minutes of retro fun while helping the Swedish Red Cross save lives.

Here’s a video of the Charity Arcade in action:

The Charity Arcade has been around since 2015 and we’re hoping this concept continues to catch on and spreads beyond Sweden.

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A 9-Year-Old Applied For NASA’s ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy” Job And The Agency Responded By James Kosur

Photo Credit: NASA

NASA recently announced a new “Planetary Protection Officer” role and immediately received thousands of applications. One of those applications, however, stood out among the crowd. That’s because the application was submitted by 9-year-old Jack Davis.

In his post, the young man referred to the role as the “Guardian of the Galaxy.”

“I have seen almost all the space and alien movies I can see,” Jack said in his letter. “I’m great at video games. I am young, so I can learn to think like an Alien.”

Here’s Jack’s full letter:

A family friend posted the adorable letter on Reddit and it quickly went viral. With all the attention Jack was receiving, it was only natural that NASA would jump in and respond to his job application.

NASA’s director of planetary science division went the following response on Twitter:

“It’s about protecting Earth from tiny microbes when we bring back samples from the Moon, asteroids, and Mars. It’s also about protecting other planets and moons from our germs as we responsibly explore the Solar System.”

NASA then told Jack to study hard along with other kids his age so they could become true “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Here’s the full response from NASA:

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Keep at it Jack, you never know, we might actually need kids like you to study aliens and one day protect our planet from an invasion.

Adorableness personified!

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