Getting to the Point: How New Conversation Tech Can Interpret Interactions and Create Value By Ranjan Kumar

If you had to choose between meeting a colleague over Zoom, or over a latte at your favorite coffee shop, the probability is pretty high you’d choose the latter, assuming it was safe to do so. While Zoom meetings are quicker and easier to stack sequentially throughout the day, there is value in the nuances of live conversation. Physical gestures, facial expressions and tonality are by nature more clearly conveyed in-person.

Recent studies projected that given the intangible value companies draw from work conversations, up to 75% of collaborations will be recorded and analyzed by 2025. To harness the value of workplace conversation, technology is becoming more capable when it comes to comprehending and decoding digitally facilitated human interaction.

Velocity and the exponential void

Efficiency and scalability have been the hallmarks of collaborative technology in recent years, especially as businesses scrambled to operate in a remote landscape. No longer having to even walk down the hallway to the conference room, professionals have been able to double or triple their daily meeting loads. But at what cost?

With volume and speed defining how we collaborate, much is lost in terms of context. The experiential component of conversation tells us as much about an interaction than the words spoken. A shrug, a furrowed brow, a quizzical tone – all provide human elements that add to a collaboration. In-person interaction also solidifies communication more effectively, making the content of a meeting more easily recalled. In an age when it’s said humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish (yes, really), locking in important points is critical to avoiding message degradation over time. Likewise, comprehension suffers in a blur of jam packed huddles. Anyone who’s gotten to the end of a meeting-heavy day, breathed a sigh of exhaustion and thought, what did we even talk about? understands this.

Harnessing factual and experiential

Recordings and transcripts are useful tools to some degree, but the ability to capture a factual summary does little to inform complex understanding and action steps. Corporations can easily rack up thousands of hours of conversations over the course of a month; the challenge is logging them in such a way that they can be referenced quickly and efficiently. Most office communication tools can record, but those conversations, and the key data held within them, often end up sitting in multiple siloed platforms. Even if they are accessed, a professional likely needs to rewatch a video, or replay an audio file, using fast-forward and rewind functions to find the data they need, slowing down operations overall.

Conversational technology that allows for a single repository, with a unified system of records, will be the game-changer when it comes to harnessing the value of these conversations. By capturing topical information and the experiential factors used to deliver that information – tonality, facial expressions and the like – that data increases exponentially in value. Storing it in an easily accessible reference system then takes it a step further, turning disorganized resources into actionable tools.

Decoding for purpose

It’s been reported that time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has increased by 50% or more in recent years, further accelerated by the remote workforce of the pandemic. Within each one of those collaborations are highlights; key points that feed post-meeting action items for the group. The newest conversation technology enables teams to capture these vital snippets, flagging them by timestamp or importance for easy reference. By archiving only the details needed to move forward with next steps, information gathered can be streamlined.

From a human resources perspective, for example, this could mean flagging candidate interviews if a response differs from one given in a previous meeting or that doesn’t seem sincere based on experiential factors like eye contact or body language. Internally, one-on-one meetings can be logged to extract an employee’s KPIs. Covering the full spectrum of employee engagement, cataloging exit interviews could reveal common threads, giving managers a glimpse into why they might be losing workers. More importantly, leadership can address those commonalities to better retain talent in a competitive marketplace.

Addressing privacy

In a scenario in which clients, employees or colleagues are being recorded, and those recordings are being analyzed and cataloged, privacy must be addressed. Fortunately, just as with phone calls that are recorded for training purposes, or the majority of virtual meetings held today, a simple permission step is usually all that’s needed to clear that hurdle. Saving conversational highlights also means that entire conversations don’t need to be held, only the key points. An internal depository also assumes a secured perimeter, with trust in the content’s merit justifying that boundary.

While it’s true that technological scale and velocity can dilute experiential factors, by specializing in these areas, new conversational platforms are ready to capture and organize key tenets of collaboration in new and more valuable ways than ever in the new year.

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3 Examples of How Edge Computing Can Give You an Edge By Daniel Burrus

Nearly all of us thought the Internet was the most revolutionary breakthrough in the storage and transfer of information in the early nineties. Suddenly, there was a way to share information faster than ever before, and this technology unlocked an unbelievable amount of opportunity for business that could never have existed before.

A few decades went by, and more information was generated, and mobile devices emerged on the scene, which put directly into our hands an even higher level of connectivity to that information. Now, we have the cloud, a huge storage space for the data humankind generates every minute.

Even as I write this blog, each character is being stored in the cloud in real time! So how much more connected could we possibly get?

Edge Computing Defined

While storing all this data is important, the need to access it quickly and benefit from its application is just as vital, if not more so.

This is where the concept of edge computing comes in: a type of digital framework where the processing of data happens as close to the source as physically possible. The physical piece of the framework at play here consists of automation controllers that can be located in nearly everything thanks to the acceleration of dematerialization.

I understand that this may sound an awful lot like “tech speak.” Therefore, let me collate three examples below to paint a real-world picture of how edge computing works and where it is currently evolving to transform industries for the better.


Drones are commonly used professionally as a more affordable way to survey an area without having to enlist a helicopter and pilot.

Whether a drone is deployed in a nonemergency situation, such as land surveying for a developer, or in an emergency, like tracking wildfires that have spread across Northern California, it has traditionally relayed information back to a home base of sorts, recording what it observes and informing a team on the ground.

Just having the ability to do that is impressive; however, edge computing is quickly transforming drones, and further, the duties of drone pilots. By bringing the processing power on board a drone, it can now take action on data it collects and essentially skip the step of having to relay information back to its home base.

Especially in an emergency, being able to alert local authorities without having to travel all the way back to a home base helps solve a problem much quicker than ever before.

Manufacturing Machinery

The manufacturing industry has a lot of moving parts, no matter what type of manufacturing is being performed. These moving parts can fail, and when they do, the occurrence usually causes a tremendous loss of time and money for an organization.

Edge computing solves this problem by moving preventative maintenance of machinery both on-site and off-site into a new category called “predictive maintenance.”

Let’s think about these two concepts in relation to my Anticipatory mindset versus an agile one. Agile mindsets are those of protecting and defending the status quo, often coupled with a tremendous effort to put out fires as they ignite. In a sense, they are preventative in nature. Conversely, an Anticipatory mindset is one that is predictive in nature, where we use the information at hand – or Hard Trends and Soft Trends – to pre-solve problems before they occur.

On a digital level, anticipation is what edge computing and predictive maintenance does for manufacturing. Using a set of predetermined parameters, a machine can determine way ahead of time when it will need maintenance, compared to preventative maintenance, which is merely a schedule of when to perform maintenance on said machine as a way to try staying ahead of issues.

Augmented Reality Applications

With the low latency of 5G connectivity, you can imagine just how realistic augmented reality (AR) has become in recent years in something like the gaming industry. But what about the professional world?

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 sent corporations of all sizes into a tailspin of remote work while they tried to learn how to keep their workforce productive from afar. I discuss in my Anticipatory Leader System that we only move forward with technological disruption and change, we never go back.

Because of this, remote work is certainly here to stay, and it will expand to different departments at companies and transform massively thanks to edge computing and AR. For instance, an employee will soon be able to put on AR glasses in a shop or warehouse and allow a remote worker to see exactly what they’re seeing, facilitating the ability of these two team members to fix errors and work seamlessly from afar.

This application of edge computing is not only meant to improve business processes, it also opens the door for individuals to live and work from nearly anywhere in the world in ways never before thought possible.

Edge Computing and a Both/And World

I want to be clear as I conclude: Edge computing is not here to replace human beings, it is merely going to reposition many.

We live in a both/and world, as I’ve discussed numerous times in previous blogs and throughout my Anticipatory Leader System. Edge computing and other transformative technologies that emerge in this world are Hard Trends, but how you leverage them is entirely up to you.

The best way to work with edge computing is by using anticipation to pre-solve problems that its disruptive nature will cause for you and your organization.

The time is now to perfect your Anticipatory mindset as a business leader in a digitally disruptive world. Explore my Anticipatory Leader System today and learn how you can turn disruptions like edge computing into a new opportunity never before seen, similar to what took place at the dawn of the Internet years ago.

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How Retail and Logistics Will Be Transformed In the Era of the New Normal By Peter Navarro

In 2020, an article in The Wall Street Journal reported on Amazon’s intention to acquire several JC Penney and Sears stores and malls to use as warehousing and distribution outlets.

A piece of news that surprised the world of retail in the United States because, surely, when founding Sears in 1892, Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck never imagined that their company would end up operating as a warehouse, after operating almost 290 stores in the northern country to the year 2019.

The idea behind the digital retail giant is to obtain more storage space for merchandise and the possibility of being closer to consumers, thus optimizing delivery times.

Undoubtedly, physical stores are not going to disappear, but they will become places of shopping experience for customers, where the quality of service, payment technologies and online catalogs will be differentiating elements.

In line with this, they will also have a role as distribution centers that facilitate more efficient management of e-commerce, promoting a new step in the administration concept known as “just in time”, coined in Japan in the 1980s, and which essentially refers to supplies reaching the factory or products to customers ‘just in time’. That is, shortly before they are used or marketed and only in the necessary quantities.

The foregoing will have an important impact in logistical terms, since ultimately these stores will tend to become centers of inventory and article databases, which will allow people to visualize what they really want to acquire and, consequently, maintain stocks of the most popular articles. requested.

In this way, the logistics of the future will end up bringing together two essential functions for commerce: the delivery of purchasing trend data, to assess which products are in greatest demand; and contribute to the speed of shipment, considering that shopping centers have strategic locations that bring them closer to customers in a better way than traditional storage points.

This will mean that both retailers and logistics companies will have to adapt to a new reality in which speed of response, market intelligence, technology, product availability and shopping experience will be essential. The challenge will no longer be whether or not we are prepared for these changes, but how quickly we can join this scenario. The survival of many retail and logistics companies will depend on it.

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Google Docs’ Comment Phishing Exploit By Ty Mezquita

google docs comment exploit

A wave of phishing attacks has been generated within Google’s cloud-based word processing solution (Google Docs) and its “Comments” feature. Attackers use the commenting feature to send malicious links to anyone’s email inbox. What’s worse, the comment appears to come from anyone hackers want it to be. In other words, a hacker can send a malicious link to you from your best friend on social media, and nothing stops that email from landing in your inbox supposedly sent by your best friend. Hackers have hit 1000s of inboxes by exploiting this Google Doc’s feature according to online reports. This is a gold mine for hackers.

How Does It Work?

Hackers target Google Docs users by adding a comment to a document that mentions the targeted user with an “@,” which automatically sends an email to that person’s inbox. That email, which comes from Google, includes text as well as potentially malicious links. What makes this attack so dangerous, is that normally Google and Outlook filter out malicious links within an incoming email. However, in these “comments” based attacks, the phishing emails bypass email security checkpoints because they are coming from a trusted source, Google.

Side note: Security researchers reported the same outcome when attempting to exploit Google Slides, the suite’s presentation app.

The Emails

As shown below in the same test email CyberHoot created, It’s difficult to do your proper ‘phishing checklist‘ when receiving these malicious emails; the email address of the sender isn’t shown, just the name of the attacker, which allows bad actors to impersonate legitimate entities to target victims. For example, a hacker can create a free Gmail account, such as They can then create their own Google Doc, comment, and send whatever they like to their intended target.

The malicious intent of the Comment is difficult to catch because the end-user will have no idea whether the comment came from or The email will just say ‘Johnny Hacker’ mentioned you in a comment in the following document. If ‘Johnny Hacker’ is a coworker, it will appear legitimate. The email contains the full comment, along with links and text, meaning the victim never has to go to the document, the payload is in the email itself.

All it takes is the attackers setting up a fake Google login landing page, so when the end-user clicks the link, they will be prompted to enter their credentials on the ‘Google’ credential-harvesting site, sending everything to the hackers.

Google Docs Comments Attack

Google Doc “Comments Attack” allows you to spoof anyone, send anything (malicious) to anyone.

What To Do?

CyberHoot recommends that users always cross-reference the email address in the comment to ensure it’s legitimate before clicking on a Google Docs comment. Users can open the Google Document, and hover their mouse over the commenter’s name to see the full email address with their full name.

CyberHoot also recommends that end-users are always following best practices when dealing with potential phishing emails like watching out for:

  • Poor spelling or grammar
  • Unexpected emails
  • Generically addressed emails
  • Enticing email attachments
  • Urgent actions are needed on your part
  • Contains strange-looking links

Additional Cybersecurity Recommendations

Additionally, these recommendations below will help you and your business stay secure with the various threats you may face on a day-to-day basis. All of the suggestions listed below can be gained by hiring CyberHoot’s vCISO Program development services.

  1. Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
  2. Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
  3. Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
  4. Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts. Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
  5. In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections, etc) or prohibiting their use entirely.
  6. If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
  7. Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.

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10 Features to Consider For Choosing a Low-Code Platform By Mitul Makadia

In the constantly changing business landscape, organizations need to keep pace to meet consumer needs. Competitive markets, the need to solve business problems quickly, lack of skilled software developers, and overburdened IT departments are the factors pushing companies to turn to low code no code partners.

Unlike custom development, low code no code development helps companies develop business applications with little to no prior coding experience. It enables business analysts, small-business owners, and others from non-IT backgrounds to build applications. Gartner reports that 41% of employees outside of IT customize or build data or technology solutions.

During the platform’s trial period, there are several vital features that you should pay close attention to when deciding whether this low-code platform suits you or not.

Here are the main characteristics to consider before choosing a low-code platform –

1. User Interface of the Application

Ask yourself whether your customers will be happy with the application’s interface developed using this low-code platform? The user experience of your applications should be intuitive and comfortable to use. Make sure the platform supports this.

2. Configuration Settings and Tools

Ensure the low-code platform provides the necessary configuration settings and visual tools that let your employees manage applications independently. An intuitive interface is not the only thing needed for the application to work. You need access to the database, configure authentication and permissions.

Also, check to what extent you will need to involve professional developers.

3. Customizable Ready-Made Templates

Be sure to check if the tool provides ready-made templates if your goal is to automate business processes. Ready-made templates significantly reduce the risk involved in creating a particular system and save a significant amount of effort.

It increases productivity, provides flexibility, and a convenient development process for your low code no code development team.

4. Mobile-Friendly

Does your application work smoothly on mobile devices? Ensure that your employees do not have to develop anything additional in the application to work well on mobile devices.

5. Functionality

It’s important to note whether the platform provides the functionalities your company needs. Compile all your employees’ tasks, such as processing documents, filling out questionnaires, inputting data in an internal database, etc. The low-code platform or management software must have form designers, electronic signatures, and other essential functionality.

6. Training Programs

Does the platform have a comprehensive training program? Employees will be learning how to develop applications on this platform. Hence, the platform must have a separate lesson plan or training program aside from the main product.

7. Technical Support

How well does technical support work? The low-code platform must provide proper technical support. Read reviews about the platform beforehand.

8. Cloud Infrastructure

Check if you can deploy the platform in the cloud? If the low-code platform supports cloud infrastructure, the application deployment process will be much quicker. It is something worth taking advantage of.

9. Flexibility

What about non-coder IT? Empower IT, not just business users. Not everyone wants to be a professional developer yet would like to be a creator.

Many IT professionals may not be focused on hardcore coding skills, but they can create great apps and solutions with the right platform. Companies can leverage and empower these IT power users by choosing a low-code platform that is flexible enough.

10. Simple Yet Scalable

A low-code platform should enable users to jumpstart simple problems and then increasingly more complex scenarios as they arise. A low code platform can help small to medium-sized companies experiment with new products, features, new integrations, and more by being open to the different skill levels of a company’s workforce.

They can even build entirely new systems for your business from scratch at a fraction of the cost that it would take if one were looking into working with an outside provider.

Originally published here.

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How to Keep Your Online Store Safe from Fraud and Scams By Nura Eston

If you have an e-commerce shop, you know that keeping your online store safe from fraud and scams is critical to business. Vigilant digital security is more important than ever in order to protect your company and customers. In the post-COVID world, attempted fraudulent purchases increased by 69% in 2021 alone.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to keeping your business safe from these threats. Small business owners need to take a variety of precautions to protect themselves.

As a business owner you have options and measures you can take to reduce the risk of fraud and scam attacks against your business.

What Is an Online Scam?

Simply put, an online scam is when someone tricks you or your business out of money on the internet. They are usually facilitated by cyber criminals and can range from credit card to identity theft.

Online scams have been around for a long time, but have spiked as a result of the increase in online sales due to COVID-19, as many small businesses were forced to rapidly create an e-commerce gateway to their stores due to restrictions. At the start of the pandemic, the FBI went as far as cautioning the general public against hackers and scammers.

Some scammers go as far as using social engineering tactics. These attacks use scare tactics to prey on users or employees to hand over confidential and sensitive information.

What Is the Importance of Staying Safe Online?

Business owners tend to store personal information on their computers, such as credit card data and passwords, which is the information cyber criminals hunt for.

Staying safe online will save your business from experiencing any significant loss that comes from being compromised. The damage from being scammed is not just about lost revenue or damaged goods, it could also result in a loss of valuable brand equity with potential customers.

The repercussions of your business getting defrauded can be serious. It can result in you needing to deal with:

  • The cost of lost merchandise, handling or shipping on any fraudulent orders
  • Chargeback fees
  • Damage to your company’s reputation
  • The loss of your business bank account

The fight against fraud is a tough one, but understanding the different types can help you identify where and when attacks might occur.

What Are the Types of Online Scams?

Here are some of the most common scams that target online businesses today.

Phishing Scams

It seems like every day there’s a new email scam emerging. Phishing emails appear to come from a legitimate sender but they’re intended to gain sensitive information from the recipient. For example, in Canada, there are regulations such as the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation that have been put in place to protect against fraud and spam.

You may have received an email or text alert saying your business account has been compromised. Clicking on the link may make you vulnerable to hackers who may be able to target personal and business information. Always ensure you trust the sender before opening attachments or clicking on links.

Business owners should be aware that scammers continue to get more sophisticated in their delivery by masking as a legitimate brand. You can avoid receiving phishing emails by ensuring that your firewall and anti-virus software are up to date.

Fake Invoices

Small business owners can also be deceived by scammers who send fake emails that contain invoices to try and collect payment from them.

You can avoid any potential loss by ensuring your business has a clear invoicing process. This way if your company receives an invoice, it can be traced back to approved expenditures in your database.

Card-Not-Present (CNP) Fraud

This type of fraud happens when a scammer is using either a stolen credit card, consumer’s identity or banking card data.

Usually, a CNP follows the process below:

  1. The scammer makes an online purchase using a stolen credit card.
  2. The issuing bank approves the purchase and the items are delivered to the scammer. The card owner doesn’t recognize the purchase and asks for a chargeback from their credit card issuing company.
  3. The merchant in return has to reimburse the rightful owner of a card and is left with a loss. In an extreme case, your store could be penalized and blacklisted.

Your store can protect itself from CNP fraud with advanced authorization tools, such as multi-step authorization or tokenization.

Friendly Fraud

Don’t be fooled by the name, this type of scam is anything but friendly. It occurs when a customer, who has paid and received their item, files a chargeback with their credit card company.

Sometimes it might be an honest mistake on the customer’s part, as they might not recognize the name of the store on their credit card statements. But there are times when friendly fraud is done with malicious intent. Some customers go as far as hiring professional refunders who report fraud and get their money back for a fee.

Friendly fraud is a growing concern. And, without meticulous record-keeping you might be on the hook for all the fees and penalties that come with chargebacks.

Government Agency Imposter Scams

There’s a recent trend in cyber criminals who are trying to scam businesses by claiming to be from government organizations like the IRS or Social Security Administration. The scammers scare victims with legal repercussions and ask for money upfront or demand to be paid in installments by phone or email.

The best way to avoid getting scammed this way is by calling the government agency and inquiring about the offer or benefit. Avoid the contact information in the ad, and instead seek out the official website of the agency.

Account Takeover

Account takeovers (ATO) fraud is on the rise this year. Over 22% of U.S. adults fall victim to scammers hacking into insecure accounts. These cyber criminals use the stolen information to complete unauthorized transactions, which can seriously impact your business.

We can expect ATO fraud cases to keep rising in 2022, as cyber criminals become more creative with their schemes. Now there are automated methods, such as script creation, that are making this type of fraud easier than ever before.

As a merchant, you can protect your customers from ATO fraud by providing a two-step authorization or biometric passwords before customers complete their purchases.

How Do I Identify Fraud Online?

The process to identify potential fraud can be difficult. But nowadays merchants have the ability to do their own digging and investigative work to help catch any suspicious purchases and track down fraudulent activity.

  • Take note of unusual account activity. It is important to take note of anything unusual. For example, take note of things such as multiple failed transactions. This can be an indication that there might be something going on and should be investigated further. Remember, if a fraudster is successful, they might attempt the fraud again, so make sure to blacklist their phone, email, IP and billing address.
  • Check the addresses. Most secure transactions are the ones that have the shipping, billing and IP addresses in a very close proximity to each other. The further the distance, the higher is the chance that the purchase might be fraudulent. If the IP address is masked as well, it can also be a sign of a scam.

How Do I Protect My Business from Fraud?

Getting scammed is the last thing you want to do. Here are a few tips to avoid it:

  • Provide fraud and theft prevention training to employees. It’s a good idea to train employees and encourage them to bring forward anything out of the norm. Business owners can host awareness sessions about cybersecurity to stay updated on some of the most recent scams on the internet.
  • Don’t share passwords and sensitive information by email. Make sure that passwords and sensitive information are not being sent by email. This is because emails are sent as plain texts, and therefore aren’t encrypted. If a hacker gains access to your or any of your employees’ inboxes, it could lead to loss of sensitive information.
  • Verify invoices and payments. There’s a chance you could be dealing with scammers. Make sure that they’re who they say before approving payments or invoices.
  • Perform security audits. This will allow you to identify any potential weak points that could make it easier for online scammers to acquire your customers’ information or commit future fraud. You could run some phishing tests or mirror your website.

Stay Safe!

Trying to keep your online store safe from fraud and other scams can be a challenge. Being aware of your online store’s security is the first step to keeping it safe. Staying vigilant can keep you from becoming a victim of fraudulent activity or losing money due to chargebacks.

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SSO: What It Is and Why You Need It By Dave Sutton

As your business grows, you will use more and more applications that require staff members to manage different sign-in credentials. As such, the chances of someone forgetting a password or login increases as well. If you’re looking for a viable solution to this issue, single sign-on (SSO) is a worthy consideration.

But how does it work? When signing in to a website or application, you provide credentials through the SSO and, in turn, the SSO authenticates your details and grants access to the account when it finds a correct match. This allows you to sign in to different applications and accounts using a single set of credentials.

Different SSO Uses

You can obtain different SSOs to suit the sign-in type your company is targeting. Intended users of SSOs can be team members, business partners, or customers.

1. Business-To-Employee (B2E)

As the name indicates, business-to-employee (B2E) is used to manage team member access to business accounts. A B2E SSO provides a better internal user experience of applications and websites and reduces frequent information technology (IT) requests to reset passwords.

2. Business-To-Customer (B2C)

A business-to-customer (B2C) SSO allows customers to sign in to your organization’s services using credentials from other applications. Most common is one that allows customers to sign in to your firm with their social media credentials.

3. Business-To-Business (B2B)

Given that your business partners utilize your enterprise’s services, business to business (B2B) SSO helps them sign in to your website using their preferred existing credentials.

Different SSO Protocols

There are various protocols from which an SSO can develop its functionalities. The most common are the following.

1. Security Assertion Mark-up Language (SAML)

Security Assertion Mark-up Language (SAML) is an SSO protocol that allows you to access several web applications using one set of login credentials.

SAML routes authentication information between a web application and an identity provider. This routing is believed to make the authentication process easier. Using SAML can provide you with subsequent access to other web applications within the same framework. Most organizations use this protocol to grant access to their staff for different accounts.

2. OpenID Connect

OpenID is an authentication protocol common with customer-serving SSOs. It works by redirecting a user to an identity authentication provider that verifies the log-in attempt before granting access to an application. It can further generate a one-time pin (OTP) that the user can use to access the specific application account.

Examples Of SSOs

Knowing the myriad of SSO uses is important to getting the right SSO solutions for your company’s needs. Below are some examples of SSO you can obtain.

1. Enterprise SSO (e-SSO)

Enterprise SSO (e-SSO) works by providing user access to a target application. Ideally, it replays the user’s credentials, usually username and password, on the target application to avoid typing the information again. Mostly, e-SSO can work across domain and local network boundaries.

Enterprise SSO can allow an IT admin to manage a user database and create different security access levels. This ensures that users access information according to their security level clearance, thus helping keep your organization’s sensitive information secure.

2. Web SSO

Also known as extranet SSO, Web SSO allows you to access different web services or web applications over the Internet. This SSO can work using a web portal or through browser extensions.

When a user tries to log in on a web application, the web application checks with the SSO, which then verifies with the identity provider the user’s credentials. Once the SSO verifies the identity, it returns the authentication feedback to the web application. Finally, the user is granted access to that application.

It’s important to note that web SSO doesn’t store the user credentials. Instead, it validates the input credentials against an identity provider or a directory database.

3. Social SSO

Social SSO allows users to sign in to third-party websites or applications using their social media credentials. This, however, means that as a user, you need to provide a strong password to your social media accounts to reduce the risks of cybersecurity attacks.

4. True SSO

Although a much new concept, True SSO allows users to use a single set of credentials to access all other IT resources in a given organization. This includes any web applications as well as legacy applications.

From the IT admin’s perspective, it means they can manage user access from a single dashboard. This makes it easier to onboard, upgrade, downgrade, or disable any user as all access protocols are available from a single access management point.

The Takeaway

SSO solutions can be a critical feature in your organization as it allows you to not only create different security level clearances for users but also make multiple log-in management much easier. Also, the use of SSO can be important when allowing your business partners and customers to access your firm’s services. Combined with multi-factor authentication while allowing users to formulate complex passwords without them worrying that forgetting them may lead to being locked out of their accounts, SSOs can help improve your company’s data security standing.

As we have explored in previous posts, company leaders must continue implementing strategies that help employees, customers and partners have an enjoyable and productive digital experience. The SSO tips above, when implemented correctly, help create a successful and improved digital experience. Of course, by crafting a clear story, developing an integrated strategy, and activating well by aligning your people, processes, and digital technologies, you’ll enable remarkable interactions between your company and your key stakeholders.

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Impact of Cloud Computing in Different Industries By Srushti Shah

The global cloud computing industry is predicted to increase at a 16.3 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from USD 445.3 billion in 2021 to USD 947.3 billion in 2026, indicating mass adoption of cloud computing by corporate giants to unicorn start-ups.

Business enterprises are leveraging cloud infrastructure for meeting their various needs and reinventing business processes to align with current market trends efficiently. This phenomenon has accrued many benefits such as scalability, data analytics, and efficiency.

This blog will provide a brief outlook into how the cloud has transfigured the face of many industries. Read on to know more!

Impact of Cloud Computing on Different Industries

1. Financial Services

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Cloud is fast emerging as an effective solution to meet the ever-growing requirements of the financial services sector. Recognizing the benefits of cloud computing, many traditional financial institutions, as well as fintech start-ups, are migrating to the cloud to offer a better user experience, easy scalability, and data management.

An average financial institution has over 58 percent of its workloads in the cloud. Banking behemoths such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have migrated to cloud infrastructure in the last few years.

One of the main challenges that financial institutions face is the growing amount of data that is being generated and consumed with billing information, card transactions, stock trading, insurance, lending, and borrowing. The storage and security of this data are ever important. Cloud computing offers a cost-effective solution to scale a bank’s storage capabilities on-demand without compromising the integrity of confidential information.

Further, cloud infrastructure helps in streamlining operations and increasing efficiency by bringing buyers and sellers on a common application platform and enhancing speed and reliability. Studies report over a 10-20% cut in operational costs post migrating to cloud infrastructure. Moreover, cloud computing offers higher levels of redundancy compared to traditional management systems and backup.

Cloud infrastructure fosters an environment conducive to flexible applications and market products being developed in shorter periods having heed to the dynamic needs of customers and trends in the market.

2. Retail Sector

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Cloud computing can benefit the retail sector in numerous dimensions and is reforming the way they operate from inventory management, data security, and enhanced customer experience. Cloud adoption in retail is boosting the growth of the global retail industry with a record-high CAGR of 16.3%!

Firstly, inventory can be experienced at your fingertips in the retail sector with the cloud no matter where in the world you are accessing it from. It offers an efficient way to manage stocks for big retail conglomerates by offering crucial data insights and analytics, real-time data, and cloud architecture. This allows for better decision-making when it comes to business operations and merchandise.

Recently, Walmart built one of the largest ever in-house cloud retail infrastructure of over six servers to gain a competitive edge over its E-commerce retail competitors, preserve customer confidence and protect the integrity of customer data.

Further, innovative retail products can be built efficiently, giving heed to client input and preferences. For instance, Walmart launched its Cloud-powered-Checking (CPC), which reformed its entire point of sale (PoS) for the global retailer.

Cloud computing can allow for the creation of an agile, data-powered supply chain. These are prone to errors, and even a small inaccuracy can prove to be a costly, irrevocable mistake. This is why cloud computing can enable retailers to handle the entire workflow from a central console by connecting all aspects thus, optimizing inventory management, real-time data capture, and improving transparency.

3. Healthcare Sector

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The healthcare sector has been one of the sectors that have long been resistant to adopting cloud infrastructure due to concerns of security, and it being a time-intensive process. However, healthcare institutions are by and large shifting to the cloud, given the dual benefits for patients and physicians in the context of costs, data privacy, and improved patient outcomes.

Specifically, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of telehealth and telemedicine adoption has boomed, causing increased remote monitoring of patients’ health parameters and medical devices.

This has given rise to data security concerns and compliance with healthcare regulations such as HIPPA, GDPR, etc. With Cloud computing, there is a robust mechanism of healthcare data protection in these cases of remote consultations. The cloud helps ensure that healthcare providers have access to data storage solutions that protect sensitive patient information appropriately.

The impact of cloud computing in healthcare is significant as it is expected to be worth USD 64.6 billion by 2026. Currently, nearly 83% of the healthcare sector in the USA employs cloud computing. The rise in implementation is due to the low maintenance cost, quick deployment, and limited human resources.

While there are numerous advantages provided by cloud technology, it still has its drawbacks. 93% of the cloud services used in healthcare face medium to high risk. Some of the potential threats are the sale of passwords, cloud hyper connectors, and undetected insider threats.

4. Education Sector

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The use of cloud computing in the education sector has led to impressive advancements. The value of cloud computing in the education sector is estimated to reach USD 25.36 billion in 2021. The growth of cloud computing in higher education is expected to have a compounded annual growth rate of 25.4% by 2027.

Education has become easier to access thanks to cloud computing, especially with the unforeseen pandemic leading to remote learning. Teachers can plan their lessons better and use innovative teaching tools to help students better understand concepts. Students are also able to collaborate and share notes with their classmates.

Students no longer need to invest and carry around multiple large textbooks to keep track of their materials. With the cloud, all educational materials can be stored as digital files that can be easily accessed as long as there is an internet connection. Group assignments and projects are easier to delegate and track through online tools. This encourages the growth of interpersonal skills and enhances problem-solving.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have surged in popularity during the pandemic. From the 1.5 million global enrollments in 2012 to the massive 120 million learners in 2019. The world’s top universities, Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia all offer MOOCs to people across the globe.

As the competition in the education sector gets tougher, institutes are employing more advanced learning tools that are supported by the cloud to set themselves apart. With solutions like VMware cloud make educational institutions more appealing to prospective students.

5. Manufacturing Sector

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According to a survey conducted by the IDC, 66% of the global manufacturing industry uses public cloud services while 68% use private clouds. In 2017, around 25% of inputs used in final production were some form of digital technology, including cloud computing.

“Smart manufacturing” has led to higher productivity rates and optimized efficiency. For businesses that lack the capital to invest in an extensive IT infrastructure for their manufacturing business, cloud computing provides a cost-efficient solution.

Cloud computing is present in multiple areas of manufacturing. From product development to marketing of the final product, product management, and tracking stock. The cloud infrastructure for manufacturing use is designed specifically to supplement the manpower employed in the industry.

Complex marketing campaigns can be employed using cloud automation and similar tools. Cloud technology merges product planning and production with the supply chain to provide a full overview of the business operations. Companies use ERPs based on cloud services to track production and stock levels, as well as sales.

The use of cloud technology is heavily prevalent in this sector, and businesses that do not employ some form of it face an immediate disadvantage. In fact, the manufacturing sector has the largest investment plan for cloud computing services.


Cloud computing is assisting sectors to deal with issues as and when they arise. A key event that the cloud has enabled industries to deal with has been the various challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic such as cyber-security, auto-scaling, quality control, and big data.

Thus, it is clear that Cloud computing is here to stay and will empower industries to achieve their business goals in the upcoming future.

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Copyright Infringement Instagram Scam By Ty Mezquita

instagram copyright phishing

Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to infiltrate your devices. Recently, they’ve been using the attack vector of Copyright Infringement as bait in Phishing Emails. Pretending to be from Instagram, they try and scare users into believing they have a copyright complaint against them and give the users an easy way to appeal the complaint.

The Phishing Scam

The hackers use a rather different approach in this attack by convincing you that another user’s complaint is potentially inaccurate and giving you an easy ‘out’ of the situation by appealing the copyright complaint. NakedSecurity posted screenshots of the attack, shown below:

instagram copyright scam

The ‘Appeal’ button in this instance uses a shortened link (, but whether you check the destination of the link in advance or click through anyway, the resulting website doesn’t look as ‘phishy’ as you might expect. To check a link before visiting it, paste the link into your browser’s address bar and add a plus sign (+) at the end, which tells to show you the original link without redirecting you to it.

In this scam, the hackers registered a domain name ‘’, and the link you’re given takes you to a personalized scam page that explicitly references your Instagram account in question:

If you click ‘Go to Appeal Form’, it brings you to a convincing (but fake) Instagram login page, asking you to enter your credentials to confirm your appeal. Once entered and submitted, the attack sneakily sends you to Facebook/Instagram’s real copyright information page to further convince you that the complaint is legitimate.

The hackers in this attack do a good job of making sure you are comfortable appealing the copyright complaint, with a convincing link and an actual image from your Instagram account. It’s vital that you do your due diligence when receiving messages like these to make sure it’s legitimate.

What Should You Do?

  • Don’t click “helpful” links in emails. Learn in advance how to handle Instagram copyright complaints, so you know the procedure before you need to follow it. Do the same for the other social networks and content delivery sites you use. Don’t wait until after a complaint arrives to find out the right way to respond. If you already know the right URL to use, you never need to rely on any link in any email, whether that email is real or fake.
  • Think before you click. Although the website name in this scam is somewhat believable, it’s clearly not or, which is what you would expect. We hope you wouldn’t click through in the first place (see point 1), but if you do visit the site by mistake, don’t be in a hurry to go further. A few seconds to stop and double-check the site details would be time well spent.
  • Use a password manager and 2FA whenever you can. Password managers prevent you from putting the right password into the wrong site, because they can’t suggest a password for a site they’ve never seen before ( Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) makes things harder for the hackers because your password alone is no longer enough to give them access to your account.

Additional Cybersecurity Recommendations

Additionally, these recommendations below will help you and your business stay secure with the various threats you may face on a day-to-day basis. All of the suggestions listed below can be gained by hiring CyberHoot’s vCISO Program development services.

  1. Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
  2. Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
  3. Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
  4. Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts. Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
  5. In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections, etc) or prohibiting their use entirely.
  6. If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
  7. Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.

Source: NakedSecurity – Sophos

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Turning the Tables on Cyber Security Budgets By JC Gaillard

cyber security budgets boardroom

Time to move away from bottom-up dynamics: The Board should decide on priorities and drive the discussion

As we hit budget time again in many large organisations, it is still amazing to see the amount of content online dedicated to justifying cyber security investments or convincing the Board…

This is difficult to match with field experience: As we have been saying repeatedly since 2019, the penny has dropped or is dropping in many boardrooms, in the face of the non-stop epidemic of cyber-attacks we have seen over the past decade, which was even aggravated by the COVID crisis.

Cyber-attacks are now seen as a matter of “when” not “if”: This is no longer, strictly-speaking, a matter of risk (something which may – or may not – happen, and has a probability of occurrence) but a matter of certainty, and as a result the attitude of senior executives has shifted with regards to cyber security.

Today, questions around “are we spending enough on cyber?” are more common across the boardroom than “why do we need to spend so much?”.

In many large organisations, the Board no longer needs convincing that cyber security investments are required: The Board needs to be given assurances that delivery and execution will follow; in that respect, quite a lot of the arguments developed online around the topic seem to be going back several decades.

Board members and senior execs “have been there before” with cyber investment plans. Many large organisations would have spent millions or tens of millions with tech vendors and large consultancies over the past two decades, just to see a fresh-face CISO (often the last one in a long line) coming back asking for more money to buy more tech, arguing that threats keep morphing, and that the world is about to end unless they buy more tech, all that backed by endless reports from tech vendors and their pet consultants…

CISOs – in particular incoming CISOs – have to change their narrative to avoid unnecessary discussions: This is no longer about risk reduction or ROI with the Board; in real terms, those ships sailed long ago… and CISOs facing those type of questions must ask themselves the hard questions and face why

The focus since the start of the COVID crisis has been on tactical and technical initiatives around cyber security, but those are rarely truly transformative, and many would just have added various layers of tech legacy on top of already-crowded security estates

CISOs must start focusing on softer matters and showcase their ability to execute, because the priorities have to be on protecting the business now and in the longer-term from real and imminent threats.

It has to start by demonstrating a sense of context, both in terms of business cycles (not all industries have done well throughout the COVID crisis) and also in terms of security investment cycles: Very few organisations are pure green fields in terms of cyber security and almost always, there will be a legacy of cyber security investments and practices to deal with: What happened to last investments? Were they rightly targeted? What did they achieve (or failed to achieve)? What has prevented sufficient progress?

Showing an understanding of where roadblocks have been in the past, looking over the right timeframes, and focusing on transformative initiatives which can actually be delivered in real life given the business context and available skills and resources, should be key to convince the Board that new forces are at play and that a transformative dynamic is being established to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

This is likely to take the CISO into the fields of governance and culture, not technology – both within IT and the business – and those themes should resonate with the Board and give them something they can relate with and address.

Because fundamentally, this is what matters most: That the Board needs to take ownership of the real cyber security agenda and start driving it top-down, at their level, in terms they can understand and manage, removing roadblocks and looking beyond tech, and pure tech matters driven bottom-up.

From that point, it should no longer be a matter of convincing the Board of anything around cyber, but of delivering on what they expect.

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