Google Titan Security Key: This May Finally Put an End to Phishing, Online Frauds

Google Titan Security Key: This May Finally Put an End to Phishing, Online Frauds

Google steps into the Security Foray with Titan Security Key

Google first announced the titan security key at Cloud Next Conference. The Conference was all about software till Google announced the titan security key. The titan security key adds a layer of authentication to website accounts.  Google will be rolling out the titan security key first to Google cloud customers and then on the Google store.

This  key is pegged to be better than any other digital security key out there. Google plans on launching the titan security in two models one as a USB and the other as a Bluetooth. Basically the titan security key has the same standard protocols but with an additional security layer of firmware that will increase the security of using such a key. Even Phishing attacks won’t be able to get to it, supposedly.

More about the Titan Security Key:

The titan security key was Google’s first step into the security world. It adds a layer of authentication to standard protocols to give the user additional security from using it. It can even supposedly withstand phishing attacks.

The titan  key also comes with FIDO or Fast Identity Online to enable it to work with websites beyond what Google offers. Basically you can use this key with any account on any website that you may have.

The titan key comes in addition to other security protocols lending more tangibility to security. In cases when you get texted an OTP or One Time Password, or you get an email with a password and you forget your phone then in those cases you will still be able to access your account by using the titan security key, that is if you’ve not forgotten to take it along with you.

Employees using the Titan Security Key at office:

The titan security key would be extremely useful in an office setting when it comes to protecting confidential information and if you’re worried about the level of security it offers then you will be pleased to know that Google required its employees to test it out for a year before they released it to the general public.

Yes that’s right! Google required their employees to test out the security key for a year before it was publicly announced at the Google Cloud Next conference.

If its ok for Google then maybe it will be ok for you too.

Let’s Talk Pricing of the Titan Security Key:

While nothing is mentioned at present about the titan security  price, it is likely that Google will keep prices low.  Google will be able to sell it at a price that is cheaper than competitors because of its size and its ability to do so.

Security keys are not really mainstream and at present besides a select few using them, the majority just carry on with the same protocols that is already there. Therefore if Google wants to the mainstream to use their titan  key then coming up with a suitable price is key, no pun intended.

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12 Must See G Suite Sessions at Google Cloud Next ‘18

12 Must See G Suite Sessions at Google Cloud Next ‘18

What to Expect from Google Cloud Next

Google is all set to hold its annual Google cloud next conference next week in San Francisco. Looking at top IT professionals and business leaders for attendance as well as of course Google’s own professionals, the conference has a lot lined up. From machine learning to AI tech, to speeches about how top companies use the Google cloud platform in their work and a lot more will be discussed at this Google cloud next conference.

What also will be interesting to watch out for is how Google addresses the resignation of its Google cloud COO Diane Bryant which it announced just three weeks before the Google cloud next conference. The COO left in less than a year working for Google. Google may speak more about this vacancy during the Google cloud next conference.

Companies to speak about how Google Cloud helps them in the workplace at The Google Cloud Next conference:

If you are in the process of migrating to the cloud platform it is always beneficial to learn from those who are already there and have gone through the same process.

At the Google Cloud next conference you will be able to see top companies like Shopify and Twitter who will speak of how they migrated to the Google cloud platform and how they have benefited from migrating to the platform.

Shopify will be speaking on how they migrated form on- premises data platform to Google cloud. Twitter will also speak on how it migrated form on- premises revenue analytics to Google cloud using tech like Bigtable, Dataflow and BigQuery.

Having companies talk on their experience is important for Google as it shows people that it is capable of handling huge amounts of data on a company’s scale.

Google to address security issues at Google cloud next:

Security is something everyone is concerned about especially companies who are to use an IT service like Google cloud. Hence Google will be addressing all the security concerns people and companies might have about using Google cloud at the Google cloud next conference.

Google will be talking about security concerns and challenges faced in a number of sessions at the Google cloud next conference later this week.

Google will be expressly talking about how it addressed Spectre and Meltdown without customers experiencing any down time as a result, they will also be speaking about how customers can configure their systems when it comes to defending against future attacks and also on how to prevent data from being stolen form their Google cloud platform.

Google will also be taking up the issue of security for healthcare services and how it is keeping that data safe. At the Google cloud next conference, Google will also speak about how to secure third party apps.

Machine learning at Google Cloud Next:

Google will be talking about how you can build a machine learning enabled search chatbot on the Google cloud platform. Google will also be taking on how industries and educational services can benefit from machine learning.

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Nanoparticles Give Immune Cells a Boost

Nanoparticles give immune cells a boost

There is great news in the treatment of solid tumors like breast cancer and lung cancer. The researchers from MIT have discovered a way to boost the immune system against these solid tumors. They have discovered nanoparticles ‘backpacks’ that can hold the immune stimulating drugs. They then attach them to the T cells which in turn show a great boost in the T cell activity.

In the past, we have seen great strides in the treatment of blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. The immune system of the body has been programmed in such a way, so that it can attack the cancer cells. The researchers faced great challenges when it comes to solid tumors as is seen in breast cancer or lung cancer.

Nanoparticles can boost the immunity against solid tumors

The MIT researchers devised nanoparticles ‘backpacks’ which can hold the immune stimulating drugs. The drugs are then attached to the T cells which would boost the activity of the T cells. The greatest advantage is that there are no harmful side effects. The study was conducted on mice and in more than half of the mice that were treated the tumors completely disappeared.

Darrell Irvine who is a professor of biological engineering and materials science and engineering and also an associate of the MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research says that the efficacy of the T cells therapy with the ‘backpacked’ drugs greatly improve. It also helps the donor T cells survive and function effectively. They also found that there were no harmful side effects or toxicity that is noticed when there is systemic injection of the drugs.

A company called Torque Biotherapeutics of which Irvine is a co-founder will begin clinical trials adopting this method.

The working of Nanoparticles in destroying solid tumors

In our body there are T cells which are basically specialized immune cells that identify and destroy the infected cells. Cancer researchers have been studying various ways to harness these T cells to destroy tumors by means of adoptive T cell therapy. They need to develop large amount of T cells that will recognize and attack a tumor. They plan to grow large numbers of T cells which are tumor specific and inject them into the patients.

They have discovered two ways of increasing the number of T cells. One way is to remove the tumor-specific T cells from a tumor biopsy, grow them in a lab dish and then inject them into the patient. The other method is to take the T cells from the patient’s blood and genetically modify them so that they can target a protein that is found on the surface of the tumor cell or expose them to tumor proteins with the hope that the T cells will get activated against those proteins.

These methods have been successful in treating lymphomas and leukemias but are ineffective against solid tumors. They have tried injecting immune stimulating drugs called cytokines along with the T cells. The drugs have harmful side-effects like inflammation since they stimulate any T cell they come across.

In 2010, they attached liposomes to the tumor targeting T cells. These liposomes carry a cytokine payload that stimulates the nearby T cells. This was ineffective as the particles could carry a small amount of the drug and it was released as soon as the T cells were introduced in the body.

The researchers then developed a nanoparticles to carry more of the drug and also release it when it encounters a tumor. The nanoparticles consist of a gel made of cytokine IL-15 molecules held together by a cross-link that degrades when the T cell carrying these nanoparticles encounters a tumor and gets activated. There is a chemical change that takes place at the surface. This was conducted in mice and found effective.

Torque Biotherapeutics have been conducting clinical trials and are planning to test them for various types of tumors. They are also looking at drugs besides IL-15 that could be more effective in stimulating the T cells.


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Quantum Computer Soon to Become a Reality

Quantum Computer Soon to Become a Reality

A new type of computer, the quantum computer is soon to be a reality. Researchers are well on their way to making a billion dollar project a usable computer. This billion dollar quantum computer project based in Sweden will put it on the map. Right now scientists are in the process of recruiting the best in the industry to work on their billion dollar project. Quantum computers are supposed to have far greater computational powers than even your best supercomputers, making it high in demand in various fields.

The billion dollar quantum computer project is a ten year project based in Sweden and to researchers recruiting the right personnel for the project is paramount to its success. If this project goes ahead, it will make Sweden a power to contend with when it comes to quantum computers and it could very well start the second quantum revolution.

The first ever Quantum revolution:

It was somewhere in the 20th century when the first quantum revolution took place. Scientists learnt to use quantum mechanical properties of light and material. Fast forward to today and you have yourself the laser and transistor inventions that underpin today’s technology.

Now scientists have also learnt how to utilize atoms, electrons and photons at a quantum scale. Among the opportunities this opens up are those that have to do with quantum computers, interception proof communication and really sensitive measurements. Apart from all this, quantum computers can greatly enhance artificial intelligence, lead to more secure encryption methods and better designing of drugs and other materials.

Other companies on the way to making a quantum computer:

Many universities and companies including Google and IBM are all on the quantum computer bandwagon.

When it comes to quantum computers the smallest building block or foundation is the quantum bit and the principals surrounding the formation of this quantum bit is completely different from making computers today. What this really means is that in one quantum bit you can store a lot of data, so your average day quantum computer (or maybe not so average computer) will need only 50 -60 quantum bits to function.

But researchers in Sweden are planning to use their 10 year quantum project cycle to create a quantum computer with at least 100 quantum bits. What would one do with such a powerful quantum computer you say? These powerful quantum computers will be used in complex calculations and machine learning.

Improving the life of quantum bits used in quantum computer:

Quantum bits which are the foundation of quantum computer are extremely sensitive.  They collapse if there are any external disturbances. Researchers have therefore painted the inside of an experimental chamber black so that disturbing microwaves that happen to slip through the chamber are immediately absorbed by the black color.

Another significant issue faced by scientists is the process of linking various quantum bits together to perform complex calculation smoothly.

Apart from the above issues, getting many quantum bits to sit inside a quantum computer is easy enough but building a quantum computer within the budget is the main problem.

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Internet Security

Three major issues with encryption (and how to deal)

Three major issues with encryption (and how to deal)

Imagine being told you need a part for your car. There’s no way around it, sooner or later you’re going to have to get it. It’s no big deal though because this part is truly beneficial, it’s good for your car, good for your passengers, and good for traffic. Sure, it slows your car down and makes it a magnet for hurled objects but really, truly, the good outweighs the bad.

This is essentially what website owners are dealing with when it comes to encryption. You have to have it. If users are inputting any kind of data on your sites you can’t go without it. It’s the best way of securing communications between browsers and your web server. If you don’t have it, Google has already started broadcasting to visitors that your site is Not Secure. This is bad for business. Just like successful man in the middle attacks would be if your users get their personal info stolen. No matter how beneficial and necessary encryption is, though, it doesn’t erase those major issues that come along with it.

Here’s what they are, and how to deal with them.

Services denied

A distributed denial of service attack is one that goes to work with the express intent of causing downtime. Many of them do this by making a target out of the victim website’s server, exhausting resources with the goal of leaving none for actual users trying to connect. This is made much easier by a server already being stressed from its normal operations.

When a user connects to an unencrypted website it’s a simple process: browser says let’s do a thing, server says sounds good, browser says cool, we’re connected. This is the paraphrased version of the standard TCP handshake. Throw encryption into the mix and not only do you need TCP’s three steps but the browser and server also need to agree on how they’re going to encrypt their communications. Then there’s a verification process, and then they need to trade the keys that are going to be used to encode and decode all data exchanged over the course of the connection.

This is a lot more work. It’s a lot more strain on the server. It doesn’t take much for a DDoS attacker to take advantage of this and nudge a target server over the edge. Attackers are a clever bunch so this has not gone unnoticed by them. That “s” on the end of your https:// has made the bullseye on your back a little bit bigger. Luckily, dealing with the DDoS problem is easy. Leave it to the professionals. With leading cloud-based mitigation you could be laughing at the many DDoS attempts that bounce off your site’s defenses, except that you won’t even know about them because your site will go unaffected.

Performance l-a-a-a-a-g

If you know anything about internet users, it’s that when they want something now, they want it NOW. That’s why you want your website to load as fast as absolutely possible, which is not a speed that’s inherently attainable with encryption.

You read about the difference between a standard TCP handshake and the encrypted connection handshake above. Where the standard TCP handshake takes one round trip from browser to server, the encrypted handshake requires three. This means the encrypted handshake takes roughly three times as long to accomplish, which also means impatient internet users have three times as long to get annoyed.

The trade-off of secured communications is well worth it but try telling that to a bunch of millennials. Instead of wasting your breath, get a Content Delivery Network or CDN instead. A CDN redirects users to the cache server closest to them so the time it takes for connections to be made and pages and content to be loaded is cut way down. There are plenty of other benefits to a CDN, like built-in load balancing and content optimization, but increased page load time is the main one when it comes to encryption, and the potential for included DDoS protection is the second-biggest. Choose your provider wisely.

Hidden intentions

The good news is that you’re done hearing about how encryption can take a toll on your web server. The bad news is that you’re about to get the low-down on how it’s making life harder for your security solutions.

Cybercriminals are encrypting attack traffic to hide it amongst legitimate encrypted traffic, and because encrypted traffic is just as encrypted to security solutions as it is to anyone who might be trying to eavesdrop on communications between browsers and servers, it’s very easy for encrypted attack traffic to slip past your defenses and do its dirty work.

That said, we’re back to good news: you know that cloud-based DDoS mitigation you need to get to protect your hard-working server? Leading providers should be able to provide you with granular traffic analysis that decrypts and then re-encrypts all traffic to filter malicious activity. When speaking with a potential provider, ask if they offer this. While you’re at it, ask if they have a time to mitigation under 10 seconds.

Benefiting from benefits

There’s no denying that encryption is a bit of a hassle. However, you’re one or two steps away from having all the benefits of encryption, all the benefits of leading DDoS protection, and all the benefits of a CDN. Altogether this represents a major website upgrade, one your users will appreciate, and Google will give you a bump in the rankings for. Not sure what you can do about your car, though.

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