Internet Security

Cybersecurity Awareness 101

Cybersecurity Awareness 101

Mark Twain once observed that if a cat jumps onto a hot stove, it will quickly jump off and will subsequently use that experience to avoid jumping onto stoves again. This observation suggests two further conclusions. First, if that cat had known that the stove was hot, it likely would not have jumped onto it in the first instance. Second, the cat may well avoid all stoves after its first experience, regardless of whether those stoves are hot.

Analogously, an employee in an organization might click on a malicious link in an email or take some other action that exposes the organization to a cyberattack. Perhaps the employee did not know or appreciate the risks of clicking on that link. Thereafter, the employee might refrain from clicking on any link as overcompensation for the initial misstep. Lack of training and awareness of cybersecurity risks creates an atmosphere of responses that are either inadequate or that exaggerate those risks.

The inadequacy of cybersecurity awareness is made apparent by employee failures to follow good cybersecurity practices. This is widely acknowledged by  information security experts and overwhelming data on the topic.

This is all too easy to imagine: A worker clicks on malicious links in email messages from unknown senders. They share passwords to corporate networks and log into those networks from public Wi-Fi locations. They disclose personal and confidential information about an organization’s employees in response to queries from hackers posing as company executives and insiders. It happens all the time. And that’s the problem!

Data breaches may not be completely preventable, but incidents of successful cyberattacks can be substantially reduced by improving awareness of cybersecurity risks.

Raising Awareness

Cybersecurity experts suggest a number of methods to accomplish great cybersecurity awareness. For example, organization can conduct a “phishing” test in which an anonymous email is sent to all employees with instructions to click on an embedded link. The test will reveal which employees are susceptible to phishing messages. These folks can be given additional training to help them overcome their click-happy habits. It will also raise awareness of what a typical phishing email looks like for the workers than avoid bad clicks.

Cybersecurity audits that start with top-level management will also impress the importance of cybersecurity awareness on employees. Management should review the results of the audit to determine where improvements might be needed. These audits should be regular events, with management impressing the importance of cybersecurity awareness on all employees after the results of each audit are publicized.

Management should also seek other custom methods for regularly engaging employees in the administration and maintenance of cyber security within an organization. An employee that is burned one time with a ‘hot stove’ cyberattack will avoid the specific pattern of that attack going forward. Still, they may not be aware of new methods and techniques that hackers are employing to breach an organization’s data networks. Hacking techniques that challenge a cyber security environment change frequently. For this reason, one-time cyber security awareness training will not be an adequate and sufficient response to new techniques.

Organizations that are at a loss regarding how to increase cybersecurity awareness can generally get additional tips from cyber insurance providers. These services offer coverage for losses and third-party liabilities associated with a successful data breach.

In addition to offering this coverage, those providers consult with their clients to help them reduce the cyberattack risks that they face every day. They understand not only global data breach risks that apply to businesses in all industry sectors. They alsolook at specific forms of attacks that are common to certain industries, such as healthcare or accounting.

Even with greater cybersecurity awareness, organizations can still fall prey to a cyberattack. This results in lost customer confidence. That’s why it is so important to emphasize cybersecurity awareness in your workplace. Stay cyber smart to stay cyber safe!

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Honda to Introduce 3E Robotics Concept at CES 2018

Honda to Introduce 3E Robotics Concept at CES 2018

As robotics is gaining momentum in technology, Honda has showcased the 3E Robotics Concept at CES 2018. The Head of Honda says that Robotics will not hamper people’s lives, but on the contrary will enhance it. Honda has unveiled four Mobility and Companionship Robots. The Honda 3E Robotics Concept is playing a great role in understanding people’s needs, assisting them and making their lives better.

Honda 3E (Empower, Experience, Empathy) Robotics Concept brings forth a vision which will assist people in various ways, such as disaster management, learning to become empathetic and even in recreation. They have envisioned a society where robotics and AI can together better the lives of society.

Mobile Power Pack World

Along with the 3E Robotics Concept, Honda has even come out with the Mobile Power Pack World, which has a portable, interchangeable battery pack for electric vehicles and a recharging system for home usage, recreation and in cases of natural disasters. The Mobile Power Pack World will showcase a battery exchange idea that can be used to store and charge power packs. It showcases a wide range of utility, accessibility and convenience of renewable energy.

The 3E Robotics Concept

3E-A18 :-  This is a companion robotics concept that will show compassion to humans by various facial expressions.

3E-B18 :- This is a chair-type mobility concept that is designed for indoor as well as outdoor use.

3E-C18 :- This is an electric mobility concept providing multi functional cargo space.

3E-D18 :- This is an autonomous off road vehicle concept along with AI to assist people in various  activities.

Honda 3E (Empower, Experience, Empathy) Robotics Concept

‘Empower’ Robotic Concept :- The 3E-D18 concept will have wide ranging usage in industries that include search and rescue operations, construction, firefighting and agriculture. The robot has sensors and GPS to follow the commands of its users.

The 3E-B18 mobility concept is a cart cum buggy with a tight turning circle that can be used indoors as well as outdoors. It empowers people to be mobile in various situations and also enables them to ascend and descend slopes.

‘Experience’ Robotic Concept

The 3E-C18 robot has blinking eyes on its display and is box-shaped for carrying purpose. This robot recognizes human emotions. It can interact with human beings, learn from them and operate autonomously.

‘Empathy’ Robotic Concept

The 3E-A-18 robot can understand human emotions. They help to provide for the needs of the users. They can act as care givers and companions of humans.

The Honda Xcelerator Program

The Honda Xceleraor program is a partnership of Honda with 6 startup companies. The startup companies include BRAIQ, DeepMap, DynaOptics, EXO Technologies, Tactual Labs and WayRay. They will be funded by Honda to develop prototypes and receive support from Honda in the business and technology areas.

The Honda Xcelerator program will focus on AI, Human Machine Interface, Energy Management, Personal Mobility and Robotics.

Honda 3E Robotics Concept focuses mainly on robotics, mobility and energy management. Honda intends pursuing its goals, in collaboration with its partners. They envision robotics as a field of multiple devices working together to form a system whereby people can expand their life’s potential.

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A New Way to Store Thermal Energy

A New Way to Store Thermal Energy

Thermal Storage – Phase Change Material – PCM

Researchers at MIT have developed a new concept in the form of new chemical composite providing a substitute of storing heat from the sun or any other source during the day in a type of thermal battery.  This could release the heat whenever required for instance in the case of cooking or heating after dark.  A common method to thermal storage is to utilise it as a phase change material – PCM where input heat tends to melt the material and its phase change from solid to liquid stores energy.

When the PCM is cooled back down lower than its melting point, it is inclined to turn back to solid wherein the point of stored energy is released as heat.  There are several instances of these materials comprising of waxes or fatty acids utilised for low temperature applications as well as molten salts utilised at high temperatures.

However presently PCMs tend to need a great amount of insulation and are inclined to pass through that phase change temperature wildly thereby dropping their stored heat comparatively quickly.  On the contrary the new system tends to utilise molecular switches which alters the shape with reaction to light.  When integrated into the PCM, the phase-change temperature of the hybrid material could be accustomed with light enabling the thermal energy of the phase change to be maintained well lower than the melting point of the original material.

Fatty Acids/Organic Compound  for Thermal Energy Storage

The new discovery by MIT postdocs Grace Hans and Huashan Li together with Professor Jeffrey Grossman have been reported in the journal Nature Communications.  Grossman has explained that the trouble with thermal energy is that it is hard to hold on to it.  His team then created what is essentially add-ons for the purpose of traditional phase change material or `little molecules which tend to undergo structural change when the light is said to shine on them.

He further added that the trick had been to locate a method of integrating these molecules with conventional PCM materials in order to release the stored energy as heat, when needed. He also mentioned that there were several applications which would be useful in storing thermal energy in a way that enables you to activate it whenever essential.

This was achieved by the researchers by merging the fatty acids with organic compound which are inclined to response to a pulse of light.  With the help of this method, the light-sensitive component is said to change the thermal properties of the other component that stores as well as discharges its energy. Hybrid material tends to melt when it is heated and thereafter when exposed to ultraviolet light; it tends to remain melted after it has been cooled back.

Solidification & Super-Cooling , Method for Thermal Storage

Thereafter when activated by anther pulse of light, the material re-solidifies and returns back the thermal phase-change energy.  Grossman, who is the Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems and also a professor of materials science and engineering, had stated that by integrating a light-activated molecule in the traditional image of latent heat a new type of control knob for properties like melting, solidification and super-cooling is added. According to Hans, the system could make use of any source of heat and not just solar.

Readiness of waste heat is extensive from industrial processes to solar heat as well as heat coming from vehicles which is generally wasted.  Connecting some of that waste could offer a means of recycling the heat for beneficial applications. Hans has explained that technically they are installing a new energy barrier so that the stored heat does not get released instantly.

He further mentioned that the energy tends to remain for a longer period till the optical trigger is activated, in its chemically stored system.  The stored heat, in its initial small scale lab version, had shown that it tends to stay steady for around 10 hours while a device of identical size storing heat directly would dispel it within a few minutes.

Thermal Energy Density – Significant

There is no fundamental reason as to why the same cannot be tuned to move higher. Grossman stated that in its preliminary proof-of-concept method, the temperature change or super-cooling which was accomplished for thermal storage material could go up to 10 degrees C (18 F) and they anticipate to still go higher.  Hans states that in this version the energy density is quite significant even though a conventional phase-change material is used.

The material tends to store around 200 joules per gram which according to her is very good for any organic phase-change material.  According to her, people have already shown interest in utilising this for cooking in rural India.  Such methods could be used in drying agricultural crops or for space heating.  Grossman had commented that their interest in this work was to portray a proof of concept though they were of the belief that there is plenty of potential for utilising light-activated materials to hijack the thermal storage properties of phase change materials.

Storing Thermal Energy – Scope of Prospective Applications

Junqia Wu, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California at Berkeley who was not involved in the study, stated that this is a highly creative research, where the key is that the scientists mingle a thermally driven phase-change material with a photo-switching molecule, in order to build energy barrier to stabilize the thermal energy storage.  He further stated that he was of the opinion that the work is significant since it provides a practical way of storing thermal energy that had been challenging in the past.

The design of MIT team for storing thermal energy had scope of prospective applications and ultimately the technology can offer a solution for people in developing countries which do not have a traditional power grid.  Besides absorbing heat from the Sun the system has the capability of harnessing water energy from industrial procedures which means that it could absorb the energy released as heat from heavy machinery and thereby release that energy later to heat a living space. The work had been aided by the Tata Centre for Technology and Design within the Energy Initiative of MIT.

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Improving App Security On Google Play

Improving App Security On Google Play

Google will force to optimize App Security from the Play Store to the latest version of Android

Google wants to end the fragmentation of Android, also within its applications. From the company have established a new series of rules that will force developers to update and optimize their applications for the latest version of the operating system for its Security.

“Improving the App security and performance of Google Play”
Those are the two objectives of Google when implementing these new measures for the App Security, according to the headline in its official note. Specifically, three changes in the regulations aimed at strengthening these two areas will be applied. The first is that by the second half of 2018, Play Store will require new apps and their updates to use a recent Android API for App Security.

In the case of the first will be from August 2018, and in the case of the second as of November 2018. This means that the apps should be optimized for the latest version of Android for its App Security, which is currently Oreo. In this way, apps that avoided updating their API to avoid having to adjust to new performance parameters will be forced to do so for the better App Security. It will begin by targeting Android 8.1 Oreo, but every year that passes will force you to upgrade to the next version.
The second measure is that as of August 2019, Play will force apps to have native 64-bit libraries next to those of 32. This will require better performance and optimization on 64-bit devices. The third and final measure is that Play Store will begin to add App Security metadata to the apk to verify its App Security from the beginning of 2018. This measure seeks to avoid fake apps that pass themselves off as others and avoid App Security failures. It will be done from the side of Google and developers should not do anything.

Breaking Android’s fragmentation. The fragmentation of Android does not only exist at the level of system versions. Measures such as Project Treble help to end it, but it is also necessary for application developers to act. Google’s measures for the Play Store go in that direction. Thanks to them, applications such as Facebook or Snapchat should start applying energy saving and optimization solutions that they had avoided implementing by targeting APIs from lower versions of Android.

Especially noteworthy is the measure to achieve greater App Security in the Play Store. Beyond the implementation of Play Protect, it is another wall to avoid counterfeiting and App Security holes in the official store, something that will be very good for the average user who does not pay as much attention to what installs.


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Scientists Capture Colliding Organic Nanoparticles on Video for First Time

Scientists Capture Colliding Organic Nanoparticles on Video for First Time

Extraordinary View of nanoparticles in Motion

One of the first to capture the organic nanoparticles colliding and fusing together on video is Evanston, a North-western University research team.  This extraordinary view of chemistry in motion would be assisting North-western Nano scientists in the creation of new drug delivery techniques and also demonstrate to research all over the world on how an emerging imaging technique tends to open a fresh window on a very miniature world.

This is said to be unusual example of nanoparticles in motion wherein the dynamics are significant of two bubbles approaching together and integrating into one.  At first they tend to join and have a membrane between them and thereafter they are said to fuse and become one huge bubble.

Professor Nathan C. Gianneschi leading the interdisciplinary research and working at the intersection of nanotechnology and biomedicine stated that he had an image in mind though when he had viewed these fusing nanoparticles for the first time in black and white, had been amazed.

According to him it was literally a window opening up to the world one has always known but now eventually an image is portrayed which tends to be identical to that of Jupiter’s moons seen through a telescope and nothing can be compared to actually seeing it.

Technique – Observing Transformation / Characterize dynamics of nanoparticles       

Gianneschi is said to be the Jacob and Rosaline Cohn Profess I n the department of chemistry in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences as well as in the departments of materials science and engineering together with biomedical engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering.

The research that comprises of videos of various nanoparticles fusion events had been published by the Journal of the American Chemical Society on November 17. Liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy had been utilised by the research team in order to image directly on how polymer-based nanoparticles or micelles, which Gianneschi has been developing in his lab for the treatment of cancer and heart attacked tend to change over a period of time. This amazing technique has assisted the scientists in directly observing, the transformation as well as to characterize the dynamics of the particles. Lucas R. Parent, the first author of the paper as well as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Companion in the research group of Gianneschi, had commented that they can visualize on the molecular level how the polymeric matter rearranges when the particles tend to fuse into one object.

First Study – Dynamic Phenomena in Organic Material System nanoparticles

This is the first study of several to come wherein researcher would be utilising this system in order to view all types of dynamic phenomena in organic materials system on the nanoscale.

Organic particles in water, in the North-western research, tends to bounce off each other and some are inclined to collide and merge, thereby going through a physical transformation.  The researchers had the capability of capturing the action by shining an electron beam through the sample wherein the tiny particle, which the largest seem to be only around 200 nanometers in diameter.

Member of North-western’s International Institute for Nanotechnology, Gianneschi had commented that they had observed classical fusion behaviour on the nanoscale and capturing the fundamental growth as well as the evolution processes of these particles in motion had supported them greatly in their work with synthetic materials together with their interactions with biological systems.

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