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TECHNOLOGY

Digital Dystopia: Kaspersky reveals possible realities of a world without cybersecurity

August 31, 2022 6:42 p.m.

Global firm’s 8th Cybersecurity Weekend imagines the answers to many what-ifs of the evolving technology world

Does the absence of cybersecurity equate to a safer world? Kaspersky’s elite security researcher invites us to think again.

To answer what of the many “What Ifs” of the technology industry, Vitaly Kamluk, Director of Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) for Asia Pacific (APAC) at Kaspersky deep dived into the alternate realities of a world free of cybersecurity companies, solutions, and services.

Kamluk, in his presentation for Kaspersky’s annual Cybersecurity Weekend attended by more than 30 top media from the region, revealed a possible digital dystopia once the industry of online defense is removed from the equation.

“It is projected that cybersecurity spending globally is set to balloon to $460 billion in the coming years, almost double the 2021 cumulative expenditures and almost as big as current total GDP (gross domestic product) of Thailand, for example. The current threat landscape can take this projection up a few notches if we are to consider the real situation worldwide. So, it is natural to ask why we are investing so much into cybersecurity and wouldn’t it be worth saving all this money for something else,” said Kamluk.

While it is possible, Kamluk enumerated the reasons why no one would choose to live in a world without cybersecurity:

  • No encryption, no privacy, no secrecy
  • No access control
  • No integrity validation

But removing the cyber defense industry opens up wide doors for criminals to exploit users’ data – from financial information, possible health issues, travel plans, spending, and more.

There will also be the possibility of fraudulent purchases, with everyone being able to claim one’s identity to purchase and even transfer money. Without access control, electronic voting and surveys can be rigged to someone’s favor. No one will have a private account online – there will be nothing private.

The absence of integrity validation also makes news and information untrustworthy, with fake news and disinformation expected to proliferate. You can’t trust any tech you use, any information you read. Basically, anything can be faked in a world without cybersecurity.

“I see a world without cybersecurity as a digital dystopia where no one can fully harness the opportunities brought about by the latest technologies that we have in our hands. Without companies and solutions working in the background to protect our data, our identity, the news we consume, and the applications and devices we use, we will be left on our own to wade through the risks and I am sure no one would choose to live in a chaotic world like this. Today, cybersecurity is often an invisible part of our life which we take for granted, but we owe it almost everything we have achieved as a civilization,” added Kamluk.

When it comes to risks, Kamluk also revealed in his presentation that Kaspersky from July 2021 to August 2022 alone, the global cybersecurity company has detected and blocked over 7.2 billion attacks by malicious objects including malware and malicious web content worldwide.

From August 2021 to July 2022, APAC appears to be a vulnerable region. One in every three (35%) detections of malicious objects detected by Kaspersky solutions globally were targeting users from the region. India, Japan, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia are the top five countries in terms of infection attempts.

As a global cybersecurity company and a top major contributor to detecting and foiling sophisticated attacks across the world, Kaspersky’s top executive also imagined a world without Kaspersky.

Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Vice President for Global Sales and Network at Kaspersky, went back to the company’s beginning in 1997 when no one would have known that the world would be fighting one malware every hour without Kaspersky’s heuristic analysis technology.

In 2015, the world without Kaspersky would also not have learned of an unprecedented $1 bln cyber-robbery stolen in about two years from financial institutions worldwide by the Carbanak cybercriminal group. Together with INTERPOL, Europol, and authorities from different countries, Kaspersky uncovered the criminal plot behind the greatest heist of the century.

Free decryptors will also not be an advocacy of many without Kaspersky co-founding No More Ransom initiative, which since then grew from four partners to 188, contributing 136 decryption tools and helping over 1.5 million people worldwide decrypt their devices.

“In 2017, we kicked off an industry benchmark with the launch of Kaspersky’s Global Transparency Initiative, as part of which we became the first cybersecurity company to offer its source code for third-party review. Five years after and with 25 years of expertise on our sleeves, we are now a team of over 4,500 professionals, creating a cybersecurity ecosystem as well as developing its own operating and IT systems that are inherently secure to bring on a cyber-immune future. Because we know the world needs cybersecurity and we are ready to do our part to bring on a safer future for everyone,” said Connell.

TECHNOLOGY

Ultra tough HONOR X9a 5G gets tested in an experiential launch in Philippines; priced at P16,990

January 23, 2023 3:01 p.m.

Celebrities, guests from the media, and partners have been gathered in an overnight event at Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay to experience the toughness of the new HONOR X9a 5G.

“To see is to believe, that’s why we came up with this launch that really puts HONOR X9a 5G’s toughness to the test. Our guests have seen first-hand how durable our new phone is and we are very confident that the activities we laid out for have showcased the top-of-the-line performance of HONOR X9a 5G,” said Stephen Cheng, HONOR Philippines Vice President for Marketing.

During the afternoon festivities, guests were challenged to participate in games that highlighted HONOR X9a 5G’s top specs such as shooting its screen with a toy gun and in a paired drop test where one has to throw and the other catches. A selfie area in front of Taal also brings out the best in HONOR X9a 5G’s super triple camera capturing the crisp and accurate colors of the famous volcano. The viral phone has also withstood the outdoor badminton and smash challenges.

HONOR X9a 5G Specs

Sporting a 120Hz Premium OLED Curved Display, the HONOR X9a 5G brings users a large screen of 6.67-inch with an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 93%, guaranteeing an immersive viewing experience for all your favorite content.

An ultra-large 5100mAh battery in a compact body awaits you too. So far, the HONOR X9a 5G is the thinnest and lightest smartphone to feature a battery larger than 5000mAh, which allows it to support up to 2 days of daily use for a truly uninterrupted user experience. With just 30 minutes of charging, the HONOR X9a 5G delivers 12.5 hours of video streaming, sparing users from having to worry about their battery.

Designed for a style conscious audience, the HONOR X9a 5G is available in two stunning colors: Titanium Silver and Emerald Green. Starting from January 20 to February 3, the HONOR X9a 5G will be available to purchase via all HONOR kiosks and partner online stores –  Lazada (http://bit.ly/3XHFPIC), Shopee (http://bit.ly/3XzEfrS), Tiktok Shop (http://bit.ly/3kfHhTS), and Home Credit.

HONOR fans can finally avail the HONOR X9a 5G via Home Credit, for as low as Php 661 per month with insurance, Php 765 without insurance, and on a 0% interest installment payment.

HONOR X9a 5G is priced at P16,990 with FREE HONOR Earbuds X3 Lite worth P3,999.

For more information and announcements, you may visit HONOR’s website www.hihonor.com or social media platforms: Facebook (Facebook.com/HonorPhilippines), Instagram (Instagram.com/honorphilippines/) and TikTok: (Tiktok.com/@honorphilippines).

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TECHNOLOGY

Miscommunications in IT security lead to cybersecurity incidents in 62% of companies

January 12, 2023 5:58 p.m.

More than half of top-tier managers (62%) admit that a miscommunication with the IT department or IT security team has resulted in at least one cybersecurity incident in their organizations.

In terms of personal attitudes, the majority of non-IT executives cited a diminished sense of cooperation between different teams (34%) and said this situation makes them question their colleagues’ skills and abilities when communication with their IT-security employees was unclear (33%).

The recent Forrester analytics survey says that companies spend an average of 37 days and $2.4 million to detect and recover from a cybersecurity breach. To determine how much mutual understanding between executives and information security teams affects a company’s cyber resilience, Kaspersky conducted a global survey of more than 1,300 business leaders. 

According to the results of the study, 98% of non-IT respondents experienced miscommunications regarding IT security. With regards to consequences, most often a breakdown in communications leads to serious project delays (67%) and cybersecurity incidents (62%). Almost one-third of respondents (30% and 27% respectively) even said that they had even encountered these issues more than once. Among other negative effects are a wasted budget, the loss of a valued employee and deteriorating relationships between teams –situations that occurred to 61% of respondents.

In addition to worsening business indicators, unclear communication with IT-security employees also affects the emotional state of the team and makes executives question IT-security employees’ skills and abilities. Also, 28% executives admit that misunderstandings make them lose confidence in the business’ safety and 26% of them find this situation makes them nervous, which affects their work performance. 

“Clear communication between a company’s executives and IT security management is a prerequisite for corporate business security,”  comments Alexey Vovk, Head of Information Security at Kaspersky.

 ”The challenge here is to put oneself in the others’ position, to anticipate and prevent serious misunderstandings. This means that, on the one hand, CISOs should know the basic business language to better explain the existing risks and need for safety measures. On the other hand, a business should also understand that information security in the 21st century is an integral part of business and budgeting for it is an investment in protecting company assets,” adds Vovk.

To make the communication between IT security and business functions within the company more transparent, Kaspersky recommends the following: 

  • Understanding professionals from another sphere requires not only empathy but also additional knowledge. While IT security workers could get more information about basic business terms and concepts in various training courses, non-IT executives have an opportunity to walk in a CISO’s shoes to get insights on the most relevant IT security challenges. 
  • Both IT and non-IT managers should not lock themselves in a professional “information bubble”. Staying aware of the agenda in both the business and cybersecurity worlds is another key to successful communication and mutual understanding between them.
  • Cybersecurity specialists should use reliable and understandable arguments when communicating their needs to the board and justifying their cybersecurity budget. Use information about the threats and security measures most relevant to your particular industry and company size to prove the probability of risks and the protective measures needed. Resources such as IT Security Calculator and reports based on experts’ observations can significantly ease this task.
  • Today when cyber threats are becoming more and more relevant and companies are forced to increase their information security budgets, it’s extremely important to allocate cybersecurity investments to tools with proven efficacy and ROI. This means tools that lower the level of false positives and reduce the time of attack detection, the time spent per case, and other metrics are important to any IT security team.

The full report and more insights on communications issues between C-level and IT security managers are available via the link.

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TECHNOLOGY

WIKO to release Huawei-developed smartphones

January 2, 2023 5:46 p.m.

A few days ago, the French technology brand WIKO made its debut on Weibo, and its China official website was launched simultaneously.

According to the teasers, last December 27, WIKO release its flagship phone in China, which not only supports 5G, but also a device thats equipped with Harmony OS, with a 108-megapixel main camera, 66W super-fast charging and other familiar configurations.

The new flagship–WIKO 5G, uses a 6.78-inch 120Hz high-refresh screen, equipped with a Snapdragon 695 processor, a rear-mounted 108megapixel main camera + 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle + 2-megapixel macro + 2-megapixel depth-of-field lens, and the front camera is 16 million pixels, built-in 4000mAh battery.

It uses a 2.0GHz Octa Core CPU processor using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, an Adreno 619 graphics processor paired with 8GB of RAM, 128GB/256GB of internal memory and runs on the HarmonyOS operating system.

Equipped with 4 rear cameras, Quad Camera with LED flash consisting of

  • Main camera, 108 megapixel resolution, Samsung HM2 sensor, aperture f / 1.9, 1 / 1.52) and PDAF system
  • The second camera, Ultra Wide lens, 8 megapixel resolution, f / 2.2 aperture
  • 3rd camera, depth lens, 2 megapixel resolution, f / 2.4 aperture
  • 3rd camera, macro lens, 2 megapixel resolution, f / 2.4 aperture

According to reports, WIKO is officially licensed to release smartphones developed by Huawei technology. WIKO is a local mobile phone brand in France. Later, the mobile phone business of this brand was jointly acquired by Tianyin Holdings and Dongguan Financial Holdings. In addition, WIKO took the second place in the French mobile phone market in 2014, second only to Samsung in terms of local market share.

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