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TECHNOLOGY

How Samsung protects your smartphones from cyberattacks

Posted on Nov. 26, 2021 8:34 p.m.

The smartphone has become the center of how we work, live, and play. For many, it has even become the only thing that we bring out of the home, replacing our laptops, wallets, and even house keys. 

While we are generally more mindful today of the dangers posed by hackers to our laptops and computers, we also need to recognize that smartphones are prone to cyberattacks as well. Hackers go where the crowds are and right now, that’s mobile devices. That’s why it’s never been more important to stay safe, and why we’re constantly innovating to protect you and your data against emerging threats.   

The billions of smartphones around the world are filled with sensitive personal and business data, providing infinite opportunities for hackers to steal and sell private information. In fact, cybersecurity firm IronNet reported that cyberattacks have increased 168% between May 2020 and May 2021, with attacks on smartphones becoming one of the biggest cybersecurity threats in the Asia Pacific region. 

Samsung is committed to keeping users safe and secure, with Samsung Knox providing true end-to-end protection throughout the entire lifecycle of your device. In this article, we explore five potential cyberattack scenarios that could happen when the safety of your device is compromised – and explain how Samsung Knox protects you from these threats, in line with our ethos of placing security at the heart of every decision we make. 

Cyberattack Scenario 1: Unauthorized backdoor access 

Outside of Samsung, developers routinely create software ‘backdoors’ for apps and even mobile OSes so that they can gain easy access for troubleshooting purposes. However, hackers are able to discover these backdoors, which usually bypass any or all cybersecurity measures on the device in question. 

To prevent unauthorized backdoor access, do not download unofficial or unauthorized apps. Downloading software other than what the manufacturer originally installed to gain full access to the device’s operating system could also introduce malware or spyware that leads to unauthorized backdoor access. 

How Samsung protects you against this threat: At Samsung, we design, create, and validate every computer chip, every piece of wiring, and every hardware component before using them to manufacture our smart devices in highly secure factories around the world. This chip-up approach gives us control over design, manufacturing, and assembly, ensuring a secure supply chain that prevents unauthorized backdoor access in our devices – resulting in an end product that our users can trust completely.

Cyberattack Scenario 2: Compromised, weak, or re-used passwords 

As users continue to create new accounts for digital services, ranging from telehealth services to new ride-hailing and e-commerce platforms, they provide more avenues for hackers to exploit.

An August 2021 survey from IBM found, 86% of consumers in the Asia Pacific admit that they re-use the same credentials across multiple online accounts. This is a poor data privacy habit – just one attack could leave a user’s entire internet footprint vulnerable to hackers.

How Samsung protects you against this threat: Samsung’s devices are equipped with innovative biometric authentication technology, such as Ultrasonic Fingerprint so that access to your data can be protected even if your device is lost or stolen. Known as Samsung Pass, this biometric authentication tool also lets users easily access log-in credentials without the need to remember countless usernames and passwords. To take data protection to the next level, we have also equipped our devices with Knox Vault, a secure processor that operates independently from the main CPU. Knox Vault securely isolates your biometrics data from the rest of your phone, so no one can get their hands on your data.

Cyberattack Scenario 3: Free Wi-Fi may not be so free after all

Free Wi-Fi hotspots are a boon for everyone who needs access to the Internet on their mobile devices for work or play. However, public Wi-Fi services provide an opportunity for hackers to steal data, as the data that you send across the web – such as credit card information for online purchases – might first pass through the hands of a hacker via a public Wi-Fi network. 

How Samsung protects you against this threat: For everyday browsing, Secure Wi-Fi encrypts outgoing internet traffic and disables tracking apps and websites. It allows you to browse the internet safely on public wireless connections without fear of security breaches. 

Cyberattack Scenario 4: Phishing attacks compromising sensitive data  

Phishing is a type of attack in which cybercriminals trick victims into handing over sensitive information or installing malware, disguised as links, attachments, or even legitimate apps, on their devices.

Once hackers have access to your sensitive information, they could use it to demand a ransom from you, steal your personal information, carry out other vices, or make purchases with your credit card information, for instance.

How Samsung protects you against this threat: Device Protection in Samsung Device Care continuously scans your device for malware or suspicious activity and alerts you when you mistakenly install malicious apps through detection via the McAfee protection. 

Additionally, the Samsung Secure Folder keeps data secure and isolates problematic apps within the folder to keep apps away from users’ personal information.

Meanwhile, when you’re purchasing with Samsung Pay on your mobile device, your card information is encrypted and completely isolated to protect it at all times. 

Cyberattack Scenario 5: Zero-day vulnerability 

As hackers and cyber attackers are constantly trying to hack into devices, they are always on the lookout for zero-day vulnerabilities. A zero-day vulnerability is a vulnerability in a system or device that has been discovered but is not yet patched. This can be particularly dangerous as cybercriminals target the flaws in a system before developers or the public are aware it even exists.

How Samsung protects you against this threat: Samsung Knox offers real-time protection, always actively protecting your devices against data attacks or malware. This means that unauthorized attempts to access or modify your phone’s core is blocked in real-time.

When users reboot their Samsung smartphone, Secure Boot is activated to detect any unauthorized software and block attempts to compromise the device through multi-layered, defense-grade security. If the smartphone is booted in an unapproved state, Samsung Knox will automatically lock-up apps containing sensitive data such as Samsung Pay, Samsung Pass, Secure Folder, or Samsung Health. 

Looking ahead to a more secure future

The smartphone has become a key part of our digital lives, whether from home, in the classroom, or even in the office. With new cyber-threat vectors continuously putting us at risk, we need to stay vigilant and play an active role in keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe in this digital world.

Security does not just stop at smartphones for Samsung, as Knox protection also extends to the smart appliances in Samsung’s portfolio for an additional layer of protection. This means that your Samsung smart appliances are protected and secured, whether you are mirroring the video you are watching on your Galaxy device with the SmartView app to the screen on your Family Hub™ or using the AI function on your AI EcoBubble washing machine to calibrate optimal wash settings.

As a Samsung user, you can be assured that you have a digital partner committed to world-class security and privacy standards – keeping you safe while you work, study, and play. 

To know more about how Samsung Knox protects your devices from cyberattacks, watch Samsung Knox: Collective Protection or read it at samsung.com/ph/news/local/how-samsung-protects-your-smartphones-from-cyberattacks/

TECHNOLOGY

Upgrade your entertainment experience at Great Samsung TV Sale

July 5, 2022 7:03 p.m.

Samsung’s biggest sale of the year is just around the corner, with up to 40% off on TV and Sound Device products.

Dubbed the Great Samsung TV Sale, the yearly event kicks off from July 11 to September 30, and will highlight an array of devices such as the 98” Neo QLED, the 55” Crystal UHD TV, and the Q-Soundbars with Dolby ATMOS.

Top-tier TV experience

Samsung has earned the Global #1 spot in the market for the past 16 years for its exceptional TV features upgrading one’s home entertainment experience.

The Crystal UHD TVs boasts an outstanding 4K picture quality in a sleek AirSlim Design frame.

It has a powerful 4K upscaling which ensures you get up to 4K resolution for the content you love. 

The TV has smart features including built-in apps so you enjoy movies and shows from your favorite apps and Tap View to easily mirror your phone* to your TV with just a tap.

The 98” Neo QLED QN90A not only takes your viewing experience to the next level, but enhances your gaming experience, too.

Optimize your gameplay in real-time thanks to the built-in Game Bar, an on-screen menu that gives you easy access to screen ratio, input lag, connected device settings, and more.

With the TVs QLED Technology, you get no burn-in or image retention to and 100% color volume for a billion shades of color to ensure the best quality of display. 

Plus with its massive 98” screen size enhanced with Samsung’s Quantum Mini LED Technology, which delivers exceptional blacks, next-level detail and superior brightness and contrast, so you never miss a beat in your next gaming session.

Complete your home entertainment system with the Q-Soundbar this Great Samsung TV Sale.

Built with Dolby Atmos technology, you get to experience 3D sound moving all around just like when you are inside a cinema. Samsung’s Q-Soundbars also come equipped with the Q-Symphony feature, letting you enjoy true immersive sound with audio playing from both a Samsung TV and Soundbar speakers. 

So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars and get the best offers on the latest TV and Soundbar offerings from the Great Samsung TV Sale!

Visit www.samsung.com/ph for more details.

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TECHNOLOGY

5G in PH rising, says connectivity insights provider Ookla

Fifth generation (5G) mobile networks are making significant advances in the Philippines, according to the global leader in network intelligence and connectivity insights provider, Ookla.

Most Philippine operators, according to a report by Ookla, launched 5G mobile networks in 2020 shortly after Thai operators did.

Smart, one of the major Philippine telecommunications service providers, launched 5G technology in June 2019 for fixed wireless units and launched the same for mobile subscribers in February 2020 in Metro Manila.

Globe, another major service provider in the Philippines launched 5G in July 2020, originally targeting subscribers in Metro Manila who had 5G-capable devices.

Both operators used spectrum in the 3,500 megahertz band, which is considered as the “sweet spot” in terms of 5G network capacity and coverage.

Ookla data showed that Smart recorded a median download speed of 200.43 mbps and 19.67 mbps upload speed in the first quarter of 2022. These were way ahead of Globe which registered median download speeds of 121.29 mbps and upload speeds of 9.93 mbps.

Availability of 5G nationwide, Ookla said, nearly doubled in just one year—from 9.4 percent coverage in the first quarter of 2021 to 18.1 percent in the first quarter of 2022.

“Part of this is related to the easing of right-of-way (ROW) rules,” said Ookla.

New ROW rules, enforced by the Department of Public Works and Highways in March 2021, lifted the ban on construction of critical infrastructure, particularly cell sites, along national roads.

Another reason for improvements in both 4G and 5G developments was the active involvement of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in allowing more telcos to enter the playing field.

“A third player was introduced to the market to add competition, improve network performance and reduce prices in the market,” said Ookla in its report.

The way was paved for the entry of the third player by the NTC and Department of Information and Communications Technology which declared Dito (then Mislatel) as the new major telco player.

According to Ookla, the Philippines was not the only country to benefit from ROW reforms. India made the same move in October 2021, or eight months after the Philippines did.

In the Philippines, Smart reached 25.5 percent 5G coverage in the first quarter of 2022 Globe reached 15.3 percent coverage. Ookla attributed this to “spectrum deployment strategies” of each company.

Smart had 1.6 million connected 5G devices to its network in the first quarter of 2022, or more than triple its level—376,000—in the first quarter of 2021. Globe, by end of March 2022, had more than 2 million devices connected to 5G.

Ookla noted that plans of both telcos to further invest in 5G bodes well for the spread of the technology, which delivers faster connection to the internet.

Smart is investing up to P85 billion in 5G rollout nationwide which started in December 2021. Smart’s mobile data traffic grew 30 percent year-on-year to 1,010 petabytes while the number of 5G base stations rose to 7,300 in February 2022 from just 5,000 in 2020, corresponding to a 5G population of 66 percent.

Globe added 390 sites in just the first three months of 2022, extending 5G network reach to 95 percent of the National Capital Region and 85 percent of key cities in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Globe spent at least P92.8 billion to build 2,000 outdoor 5G sites and in-building solutions, 1,407 new cell sites and 1.4 million fiber lines.

Dito, the third Philippine telco, has partnered with hardware supplier Nokia to deploy 5G services in Mindanao in May 2021. In March 2022, this telco rolled out 5G home wi-fi services with 145 Metro Manila villages as pilot areas.

Villages in the cities of Manila, Caloocan and Quezon would be the first to benefit from 500 mbps of download speeds. Tests involving 5G in Caloocan showed download speeds of 512.66 mbps in the first quarter of this year.

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TECHNOLOGY

Infinit Care powers mental health in workplace with technology

June 28, 2022 8:12 p.m.

Members of the media were gathered last June 24, to talk about workplace mental health and how Infinit Care is pioneering a tech-based solution that allows companies to support the mental wellbeing of employees.

Workplace Mental Health

Mental health issues are on the rise, especially among the working population and it’s severely affecting overall health and productivity.

The World Health Organization found that mental illness is prevalent in the Philippines. In fact, it is the third most common disability in the country. The National Center for Mental Health also recorded a 500% increase in monthly hotline calls due to depression during the pandemic.

Companies have tried to answer this plight by providing mental health support whether in-house or through a 3rd party provider.

However, a lot of the options in the market focus on delivering solutions that cater to those who are already in crisis and leave out a significant part of the population.

Studies also show that despite increases in stress and burnout, utilization for mental health benefits remain low due to the lack of access to proper mental health solutions and the persistent stigma around talking about mental health struggles.

A Pioneer in Mental Health Tech

Infinit Care partners with businesses and organizations to provide their employees and community with comprehensive mental health support.

“Our platform of care solutions are founded on The Mental Health Continuum which takes into account a wide range of mental health states so that every employee can receive customized support, no matter what they’re going through, wherever and however they need it,” explained Infinit Care Marketing Head, Paola Silva. 

“Everyone needs different kinds of care at different times. We work with companies who care deeply about the mental wellbeing of their employees and understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. We help companies bring the best out of their people by providing personalized mental health support.” said Infinit Care’s Head of Clinical Care, Shyne Mangulabnan.

Infinit Care is the only provider in the Philippines that can provide multi-channel mental health support.

Available via web and mobile app (iOS and Android), Infinit Care can meet the varying needs of all employees.

Our suite of solutions include 24/7 chat support with real live Care Chat Coaches who commit to an average response time of 5 minutes, a team of qualified licensed counselors and coaches available for virtual counseling or coaching at your convenience, a library of mental health tools and content to meet the varying needs of your workforce, and mental health training and capacity building workshops for the leaders and entire organization.

For more information on Infinit Care, visit https://www.infinitcare.co

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