Posts tagged with "Software"

Rita Azar Illustrates an Eyewear Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Luxottica Hacked

By Justin Lyons

According to Italian press sources, Luxottica was the victim of a cyberattack Saturday.

Luxottica owns eyewear brands like Oakley, Ray-Ban, Coach, Chanel and Versace as well as retail brands like LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical. It is the largest eyewear company in the world with more than 80,000 employees.

SecurityOpenLab, an Italian cybersecurity site, said its sources confirmed Luxottica offices suffered a complete system failure due to ransomware attacks, shutting down operations in Italy and China

SecurityOpenLab also said union sources confirmed that workers received an SMS message saying the second shift on Sept. 21 had been suspended.

Users began reporting an inability to reach sites for LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban and other Luxottica brands on Saturday. It was also reported that One Luxottica, a user portal for the company, was down, but it appears to be up again at the time of writing.

BleepingComputer spoke to Bad Packets, a cybersecurity firm, who told them Luxottica used a Citrix ADX controller device, which is vulnerable to CVE-2019-19781, a flaw in Citrix devices.

This flaw is exploited by ransomware actors as it provides network access and credentials used to deeper infiltrate a network.

Luxottica took the servers to its eyewear brand websites offline. While websites for Oakley, Ray-Ban, Coach and more are accessible now, a manager at LensCrafters storefront told 360 MAGAZINE that the Ciao operating system crashed Saturday and that they still have little to no ability to process insurance or complete transactions.

Though Luxottica has not made a public statement, the same source told 360 MAGAZINE that IT support was unavailable while systems were down. LensCrafters is currently logging orders for a later date when systems are back up.

360 was also told that LensCrafters will offer 50% off frames and lenses for the inconvenience to customers.

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NYC, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Questions You Should Ask When Hiring a Web Development Team

Pretty much anyone can call themselves a web developer nowadays, and it is important that you do your due diligence before working with anyone. Make the wrong choice, and you could end up with tons of hidden costs, unfinished work, or in the worst case, never hearing from them again. 

However, by asking the right questions and doing your research, you should be able to find a great team that will be able to understand your vision and execute it. Here are some questions you should ask when hiring a web development team.

Have You Ever Worked on Projects Similar to Mine?

All websites have very different needs and have to be approached differently. For instance, building an e-commerce store and a portfolio site will be very different. If you need some of your employees to be able to access log in functions, for instance, or need an extensive database to be installed, not all web developers will have this kind of expertise.

This is why it is very important that you know your objectives for your website, and make sure that they can show you work similar to it. Don’t take their word for it. Some will say yes to everything, only to take twice as much time once they realise how much research they have to do.

How Long Will the Project Take from Beginning to End?

This is also something that needs to be clear from the get-go. If you have a deadline for this project, then you want someone who’ll be able to get the job done within that time period. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should go for rushed work. Some people might take a little bit longer, either because of conflicting schedules or previous engagements. Make sure that you look around to check the average completion time, and go for someone who can deliver the best work as fast as possible.

What Kind of Services do You Offer?

Different development teams will offer different packages, so it’s important that you know what their actual scope of service is, and what you can expect to pay. For instance, some companies will also offer some marketing and SEO services. Some will offer social media management and promotion as well.

That’s why you should make a clear list of the services you want to be included. This way, you’ll be able to eliminate those who can’t provide a crucial service that you absolutely need.

What About Your Employees?

You want to know what type of employees they work with. Do they outsource some of their work? If so, what do they outsource?

While outsourcing is not always an issue, it’s always better to go with a web development company that has their own in house employees. Teams like Appetiser, for instance, personally hand pick their programmers and have them go through a gruelling hiring process to make sure that they’re up to par. As a matter of fact, only 1.7% of the applicants coming from major tech firms are able to make it through their coding challenges.

You want a team that will be self-sufficient so you won’t have to suffer delays. Another thing is if you need some follow up work done, it’s better if the programmer who previously worked on your website performs it. Working with another programmer will require some additional troubleshooting that you may have to pay out of pocket for.

What Technologies Are Your Specialty?

This question allows the developer to talk about what distinguishes them from the competition. If you haven’t decided what technology you’re going to use, still ask what technologies they’re specialised in. If they’ve adapted to new technologies well, they are probably qualified to help you migrate to a new one.

Ask how many developers they have that work with these technologies. You don’t want to hire a software firm that specialises in a specific area, but if that expertise resides with one person who may leave the firm at any time this is also a problem. Ask how much time it may take to scale up the team to handle your project. If you may need to accelerate your schedule, you want to know you won’t have to wait a few weeks for key people to be available.

A related question to ask is their seniority. If their entire expertise in an area is within a group of junior developers, they may not be capable of the quality of work you need. Conversely, a mixed team of junior and senior developers is certain to be able to handle any challenge. 

Conclusion

Hiring a web development team is essential if you want to have a website that will show your business in the best possible light as possible. Make sure that you take your time, shop around, and find a team that can align with your goals and expectations.

Cyberattack, IAITAM, tech, 360 MAGAZINE

IAITAM v MICROSOFT

Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) CEO Dr. Barbara Rembiesa issued the following statement today:
 
Microsoft’s announcement that it will let end-users buy some of their own apps and licenses through Office 365 should be regarded with great concern by business owners, financial officers, and IT Asset Management (ITAM) program heads.” 
 
“This is the road to chaos and monumental waste, particularly if other software makers follow suit.  By basically bypassing all controls on licensing and purchases within companies, it will be incredibly difficult to know what has been purchased, who has purchased it, when it needs to be renewed, what needs to be ‘patched’ and which software is no longer being protected against hackers.  The result will be a rat’s nest of confusion, bad records and huge fines.”
 
“For years now, I have emphasized that you cannot manage what you do not know you have. For that reason, IAITAM developed a centralized ITAM model that incorporates 12 Key Process Areas (KPAs) and a set of best practices that assists IT Asset Managers with executing those processes. These identified best practices allow the ITAM program to be centralized, while the people they manage have appropriate empowerment and decentralized control.”
 
“For the model to work, the ITAM Program Manager has to be able to set up a program that tracks and stores information about specific IT assets with a centralized view of those assets as needed and required for future planning and compliance purposes. This includes being able to identify what software is in the environment and ensure that the software is licensed properly. The program begins with Acquisition Management and ends with Disposal Management. During that lifecycle, a Software Asset Manager needs to know that what the organization has in its environment remains compliant.”
 
“However, Microsoft’s announcement will change all of that.”
 
“Microsoft has said that on Nov. 19, 2019, it will begin allowing end-users to purchase Office 365 Power Platform low-code services, PowerApps, PowerBI and Flow. The user would be responsible for paying for the transaction and the applications themselves would be licensed to the user. The specific services are meant for business users and not IT administrators nor developers. The way most prior and existing licenses have worked, users would have to get permission from their administrators (to include the IT Asset Manager) to add those services.”
 
“Under the new way of doing things, if an organization receives an audit letter from Microsoft, the software publisher will have information on what is installed or supposed to be installed in the environment as an outgrowth of the business-driven transactions. Because the end-user would be in control of the license, the IT Asset Manager would have no way to prove what licenses are in the IT environment. This could lead to huge fines, as well as a security issue. If Microsoft finds that the organization or its end-users cannot prove software license compliance, the publisher could receive millions of dollars in penalties because the organization would be out of compliance.”
 
“The job of an IT Asset Manager is to protect an organization from losing control over its IT assets. Remaining in compliance with software license terms is a major money-saving aspect of a mature ITAM program. Without being able to prove compliance, the program’s core competency would collapse, and its value would become severely diminished.”
 
Following ITAM best practices is a roadmap for organizations to protect and get the most out of their IT assets. IAITAM offers courses and training opportunities throughout the year for agencies and businesses seeking to strengthen their cybersecurity and IT management.

ABOUT IAITAM
The International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, Inc., is the professional association for individuals and organizations involved in any aspect of IT Asset Management, Software Asset Management (SAM), Hardware Asset Management, Mobile Asset Management, IT Asset Disposition and the lifecycle processes supporting IT Asset Management in organizations and industry across the globe. IAITAM certifications are the only IT Asset Management certifications that are recognized worldwide. For more information, visit www.iaitam.org.

6 Ways to Improve PC Performance

There is no getting away from slower computer performance over time. Technology is autonomous so you have to take care of your hardware and software if you like to expand their lifetime. We’ve all experienced slow loading speed and glitches on computers once they get clogged up by different things over time.

Fortunately, there are different methods to clean up all the things that affect your computer performance. However, if you like to keep everything running smoothly, you must do proper maintenance constantly.

In this article, we will go through some of the ways to improve PC performance so you would not need an upgrade.


1. Uninstall Unnecessary Applications

Most of us usually install some application that we need at the time and forget about it when we don’t even use it. These unnecessary applications are called bloatware by their technical term and they are considered to be useless things that eat up system resources, especially when you have start-up applications. It is very important to clean all the unused items that you can find in your computer.


2. Lower the Number of Startup programs


Usually, when your computer takes too much time to boot up, it means that it’s facing trouble by having so many different programs to start at the beginning. All of these programs will also run in the background of your PC and slow down your performance.


You have to open Task Manager and see which programs are eating most of your RAM memory. It is important to keep only essential programs on your startup menu and remove all others.


3. Check for Viruses


Viruses are the main problem in every computer and with today’s wide selection of unsafe websites that we visit you can easily get your computer infected. Even though Windows Defender does a good job protecting your PC from malware, you still have to install software that will keep your PC protected at all times. You should be careful choosing the right anti-virus software just because some of them can take too much space and memory from your RAM in order to run, which will only slow your computer even more. The best way is to create schedule scans and remove all the threats.


4. Disk Cleanup and Defragment


Disk cleanup is the best way to find any unnecessary files in your PC that you haven’t used for a while. It will free up drive space making your computer running smoothly. On the other hand, disk defragment is keeping your drives healthy by removing any gaps from deleted applications on the drive. You can also schedule disk to defragment on weekly basis so you would not have to worry about that.


5. Check your web browser


If the internet content such as websites, pictures or videos is loading slowly, you might take a look at your browser. Some browsers can slow your PC or create some lag, so make sure you are using a reliable internet browser. Also, you must check if your cache is cleaned, just because storing cache for a long time can also slow down your computer.


6. Consider an upgrade


If you successfully completed all the tasks that are mentioned above, then you should consider a small upgrade that will affect PC performance.

Usually, when it is speed in question you might consider two things:


• Upgrading your RAM


• Using startup SSD


RAM plays a big role in every computer’s performance. By upgrading your RAM memory your PC can be able to run more applications at the same time.

However, upgrading RAM memory on regular laptops is a very hard process and almost impossible, so you have to settle with the thing that came in the box. On the other hand, upgrading RAM on desktop is very easy and cheap process that you can do it yourself, but just make sure you have an extra slot in your motherboard.


If you are using a startup SSD your computer should boot up at incredible speed. This solid-state drive (SSD) is taking the pressure of the processors for faster boot time. This is a very powerful drive that can process everything at much greater speed. Since they are expensive, people buy small size 128GB units that should be enough only for the operating system. The rest of the files are stored on normal hard drive.


These are some of the ways where you can improve your PC performance. It is important that you keep everything organized and cleaned constantly, just so you avoid clogging up your computer to a point where is not fixable and keep it running as fast as a winning horse on the Breeders cup race.

US Businesses Allowing Remote Working

The rise of cloud computing and teleconferencing represent both the biggest opportunity for growth as well as the most significant organizational challenge to companies around the world, according to new research from Condeco’s new research paper, The Modern Workplace 2019: People, places & technology, involving 750 corporate leaders. The full report can be downloaded here. Among the countries in the survey, remote working is particularly prevalent in Australia (45 per cent) with the US tied for being the country with the second most amount of companies allowing remote work (43 percent) and least widespread is Germany (35 per cent). However, US businesses were least likely to offer flextime (49 percent), while those in Singapore were most likely (66 percent). In addition, 43 percent of US business forecast that they will allow more remote working in the next year while only 9 percent have indicated that they will offer less remote working, a clear indicator that remote working is a major trend in America. 54 percent of US companies have said that they offer remote working to increase employee retention, which showcases employees increasing demands to work from home.

While recognizing digital transformation as crucial to their future success, 60 percent of those who participated express concern over the speed with which new technologies are reshaping their businesses. They are increasingly preoccupied with issues related to cloud computing, the internet of things, and big data.These technology challenges are contributing significantly to the changing nature of the corporate environment, the report finds. Cloud computing in particular has made it possible for increasing numbers of employees to work remotely and flexibly meaning that the central company workspace is rapidly becoming an administrative hub, rather than a traditional central focus where everyone gathers during set hours. The demands of regulation and compliance are also adding to the burden felt by businesses as they face the future. Condeco’s report is based on an in-depth survey of business leaders in six countries, including the United States, backed by qualitative interviews. Respondents overall say the biggest challenges facing their organizations in the next 12 months are digital transformation (37 percent) and the adoption of new technology (35 percent).

Across all countries surveyed, access to talent supply (26 per cent) and regulation and compliance (24 per cent) are considered greater organizational challenges than business uncertainty (22 per cent). Welcome to the flexible working revolution. Almost half of global businesses surveyed (41 percent) say they already offer some degree of remote working, while three-fifths (60 percent) provide flextime opportunities, allowing employees to choose when to start and end their workday. “The research clearly shows that businesses are in the process of transforming their workplaces digitally, which enables them to transform the way that they are used physically,” said Paul Statham, CEO of Condeco.”Today’s technology allows for space to be used more flexibly and for employees to work remotely. This benefits businesses by maximizing office space, reducing costs and by keeping employees engaged and productive.”

The end of meeting-room culture? When employees do go into the office, it is most often for meetings with colleagues and customers. Yet the researchers discovered that finding, booking and using meeting rooms is a consistent point of organizational tension, even as more people are working remotely. Fewer than a quarter of those surveyed (23 percent) say that their employees have access to meeting rooms whenever they need them; however, the US leads the world with 31 percent, compared to just 9 percent in Singapore. Only a third of respondents (31 percent) currently use specialist meeting-room scheduling software to help make efficient use of their available space. Some of those surveyed believed that there was an opportunity to use artificial intelligence to book and use meeting rooms more effectively.

“AI can release individuals from routine, repetitive tasks at work and free them up for more value-adding and enriching activities. That’s why it is likely to play an important role in meeting room booking software,” said Peter Otto, Chief Product Officer at Condeco. Businesses are only just beginning to realize the extent to which the need for co-workers to meet in person is a thing of the past, as new conferencing systems enable teams to maintain real-time collaboration and conversation across vast distances and multiple time zones.“Ultimately new technology will enable businesses to allocate their resources and time more effectively,” said Otto.“There is also a role it can play in gathering data, but companies need to be aware of the ethical and privacy aspects of using it in this way and be prepared to be fully transparent in communicating what they are doing to their employees.”

US leaders prepare for the future While a fifth of business leaders worldwide (22 per cent) said that uncertainty was a concern for them, less than one fifth of American business leaders (16 percent) echoed this. The most-common concern for US respondents is technology adoption (45 percent) and talent supply (30 percent), suggesting that businesses are expecting these to be major issues over the next year. Only 11 percent of US business cited access to capital as their top organizational concern.

DarioHealth Launches New Blood Pressure Monitoring System

 DarioHealth Corp. (Nasdaq: DRIO), (“DarioHealth” or “Dario”), a leading global, digital therapeutics company, announced today the addition of a new digital monitoring solution on its Dario app platform that will allow patients to monitor their blood pressure throughout the day, in addition to their blood glucose levels. The Dario Blood Pressure Monitoring System assists patients with hypertension and is a critical part of DarioHealth’s strategy to go beyond diabetes to reach patients with a variety of chronic conditions.

The Dario Blood Pressure Monitoring System is a medical device composed of a digital monitor and a blood pressure cuff, that synchronizes with the Dario mobile app which allows users to track their blood pressure and a variety of health markers, along with the daily actions that influence them. Combining the Dario Blood Pressure Monitoring System, with the Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System, creates a harmonized digital health solution, enabling users to better monitor their health and make data driven choices. Together with Dario’s software and professional coaching, we believe that users with hypertension and diabetes will benefit from a clear broad picture of their condition in a user-friendly format on their iPhone or Android mobile device.

“Our digital diabetes management solution has proven to be a valuable daily companion to those suffering from this chronic condition and is able to meet their needs and expectations. We have further expanded our offering to address the needs of those with hypertension, providing a sophisticated solution to millions affected by this condition” commented Erez Raphael, Chief Executive Officer of DarioHealth. 

Today, 75 million American have High blood pressure[1] including 73.6% of adults with diabetes2. By offering a fast, easy way to monitor these two strongly correlated chronic conditions, Dario aims to help more people live healthier lives. Dario also provides healthcare professionals with access to the accumulated information and enables them to adjust their interventions and evaluate their clinical effectiveness based on hard data.

Like the Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System, the Dario Blood Pressure Monitoring System is FDA-cleared.

The Dario Blood Pressure Monitoring System will be offered as a companion system where the Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System is available, online and via Dario distributors.

5 Tech Trends That Businesses Can’t Afford To Ignore

With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, some business owners are left digitally disoriented as they try to figure out which of the latest innovations they need to invest in and what they can ignore.

It can make for confusing times.

All that bewilderment aside, though, these fast-developing advances also create opportunities that can help small and medium-sized businesses become more competitive – if they understand how to seize them.

“Technology exists today that at one time was available only to large corporations with huge technology budgets,” says Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com), an IT consultant who works with small businesses.

“Every year, technology becomes even more accessible to companies of all sizes.”

Hoose says businesses that want to stay on top of their games should make sure they invest in these technological trends, if they haven’t already:

The Internet of Things. Many Internet of Things-connected devices, such as smart refrigerators and thermostats, are designed for home use, but there are also applications for small businesses, Hoose says. Some examples: smart locks use digital keys that can’t be lost or stolen, and log a record of who uses a door and when; RFID tags on merchandise can prevent theft and automatically update inventory; and mobile-card readers can replace cash registers.

Artificial intelligence. Don’t be fooled into thinking that AI is something only the big organizations can afford to use, Hoose says. “It’s making inroads into technologies accessible for businesses of all sizes,” he says. “AI can help you offer increasingly personalized experiences to customers by maximizing your time and automating manual tasks, like data entry.” AI also can be used to improve decision making, Hoose says. Essentially, AI will help you take that jumble of data most businesses have and analyze it in a way that allows you to make better-informed judgments on the actions you need to take.

Telecommuting. The office world is changing and more workers spend at least a portion of their work week telecommuting. “In many cases remote employees use their own equipment, which can eliminate some of the company’s costs with purchasing and maintaining computers, printers and mobile phones,” Hoose says. Video conferencing, instant messaging and other advances are helping to make telecommuting a viable option, he says. You can read more at Salesforce.

Customer-relationship-management (CRM) software. Any application that a business uses to interact with customers, analyze data, or recommend products and services to customers is “part of the CRM family,” Hoose says. “This type of software helps your team manage, control and build customer relationships,” he says. “It can log your team’s touchpoints with prospects, including emails, phone calls, voicemails and in-person meetings. You can have a complete record of your team’s interaction with a prospect that’s easy for anyone to access.”

Voice search. Consumers increasingly are making use of such AI assistants as Siri or Alexa to help them do internet searches using their voices. “Voice search is changing the way people find information because these queries are structured differently than when we type terms into a search engine,” Hoose says.

“Organizations of all types can benefit from optimizing their content to improve where they fall in a voice search.”

“To help propel your business going forward, it’s important to stay abreast of technology innovation,” Hoose says. “These technologies will help you expand your customer base, create more efficient in-house processes, and increase engagement from both customers and staff.”

About Chris Hoose

Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com) is the president of Choose Networks, an IT consulting firm for small businesses. Hoose started the company in 2001 to give large-scale solutions and support to businesses that can’t afford their own in-house IT department. He earned a Master of Information Systems Management from Friends University.

Top 8 HR software for small business leaders

Despite tighter budgets and limited IT resources, small businesses still need to centralize workflows and be efficient, just like enterprise companies. This is especially true for HR departments. In this ebook, we’ll take a look at some of the best HR software for small business modern, cloud-based systems with industry-leading functionality at an affordable price point.

This ebook covers:

  • Small business HR pain points
  • Key HR software features
  • 8 top HR solutions for small business

Download it here

How to Design Your Own Interactive Magic Mirror

Interactive magic mirrors are an interesting piece of tech. In an instant, they are able to provide those that look into them with all sorts of information, from personal skincare tips to what the weather outside is like on that day. They are also transforming the way people are now shopping for clothes and makeup, as they are able to show customers what they look like in certain styles.

If interactive magic mirror tech has taken your fancy, why stop at being a consumer of it? Why not go the whole hog and design your very own? To see what you need to do in order to set about this somewhat difficult yet highly rewarding task, make sure to read on.

Source the right tools and equipment

When it comes to designing an interactive magic mirror, you need an abundance of tools and pieces of equipment by your side:

• Computer screen, mouse, and keyboard

• Basic mirror

• Raspberry PI (extremely important)

• USB power cord

• 8GB SD-card

• Adapter

HDMI-to-VGA adapter

As this is fundamentally a piece of IoT technology, you’re also going to need tools that help you to build a circuit board. The first thing that you need to source in this regard is a PCB design tool. By installing and implementing such a tool into your working process, you will be able to design PCBs from idea to manufacture with ease, especially when you allow the CircuitStudio how-to video to assist you along the way. Other tools needed in this instance include a breadboard, a soldering iron, and etching equipment.

Get your sizes spot on

It is incredibly important that you take the literal size of your task into consideration — if something is even just an inch out of place, the whole project could be ruined. This sentiment rings especially true when it comes to matching your mirror with your computer screen. By choosing a screen that doesn’t fit your mirror, the render that the screens gives will be out of place and, subsequently, made to be all but redundant.

Install your Raspberry PI

The previously mentioned piece of equipment known as the Raspberry PI plays a pivotal role in proceedings, so make sure that you don’t forget to source one. When it comes to installing this equipment, just make sure that only one cord is pulled through the bottom of the mirror’s case — this will stop the tech from becoming overloaded with data and, ultimately, it will stop it from overheating.

Don’t forget to install the Raspbian operating system, as doing so will give you free rein to tap into the PI boot sequence as and when you see fit going forward.

Connect your mirror to the Internet

After all the hard work that you put in, it would be a shame to ruin it all by forgetting to connect your magic mirror to the Internet. Once this connection is forged, your mirror will be able to display real-time information, such as weather reports and news bulletins.

When you decide to design a magic mirror, you will be sure to be occupied for months on end. It will all be worth it in the end, though.