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CIPHERCLOUD ACCELERATES DATA PROTECTION IN THE CLOUD WITH INDUSTRY’S FIRST DISCOVER, PROTECT, AND MONITOR PLATFORM

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 Over 2.6M users benefit from integrated cloud data visibility and control

Said Pravin Kothari, Founder And CEO Of CipherCloud.

Said Pravin Kothari, Founder And CEO Of CipherCloud.

Today, CipherCloud, the leader in cloud information protection, announces its continued platform innovation for enabling organisations to rapidly adopt cloud applications while protecting their sensitive data, ensuring compliance to policies and regulations, as well as ever growing unauthorised access, external threats and surveillance. Through these advancements, the company continues to extend its technical leadership in cloud information protection by combining the highest levels of cloud data discovery, protection – searchable strong encryption [SSE], tokenisation, and data loss prevention – and activity and anomaly monitoring.

The Discover, Protect, and Monitor platform comes at a time when organisations are sending exponentially more information into the cloud while seeking to overcome data privacy, regulatory compliance and data residency risks.

Built on CipherCloud’s founding commitment, the platform delivers the three critical elements to enable cloud adoption:

  • Discover – The first step is discovery. To determine the security controls their data requires, organisations must first identify and classify content that is sensitive, proprietary or regulated before it goes to the cloud. Visibility tools like data discovery provide the actionable intelligence companies need in order to find and apply the right type of protection to comply with regional and industry specific privacy laws.
  • Protect – This is the core of any cloud data security strategy. As data privacy requirements escalate, enterprises need security controls that provide robust and granular level data protection to mitigate against compromise without locking out authorised users. By delivering SSE, tokenisation, data loss prevention, key management, and malware detection, CipherCloud enables enterprises to seamlessly extend data protection from on premises to the cloud.  Our SSE technology delivers AES 256-bit encryption, the highest commercially available level of encryption while enabling natural language, wild cards and Boolean searches of encrypted data.
  • Monitor – This delivers detailed information on all logging, tracking, and auditing of user activities across all cloud applications. Information is aggregated and monitored resulting in the ability to quickly zero-in on violations of policies, identify anomalous patterns, and flag potential security breaches. Examples could include excessive access from locations known to harbour malicious activity or an extreme number of uploads and downloads of data over a short period of time by a particular user indicating malicious intent.

“We continue to raise the bar for cloud information protection,” said Pravin Kothari, founder and CEO of CipherCloud. “The consumption of multiple cloud applications by the enterprise requires security to be in lock step with visibility. We are giving enterprises a coherent strategy and the innovative technologies they need to navigate the many privacy and residency regulations required to conduct business across the globe.”

The CipherCloud platform provides a holistic set of cloud visibility, security and monitoring controls to enable organisations to proactively secure sensitive data and comply with government regulations and industry mandates, including GLBA, PCI, HIPAA and HITECH, the EU Data Protection Act, UK ICO guidance, the Australian Privacy Amendment Act and US State privacy laws.

Key technologies powering the CipherCloud Discover, Protect, and Monitor platform include:

  • Cloud Data Discovery –Search existing cloud applications on-demand and discover detailed information about sensitive data, and user activity, extending your corporate DLP policies to the cloud.
  • Searchable Strong  Encryption – Delivers AES 256-bit encryption, the highest commercially available level of encryption while enabling natural language, wild cards and Boolean searches of encrypted data
  • Tokenisation – Enables  tokenization – substituting randomly generated values for the original data, which never leaves the enterprise
  • Cloud Data Loss Prevention – Supports out-of the box and custom DLP policies that scan, detect and take action to protect sensitive information in any field or document; integrates with existing DLP systems such as Symantec or RSA via the ICAP protocol.
  • Cloud Malware Detection – Includes integrated malware protection preventing viruses from spreading with zero-day protection against cloud viruses, spyware, Trojans, bots, rootkits and more.
  • Activity Monitoring and Anomaly Detection – Tracks user interactions across multiple cloud applications assure compliance and spot anomalies through detailed security dashboards and reports.
  • Robust Key Management – Provides enterprise key management capabilities in compliance with NIST SP 800-57 standards. Multiple key storage options enable keys to be stored securely on the CipherCloud platform or separately on a KMIP-compliant key management server.
  • High-performance Scalable Architecture – Delivers near zero latency while supporting the largest number of companies and government agencies with demanding throughput requirements.

About CipherCloud

CipherCloud, the leader in cloud information protection, enables organizations to accelerate their adoption of cloud applications while ensuring visibility and control of their data. CipherCloud delivers data privacy, regulatory compliance, and data residency in the Cloud through an open platform that provides comprehensive data discovery, protection – search strong encryption, tokenization, data loss prevention, key management, and malware detection – and activity and anomaly monitoring services.

CipherCloud has experienced exceptional growth and success with over 2.6 million business users, across 25 countries, and in more than 11 industries.

The CipherCloud product portfolio protects popular cloud applications out-of-the-box such as salesforce.com, Box, and Microsoft Office 365.

CipherCloud, named as SC Magazine’s 2013 Best Product of the Year, is backed by premier venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, and T-Venture, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom. For more information, visit www.ciphercloud.com and follow us on Twitter @ciphercloud.

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‘Spooky’ AI tool brings dead relatives’ photos to life

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'Spooky' AI tool brings dead relatives' photos to life 1

By Umberto Bacchi

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Like the animated paintings that adorn the walls of Harry Potter’s school, a new online tool promises to bring portraits of dead relatives to life, stirring debate about the use of technology to impersonate people.

Genealogy company MyHeritage launched its “Deep Nostalgia” feature earlier this week, allowing users to turn stills into short videos showing the person in the photograph smiling, winking and nodding.

“Seeing our beloved ancestors’ faces come to life … lets us imagine how they might have been in reality, and provides a profound new way of connecting to our family history,” MyHeritage founder Gilad Japhet said in a statement.

Developed with Israeli computer vision firm D-ID, Deep Nostalgia uses deep learning algorithms to animate images with facial expressions that were based on those of MyHeritage employees.

Some of the company’s users took to Twitter on Friday to share the animated images of their deceased relatives, as well as moving depictions of historical figures, including Albert Einstein and Ancient Egypt’s lost Queen Nefertiti.

“Takes my breath away. This is my grandfather who died when I was eight. @MyHeritage brought him back to life. Absolutely crazy,” wrote Twitter user Jenny Hawran.

While most expressed amazement, others described the feature as “spooky” and said it raised ethical questions. “The photos are enough. The dead have no say in this,” tweeted user Erica Cervini.

From chatbots to virtual reality, the tool is the latest innovation seeking to bring the dead to life through technology.

Last year U.S. rapper Kanye West famously gifted his wife Kim Kardashian a hologram of her late father congratulating her on her birthday and on marrying “the most, most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world”.

‘ANIMATING THE PAST’

The trend has opened up all sorts of ethical and legal questions, particularly around consent and the opportunity to blur reality by recreating a virtual doppelganger of the living.

Elaine Kasket a psychology professor at the University of Wolverhampton in Britain who authored a book on the “digital afterlife”, said that while Deep Nostalgia was not necessarily “problematic”, it sat “at the top of a slippery slope”.

“When people start overwriting history or sort of animating the past … You wonder where that ends up,” she said.

MyHeritage acknowledges on its website that the technology can be “a bit uncanny” and its use “controversial”, but said steps have been taken to prevent abuses.

“The Deep Nostalgia feature includes hard-coded animations that are intentionally without any speech and therefore cannot be used to fake any content or deliver any message,” MyHeritage public relations director Rafi Mendelsohn said in a statement.

Yet, images alone can convey meaning, said Faheem Hussain, a clinical assistant professor at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

“Imagine somebody took a picture of the Last Supper and Judas is now winking at Mary Magdalene – what kind of implications that can have,” Hussain told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

Similarly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) animations could be use to make someone appear as though they were doing things they might not be happy about, such as rolling their eyes or smiling at a funeral, he added.

Mendelsohn of MyHeritage said using photos of a living person without their consent was a breach of the company’s terms and conditions, adding that videos were clearly marked with AI symbols to differentiate them from authentic recordings.

“It is our ethical responsibility to mark such synthetic videos clearly and differentiate them from real videos,” he said.

(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi in Milan; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

 

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Does your institution have operational resilience? Testing cyber resilience may be a good way to find out

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REMOTE WORKING STRATEGY REQUIRED TO STRENGTHEN CYBER RESILIENCE

By Callum Roxan, Head of Threat Intelligence, F-Secure

If ever 2020 had a lesson, it was that no organization can possibly prepare for every conceivable outcome. Yet building one particular skill will make any crisis easier to handle: operational resilience.

Many financial institutions have already devoted resources to building operational resilience. Unfortunately, this often takes what Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer of TheCityUK, calls a “near death” experience for this conversion to occur. “Recent years have seen a number of cases of loss of reputation, reduced enterprise value and senior executive casualties from operational incidents that have been badly handled,” he wrote.

But it need not take a disaster to learn this vital lesson.

“Operational resilience means not only planning around specific, identified risks,” Charlotte Gerken, the executive director of the Bank of England, said in a 2017 speech on operational resilience. “We want firms to plan on the assumption that any part of their infrastructure could be impacted, whatever the reason.” Gerken noted that firms that had successfully achieved a level of resilience that survives a crisis had established the necessary mechanisms to bring the business together to respond where and when risks materialised, no matter why or how.

We’ll talk about the bit we know best here; by testing for cyber resilience, a company can do more than prepare for the worst sort of attacks it may face. This process can help any business get a clearer view of how it operates, and how well it is prepared for all kinds of surprises.

Assumptions and the mechanisms they should produce are the best way to prepare for the unknown. But, as the boxer Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” The aim of cyber resilience is to build an effective security posture that survives that first punch, and the several that are likely to follow. So how can an institution be confident that they’ve achieved genuine operational resilience?

This requires an organization to honestly assess itself through the motto inscribed at the front of the Temple of Delphi: “Know thyself.” And when it comes to cyber security, there is a way for an organization to test just how thoroughly it comprehends its own strengths and weaknesses.

Callum Roxan

Callum Roxan

The Bank of England was the first central bank to help develop the framework for institutions to test the integrity of their systems. CBEST is made up of controlled, bespoke, intelligence-led cyber security tests that replicate behaviours of those threat actors, and often have unforeseen or secondary benefits. Gerken notes that the “firms that did best in the testing tended to be those that really understood their organisations. They understood their own needs, strengths and weaknesses, and reflected this in the way they built resilience.”

In short, testing cyber resilience can provide clear insight into an institution’s operational resilience in general.

Gaining that specific knowledge without a “near-death” experience is obviously a significant win for any establishment. And testing for operational resilience throughout the industry can provide some reminders of the steps every organization should take so that testing provides unique insists about their institution, and not just a checklist of cyber defence basics.

The IIF/McKinsey Cyber Resilience Survey of the financial services industry released in March lasy year provided six sets of immediate actions that institutions could take to improve their cyber security posture. The toplines of these recommendations were:

  1. Do the basics, patch your vulnerabilities.
  2. Review your cloud architecture and security capabilities.
  3. Reduce your supply chain risk.
  4. Practice your incident response and recovery capabilities.
  5. Set aside a specific cyber security budget and prioritise it
  6. Build a skilled talent pool and optimize resources through automation.

But let’s be honest: If simply reading a solid list of recommendations created cyber resilience, cyber criminals would be out of business. Unfortunately, cyber crime as a business is booming and threat actors targeting essential financial institutions through cyber attacks are likely earning billions in the trillion dollar industry of financial crime.A list can’t reveal an institution’s unique weaknesses, those security failings and chokepoints that could shudder operations, not just during a successful cyber attack but during various other crises that challenge their operations. And the failings that lead to flaws in an institution’s cyber defence likely reverberate throughout the organization as liabilities that other crises would likely expose.

The best way to get a sense of operational resilience will always be to simulate the worst that attackers can summon. That’s why the time to test yourself is now, before someone else does.

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Thomson Reuters to stress AI, machine learning in a post-pandemic world

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By Kenneth Li and Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp will streamline technology, close offices and rely more on machines to prepare for a post-pandemic world, the news and information group said on Tuesday, as it reported higher sales and operating profit.

The Toronto-headquartered company will spend $500 million to $600 million over two years to burnish its technology credentials, investing in AI and machine learning to get data faster to professional customers increasingly working from home during the coronavirus crisis.

It will transition from a content provider to a content-driven technology company, and from a holding company to an operational structure.

Thomson Reuters’ New York- and Toronto-listed shares each gained more than 8%.

It aims to cut annual operating expenses by $600 million through eliminating duplicate functions, modernizing and consolidating technology, as well as through attrition and shrinking its real estate footprint. Layoffs are not a focus of the cost cuts and there are no current plans to divest assets as part of this plan, the company said.

“We look at the changing behaviors as a result of COVID … on professionals working from home working remotely being much more reliant on 24-7, digital always-on, sort of real-time always available information, served through software and powered by AI and ML (machine learning),” Chief Executive Steve Hasker said in an interview.

Sales growth is forecast to accelerate in each of the next three years compared with 1.3% reported sales growth for 2020, the company said in its earnings release.

Thomson Reuters, which owns Reuters News, said revenues rose 2% to $1.62 billion, while its operating profit jumped more than 300% to $956 million, reflecting the sale of an investment and other items.

Its three main divisions, Legal Professionals, Tax & Accounting Professionals, and Corporates, all showed higher organic quarterly sales and adjusted profit. As part of the two-year change program, the corporate, legal and tax side will operate more as one customer-facing entity.

Adjusted earnings per share of 54 cents were ahead of the 46 cents expected, based on data from Refinitiv.

The company raised its annual dividend by 10 cents to $1.62 per share.

The Reuters News business showed lower revenue in the fourth quarter. In January, Stephen J. Adler, Reuters’ editor-in-chief for the past decade, said he would retire in April from the world’s largest international news provider.

Thomson Reuters also said its stake in The London Stock Exchange is now worth about $11.2 billion.

The LSE last month completed its $27-billion takeover of data and analytics business Refinitiv, 45%-owned by Thomson Reuters.

(Reporting by Ken Li, writing by Nick Zieminski in New York, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman)

 

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