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Cisco Delivers Enhanced Network Insights, Enables Smarter Automation

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Global technology leader, Cisco announced new intent-based networking solutions to help optimize business and network operations. As organizations face mounting challenges to deliver consistent and positive digital experiences, Cisco is driving networking advancements to keep customers connected, productive and secure.

The new innovations, focused on simplifying automation and providing IT and business insights, will enable IT teams to be agile, while staying closely aligned with business objectives. This alignment has never been more important than in today’s dynamic business environment.

“In today’s everchanging world, it is critical for a business’s network to be in tune with its strategic goals, whether that’s supporting and securing a remote workforce, accelerating expansion to the cloud, or driving business transformation,” said Scott Harrell Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Intent-based Networking Group.

“With this announcement, Cisco is helping IT rapidly roll out advanced networking and security capabilities by simplifying and automating segmentation and cloud-based security at scale. We’re delivering on our promise to build a networking platform that continues to deliver innovation to help customers, no matter where they are on their intent-based networking journey.”

Cisco is providing advanced automation capabilities to drive better user experiences, while simplifying processes for IT. Automation has become foundational to increasing IT efficiency, enabling IT teams to become increasingly flexible and proactive while reducing the amount of time simply maintaining the network. New automation innovations include:

  • Cisco SD-WAN Innovations: Cisco SD-WAN powered by Viptela now offers complete cloud-native security through the integration with Cisco Umbrella to deliver protection to enterprises against major web attacks arising from SaaS and Internet access. Cisco Umbrella offers secure web gateway (SWG), DNS-layer security, firewall, and cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality in one integrated cloud service.

With automated provisioning and simplified licensing, Cisco SD-WAN unified with Cisco Umbrella is fast to deploy and easy to consume while delivering an optimized user experience and the best security protection.

This convergence of security and networking is a crucial step for customers as they move towards a SASE architecture. Other new SD-WAN innovations include support for multicast and integrated voice and unified communications.

  • Cisco User-Defined Networks: With Cisco User-Defined Networks, IT staff can provide end-users control of their own wireless network partition through Cisco DNA Center. End-users have the ability to securely onboard their devices, as well as control which devices can connect to their own personal network partition through the User Defined Network mobile app.

Cisco is expanding insights to previously unmonitored devices, granting IT the ability to drive more efficient segmentation and better manage IoT devices.

Network segmentation – the act of dividing the network into smaller parts to improve performance and security – has traditionally been a difficult task, particularly in environments with an evolving and diverse ecosystem of IoT endpoints. To help solve for this challenge, Cisco is introducing:

  • AI Endpoint Analytics: With AI Endpoint Analytics, Cisco DNA Center will identify previously unknown endpoints at scale, then use various contextual sources and artificial intelligence to logically group them. With this information, IT can create the basis for scalable, automated policies.
  • Group-based policy analytics: Cisco DNA Center can analyze traffic flows between groups of endpoints to design policies that can be used as the basis for proper segmentation.

Today’s wireless networks are adding immense business value, not just through the experiences they enable, but through the behavioral insights they provide. Cisco’s indoor location services platform, Cisco DNA Spaces is adding new capabilities to extend visibility and provide information to businesses as they look to maintain safe physical spaces.

  • Cisco DNA Spaces for Return to Business: Cisco has added real-time and historical analysis tools to the platform, designed to help businesses monitor workspaces to meet social distancing guidelines. Customers can leverage built-in apps to monitor real-time density in buildings and analyze how buildings are being utilized. This information is critical as businesses aim to help keep people safe, while making workspaces more effective and efficient.
  • Indoor IoT Services: Cisco DNA Spaces introduces the industry’s first Indoor IoT-as-a-Service offering on WiFi-6 access points to help customers rapidly and cost-effectively deploy indoor IoT applications at scale. Cisco DNA Spaces simplifies activation, configuration and management of a wide number of supported IoT devices, including support for Bluetooth (BLE) devices. Through Cisco’s wide ecosystem of industry partners, Cisco DNA Spaces enables asset tracking, environmental monitoring of employee safety, space utilization, room finding and other use cases across healthcare, workspaces, retail, education, manufacturing and hospitality verticals.

Cisco’s intent-based networking portfolio is designed to deliver consistent, ongoing innovation to customers.

Through software-based platforms, built on industry-leading hardware, Cisco can provide the flexible, secure network a business needs to drive business transformation and stay resilient in uncertain times.

Cisco DNA Center and Cisco DNA Spaces innovations announced today will be available in the summer of calendar year 2020. Cisco SD-WAN innovations are available today.


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Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

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There were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) detections over a 7-month period in Nigeria, according to Kaspersky security solutions.

Millions of Cyber Attacks Launched on Nigeria, Others- Reports

Elsewhere in South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections, showing the growing desperation of the attacks.

The company reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of potentially unwanted programs (pornware, adware etc.) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the “grey zone” programmes that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programmes that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves.

However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way. For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetising software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, Kaspersky researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware.

They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in 7-months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the programme is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals. The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programmes on their device and that in some cases, such programmes are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads,” said Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware.

Evaluating results over the same 7-month period in Nigeria, there were 3.8 million malware attacks and 16.8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much.

Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense. In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections.

Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances, Kaspersky said.


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Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

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Web giants including Facebook have struck a deal with advertisers on how to identify harmful content such as hate speech, after an impasse over the issue which led to boycotts of the platform.

Tech Giants Strike Deal with Advertisers over Hate Speech

The agreement — which also included Twitter and YouTube — laid out for the first time a common set of definitions for hateful statements online.

In July, hundreds of advertisers including big-name consumer brands suspended advertising with Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, saying the social-media titan should do more to stamp out hatred and misinformation on its platform.

And earlier this month a group of celebrities — including Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — stopped using Facebook and Instagram for 24 hours, to push a similar message.

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) said in a statement Wednesday: “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, in collaboration with marketers and agencies through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and other harmful content and to collaborate with a view to monitoring industry efforts to improve in this critical area.”

The alliance was founded by the WFA and includes other major trade bodies.

According to the WFA, key areas of agreement included applying the alliance’s common definitions of harmful content; developing reporting standards for such content; establishing independent oversight; and rolling out tools for keeping advertisements away from harmful content.

The WFA said that properly defining online hate speech would remove the current problem of different platforms using their own definitions, which it said made it difficult for companies to decide where to put their ads.

“As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements,” said Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA.

Luis Di Como, executive vice-president of global media at Unilever, a major advertiser, sounded a note of cautious optimism.

He said: “The issues within the online ecosystem are complicated, and whilst change doesn’t happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction.”

Speaking in July, Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he remained adamant that the company did not want hate speech on the social network.

On Wednesday, the company’s vice-president for global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, said the agreement gave all parties “a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online.”

 


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Nigeria, Others Facing ‘Millions of Cyber Attacks’ in 2020

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Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, continues to fall victim to millions of malware attacks and Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs), according to the latest research from Kaspersky.

The IT security firm says its security solutions have reported on 28 million malware attacks in 2020 and 102 million detections of PUA (including pornware, adware) accounted for by the beginning of August 2020.

PUAs are programs that are usually not considered to be malicious by themselves, Kaspersky explains. However, they are generally influencing user experience in a negative way.

For instance, adware fills user device with ads; aggressive monetizing software propagates unrequested paid offers; downloaders may download even more various applications on the device, sometimes malicious ones.

By taking a closer look at PUA, it becomes apparent that they are not only more widespread but also more potent than traditional malware, according to Kaspersky.

“Evaluating results over the same seven-month period in Nigeria, there were 3,8 million malware attacks and 16,8 million PUA detections – which is four times as much. Kenyan and South African threat landscapes have been more intense.

In South Africa, there were almost 10 million malware attacks and a staggering 43 million PUA detections. Kenyan users faced even more malware attacks – around 14 million, and 41 million PUA appearances,” the company adds.

These numbers show that it’s not only the malware that attacks users but also the ‘grey zone’ programs that grow in popularity and disturb their experiences, while users might not even know it is there.

While calculating interim results of threat landscape activity in African countries, the researchers noticed that PUAs attack users almost four times more often than traditional malware. They also eventually reach more users: for instance, while in South Africa, the malware would attack 415,000 users in seven months of 2020, the figure for PUA would be 736,000.

“The reason why ‘grey zone’ software is growing in popularity is that it is harder to notice at first and that if the program is detected, its creators won’t be considered to be cybercriminals.

“The problem with them is that users are not always aware they consented to the installation of such programs on their device and that in some cases, such programs are exploited or used as a disguise for malware downloads. This is why many security solutions, including ours, flags such programs to make sure users are aware of its presence, influence on their device and activity,” says Denis Parinov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.


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