Computers

Cybersecurity threats to lookout for in 2021 and beyond

Threats to intelligent edge computing and 5G-enabled devices will increase

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Researchers from Fortinet have identified several cybersecurity threats for 2021 that will greatly impact both the consumer and enterprise sector. By 2021, cybersecurity threats on intelligent edge computing and 5G-enabled devices will double as most companies continue to implement remote working schemes.

A new wave of cybersecurity threats will also arise due to advances in computing. These threats have the potential to disrupt a large number of businesses and consumers in the future. Thus, preparation and eventual mitigation are key to stemming the potential disruption by these threats.

Threats on the intelligent edge are on the rise

Intelligent edge computing is more popular than ever thanks to remote work with most employees making use of personal and interconnected devices to access the company network. However, intelligent edge computing presents new threats as cybercriminals exploit these “edges” (i.e. connected IoTs, personal devices) thanks to a decentralized approach by companies.

These threats can run the gamut from ransomware to malware. As intelligent edge computing booms, cybercriminals can specifically target edge devices with malware that could disrupt corporate networks. They can design malware that could understand usage patterns, adapt accordingly, and attack networks with little to no risk of suspicion. Moreover, sophisticated malware may spread through networks to propagate additional attack commands or disrupt more networks and devices.

Ransomware on the rise

This 2021, consumers and businesses should be more concerned with social engineering-based attacks and ransomware. One of the most common forms of social engineering-based attacks is phishing. In phishing, cybercriminals send fake emails supposedly from legitimate entities coercing users into sending their personal information. For example, a user may receive a fake bank email notice warning of impending account closure but contains malicious links instead.

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These attacks may even lock users from their personal data, holding them hostage until they pay a hefty amount of cash. Ransomware attacks do just that, affecting not only consumers but also the enterprise sector. As more businesses rely on edge devices for critical operations, the potential for a future ransomware attack rises significantly posing more risks than ever before.

Human lives are also at stake with ransomware attacks that blow out of control. An example of this happened last year when several hospitals across the US were hit by a variant of the Ryuk ransomware. As a result, several hospitals have to transfer their patients to other facilities since their systems cannot perform patient monitoring and other critical operations.

Advances in crypto mining and attacks on satellite-based networks

Bringing artificial intelligence and machine learning could also open up advances in crypto mining. While not inherently bad, cybercriminals can infect consumer devices more easily and gain access to system resources. When abused, crypto mining could potentially impact any device and affect users’ experience.

Meanwhile, network operators should prepare for more advanced attacks as they become reliant on satellite-based systems. Cybercriminals could infect a satellite base station and propagate malware to connected devices. Satellite-based networks could become a conduit for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in this way.

As an example, a cybercriminal could hijack a base station and inject scripts into other devices. In turn, infected devices could run malicious commands that could disrupt the connection of other networks.

Quantum computing, preparing for present and future threats

Quantum computers are the next big thing in computing, relying on qubits instead of the traditional binary bit present in all devices today. Research in quantum computing has made significant progress over the years, with working quantum computers not too far on the horizon.

Quantum computers, however, could also pose a new problem in the future. In the future, these can break traditional encryption algorithms rendering encryption moot. Fortinet advises businesses to adapt accordingly by using the principles of crypto agility.

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In the meantime, businesses can readily adapt to these threats through a careful combination of technology, people, training, and partnerships. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are also key technologies for preparing against and mitigating future cybersecurity threats. Businesses can train AI to spot attack patterns and identify threats even before they become a reality.

Partnerships are also vital in stemming the tide against cybercriminals. The enterprise sector, for example, could partner with law enforcement agencies for information sharing and dismantling of malicious networks.

Cybersecurity threats are here to stay

Connected devices have transformed society by enabling instant communication and richer user experiences. However, it also opens up new threats from cybercriminals willing to exploit and gather sensitive data.

There’s an old adage that says that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same adage applies all the more in cybersecurity. Threats are here to stay, so consumers and businesses should prepare and mitigate potential impacts as much as possible. Thankfully, it is easy to stay safe and protected by following best practices.

SEE ALSO: 6 tips to make your phone more secure and private

Computers

Microsoft reportedly delays Windows 10X indefinitely

There seems to be a renewed focus on Windows 10 instead

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Remember Windows 10X? The new OS teased by Microsoft last 2019? Well, that OS may never see any release this year or in the near future according to the latest report coming from Petri.

The report claims that Microsoft has delayed Windows 10X indefinitely according to people familiar with the company’s plans. The report, however, mentions no reason for the company doing so. But, there are precedents which led credibility to this report.

Just last year, the company changed its vision for the OS to run on single-screen devices first. Originally, the company geared its new OS to run on dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo — also delayed for the time being.

The delay of Windows 10X may help explain why there are little to no developments about it over the recent months.  Instead, the Redmond company seems to be focusing again on Windows 10. Recently, the desktop OS has received visual overhauls and new features to revitalize the user experience. The upcoming Sun Valley update will bring more changes that shall see some Windows 10X features carried over to the regular Windows 10.

Failed attempts and looking into the future

Microsoft has not yet responded to the report, nor has indicated any developments for Windows 10X. However, this won’t be the first time that the company backtracked on its effort to create an OS that is modern and lighter on system resources.

A past attempt includes the Windows 10S, which is basically Windows 10 but with restrictions on running traditional Win32 apps. Another example is the Windows RT, which targeted devices with ARM processors.

The delay of Windows 10X, however, doesn’t mean that Microsoft is shelving its development efforts. Rather, the company could be realigning its efforts to Windows 10, which is more popular than ever. After all, improving its tried-and-tested desktop OS will help to bolster its market position which is now under siege with the resurgence of Apple’s macOS and explosive growth of Google’s ChromeOS.

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Computers

Intel launches 11th-Gen Tiger Lake-H chips, can beat Ryzen 5000

Promises up to 25 percent performance improvement

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Intel Tiger Lake

Intel released its 11th-Gen Core H-series processors for laptops. Codenamed Tiger Lake-H, it’s an essential launch for the American chipmaker because it can take on AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series.

The company’s portfolio is divided across two segments — 10th-Gen Core H-series (Comet Lake-H) chips for hardcore performance and 11th-Gen Core Tiger Lake chips for on-the-go computing. The new Tiger Lake-H sits in the middle, capturing a wider chunk of the market by creating a balance.

Tiger Lake-H processors leverage Intel’s Willow Cove Core microarchitecture that’s based on a 10nm SuperFin production process. Its unique selling point is a turbo boost up to 5.0Ghz, and a few iterations support manual overclocking controls.

Intel says that the Core i9-11980HK beats AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HX by anywhere from 11 to 26 percent. It has eight cores (16 threads) and runs at a 2.6 GHz base clock speed at 45W. It can go up to 3.3 GHz at 65W. Across all other processors, Tiger Lake-H promises a 19 percent higher performance per clock than the previous Comet Lake-H.

The company also claimed improved performance across apps, such as 18 percent better “video creation workflow” in Adobe After Effects. Five chips were announced — three 8-core, 16-thread chips, and a pair of 6-core, 12-thread Core i5s. All these chips use Intel’s UHD graphics.

Intel is also claiming it has the world’s fastest single-threaded mobile processor. However, these are just claims at the moment, and real-life performance will be reviewable only after laptop availability.

Following the usual trend, all major OEMs like Lenovo, ASUS, Dell, HP, Acer, MSI, and more shall soon refresh their product lineup to incorporate the new-gen chips.

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Computers

Lenovo unveils new Eyesafe-certified ThinkVision monitors

For those who wish to manage their screen time while working

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thinkvision

For those working from home, you often find yourselves glued to your screens for more than eight hours a day. Whether it’s your work laptop or your phone, you proceed to work on your tasks or scroll through social media through a screen. Of course, if you do it for too long, it has the potential to damage your eyesight in the long run. Now, Lenovo unveiled a new set of displays that might just help you address that.

The company has launched its latest ThinkVision monitors that are now Eyesafe-certified. In essence, both monitors come with technologies designed to ease off the harmful blue light emitted from the display. Furthermore, they received a TUV Rheinland Eye Comfort certification to ensure maximum eye comfort and protection.

Also, these two monitors — the ThinkVision T24i-2L and ThinkVision T27h-2L — come with color accurate displays and phone holders on the base.

For the ThinkVision T24i-2L, it comes with a 24-inch FHD display with flexible connectivity options for all kinds of devices. Meanwhile, the ThinkVision T27h-AL comes with a 27-inch QHD display for a much larger workspace.

These monitors are now available for the price of PhP 8,850 (ThinkVision T24i-2L) and PhP 15,499 (ThinkVision T27h-2L). You will find these through Lenovo’s authorized partner sellers.

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