Enterprise

HP A3 MFP helps protect your workplace from cyber attacks

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Your office is vulnerable to a cyber attack and you don’t even know about it. HP, which positions itself as an advocate of security, has pinpointed the vulnerability — printers.

It seems ludicrous to think an entire office could be in danger from a cyber attack through a printer, but HP has done its homework and with the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more and more prevalent in offices worldwide, the connected printer has become some sort of a backdoor hackers can go through if they please.

Identifying the threat, HP launched a family of A3 printers built to withstand and guard against these attacks.
In case you’re unfamiliar, A3 printers are like all-in-ones. They function not just as printers, but also as copiers and scanners.

Secure the workspace

Security is at the forefront of what drives HP’s efforts. Every day, offices print details from the mundane to the most confidential. The company wants to make sure these files are secure with printers that have built-in security features.

The printers today, connected to the network, are just like computers. And like computers, they are susceptible to attacks. This isn’t something HP just made up. In the “Annual Global IT Security Benchmark Tracking Study,” released by privacy and security body Ponemon Institute back in 2015, it noted that 60 percent of attacks at that point had a printer data breach. Too high a number to ignore.

Protected. All of HP’s new Enterprise 600 and 500 Series MFPs have built-in security features

HP’s printers have four layers of protection. First is HP Sure Start: It validates the integrity of the BIOS code. If the BIOS is compromised, HP defaults to a safe copy of the BIOS.

Next is whitelisting. This ensures that only codes authenticated by HP — those that have not been tampered with — are loaded onto the memory. If the printer detects an anomaly, the device automatically reboots.

HP’s JetAdvantage Security follows it up by checking and fixing any affected device security settings. To round it up, HP has partnered with machine data company Splunk for continuous monitoring that will detect anomalies during complex firmware and memory operations. If there’s an attack, again, the device shuts down and automatically reboots.

The protected printers

All of HP’s Enterprise 600 Series devices are equipped with these security features. Other than the notable security, the printers all offer the latest of HP’s printing technologies. HP Inc.’s Printing Systems General Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan, Ng Tian-Chong, was excited to share how this new line of printers all of have the new JetIntelligence capabilities built in starting at the toner particle level. These devices can wake up out of sleep mode and start their full operation in as fast as nine seconds. Fast, safe, and efficient.

The new line of printers also come with a modern, tablet-like user interface making it easier to navigate the device’s functions.

User-friendly. HP’s new line of printers are equipped with keyboards and a tablet-like user interface.

The devices are also built with easy repair and maintenance in mind. The Enterprise 600 Series are all equipped with sensors and real-time monitoring from Splunk, enabling HP to determine which units actually need onsite repair and which do not, saving both them and their client valuable time and resources.

Extending their market share

Tian-Chong elaborated on HP’s aggressive approach on A3. He said there are two primary big printing segments — A3 and A4. Both have a market of around 55 billion. In A4, they already lead the market share that they built through the years. That is not the case with A3. Their value proposition as they try to gain ground in the market? You guessed it: Security.

HP Inc. Printing Systems General Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan, Ng Tian-Chong, on stage during the Secure The Workspace event

Sure, it might cost more now, but Tian-Chong argues spending on security now can help make sure your company continues to exist and prevents a major hacking scandal. The value offered is more for the long term.

Nothing drives the point better than their web series entitled “The Wolf” starring award-winning actor Christian Slater. You’ll get major Mr. Robot feels watching, and HP studios has done a great job using this medium to explain how the vulnerabilities exist and why the printers have to be protected.

Reaching out to governments

From a security standpoint, it was clear that governments had the most to gain from this technology. After all, they hold the most confidential information there could possibly be.

We asked what HP is doing to reach out to governments to introduce this technology, and Managing Director for Southeast Asia, Koh Kong Meng, said they, together with their partners, have had “discussions with cyber security agencies here [Southeast Asia] to educate governments and discuss the risks.”

Security, security, security

The whole event for the new printers talked more about security than anything else. Rightfully so, it’s the most compelling selling point of this new line. A quick Google search on “printers hacked” will yield results of actual printer hacking cases. The threat is real and HP wants to address it.

HP’s A3 multifunction printers (MFPs), as well as the 600 Series MFPs that include up to 17 SKUs with 26 available bundles ranging from 50ppm to 75ppm, are now available through qualified channel partners or directly from HP.

An increasingly connected environment also means an environment hackers can exploit. One unprotected device could spell disaster, and this latest effort from HP wants to prevent that disaster.

SEE ALSO: HP’s new line puts premium on office productivity

Enterprise

Philippines improves 4G LTE availability but falls short at rankings

Still one of the slowest in the world

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It’s no surprise that internet in Southeast Asia hasn’t caught up with 2018 standards. Based on several OpenSignal reports throughout the years, the region still rattles out poor ratings in 4G availability and speed.

Sadly, the most recent report shows more of the same. Though improving in reliability, internet in the region is still the slowest in the world.

The data was collected from over 4.8 million devices and almost 59 billion measurements throughout October to December last year.

The latest findings, which show definite improvements over last year’s results, offers eye-opening insights about the current state of 4G internet and its uncertain future.

South Korea still on top, but stumbles in speed

 

As with previous years, it’s no surprise that Singapore and South Korea dominate the boards once again. The world’s prime destination for eSports tops 4G availability; internet users in South Korea enjoy 4G connections for 97.49 percent of the time — a huge feat when around half of the recorded nations struggle to move past the 75 percent mark. Unfortunately, the country falls off a bit in terms of speed. Whereas the previous report clocked speeds of 43.46Mbps, this report measures a lower but still speedy 40.44Mbps.

On the other hand, Singapore tops the rankings for speed again with 44.31Mbps. Also, the country slightly improved their reliability at 84.43 percent.

The Philippines improves, but still a lower-tier country

Learning from their years-long stint at the bottom of the rankings, the Philippines finally improves their rankings with a marked upgrade on reliability. From a paltry 52.77 percent last year, the archipelagic nation now enjoys 63.73 percent 4G availability. As a result, the Philippines is no longer in the bottom 10 nations of the world, but is still the third lowest in Asia.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the country’s speed. Despite an upgrade (from 8.59Mbps to 9.49Mbps), the Philippines is the fourth slowest country in the world (and third slowest in Asia). This year’s ranking is also slightly worse than last year’s list where the country placed as only the fifth slowest.

India barely moves up

Despite a brilliant showing in 4G availability, India still holds the unfortunate title of “slowest 4G internet in the world.” Indian internet speeds average only 6.07Mbps. The sub-par speeds slightly improved from last year’s showing, which only clocked in 5.14Mbps. This may be attributed to India’s status as one of the most populous nations in the world. On the bright side, the South Asian country marginally improved its reach — 86.26 percent from 81.56 percent last year.

4G internet speeds are plateauing

4G technology started in 2010. Since then, countries continue to edge closer but miss the vaunted 50Mbps mark. As of 2018, it’s safe to assume that everyone’s hitting the hay in the hunt for speed. Most, if not all, upgrades in speed this year were marginal at best. With the apparent plateau, the world focused on providing more reliable 4G internet across the globe. Countries fared better in improving their 4G reliability.

Too little, too late?

5G is just on the horizon. Tech companies are already pushing for 5G-compatible devices; 5G will soon obliterate the 4G speed plateau. With a more efficient solution coming, we should ask whether the race for the best 4G service shows an alarming trend.

Before we know it, the race to the best 5G network will kick off. Developed countries already have a leg up. Unfortunately, those who trailed in the 4G race will fall behind even further as 5G passes them by. Even if 5G will be easy to implement, the lack of reliable 4G in developing countries will only widen the gap between 5G-ready and 4G-ready countries.

SEE ALSO: Philippines still ranks near bottom for 4G LTE speeds and availability

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Apps

Uber plans to sell Southeast Asian arm to Grab

In exchange for Grab’s stakes

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A massive deal is brewing in Southeast Asia. After a rocky 2017, Uber is gearing up to sell its Southeast Asia operations to Singapore’s Grab.

Despite posting a whopping US$ 7.5 billion in sales last year, Uber reported an even more surprising US$ 4.5 billion in losses. Uber’s worldwide demand couldn’t offset the costs that it incurred throughout the previous year.

This makes the rumored deal between the two ride-sharing apps a timely one. Further, reports indicate that Uber is also preparing for an eventual IPO sometime next year.

Should it happen, Uber will receive a substantial stake in Grab’s company. Currently, Uber hasn’t finalized the deal yet. Reports don’t include a timeline on when (or if) this deal will conclude.

The strategic move works in favor of Uber as a business. However, it remains unclear how this will affect commuters.

Southeast Asian commuters heavily prefer the convenience of Uber and Grab, compared to the bustle of traditional public transportation. The two apps share similar popularity ratings across the region.

For its popularity, Uber is pummeled with more controversies than Grab. The earlier has already suffered from multiple cases of drivers raping passengers, taxi protests, and a recent attempt to stifle autonomous driving. The company’s long-standing CEO Travis Kalanick also resigned last year.

Despite the mounting scandals, Uber remains one of the world’s preferred ride-sharing service. Regardless of whether the proposed sale will push through, Uber continues to be a watchword in today’s transportation economy.

SEE ALSO: Five Uber app alternatives for your daily commute

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Enterprise

Google fined $21.1M by Indian watchdog for unfair search bias

That equates to around five percent of its turnover in India

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country’s antitrust watchdog, on Thursday imposed a INR 136 crore (approximately US$ 21.1 million) fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position, in the latest regulatory setback for the world’s most popular internet search engine.

“Google was leveraging its dominance in the market for online general web search, to strengthen its position in the market for online syndicate search services,” the CCI said.

The CCI says its investigation found that Google was directing web users who were searching for flights to its own flight search page, and thereby disadvantaging businesses trying to gain market access, while also unfairly imposing its products on users of general search services as well.

The size of the CCI’s fine was calculated based on Google’s revenue from its operations in India only, and equates to around five percent of its turnover in the market. The regulator said that it has given thoughtful consideration on the submissions made by Google on issue of penalty and found it appropriate to impose a fine.

The watchdog has cleared Google of any competition violations related to other elements of its business like AdWords, Search Design, and other distribution agreements.

The ruling brings to an end a probe first started by the watchdog in 2012 on complaints filed by matchmaking website Bharat Matrimony and a not-for-profit organisation, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS).

On the CCI ruling, a Google spokesperson said the company is “reviewing the narrow concerns identified by the Commission and will assess our next steps,” according to a PTI report.

Last year, The European Commission imposed a record EUR 2.4 billion (approximately US$ 3 billion) fine on the company for favoring its shopping service and demoting rival offerings. Google has appealed against the order. This is one of the rare cases wherein Google has been penalized for unfair business practices globally, even though it has been under probe in several countries.

Source: CCI

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