Digital Business

Citrix warns about length and breadth of cyber security challenges

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

CYBER SECURITY has become challenging now, with remote work and people working off any device.

Citrix Australia and New Zealand managing director, Martin Creighan said the problem now is that people’s personal, work and tech worlds have become more complex.

“We’re using mobile phones that have more computing power than the first space shuttle,” Mr Creighan told Talking Business.

“We’re using computers on a day-to-day basis. We’re connecting to different systems, to various organisations. We are working now from multiple places, so people are enjoying hybrid or remote work. They’re working from home or they’re working from the café down the road or they’re working from the office.

“All of that makes what we’re doing, and the job for our cyber security teams, even more complex.” 

Mr Creighan said remote work, with workers using any device, made things more complex and difficult for IT managers and chief information security officers.

“We’ve seen a proliferation over the last couple of years, as COVID hit, and everyone going remote and bring your own device to work,” Mr Creighan said. “And with multiple devices out there – devices that may not have been tested on the corporate network, or coming in and accessing the network from a wi-fi connection, or a connection that may not be secured at a corporate check.

“It just increases the complexity that IT managers have to deal with and that’s a big struggle for them.”

SURVEY BRINGS PROBLEMS TO LIGHT

As part of Citrix Australia and New Zealand’s efforts to come to terms with the new work challenges, the company conducted a survey of 250 IT leaders in Australia.

The leaders were asked whether their expenditure on cyber security would decrease with soaring inflation and the rising cost of living.

All of them said there would be no decrease. Organisations would keep spending on cyber security. They were saying that data protection, IT security and innovation would remain key areas of spending.

Most said they would spend at least as much, if not more, on these areas.

“And 63 percent of Australian IT leaders overall expect an increase in spending on data protection,” Mr Creighan said.

MEETING A CHALLENGING WORLD

The increased spending indicated in the business leaders survey was in response to a world that was becoming more difficult to manage.

“The challenge is how to do that in a world where it’s becoming more complex, because we have more people accessing our data and other sources of data from multiple devices in multiple places at multiple times,” Mr Creighan said.

He said a lot of cyber security incidents were the result of people not paying attention to what they were doing. So they click a link they think will take them to an important application or a fake banking application link.

As a result, he said, 63 percent of security breaches were caused by human error.

The other big challenge for companies and cyber security professionals was that the cyber ‘crooks’ were now using advanced technology, artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning to hack into systems.

“It’s this cat and mouse game of us trying to leap frog one another,” Mr Creighan said.

“As we get more tools and processes and systems in place, they’re using the tech to do bad things and we’re using the tech to try and protect ourselves.”

www.citrix.com

www.leongettler.com

 

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.

https://play.acast.com/s/talkingbusiness/talking-business-40-interview-with-martin-creighan-from-citr

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Nozomi Networks hosts 'Operation Cyber Crisis’ challenge across Australia tomorrow

CYBER PROTECTION group Nozomi Networks is marshalling Australian online security talent to join a first-of-a-kind series of simulated threat hunts, to protect key national infrastructure from attack, in a cyber war game scenario on December 1.

Nozomi Networks Inc. has created the event -- named Operation Cyber Crisis -- to bring together Australia’s best cyber talent to strategise in simulations how to stop cybercriminals aiming to take down key critical infrastructure.

Operation Cyber Crisis will play out two increasingly difficult cyber threat scenarios targeted against industrial systems and critical infrastructure. The challenges will incorporate elements of cyber reconnaissance, operations security, and malware analysis, putting the teams in tough scenarios to truly assess their decision-making abilities under stress. Participants will be sent a challenge coin after the event. 

The event will be run and managed by retired United States Marine Corps (USMC) Colonel Bill Hagestad II, a China cyber espionage expert who has worked extensively with the FBI and the SANS Institute.

“Operation Cyber Crisis is more than just fun, it’s about testing your cyber skills and building up your preparedness in the face of an attack,” Colonel Hagestad said.

“The crisis control team has formulated the game based on real-world threats and are on hand to analyse and evaluate each move the teams make. It’s a game of strategy and skill, but most importantly it shows the participants how their cyber skills will hold up when confronted with a serious threat.”

The games will be an opportunity for Australia’s top cyber minds to flex their problem-solving muscles and demonstrate and assess the best ways to counter incoming attacks.

Practising for real-world events builds up specialists’ cyber resilience, helping them be better prepared for the serious and rapidly evolving cyber landscape, according to Nozomi Networks regional manager for Australia and New Zealand, Ameen Al-Majzoub.

“As Australia looks to fill up to 30,000 cyber roles in the next few years, quality of training at all levels becomes so important," Mr Al-Majzoub said.

"This is a series of lifelike scenarios combining multiple attack methodologies together and will be an invaluable experience for any cyber pros looking to gain an understanding of what can happen in the trenches.”

Other members of the crisis control team will include former Queensland Police operational commander of the Fraud and Cybercrime division, Brian Hay; former US Department of Justice Federal Prosecutor, Jonathan Rusch; and Nozomi Networks’ director of cybersecurity strategy, Chris Grove.

The virtual event will be held on Thursday, December 1, AEDT from 10am to 12pm.

Interested participants and spectators can register here.

 www.nozominetworks.com

 

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Cybersecurity remains a big problem for industry – UNSW discovers why

THE RECENT MyDeal incident is the third major cybersecurity  ‘fail’ affecting Australians. University of NSW (UNSW) digital experts are calling for Australian business to restore public confidence in Australia’s cyber capabilities – fast and effectively.

In the past three weeks, three cyber attacks resulted in identity leaks that have sent ripples around the nation and raised the concerns of UNSW Institute for Cybersecurity (IFCYBER) chief scientist and professor, Sanjay Jha.

“Has the triple-A of cyber security (authentication, authorisation and accounting) failed?” he asked.

In the recent MyDeal.com.au incident, early reports suggested that a compromised credential, most likely related to elevated users, was used to access a database storing user information. The attack led to the scrambling of 2.2 million customers’ data, which included email addresses, full names, phone numbers, delivery addresses and some customers’ birthdates. 

In an interview with Channel 9 News, Professor Jha said, “… the breach raises serious concerns for the end user's confidence in using online services and poses a serious challenge for the industry”.

“Compromised credentials should not provide easy access to malicious actors when multi-factor authentication (MFA) is in place,” he said.

“You would expect more stringent authorisation and access control and network partitioning to protect these critical assets.”

SAFELY NAVIGATING THE DIGITAL WORLD

Following basic practices on Cyber Security Guidelines listed by the Australian Cyber Security Centre can help a business to protect its systems from cyber threats.

Arash Shaghaghi, a senior lecturer in cybersecurity from the UNSW School of Computer Science and Engineering and UNSW Institute for Cybersecurity, said it was evident from the recent attacks that some industries were not adopting the latest research on cybersecurity fast enough.

“Users’ data is collected by various services without any control from the end user, and often the data collection to join these services is excessive – leaving end users vulnerable and with limited options when a serious breach occurs,” Dr Shaghaghi said.

“Other parts of the world are investing heavily in technological measures such as self-sovereign identity (SSI), where users would have better control over who had access to what part of user identity and other information. 

“SSI gives individuals control over the information they use to prove who they are to websites, services and applications across the web,” Dr Shaghaghi said.

“We need to enhance investment in practical research and think of measures that facilitate the adoption of the latest technologies to reinforce our resiliency against the growing number of attacks targeting Australia.”

THE OPTUS CASE

Last month, 10 million Optus customers experienced a similar fate when cyber criminals hacked into the system, stealing personal details such as passport ID and driver licence numbers. It was reported in the media that the breach suggested an open port without authentication, for testing purposes, was left in the production version.

Unfortunately, these problems are well-known to the industry, Prof. Jha said.

“About five years ago, we were white boxing early versions of Philip Hue bulbs and Phillip Hue Bridge. We found that you could control these devices through such open ports,” he said.

“This was reported to the company who fixed the problem in their future version.  A simple penetration testing of servers before deployment could have potentially made such attacks difficult, if not impossible.” 

Prof. Jha is also concerned about the state of risk assessment and authorisation processes across the industry and said further stringent penalties for negligence would go a long way.

Often these processes were a box-ticking exercise in an Excel spreadsheet, and many conducting these tasks do not have adequate background in cybersecurity, he said.

“This re-emphasises the need for quality education along with more research in quality tools to improve these processes,” Prof. Jha said.

“My team is working on such tools for a Distributed Energy Resource Management Security project at UNSW funded by Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre.

“Cyber security is a cat-and-mouse game. Researchers and industry experts need to come together in Australia and work closely to build stronger and more resilient capabilities that help safeguard businesses and users in today’s world of cyber war and cyber terrorism.

"We need to regain the community's confidence in our cyber capabilities.”

www.unsw.edu.au

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Small business tax breaks for digital technology and training boost

THE Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson, has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to deliver tax breaks that promise to help small businesses have greater support, incentives and skills to grow.

The measures first announced in the March Federal Budget will see small businesses with annual turnover of less than $50 million given a bonus 20 percent deduction for expenses and depreciating assets associated with the uptake of digital technology and an extra 20 percent deduction for the cost of external training courses delivered to their employees by providers registered in Australia.

“This will mean small businesses will get a $120 tax deduction for $100 spent on digital uptake and upskilling staff,” Mr Billson said. 

“Locking in these measures will ensure small and family businesses are digitally enabled, resilient and have the support, incentives, skills and training needed to be truly competitive and to grow.

“Deeper digital engagement has been the saviour for many small and family businesses throughout the pandemic and assistance to build their digital capacity is an important investment in their future," Mr Billson said.

“The release of draft legislation by Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Small Business Minister Julie Collins and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones will be warmly welcomed by the small business community.

“Small business is a dynamic and fast-growing sector that allows people with an entrepreneurial spirit to pursue their dreams and incentives like this will help increase the $438 billion contribution small business makes to the economy," he said.

“Small businesses provide employment for more than five million Australians – that’s two out of every five people with a private sector job.

“Delivering these budget promises will provide incentives for small and family businesses to deepen their commitment to their communities and the economy.

“The digital tax break will allow them to invest in items such as cyber security systems, cloud-based services, accounting or e-Invoicing software, hardware such as laptops and portable payment devices.

“For a small business, the cost of training staff can be quite significant, and this deduction will support owners to make an investment in upskilling staff to drive productivity and competitiveness.”

www.asbfeo.gov.au

 

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Changing privacy regulations challenge all e-commerce advertisers

By Georgina Wall

ANTICIPATED regulatory change across the Australian digital landscape is set to impact the way in which consumer privacy is treated in an online setting.

It is predicted that these changes will bring the Australian digital landscape into closer alignment with rules that have already been introduced elsewhere, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), reducing identification and measurement capabilities within the e-commerce sector.

This, alongside increasing consumer recognition of the ways personal data is being used, will have significant impacts on the way brands and advertisers can reach and target audiences across the e-commerce landscape.

End users are increasingly being offered greater control of the data they are required to share and how it is used, causing concern for advertisers and brands alike.

THE IMPACT ON E-COMMERCE

The pandemic accelerated changes to the way consumers shop, driving e-commerce growth. The sector is forecast to continue growing year-on-year and is projected to reach a value of US$35bn by 2025

Anticipated privacy changes will impact the three main categories of e-commerce: direct to consumer (D2C); big marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay; and retailer marketing platforms, such as Citrus and Cartology, in different ways, to varying degrees and at differing stages of the customer journey.

It is inevitable that all advertisers will need to adjust their strategies, but online retailers should also consider how future changes will impact the return on investment.

We are already seeing this change in action as big tech players start to roll out significant privacy changes.

Apple’s latest iPhone data privacy changes have reportedly seen an average drop of almost 40 percent for the average mobile advertiser’s return on investment, resulting in reduced mobile ad spend of up to 25 percent.

Additionally, Google has recently announced a new privacy tool – Google Ads Centre – which allows users to choose which types of ads they want to see and opt out of the ones they do not.

CONSIDERATIONS THROUGHOUT THE FUNNEL

An e-commerce framework is typically built around four key pillars: driving users from the point of initial consideration, through discovery, the sales funnel, and creating advocacy.

Effectively driving consumers through this funnel heavily relies on identification of the target audience, which is where D2C advertisers will likely experience the greatest challenges.

This, combined with the impact of new privacy protocols such as Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention and App Tracking Transparency (ATT), will limit on platform attribution and measurement, and will significantly dilute data aggregation capabilities.

Ultimately, this means that brands and advertisers will be forced to place faith, and budgets, in the hands of the technology and capabilities within the platforms they are buying through.

DISCOVERABILITY

Share of shelf, the amount of presence that a brand has within its in-store category, relies on being discoverable to audiences that matter.

Some platforms, such as Meta, are making changes to the targeting options to further help protect users’ privacy.

In-platform storefronts, such as Facebook Shops, enable the use of platform signals to counter loss of cross environment tracking capabilities and reduce friction in the user journey. Taking away the need to even visit the retailer site places the larger walled gardens in a prime position to mitigate against ad revenue loss and enables brands and advertisers to leverage in-platform identification to reach relevant consumers.

THE HEART OF AN E-COMMERCE CAMPAIGN

As technologies continue to evolve shopping formats, the product feed – the heart of an e-commerce campaign – will become increasingly reliant on the identification of users.

Given the commercial impact to walled gardens, key players such as Google and Meta are heavily investing into the automation area of product development, using platform engagement signals to create user profiles.

This investment is likely to mean that efficiency and scale will likely be looked after in the long term, however with fewer personal attributes being shared, the personalisation element will be heavily impacted.

This means that as soon as a user leaves a platform, they will effectively be an entirely different person for retailers to identify on their next visit. This creates a highly fragmented user journey, making it more difficult for retailers to connect and convert, from the point of discovery, through the funnel to the point of sale.

Ultimately, with amends to the Privacy Act 1988 and Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enhancing Online Privacy and Other Measures) Bill under way, there is no doubt further change is coming. Retailers and advertisers need to remain agile to reduce the potential impact to online revenue streams.

Maximising use of platform tools and technologies will continue to be key in delivering a frictionless consumer journey, driving efficiency and not sacrificing scale. Whether driving traffic to a website, virtual storefront or marketplace page, ensuring that the user experience remains seamless and connected is critical for success.

Ensuring strong foundations – having a well-optimised product feed, keeping on top of platform hygiene, and integrating a robust data strategy – are all key ingredients in delivering a recipe for the success of digital campaigns within an ever-evolving technical and legislative landscape.

www.resolutiondigital.com.au

 

  • The author, Georgina Wall, is the general manager for product and partnerships at Resolution Digital.

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Use AI to build organisational collaboration says Dataiku

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) is everywhere. The challenge for companies, which often operate as a collection of silos, is how to get the different departments to share their AI. How does marketing work with the projections of sales?

Enter Datatiku, the global company with its centralised data platform that moves businesses along their data journey from analytics at scale to enterprise AI.

Grant Case, the regional vice president for Asia-Pacific (APAC) of Dataiku, said AI now made collaboration essential for businesses.

“Data scientists, data analysts, engineers, executives are going to have to come together to build out these AI products themselves,” Mr Case told Talking Business

“And that’s really the genesis for Dataiku as an organisation and our mission has been for almost 10 years now, as we have begun to grow, coming from Paris, and now a worldwide organisastion.”

Dataiku has a workforce of 1100 in places like Singapore, Japan, Korea, the Middle East and in Australia in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

Dataiku provides the platform for AI products in organisations.

GETTING AI ACROSS DEPARTMENTS

The key, Mr Case said, was to get different departments talking to each other and sharing AI data.

“When it comes to an organisation, finance has to be able to talk to marketing, it has to be able to talk to sales,” he said.

“So what we have done is build a platform that will construct data products and AI capabilities, such as machine learning models, and start to share those across the organisation itself.

“So an analyst who has perhaps no concept of coding but has a little bit of statistics background and knowledge can start to build out their own pipelines with data and start to create their own insights. The flipside of that is that data scientists can start coming together and helping those individuals build out those machine learning models that may be even more complex later on.

“Ultimately what we’re trying to do is ensure whoever is working within your organisation, no matter what their maturity is around analytics and AI, we think they have value as part of that chain of command.”

AI BUILDS COLLABORATIVE CAPABILITY

Mr Case said the “collaborative capability” was the key for Dataiku customers.

“If I am working as a sales manager, I need to understand what my marketing campaigns are,” he said. “If I’m the marketing manager, I need to understand what sort of attribution model that are bringing my sales leads.

“So we, as a platform, help both of these individuals to share those data sets that are accessible to them, make their own comments and commentary, build their insights so that ultimately, we believe, everybody has to be on the field in order to make these new data products, this new AI, come to life within an organisation.”

Mr Case said giving people skills to work with AI is part of the job creation process around AI.

“Part of the upskilling process as we talk to customers is basically bringing these people along,” he said.

Mr Case said there were only few hundred, or a low thousand data scientists in Australia – which meant more were needed to be trained to do that sort of work.

“Part of that is the upskilling process,” Mr Case said.

“We spend a lot of time with customers helping them understand not just AI technology in general but how do you start to upskill those individuals within your organisation that don’t know necessarily anything about AI.”  

www.dataiku.com

www.leongettler.com

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.

https://play.acast.com/s/talkingbusiness/talking-business25-interview-with-grant-case-from-dataiku

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AI can enhance creativity in business

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

CREATIVE USE of artificial intelligence (AI) can change every kind of business, from fast moving consumer goods companies to retailers to banks, according to Thoughtworks director of data and AI practice, David Colls.

He said creative AI could be used to generate content, new products and strategic ideas.

“It there’s one thing AI is good at, it’s scaling to big numbers and I think that there’s an opportunity to use the best of people’s creative insights and talent and AI’s ability to search through big spaces and generate novel concepts,” Mr Colls told Talking Business

“And there are a lot of drivers for innovation at the moment. Ongoing adoption of new digital technologies, responding to climate change, responding to public health and the COVID pandemic and other economic factors, so the more you can explore these areas of uncertainty, the more opportunity you might unlock.”

As an example, he cited the way the Finnish part of Thoughtworks had transformed the business of Swedish distillery Mackmyra using AI.

The AI team looked at all the decisions that went into making whisky, like the grain, the time, the peat, the selection of the cask and process, and then looked at how consumers perceived different whiskies. Then they created a new whisky to capture the market.

The AI was actually creating a new product by exploring the space that had not occurred to the human distillers.

“You can look at any product in the same way that the team did at Mackmyra as a series of design decisions or design parameters and then you can try and characterise its performance in the market as a test or as a model that can be run,” Mr Colls said

AI can assist supply chains too

He said AI could be particularly useful in the digital space and for supply chains and customer service and the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space.

This could not only be applied to physical products but to services as well, he said, examining the service characteristics and customer experience. This would be particularly good for retailers. 

“If you look at a retail product catalogue, you can identify areas where there are potentially gaps in the catalogue with these sorts of techniques,” Mr Colls said.

“We might have a range of shoes, there might be another style that’s emerging in another part of the catalogue, say jackets and it might be that the AI able to identify some common thread between two different elements of the product portfolio.”

Mr Colls said AI would also be good for banks and insurers

Using AI to design call centre experiences

Thoughtworks had also worked in the area of designing call centre experiences

Mr Colls said AI could boost employee morale and ensure companies retain workers, where AI is used by staff to do their work.

“In this creative space, it can be like working with another creative partner who has particular abilities in a design space,” Mr Colls said.

“You can use these tools to help you come up with more ideas that you might not have thought of yourself.

“You might use them to help you develop those ideas faster and to improve productivity. You can use it to test ideas, to get fast feedback on ideas that might otherwise take some time to validate,” he said.

“It provides a number of avenues for development and growth and ongoing learning which is very important for people.”

www.thoughtworks.com

www.leongettler.com  

 

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness

https://play.acast.com/s/talkingbusiness/talking-business17-interview-with-dave-colls-from-thoughtwor

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