Catch up on this week’s round-up of the latest hosting and tech news. Here’s what we’ve uncovered since our last edition.
2FA halves Google breaches
At WHUK, we’re constantly trying to convince customers to strengthen their logins by using two-factor authentication (2FA). This is a more secure login process that requires users to input an additional code besides their username and password. The code is sent to their phone, ensuring that unless a hacker has physical access to the phone, they will be unable to see the code and so cannot log in.
For anyone still not convinced of the effectiveness of 2FA, Google has recently reported a 50% decrease in account breaches since it began auto-enrolling users in its two-factor authentication process towards the end of last year. The company is now developing new technologies that will let customers log in seamlessly without the need to input passwords, making logins easier and preventing keystroke logging spyware from discovering credentials.
For more information, read our knowledgebase article: How to enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
Not Win 11 Compatible? Try Chrome OS
If your PC is one of the millions with hardware too old to get a Windows 11 upgrade, you now have the option of getting the Chrome OS so you can turn your old machine into a Chromebook. Google has recently developed a new version of its operating system, Chrome OS Flex, which works on older PCs and even on Apple Macs.
Designed for businesses and installed in minutes, it enables IT staff to manage all their machines through Google’s Admin Console, from where they can install software on the devices. What’s more, the OS comes with pre-installed security and antivirus, including sandboxing technology, which can cut licencing costs and help prevent data loss on lost or stolen devices.
Dawn of the metaverse
Big-name tech and entertainment companies are pumping billions of dollars into what they believe will be the internet’s next major breakthrough. Known as the metaverse, it’s a virtual online world in which people can use interactive virtual reality technology for entertainment, gaming, socialising and even for work.
Three companies currently developing metaverses include Disney, Facebook and Microsoft. As one of the world’s leading entertainment brands, Disney is aiming to create a virtual environment for ‘next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences,’ potentially developing immersive film and theme park experiences that people can enjoy in their own homes while meeting up with friends based elsewhere. Facebook, which is investing £7 billion on metaverse infrastructure and has changed its parent company name to Meta, is expected to provide metaverse social experiences where people can meet and interact in 3D virtual worlds.
Microsoft, which traditionally operates in the business field, is creating a metaverse based around its popular Teams platform. The current video chat software will be updated with new, 3D virtual environments and 3D avatars, enhancing online collaboration and meetings by making them more realistic virtual experiences. The company has already appointed an executive to head its metaverse development program.
AI growth forecast
The increasing use and value of artificial intelligence mean its market is predicted to grow by 20% this year, with spending on hardware, applications and services reaching around £320 billion. Over the next three years, spending on AI services is predicted to grow annually by 22% and hardware by 20.5%. Spending on AI software, however, is expected to decrease slightly.
According to analysts, investment in AI also pushes up spending on services related to it. This includes the spend on AI expertise, particularly for developing AI production solutions and in overcoming service expansion challenges, such as governance, business processes and cost-optimisation.
Hacking as a service
Recent studies have shown an increase in the number of dark web ‘remote access services’ being offered to criminal gangs that have no cyberattack knowledge themselves. Known as initial access brokers, the number of these hacking service providers has grown by almost 60% over the last 12 months.
The hackers carry out the technical side of an attack on their customers’ behalf and charge clients depending on the level of system access the client needs, e.g., individual machine or company-wide, and for the amount of time the attack takes. Attacks are launched using compromised remote desktop protocols and VPN apps and rely on either stolen login credentials or brute force attacks. The clients will often use the attack to steal information and sell on the data and system access to other gangs.
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