Coffee Briefing April 19, 2022 – Xero partners with FIFA Women’s Football; Liquid Avatar launches new art gallery in metaverse; Fortinet security training service; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada’s editorial team!

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What’s new this week

Xero to use its technology to support two FIFA women’s football development programs

Xero, a cloud-based accounting software platform with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses, has announced it has partnered with FIFA Women’s Football to support women’s football development through its technology.

Xero has been named a FIFA Women’s Football Partner under a new partnership structure which takes effect in 2023. The company’s partnership category will include small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business management software, accounting and bookkeeping (AB) practice management software, and SME and AB software app stores. The global partnership will cover the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023, the 2024 and 2026 editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

This is the first time since 2013 that FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure. It will provide companies around the world with more tailored opportunities to partner with the sport of football, leverage the FIFA brand and support its competitions. Three distinct partnership verticals have been launched with a range of packages available across Women’s football, Men’s Football and esports/gaming.

Xero says it will use the partnership to champion the sport and to further empower women working in small businesses and their communities around the world. As part of the agreement, Xero will also support two FIFA women’s football development programs: Capacity-Building for Administrators, and Coach Education Scholarships. More information on the two programs will be released soon.

Liquid Avatar Technologies launches a 3D virtual art gallery in the metaverse

Liquid Avatar Technologies, a Vancouver, Canada-based global blockchain and fintech solutions company focused on digital identity, integrated avatars and the metaverse, has announced the opening of a 3D virtual art gallery in the metaverse. Called Oasis Digital Gallery, the 3D virtual art gallery is an extended reality, immersive web experience where users can walk through and experience the look and feel of a “real” art gallery, and where they can view and purchase NFT artwork directly from the gallery hangings. The digital representation of each painting can be enlarged for better viewing and will feature a clickable information plaque and an audio description. Purchasers will be able to purchase NFTs using PayPal, fiat, major credit cards and cryptocurrencies directly via Shopify.

The gallery will launch with pop culture digital and traditional medium artist Lynn Mara, with an exhibition of her Barcode Ponies, a digital collection of uniquely crafted and coloured collectible Zebras. A total of 255 pieces will be available for purchase in a virtual 3D experience that will not require additional equipment such as VR goggles to be viewed. The virtual gallery will feature 104 pieces and the entire collection can be viewed in the Oasis Digital Gallery Store.

The Oasis Digital Gallery has already booked future art events and is built to host other virtual events such as galas, corporate, and social gatherings.  It will also be accessible in the future through Collector Aisle, a theme based virtual island, as part of the Aftermath Islands Metaverse that is dedicated to NFT collectors.

Ontario government invests $2.5M in ventureLAB to create medtech-focused semiconductor stream

Source: ventureLAB

Technology hub ventureLAB has announced a C$2.5 million investment from the Government of Ontario to establish a medtech-specific stream within its Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI) Canadian lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductor companies.

The funding will be used to establish a stream with a new lab in Vaughan, Ontario focused on the unique hardware and semiconductor needs of healthcare companies. By accessing HCI’s network of over 35 global industry leaders, who have committed more than $50 million in resources and mentorship, as well as ventureLAB’s in-house experts, with their designing, manufacturing, and go-to-market expertise, medtech founders will experience accelerated commercialization time, reduced cost, access to deep sector expertise, and intensive growth capital. The two-year project will result in employment opportunities as well as a range of made-in-Ontario technologies, innovations, and intellectual property.

The funding is part of the Ontario Together Fund, from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and builds on a C$9.7 million investment from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). ventureLAB says this investment will help enable it to support made-in-Ontario medical solutions, and will strengthen Ontario’s medtech sector and its technical capacity to fight COVID-19 and respond to future pandemics.

FindCenter launches new resources for those who identify as neurodivergent

Source: FindCenter

FindCenter, a platform dedicated to personal growth and development which offers resources on nearly all topics related to finding direction and purpose, has launched a new section of its site for those who identify as neurodivergent or neurodiverse.

Neurodivergence is the term used when someone’s brain processes, learns, or behaves differently from what is considered “typical.”

Identifying As Neurodivergent — Resources & Tools, the new section of the site provides visitors with links to a human-curated collection of podcasts, articles, videos, and books. Topics includes sex and intimacy, interpersonal communication, learning styles, parenting, self-acceptance, belonging and community, social presence, body image, and confidence, all told through the lens of neurodiversity.

This new section curates and organizes resources, eliminating the need to scour the internet for content.

“Our goal is to make the best content easily available, for free, to anyone who is facing challenging life situations,” FindCenter chief executive officer Neal Goldman said.

FindCenter offers over 500,000 pages of content and resources related to growth and healing curated by top book editors, and offers a diverse set of perspectives.

Fortinet launches new security awareness and training service for global workforce

Fortinet, an integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions provider, has announced the availability of its Security Awareness and Training service for companies globally to further improve their security posture by advancing their employees’ cybersecurity skillsets and knowledge.

A Fortinet survey found that 73 per cent of organizations had experienced at least one intrusion or breach that could be partially attributed to a gap in cybersecurity skills. This new service benefits any company seeking to reduce threats through employee cybersecurity awareness and training by providing:

  • Curriculum from Fortinet Training Institute: The service is designed by the Fortinet Training Institute, which provides cybersecurity certification and training through its various programs.
  • Alignment to NIST 800-50 and NIST 800-16 guidelines: The service is aligned to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines – NIST 800-50 and NIST 800-16 – providing training and awareness that is engaging and relevant on topics such as information security, data privacy, physical security, password protection, and internet security.
  • Intelligence-driven training: Using FortiGuard Labs threat intelligence, the Security Awareness and Training service provides training informed by developments observed across the threat landscape. Coursework incorporates insights to further train employees on today’s threats, preventing them from falling victim to the latest potential cyberattacks.

More to explore

Threat actors have new tools for attacking ICS, SCADA devices, say US cyber agencies

American cyber intelligence agencies are warning that unnamed advanced threat actors now have the ability to gain full system access to multiple industrial control system (ICS)/supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices.

In the midst of a talent shortage, how can Canada keep up with its tech sector growth?

Major tech companies are currently looking to hire tech talent in Canada, but with an ongoing digital skills shortage, the question arises: Does Canada have enough tech talent to sustain this growth?

How SMBs can create an identity management strategy

Identity management is crucial for an effective cybersecurity defence, but isn’t as hard as some organizations believe, experts said at a webinar last week as part of Identity Management Day.

Canadian funders say bridging Canada’s digital divide needs to be prioritized to address urgent social issues 

A new report from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the organization that manages the .ca internet domain, shows Canadian funders are feeling the urgency to tackle the country’s digital inequities.

Identity Management Day advice from an expert

Last week, the parent company of a mobile money transfer utility called CashApp began notifying over 8 million customers and employees that their names and brokerage data was stolen by a former employee.

Hackers going after VMware Workspace ONE Access and VMware Identity Manager; patch now

Hackers are trying to take advantage of a recently discovered critical vulnerability in VMware Workspace ONE Access and VMware Identity Manager, adding to the pressure to install patches for this as soon as possible.

ServiceNow launches its Now Platform San Diego release

ServiceNow has launched its Now Platform San Diego release, which aims to help organizations move beyond pandemic-induced transformation by driving productivity, scaling automation through the enterprise, and creating better experiences for a hybrid world.

Shopify announces a 10-for-1 stock split

Shopify has announced a 10-for-1 split of its class A and class B shares, subject to shareholder approval. The company now joins a growing list of businesses that have split their shares to make them more appealing to investors.

Kaseya to acquire Datto, expanding opportunities for MSPs

Managed service providers (MSPs) are watching Kaseya’s acquisition of Datto; the US$6.2 billion deal seems aimed at creating a market leader for MSP platforms with next-level capabilities to combat the ransomware threat.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending on Amazon Alexa Google Podcasts badge - 200 px wide

Listen how U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren slams Intuit for misleading tax filers, a popular windows toolbox script is actually malware, and the U.S. military contracts a 3D printing company to build training facilities.
Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This episode reports on alleged ties between the Conti ransomware and Karakurt extortion gangs, a warning to app developers from GitHub and a new webisite where companies can buy data stolen from competitors.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)

If you live in Quebec or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Her characters are bold and smart, but in real life, Pragya is afraid of going upstairs when it is dark behind her. Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the Yamuna River on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing professional who also prepares beautiful, healthy and delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not.

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