Hashtag Trending Feb.8th-Most cyberattacks not prevented by zero trust; VMware servers hit; new app to fight digital amnesia

More than half of cyberattacks will not be prevented by zero trust, 2,400 VMware servers hit in a ransomware attack, and a new app to fight digital amnesia.

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Welcome to Hashtag Trending – today’s top tech news stories for Wednesday, February 8, 2023.

Zero trust is an emerging concept in cybersecurity that promises to reduce threats and make successful attacks less damaging. At its essence, zero trust takes the point of view that all network activity is untrusted until proven otherwise.

It calls for strict verification and authentication of all devices, users, and services trying to access an organization’s network, regardless of whether they are inside or outside the network perimeter. 

The idea behind zero trust is to minimize the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information by constantly verifying the trustworthiness of entities accessing the network.

As companies try to survive in what feels like a continual cyber war, hopes for zero-trust architectures as a solution remain high. A report published by Microsoft in 2021 found that 96 per cent of security leaders considered zero trust as critical to their success. Indeed, all large enterprises have some sort of zero-trust project going on.

But according to industry experts at Gartner, only one per cent of organizations have a mature security model that can be qualified as zero trust and by 2026, this will only go up to 10 per cent. By that time, more than half of cyber threats will target vulnerabilities that zero trust doesn’t even cover, given the ever-growing enterprise attack surface and the creativity of attackers.

Despite the abysmal projections of success in adopting zero trust hopes for this security architecture remain high.  A report published by Microsoft in 2021 found that 96 per cent of security leaders considered zero trust as critical to their success.

But while companies struggle with adoption, attackers look to target areas not well covered by zero trust programs, such as public-facing APIs, social engineering, or vulnerabilities created by employees trying to bypass stringent zero-trust policies.

Gartner acknowledges that zero trust is no panacea. It may not stop all attacks but it can reduce the risk and limit the impact of an attack.

Gartner calls on CISOs to develop an effective zero trust strategy, to secure their most critical assets and run continuous threat exposure management and look to areas outside the scope of zero trust architectures.

Source: CPO Magazine and Data Center Knowledge

More than 2,400 VMware servers were hit worldwide with a ransomware campaign over the weekend. VMware has more than 400,000 customers, and according to analysts, 80 per cent of virtualized workloads run on VMware technology.

Reportedly, the ransomware targeted a two-year-old vulnerability in VMware’s popular ESXi machines.

According to Reuters, the largest number of affected servers is in France, followed by the U.S. and Germany. Regardless of location, companies who use VMware and who have not yet applied the necessary updates, should immediately patch their systems.

Virtualization and cloud migration has the promise of improved security, but this ransomware attack showed that the best security still requires that administrators properly keep their software up to date by applying the latest upgrades and software patches.  

Source: Axios and Reuters

Microsoft’s Outlook.com has recovered after a major outage that began late Monday night. Users in North America were the ones who were primarily affected. Outlook.com covers approximately three per cent of global email traffic.

The company said at the time of the outage that it identified a recent change that may be causing issues with send, receive, or email search within Outlook.com, but later revealed that functions such as Calendar were also impacted, which in turn affected products such as Microsoft Teams.

All services were recovered late afternoon yesterday and Microsoft identified the root cause as a “subset of infrastructure responsible for routing traffic that unexpectedly stopped responding to traffic requests.”  

Source: IT World Canada

A Synergy Research Group report detailed the revenue growth rate for global cloud infrastructure services spanning the three-month period ending Dec.31, 2021 

It shows a slowing cloud sector with Microsoft, AWS and Google Cloud taking the top three spots as market leaders – not much of a surprise.

But what was a surprise was Microsoft gaining ground over AWS – that did raise some eyebrows. 

As a matter of fact, Microsoft had 23 per cent of the market share a gain of two percentage points from the previous two quarters. In contrast AWS’ share was 33 per cent, down one percentage point from the prior quarter.

All three leading companies are reporting dips in revenue from the slowdown in the cloud sector. 

“Pandemic restrictions in China, the strength of the dollar as well as increasingly cost-conscious consumers are to blame,” according to John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research Group.

Source: CIO Dive

Smartphones have reduced the need to remember things, like phone numbers, directions to get to various places or your shopping list. If you forget it, you can google it. An epidemic of poor concentration and divided attention also comes along with cell phone use.  

For many of us, cameras have become memory replacement. I can’t be the only one who takes a picture of his car to remember where I parked in a large underground facility. 

All of this has led researchers to claim that smartphone use is increasingly linked to decreased memory skills.

But University of Toronto researchers might have a fix for us. Meet the HippoCamera app.

With this app, instead of randomly taking photos throughout the day, you choose one event that you are going to document, you record the event and the scene on video and explain, in an audio, why this is important to you. Later, the app combines the audio and video and then prompts you to watch and listen, which helps you form a stronger memory.

“We’re trying to mimic how the hippocampus stores memories. So it’s not about trying to capture beautiful photos or beautiful videos, it’s about making a memory cue.”  That’s according to Morgan Barense, one of the researchers.

The HippoCamera isn’t available for download yet, but you can sign up for an email notification once it’s released – if you remember. 

Source: Toronto Star

And that’s the top tech stories for today.  Hashtag Trending is produced by the ITWC podcast network and is heard Monday to Friday with a special weekend edition hosted by me where we feature interviews on key subjects in technology.

Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.  

If you follow stories about cybersecurity, why not check out our sister podcast CyberSecurityToday.

You can find all our podcasts and the text versions as well as more in-depth coverage itworldcanada.com  and on technewsday.com in the US. You can also find instructions on how to get us on your smart speaker.

I’m Jim Love – talk to you tomorrow with the top tech news stories on Hashtag Trending.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com/
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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