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4 Biggest Misconceptions About AI

May 24, 2019


When most people hear the words “artificial intelligence,” the first thing that comes to mind is an all-knowing, sentient machine that can outsmart and overpower any human being. Artificial intelligence is something big and scary. It’s a threat that will take away our jobs and livelihoods, replace us all, and ultimately obliterate the human race.

Even if that ultimately ends up being true, I do not believe we are anywhere close to that scenario. I also believe that these powerful misconceptions around AI actually prevent us from building a positive relationship with it. 

Misconception #1: AI is actively looking to replace people.

AI, in and of itself, is technology with no volition. It does not seek to replace the workforce for a smarter and cheaper machine alternative. It is post-industrial tech capitalism at its finest doing that, not AI. It may seem like a subtle difference, but it’s huge. AI gets all the blame, but the capitalistic paradigm is a lot more accountable for the threat to our livelihoods than the technology itself. [Read related story: How AI and Machine Learning Are Changing Cybersecurity]

Misconception #2: AI is ridiculously smart or savvy.

AI could be ridiculously simple in its applications. It can be fragmented and disjointed, as opposed to a microchipped, perfected version of the human mind. AI can do simple things, like learn how to play checkers, identify patterns in large data sets, or any straightforward activity that just requires crunching more data than a human can. AI is not necessarily a competitor trying to outperform the human mind, but possibly an extension of our senses and capabilities.

Misconception #3: AI is complex and difficult to understand.

Coding for AI can get very complex, but the concept of it is simple: It’s any technology that mimics our natural …

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Ask These 4 Questions Before Hopping on the Blockchain Bandwagon

May 23, 2019


Now, we live in a time when there is an app for any productivity issue. We can choose from thousands of solutions, each boasting impressive features that help people accomplish more in less time. One such solution that’s making waves is blockchain.

Aided by the meteoric rise of bitcoin, blockchain has technological applications that make it a viable resource for any number of industries in which transparency matters. As the food services and healthcare fields show, though, blockchain and technology in general is not a silver bullet. While it has potential to effect change, blockchain can’t be the cure-all you might expect if you don’t apply the necessary context.

Seeing through the supply chain

Supply chain transparency is a must, especially as it relates to food and health. Take, for example, E. coli. A 2015 outbreak of the bacteria contaminated Chipotle restaurants across 11 states, and E. coli concerns led to three recalls of romaine lettuce in 2018 alone. Recalls, besides being a major health concern, pose the single biggest threat to food vendor profitability, according to Food Safety Magazine.

In healthcare, opaque supply chains lead to other issues. Stolen prescription drugs are contributing to a well-documented opioid crisis in the U.S. In addition, fraudulent billing costs around $455 billion worldwide.

While blockchain can help each industry prosper, there are still questions that both healthcare and the food industry must address as to how blockchain aligns with their goals. For leaders in other industries considering blockchain adoption, ask yourself these four questions to determine if it’ll yield the results you envision.

1. How important are product quality audits?

Blockchain has the potential to serve as a global supply chain operating system. If your business sells high-quality goods and it’s vital to know where they are every step of …

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What Is Formjacking and Is Your E-Commerce Site at Risk?

May 23, 2019


It happened to British Airways in 2018, when data from 380,000 customers was hijacked for resale online, and it happens to smaller businesses, too. Here’s what you need to know about this threat and how to protect your e-commerce website.

What exactly is formjacking?

Formjacking is a trending type of data breach that showed up on data security investigators’ radar in 2018. One security firm alone blocked 3.7 million formjacking attacks against its clients last year, and an estimated 4,800 online stores get formjacked each month. That’s because formjacking is easy to do, hard to spot and makes money for thieves.

All it takes to hijack an e-commerce checkout form is inserting malicious JavaScript code. That code captures any payment data that customers type into those fields and sends it to the attackers running the scam – all without disrupting the website’s order process. 

The data that’s skimmed gets sold on the dark web. The data formjacked from the British Airways site sold for as much as $50 per record – it included CVVs, expiration dates and customers’ personal data. That information makes it easier for CNP fraudsters to buy things online, because stolen card numbers usually have to be tested to match them with security codes and expiration dates.

What type of websites do formjackers target?

Major e-commerce sites like BA and Ticketmaster have been formjacked. But formjackers seem to prefer small and medium-sized online businesses, because they often have weaker cybersecurity programs than large e-commerce sites. 

In particular, formjackers look for sites with lots of customer traffic, to steal as much data as possible in the shortest amount of time. That means peak shopping seasons can become peak formjacking seasons. And these criminals look for sites that use third-party apps and plugins, like customer …

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How SMBs Spend Their IT Budgets in 2019

May 20, 2019


Capterra recently surveyed 700 SMBs on their 2019 and 2020 plans for IT purchasing. The top three rankings included cloud computing (48%) and data and information security (47%) for spending priorities this year, preceded only by finance and accounting technology (54%). We are seeing this spending pattern to be accurate in early 2019. These trends are especially evident as we witness a spike in migration to the cloud with solutions like Office 365 and an increase in cloud back-up investments.

Here are three common IT areas SMBs have been spending money on in 2019:

Cloud migration: Office 365

A significant move to Office 365 is one of the biggest trends we are seeing this year. SMBs seemed a little slow last year in regard to implementation but that is not the case for 2019. Most companies upgrading are on legacy versions of Office, but the driving force for the decision seems to be making the move to the cloud due to the many advantages it offers.

Some of the most important benefits include savings on infrastructure costs, maximum uptime and centralized management for applications. Office 365 combines the advantages of cloud technology with the traditional foundation of on-premise software offerings – that is the physical, desktop versions of Office programs. It allows Office applications to be available from multiple computers or devices and also provides storage space on Microsoft’s OneDrive. 

One barrier that stops many SMBs from migrating to Office 365 is that they are overwhelmed by the process and potential disruption to emails and other critical processes. In those instances, we recommend using a managed service provider to help with the process. An MSP can handle the entire implementation, allowing customers to focus on their business and day-to-day activities. Implementation timing depends on the size of the business, but …

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3 Strategies to Make Money From Your Free App

May 17, 2019


All these efforts are unlikely to yield results if you don’t have a monetization strategy for your app in place. It’s time to game plan on how do you plan to make money from your mobile app.

While free apps might have a higher chances of being successful on the app stores, making money off your free app requires a carefully thought out app monetization strategy. Unlike paid apps that have a clear price tag attached to them, making money from free apps is somewhat more complex.

There are a number of ways to make money from your free app and each monetization method comes with its own set of pros and cons. Read on to get critical insights about how free apps make money, what are the options available to you and the pros and cons of each to choose the one you can use to maximize profits from your mobile app.

1. Advertising

Digital advertising via mobile applications has become a go-to strategy for marketers and its surge in popularity has resulted in high returns for mobile app developers. Users are spending an increasingly large amount of their time on smartphones making app advertising a highly effective platform for advertising.

Editor’s note: Looking for a mobile app development solution? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you about your needs.

 

Pros of Advertising Model

  1. Increased benefit to the marketers: Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to remember and retain the ads displayed on the mobile apps over those they see on television and laptops because of higher engagement levels of the former.

  2. Ease of adoption: There are a number of mobile ad networks you can sign up with to get started with app advertising like Admob by Google or iAd by

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