MrOwl Celebrates Diwali in a Fun, New Way

Telecom & Internet

MrOwl, a Community Interest Engine™ that brings together the best of search, social, and digital organization all in one app, helps you to celebrate Diwali with a unique new way to discover and share more about the things that will help you to have an incredible Diwali.

The MrOwl app and website allows people to collaborate on topics, find inspiring ideas, share knowledge with the community, and explore their interests. The festival of Diwali is shared on MrOwl on different MrOwl user “branches” that help to bring the excitement of Diwali to life.  Think of a “branch” as simply a curated collection of information that is made up of subtopics, links, photos, and documents.  All organized together, in one easy place.

Divya Kapoor, a MrOwl user, created a Diwali themed MrOwl “branch” (URL: https://www.mrowl.com/user/imadivya/diwali), where she shares her favourite Diwali clothing, decorations, and recipes that will help you to take your Diwali celebrations to the next level.

Bhavna Patel, a noted food expert and founder of Bhavna’s Kitchen, highlighted the fun behind the food around Diwali on her MrOwl “branch” (URL: https://www.mrowl.com/user/bhavnaskitchen/bhavna_skitchen/festive/diwali), where she extensively shared her favourite food and vegetarian Diwali recipes.  Her MrOwl “branch” also showcases her innovative recipes that you can enjoy every single day as you share the joy of great food with the friends and family in your life.

Arvind Raichur, CEO and Co-Founder of MrOwl, said “MrOwl is used by users to organize, search and share the things that are important to them.  People add and share incredible content on a daily basis, which makes the discovery of the things that you are interested in both constant and engaging on MrOwl.  So, whether you’re looking for new Diwali recipes, fun places to travel to, or more information on Virat Kohli, MrOwl has it all, because there’s something for everyone.”

Hundreds of Millions of Dollars at Stake as .COM Price Freeze Set to Expire

Business, Telecom & Internet

Verisign, the company granted exclusive rights to issue .com domains, is expected to request a price increase for .com domains when its current ‘price cap’ agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) expires on November 30, 2018.  Will NTIA impose a price increase on millions of Internet users to further enrich Verisign, “The Most Profitable Company You’ve Never Heard Of”, which is already enjoying huge windfall profits?

.Com domain names are issued exclusively by Verisign on a “wholesale basis” and sold by domain name registrars directly to the public. Domains ending in the .com extension are, by a wide margin, the most popular.  A price increase would affect millions of individuals and small-businesses throughout the United States and around the globe.

All of the approximately 134 million .com domain names are administered exclusively by Verisign, a public company with a market capitalization of over $19 billion.  Although the cost of running the .com registry may be as low as $3 per domain, Verisign charges $7.85 to their customers.  Due to the dominance of .com, Verisign has no real competitive pressure on their pricing. Before the U.S. government stepped in to cap Verisign’s prices in 2012, Verisign’s previous contract permitted it to raise prices 7% annually in most years.

Thanks to Verisign’s exclusive contract to operate the .com registry, granted without a competitive bidding process, Verisign earned $457 million last year, and enjoys inflated operating margins of over 60%.  Its windfall profits powered a tripling of its stock price over the past five years – despite the freeze imposed on .com prices.  Verisign places fourth behind only Apple, Facebook, and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) in terms of revenue per employee. Verisign uses its excess cash to reward its top four executives with nearly $18 million in compensation in 2017 – equivalent to 7% of Verisign’s operating expenses (excluding cost of revenue).  In comparison, the compensation of Oracle’s and Adobe’s top four executives is about 1% of operating expenses.

Not content with their current windfall profits, Verisign will likely seek an unjustified price increase that would over time effectively constitute a billion-dollar “tax” on Internet users.

For further information on how Verisign profits from .com domains, visit StopthePriceIncreaseof.Com.  A Change.org petition has been launched to raise public awareness of this issue at https://www.change.org/p/david-redl-stop-verisign-from-raising-com-pricing.

VoLTE Revenue Declined Nine Percent Quarter-over-Quarter in 2Q 2018, According to Dell’Oro Group

Technology, Telecom & Internet

Nokia, Huawei, and Ericsson Accounted for Over 70 percent of the VoLTE Market

 

According to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the telecommunications, networks, and data center IT industries, VoLTE revenue declined nine percent quarter-over-quarter in 2Q 2018. Nokia, Huawei, and Ericsson accounted for over 70 percent of the VoLTE market.

“With end-to-end solutions, Nokia, Huawei, and Ericsson grew quarter-over-quarter increasing their combined market share and leaving little room for other vendors,” stated David Bolan, Senior Analyst at Dell’Oro Group. “The VoLTE market would have increased quarter-over-quarter in 2Q 2018 if the US ban on ZTE had not been in effect. For 2018 the market is expected to be slightly below 2017, but will return to growth in 2019,” said Bolan.

The fundamentals of the VoLTE market are still positive and the penetration rate of VoLTE continues to grow. In mature LTE markets, some carriers are beginning to approach a 100 percent VoLTE subscription rate. Verizon, for example will reach this point when they turn off their CDMA network at the end of 2019. In low cost markets dominated by pre-paid customers with feature phones, VoLTE phones had been financially out of the reach of subscribers. But this is changing quickly, as Reliance Jio has demonstrated in India, with their introduction earlier this year of a low cost VoLTE feature-phone targeting the low cost pre-paid market.

Twitter Expands Premium Video Content In Asia Pacific With Over 50 Live Stream And Video Highlights Partnerships

Telecom & Internet

FMA Indonesia, FOX Sports Asia, NBC Universal, Network 18, NET TV, Red Chillies Entertainment, Sony Music, Stadium Astro Malaysia and VICE Media, among others will feature new live stream and video highlights programming on Twitter available to APAC advertisers

SINGAPORE, Sept. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Twitter is the best place to see what’s happening in the world right now and to talk about it, especially through premium video. Twitter today unveils over 50 premium video content collaborations, bringing hundreds of hours of live stream and video highlights programming, across sports, entertainment and news, to the platform. FMA Indonesia, FOX Sports Asia, NBC Universal, Network 18, NET TV, Red Chillies Entertainment, Sony Music, Stadium Astro Malaysia, and VICE Media are among the partners that Twitter will collaborate with to bring new content to audiences in Asia Pacific and opportunities for APAC advertisers. The announcement expands the premium video content available on Twitter to advertisers in Asia Pacific and builds on extensions of existing global and regional content deals.

At the TwitterFronts event in Singapore, Twitter executives including Global Vice President of Content Partnerships, Kay Madati and Vice President of Asia Pacific Maya Hari presented the content partnerships to brand and agency partners in the region. They were joined by guest speakers including Christine Fellowes (@ChristiFellowes), Managing Director, NBCUniversal, Avinash Kaul (@avikaul), COO, Network18, Shanna Murady, CCO, FMA Indonesia, CK Lee, VP Of Sports Content, Astro Malaysia, Binda Dey (@bindadey), Head of Marketing, Red Chillies Entertainment, Talina Cruz (@talinacruz), Senior Manager, Digital Marketing & Visual Content, Sony Music, and Serene Lee, Head of Sales, VICE, among others.

“Content is happening now at Twitter, and we have proven through the efficacy of the partnerships we have crafted, that content programming and distribution on Twitter is an essential part of any media company’s audience engagement and content monetization strategies,” said Kay Madati, Global VP of Content Partnerships, Twitter. “Asia Pacific is accelerating growth for Twitter. Our unique and strategic value proposition that positions Twitter as a complement, not competitor to traditional media companies, has delivered great success and we seek to drive forward with more live stream and premium video content partnerships in the region.”

“Video continues to be an important way to stay informed and engaged on Twitter, especially for the younger millennial audience in Asia Pacific,” said Maya Hari, Vice President of Asia Pacific, Twitter. “Building on the success of our premium video content launch at All That Matters last year, we are proud to expand our live stream and video highlights programming that is brand safe and will appeal to the audience and advertisers in APAC. The move strengthens Twitter’s presence and partnerships in the region, sharing with the world what’s happening right now in Asia Pacific and for global audiences to talk about it.”

New live stream and video highlights content partnerships announced on stage include the following (full list available here):

Entertainment

Sony Music: Music is one of the most talked about topics on Twitter, and music fans are one of the biggest communities on the platform. In a partnership with Sony Music, we’re giving brands the chance to tap into this massive community, with custom content from APAC’s biggest stars, behind the scenes clips and action that’s on Twitter first. It all kicks off with award winning artist @GuySebastian.
Red Chillies Entertainment: A long-term partner of Twitter’s in India, Shah Rukh Khan’s production house, Red Chillies Entertainment (@RedChilliesEnt) will be launching video content from upcoming Hindi blockbuster, Zero, on Twitter, and brands have an opportunity to leverage this Bollywood conversation. Along with this, RCE will be producing an exclusive live show only streaming on Twitter featuring the King Khan himself.
NBC Universal: NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. Their partnership with Twitter will bring E!’s signature Live from the Red Carpet events as well as popular TV programming from @eonlineasia, @eonlineau and @DivaTVAsia to the platform and available for brand sponsorships.
Sports

UEFA Champions League on FMA Indonesia (@FMA): The most important football club competition in the world is going to be brought to Twitter fans via Indonesia @FMA, already a partner of Twitter during the last FIFA World Cup. Fans of Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, and Salah will have access to near live highlights throughout the competition on Twitter, until the very last game, on June 1st 2019 in Madrid.
Formula One® on FOX Sports Asia (@FSAsiaLive): FOX Sports is one of the most popular sports networks in Asia-Pacific. With the partnership, FOX Sports will showcase F1® action to fans on Twitter in real time via the handle @FSAsiaLive. The whole weekend of updates, action and interviews, delivered to fans on the go.
English Premier League on Stadium Astro Malaysia (@StadiumAstro): The English Premier League is undoubtedly the best football league in the world. The action and the excitement will be on Twitter thanks to the partnership with Stadium Astro, the home of the EPL in Malaysia.
“Indonesian sports fans practically live on Twitter and as premium sports license holder, partnering with Twitter has been a no-brainer decision. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Twitter enabled us in delivering high quality content quickly with visible engagement and a high impact. Our World Cup highlights was a success for us and our sponsors and we are looking forward to extend this partnership for the next seasons of Champions League and Europa League.” – Shanna Murady, Senior VP and CMO, FMA Indonesia

News

NET TV – NET. (@netmediatama) is a major television station network in Indonesia that produces TV programs primarily aimed for family and young viewers. With their renewed partnership with Twitter, they are bringing their top-rated TV programs to the platform and available for brand sponsorships. The content on Twitter includes popular TV talk shows such as Ini Talkshow, Tonight Show, Sarah Sechan as well as their other highly-rated entertainment, sitcom and reality shows such as The Comment, Waktu Indonesia Bercanda, Breakout, The East and 86.
Network18 – Network 18 is one of the largest media conglomerates in India, featuring channels @CNNNews18, @CNBCTV18News, News18 Regional channels (formerly ETV), @MoneyControl, @First Post, @HistoryTV18 and many more. The partnership with Twitter will include three-tiered sponsorships for video clips around major tent-pole events: Budget Day programming with market leaders @CNBCTV18News, election news with @CNNNews18, as well as premium video highlight clips from factual entertainment leader @HistoryTV18.
VICE (@VICE): VICE is the world’s leading youth media company, building a deeply relevant, local presence across Asia Pacific through its Singapore HQ and multiple offices across the region. This partnership will bring a powerful new offering for audiences and brands alike, combining VICE’s compelling voice with Twitter’s immediacy and conversational power — delivering premium content to wherever young audiences are consuming news, culture and talking about what’s happening in their lives, at scale.
“Network18 is delighted to strengthen its partnership with Twitter. With India’s largest news network in its fold, Network18 today reaches out to 670 million television news viewers through 20 news channels in 15 Indian Languages. Its array of digital properties reach 32 million news consumers on the internet . With our massive reach and Twitter’s real-time conversational capability, this collaboration sets a benchmark proposition for prospective advertisers and business partners. We believe that this partnership will amplify the digital reach of a brand or idea to the next level of visibility and engagement.” – Avinash Kaul, Chief Operating Officer, Network18 and Managing Editor A+E Networks | TV18

“The partnership with Twitter is an exciting opportunity for VICE to reach even more audience across the region, pairing the power of the platform with our unique storytelling ability to lend a voice to the young people of Asia.” – Serene Lee, Head of Sales and Brand Partnerships, VICE APAC

Full list of partnerships available to advertisers in Asia Pacific can be found in the factsheet.

Content discovery platform Dable establishes branch office in Indonesia

Books and Publishing, Telecom & Internet

The content discovery platform Dable is picking up the pace in its entry into the Indonesian market by forging partnerships with major Indonesian media corporations.

Dable, a member company of the K-ICT Born2Global Centre, signed service partnerships with half of Indonesia’s top 20 media corporations (Tempo, Republika, Kontan, JPNN, etc.), securing local inventory. Dable stated that it is currently attracting local Indonesian and global advertisers also seeking to enter the Indonesian market.

Based in South Korea, Dable utilizes real-time big data processing and personalization technologies to provide two major services: “Dable Content Recommendation” and “Dable Native Ad,” which recommends individually-tailored content and advertisements (e.g. “Content You May Like”).

Dable Content Recommendation provides visitors to the websites of media companies with individually-tailored news and other content. The service aims to increase content usage as well as traffic flow. Through analysis of the consumed website content, Dable Native Ad ascertains user interests and shows them related advertisements. Dable’s high advertisement performance is the result of decreased animosity towards ads that are in formats similar to regular content.

Since its founding in 2015, Dable has grown rapidly through partnerships with major Korean media corporations. It enjoys an 80-percent market share in Korea, but with its outstanding personalization technology and high performance, Dable is currently expanding into the greater Asian market. The company’s entry into Indonesia was spearheaded by its Global Business Manager Amalia Rasyida (a seasoned digital marketing expert), and the recruitment of personnel with extensive experience.

Rasyida expressed her expectations for the company by stating, “Right now, Programmatic advertisements, which provide digital ads and tools, are in the spotlight. But the native ad platform applied with Dable’s personalization technology is in its infancy. Dable is now sophisticated enough to defeat top global companies in the technological competition arena. Dable is using its technology to expand its Indonesian partnered inventory at the astonishing speed of over 50 percent growth each month. Dable seeks to serve as a leading content discovery platform in Indonesia.”

On September 12, Dable will host media and digital marketing representatives at the Indonesia Native Ad Conference (INAC) at Plaza Kuningan’s COCOWORK.

Digital Revolution Transforming Finance Function, ISG Says

Telecom & Internet

Cloud, automation, analytics and blockchain delivering greater insights, efficiency

ISG Provider Lens™ report evaluates 19 FAO providers across 5 buyer archetypes

The digital revolution is rapidly transforming the finance and accounting function, with enterprises embracing such technologies as cloud, automation, analytics and blockchain to gain real-time – and predictive – insights into business performance and to streamline work, according to a new report from Information Services Group (ISG) (Nasdaq: III), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The newly published ISG Provider Lens™ FAO Digital Outsourcing Services Archetype Report reveals the speed and flexibility required by today’s agile business models are prompting CFOs to seek expert advice, support and technology platforms from outside the organization as they rethink traditional finance and accounting processes within the framework of the entire business.

“Today, agility is one of the biggest contributing factors to an organization’s success,” said Esteban Herrera, partner and global leader of ISG Research. “Enterprises must transform themselves from the outside in, starting with the customer and moving all the way through the organization to the back office. The need for rapid response is growing exponentially, especially among members of the C-suite who need access to real-time information to make critical business decisions.

“Digital technology is enabling this shift. The CFO, in particular, is moving well beyond the scorekeeper role to become a strategic business leader empowered by real-time performance data.”

ISG notes cloud solutions are being leveraged to provide real-time information and access to data anytime and anywhere, while CFOs are relying increasingly on prescriptive analytics to support quicker, fact-based decision-making. Finance teams are leveraging such technologies to mitigate losses, reduce days sales outstanding and improve cash flow, among other benefits.

Automation also is having a big impact on the Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) space. According to ISG Research, robotic process automation (RPA) will automate more than 50 percent of finance and accounting processes by 2020, including order-to-cash, procure-to-pay and record-to-report processes and transactions. The impact is most significant in order-to-cash, which requires an average of 43 percent fewer resources after being automated, ISG said.

Artificial intelligence, moving beyond optical character recognition (OCR) technology to natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, is enabling the automation of more complex work, such as fraud detection and exception handling, the report noted. While AI adoption currently is low, ISG forecasts usage will surge within the next two years – with 47 percent of enterprises, on average, looking to adopt NLP, machine learning, autonomics, virtual customer agents and related technology in that timeframe.

ISG sees blockchain as a “game-changer,” with significant application in finance. While still in its nascent stages, providers are investing heavily in blockchain, ISG notes, identifying IBM as a “big player” and noting other providers, such as Wipro, making significant investments in the distributed-ledger technology.

In terms of buyer expectations, enterprises are seeking greater industry specialization from their providers, the ISG report said, and are leaning toward transaction- and outcome-based pricing models, while moving away from FTE and fixed-fee arrangements now prevalent in the FAO market.

The ISG Provider Lens FAO Digital Outsourcing Services Archetype Report evaluates 19 global providers across five buyer archetypes:

Transaction Archetype – First-generation outsourcers looking to source less complex finance functions that are repetitive and transactional; focus is on reducing costs through labor arbitrage.

Automation Archetype – Enterprises looking to outsource more of their critical functions, not only for cost-savings, but to gain deeper insights to support decision-making from a blend of automation and intelligence.

Transformation Archetype – Buyers looking to transform their F&A operations to be ahead of the curve, improve customer experience, and gain real-time insights for quicker decision-making.

Vertically Focused Archetype – Enterprises operating in highly regulated or competitive environments and seeking not only best-of-breed technology, but specific industry expertise.

Holistic Archetype – Buyers looking to outsource end-to-end F&A functions to a strategic partner so they can focus on their core business activities.

Among the providers ISG evaluated, only Cognizant, Genpact, Infosys and Wipro were named leaders across all five archetypes. Accenture, EXL and IBM earned top marks in four of the five archetypes.

The ISG Provider Lens FAO Digital Outsourcing Services Archetype Report is available to ISG Insights™ subscribers or for immediate, one-time purchase on this webpage. Customized versions of the report also are available from Cognizant and Infosys.

Rising Popularity of Mobile Point-of-Sale Devices Skyrockets in a Growing Billion Dollar Industry

Telecom & Internet

According to U.S. based market research and business intelligence company, Crystal Market Research, the Mobile Point of Sale Market (mPOS) was worth USD $9.73 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach approximately USD $46.28 billion by 2023, while registering itself at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.92% during the forecast period. mPOS devices are expected to drive an increased usage of payment cards in Global markets, such as ChinaIndia and so forth. The global POS terminals/systems market is highly fragmented across vertical markets while a POS terminal itself enhances the shopping experience for customers by minimizing the payment processing time and provides companies with information pertaining to the sales of their respective products. Active tech companies in the markets this week include Gopher Protocol Inc. (OTC:GOPH), Verifone Systems, Inc. (NYSE:PAY), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL), Square (NYSE:SQ), NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR),

Gopher Protocol Inc. (OTCQB:GOPH) BREAKING NEWS: Gopher Protocol, a company specializing in the creation of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence enabled mobile technologies, is pleased to announce that its recent acquisitions, which now comprise its fintech division, led by ECS, have been fully integrated. ECS, since the beginning of 2018 (cumulative through last week) did 2,274,195 transactions from 21,729 terminals of which 1,399,975 were billable amounting to gross revenue of $24,863,692 (unaudited).

Looking at the comparable 90 day period in 2017, ECS Prepaid had $7.5 million(unaudited) in revenue while processing 813,000 transactions over an average of 5,300 locations. ECS Prepaid’s revenue for the 90 days just prior to being acquired by Gopher was $8.5 million (unaudited) while processing 859,400 transactions. For the 90 day period post acquisition by Gopher, ECS Prepaid’s revenue was $13.3 million(unaudited) while processing over 1.1 million transactions, resulting in an increase in revenue of 77% over the comparable period in 2017. Gopher intends to continue this pattern with recent agreements for processing alignments, the addition of AT&T SIM Activation program, and increased product margins on existing core products.

“ECS Prepaid would be able to operate the ‘UGO doors’ with little impact to our current work flow with the addition of one new employee in the Springfield’s office for technical support” said Derron Winfrey, Gopher’s COO. “The UGO platform, which used third parties for processing transactions, will now use the ECS platform reducing ACH transaction costs from $0.14 to $0.02, which is expected to increase our profit margins” added Kevin Pickard, Gopher’s CFO. Read this and more news for GOPH athttp://www.marketnewsupdates.com/news/goph.html 

Stay #CyberAware on Mobile Devices during Internet Safety Month and All Year Round

Telecom & Internet

 

June is Internet Safety Month and with kids out of class and families gearing up for getaways, it’s a good time to take action and protect your mobile devices.

WASHINGTONMay 31, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — June is linked in our minds with schools shutting their doors and families taking summer trips. It’s also Internet Safety Month, which is a great time to remind parents and kids to take steps to protect their mobile devices. Smartphone ownership is up sharply. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 77 percent of American adults own a smartphone. This is up from 35 percent in a similar 2011 survey. This Internet Safety Month be #CyberAware and stay safe online with trouble-free tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

“Of course, we use our phones to text and talk,” said Russ Schrader, NCSA’s executive director. “But take a minute and think about the dozens of other things we do on our phones. Everything from socializing to navigating a new city to booking a hotel and getting sports scores can be done on our handy, hand-held devices. Take simple security measures but also share this valuable info with your kids. Even minimal changes can dramatically increase your protection from any number of cyber issues.”

June can bring less hectic routines and schedules, so the time is right to stay both current and positively engaged with cyber safety. Influence Central indicates that ‒ on average ‒ a child gets his/her first smartphone at 10.3 years old. That same research reveals that by age 12, a full 50 percent of children have social media accounts ‒ primarily Facebook and Instagram. The youngest kids – who are the most vulnerable ‒ must learn to be safe and responsible. Additionally, an Experian study found that 33 percent of the 15 million Americans who have been victims of identity theft had their devices hacked while traveling. Now, more than ever, it is critical to safeguard connected devices as you teach your kids good cyber safety practices and as you prep for and enjoy your vacation.

“Establishing and upholding realistic boundaries around technology is an essential part of parenting,” said Schrader. “With the pervasive use of smartphones among parents and kids, the need for ongoing education is more crucial than ever. In early May, the Federal Trade Commission updated its popular booklet, ‘Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online’, which is wonderful guide to help parents raise good online citizens.”

NCSA’s Tips for Safe, Summertime Fun
It’s vital for parents to stay involved in their kids’ online lives. Sharing on social and playing games are two popular mobile device pastimes. Keep in mind that both activities could likely include the potential sharing of names, birthdays, age, geographic location, contact information and photos with identifiable information. Children of all ages must be taught that a level of anonymity will help to protect them from those who might not have the best intentions.

Be Smart About Socializing
Here are three very basic things that will help protect personal information:

  • Share with care – What you post can last a lifetime: Help your children understand that any information they share online can easily be copied and is almost impossible to take back. Teach them to consider who might see a post and how it might be perceived in the future.
  • Post only about others as you would like to have them post about you: Remind children about the “golden rule” and that it applies online as well. What they do online can positively or negatively impact other people.
  • Own your online presence: Start the conversation about the public nature of the internet as early as possible. Learn about and teach your kids how to use privacy and security settings on their favorite online games, apps and platforms.

Stay in the Game Safely
To the best of their ability, parents need to know what games their kids are playing. NCSA’s recommends the following for staying safe online while playing games:

  • Secure your kids’ accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you play games on that site.
  • Make passwords and passphrases long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Have your kids use an avatar rather than an actual picture of themselves.
  • Use voice chat safely or not at all. If your kids play a game that features live voice chat, make sure they disguise their voice. If the game does not have this feature, do not let them use voice chat.

NCSA’s Cyber Trip Advisor
Getting Ready to Go:
Travel has become – literally – more “mobile” than ever before. Avoid mayhem and make magical family memories by taking a few simple cyber safety steps before you head out of town.

  • Keep a clean machine: Before you hit the road, make sure all security and critical software is up-to-date on your connected devices and keep them updated during travel. It is your best line of defense.
  • Lock down your login: Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Begin your spring cleaning by fortifying your online accounts and enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device.
  • Make sure all devices are password protected: Use a passcode or security feature (like a finger swipe) to lock your phone or mobile device.
  • Think before you app: Review the privacy policy and understand what data (such as location and entry to your social networks) the app can access on your device before you download. Delete apps you are no longer using.
  • Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices. It is okay to limit how and with whom you share information – especially when you are away.

While on the Go:
Once you and your gang are at your destination, be sure to remember the following:

  • Actively manage location services: Location tools come in handy while planning your trip or navigating a new place, but they can also expose your location ‒ even through photos. Turn off location services when not in use.
  • Get savvy about WiFi hot spots: Do not transmit personal info or make purchases on unsecure networks. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your phone as a personal hotspot to surf more securely.
  • Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when idle: When WiFi and Bluetooth are on, they connect and track your whereabouts. If you do not need them, switch them off.
  • Protect your $$$: Be sure to shop or bank only on secure sites. Web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, means the site takes extra security measures. However, an “http://” address is not secure.
  • Never use public computers to log in to any accounts: Be extremely cautious on public computers in airports, hotel lobbies and Internet cafes. Keep activities as generic and anonymous as possible.
  • Share with care: Think twice before posting pictures that you would not want certain people (like your parents or employer) to see or photos that would reveal you are traveling.

Upcoming Virtual Event and Resources
#ChatSTC Twitter Chat: Top Tips for a Fun, Cyber Safe Summer
Thursday, June 143 p.m. EDT/Noon PDT
June doesn’t just mark the beginning of summer – it’s also Internet Safety Month! School’s out, connected devices are in! While the internet offers opportunities to learn, socialize and explore, it also comes with potential dangers. In this #ChatSTC we’ll share easy, actionable tips and advice you can use right now to keep yourself and the young people in your life safe online all summer long.

About NCSA
NCSA is the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with a broad array of stakeholders in government, industry and civil society. NCSA’s primary partners are DHS and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; Aetna; AT&T Services Inc.; Bank of America; CDK Global, LLC; Cisco; Comcast Corporation; ESET North America; Facebook; Google; Intel Corporation; Logical Operations; Marriott International; Mastercard; Microsoft Corporation; Mimecast; NXP Semiconductors; Raytheon; RSA, the Security Division of EMC; Salesforce; Symantec Corporation; TeleSign; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA’s core efforts include National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October); Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28); STOP. THINK. CONNECT™; and CyberSecure My Business™, which offers webinars, web resources and workshops to help businesses be resistant to and resilient from cyberattacks. For more information on NCSA, please visit staysafeonline.org/about.

KPMG and Google Enter an Alliance to Help Organizations Transform Digital Experiences

Technology, Telecom & Internet

New solutions combine Google Cloud’s security and artificial intelligence (AI) leadership with KPMG business acumen, industry knowledge and integration capability to enrich the customer experience and accelerate digital transformation.

 

KPMG International today announced an alliancewith Google to help organizations transform their business and operating models with secure cloud computing, machine learning (ML), enterprise mobility and advanced analytics technologies.

As part of the collaboration, KPMG is creating a portfolio of industry solutions built on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). KPMG member firms around the globe are currently engaging with clients on solutions for financial services, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, among other industries. These solutions, including customer service solutions, contract management, cyber security, regulatory compliance and business and process performance, will benefit from GCP’s trusted security, advanced data analytics and ML.

Two KPMG solutions available now are KPMG Intelligent Interactions for creating a differentiated customer experience, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Assessment and Compliance solutions for managing customer data and privacy.

“Organizations are seeing advanced technologies and natural language experiences as a key to transforming their businesses,” says Benjie Thomas, Canadian Managing Partner, Advisory Services for KPMG in Canada. “KPMG is creating data-driven solutions that harness Google Cloud technology, including machine learning, to help our member firm clients advance business strategies and deliver unrivaled digital experiences.”

“Our alliance with KPMG helps customers across industries benefit from the advantages of Google Cloud, including our advanced security, data analytics and machine learning capabilities, to solve real business challenges,” says Tariq Shaukat, President, Partners and Industry Platforms, Google Cloud. “We’re working alongside KPMG to develop new solutions that help enable customers to actively participate in the ideation and creation of their own solutions.”

KPMG’s business acumen, industry knowledge, and business process consulting help member firm clients understand how to integrate ML technology. Combining this experience with Google Cloud’s pre-trained ML models, made accessible via application programming interfaces (APIs), streamlines new product development, where clients do not need to build and train their own models. KPMG also provides ML models that can be quickly customized using Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine.

The alliance allows member firm clients to take advantage of GCP-based solutions as part of the KPMG Ignite portfolio of AI capabilities, KPMG’s Centre of Excellence for Data & Analytics and Intelligent Automation, and KPMG’s 65 Google Cloud certified consultants. The centre has established a KPMG GCP ‘lab’ to foster experimentation and collaboration with Google Cloud on client use cases.

KPMG Intelligent Interactions
One of the first available solution offerings under the alliance is KPMG’s Intelligent Interactions, part of KPMG’s Connected Enterprise portfolio. The solution automates and enhances customer interactions by using ML technology, including Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Translate APIs, to determine sentiment and intent.

KPMG Intelligent Interactions links with other intelligent automation (IA) technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), to help clients automate customer responses and redesign business processes. For example, voice automation—with capabilities to understand, translate, and identify sentiment and intent—can augment interactions with customers. Virtual assistants — built with Google Cloud ML language capabilities, including DialogFlow, Speech APIs, and Translate APIs—can anticipate customer needs based on predefined triggers.

GDPR Assessment and Compliance solutions

To help member firm clients build and execute a new vision for customer data management beyond compliance, KPMG teams offer purpose-built solutions that assist clients with the challenges of GDPR compliance while helping lay the foundation for a strong data management and privacy strategy.

The solutions combine KPMG’s domain, regulation, customer analytics, enterprise data strategy and compliance knowledge with Google’s ML-based cloud technology, data management and advanced analytics products to deliver a sustainable platform with single customer views, legal and compliance support, end-to-end modelling platforms, cloud data warehousing and a secure data infrastructure. The solutions help reduce the costs associated with ongoing compliance, streamline compliance efforts, enable data-driven customer service improvements and support analytics-powered processing.

EverCompliant Secures Strategic Investment From American Express Ventures to Help Fight Electronic Money Laundering  

Business, Safety, Society, Technology, Telecom & Internet

Investment supports EverCompliantcontinued growth as it defendagainst online merchant fraud

EverCompliant, the pioneer of Electronic Money Laundering Detection and Prevention (also known as Transaction Laundering), announced a strategic investment from American Express Ventures, which joins existing investors Arbor Ventures, Carmel Ventures, StarFarm Ventures and Nyca Partners. EverCompliant will use the funds to ramp up its team and continue to optimize and develop new technology.

Transaction Laundering occurs when a fraudster uses a legitimate online merchant account to funnel illegal transactions through a merchant processor, online marketplace or other merchant service provider. The continued growth of online commerce has created more opportunities for illicit players to use legitimate online storefronts to mask their identities, leading to an increase in Transaction Laundering.

EverCompliant’s automated detection capabilities enable merchant service providers to identify and eliminate unknown and fraudulent merchants. Continual monitoring and verification of third-party identities helps merchant service providers prevent the processing of fraudulent transactions, reducing the risk of chargebacks, financial losses and damage to their reputation. EverCompliant’s research shows that, on average, there are 6%-10% additional unknown and unregistered merchants over the size of a merchant service provider’s known portfolio, who are illegally committing Transaction Laundering. This phenomenon amounts to nearly $500 billion a year worldwide. These transactions may involve illegal goods sold by unregistered merchants, demonstrating that Transaction Laundering fraud is a growing issue for the payments industry.

“We are thrilled that American Express has decided to invest in our company,” said Ron Teicher, CEO of EverCompliant. “Their investment shines a spotlight on a growing problem in the payments industry. Having a strong relationship with this global payments network, paired with our continuous merchant risk management capabilities, will equip the industry with what they need to combat this new form of money laundering.”

“EverCompliant’s technology is helping merchant acquirers, payment aggregators and other service providers prevent bad actors from infiltrating their systems and ensure only legitimate transactions get processed,” said Harshul Sanghi, Managing Partner of American Express Ventures, the strategic investment group of American Express. “As more commerce shifts online, the need for advanced solutions that can help payment service providers fight fraudulent transactions will continue to grow. We look forward to helping EverCompliant as it addresses increased demand for its technology.”

EverCompliant’s customers currently include some of the largest institutions across North AmericaEurope, and Asia, who collectively monitor millions of merchants within their platform. The company’s proprietary and highly-effective method for uncovering Transaction Laundering has fueled a growing demand among merchant service providers and yielded a 300%+ increase in company growth in 2017.

About American Express Ventures

As the strategic investment group within American Express, Amex Ventures seeks to invest in innovative startups in order to enhance our company’s core capabilities and accelerate our efforts in consumer commerce and B2B services. Across the globe, we strive to foster meaningful relationships with startups in our portfolio and beyond. Visit http://www.amexventures.com for more information.

About EverCompliant

EverCompliant is the pioneer and industry leader in Electronic Money Laundering Detection and Prevention (also known as Transaction Laundering.) The company’s flagship product, MerchantView™, is the first and only dedicated solution on the market designed from its core to detect and prevent Transaction Laundering. MerchantView applies proprietary, cyber intelligence technology to identify unknown and hidden merchants funneling transactions through seemingly legitimate storefront websites. EverCompliant’s technology has been adopted by large-scale financial institutions and payment service providers in AsiaEurope, U.S. and the Middle East. EverCompliant is headquartered in New York City with offices in San FranciscoShanghai and Tel Aviv.