Authors of Petya Ransomware Made Businesses Invest in Cyberdefense – Qiwi CTO

Ransomware attacks global IT systems
Ransomware attacks global IT systems

The authors of the Petya ransomware managed to draw public attention to the problem of the information security and made the businesses invest in solving it.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The authors of the Petya ransomware, which recently hit thousands of computers around the globe, managed to draw public attention to the problem of the information security and made the businesses invest in solving it, Kirill Ermakov, chief technology officer at Qiwi group of companies, told Sputink in an interview.

“Petya is particularly interesting due to the fact that its commercial compound to extort money served only as a cover. Actually, it merely blocked the companies’ work without any clear intent of its creators… But what they really manage to do is to draw attention to…

Facebook CTO blasts security industry for focusing on ‘stunt hacks’

Facebook CTO Alex Stamos has told the security industry it needs to spend more time focusing on real-world problems, rather than worrying about high-concept ‘stunt hacks’.

During his opening keynote at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, Stamos pointed out that while complex technical demonstrations of how to bypass security measures are interesting for security professionals, they don’t really help anyone.

According to Neowin, he said: “Adversaries will do the simplest thing they need to get the results they want, but we focus on the really sexy difficult problems. It’s cool to see someone bypass a hard problem, but that’s not something you’ll probably see in the real world.”

In a similar vein, he noted that while data breaches, hacks and vulnerabilities are all front-page news, no-one takes the time to celebrate when companies successfully repel an attack. Facebook has set aside a $1 million fund, which will be awarded to this year’s…

World Unlikely to Use Only Cryptocurrencies for Payments – Qiwi CTO

Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright on May 2, 2016 identified himself as the creator of Bitcoin, following years of speculation about who invented the pioneering digital currency
Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright on May 2, 2016 identified himself as the creator of Bitcoin, following years of speculation about who invented the pioneering digital currency

The world is not likely to fully shift to payments in cryptocurrencies, Kirill Ermakov, Chief Technology Officer at the Russian Qiwi payment service, told Sputnik on Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The efforts of such companies as Visa, Mastercard and The American Express Company to shift to cashless transfers are successful in several countries, however there are still a lot of people preferring cash money, Ermakov added.

“I think that we will not shift fully to payments in cryptocurrencies. But not because…

Philanthropy: When do you start?

Philanthropy: When do you start?

In May 2017, Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates welcomed 14 new signatories to their Giving Pledge – an initiative started in 2010 whereby wealthy individuals commit to give away at least half of their wealth to good causes.

These fourteen latest pledges took the total number of billionaire philanthropists giving to causes such as refugee aid, medical research, global health, disaster relief, poverty reduction, agricultural research, environment and sustainability research, and arts and culture to 168 – that’s a whole lot of big bucks signed up to one initiative.

Why is there no Batman?

You’d think with all the money floating around at least one of these billionaires would have tried to become Batman by now! Although as cool as the caped crusader is, perhaps these individuals are demonstrating the insight and skill that made them so rich by donating to causes that will benefit all of mankind rather than entertain comic book fans with flashy vigilantism.

We live in a complex world with some rather complex problems but that doesn’t mean they can’t be solved. Protecting the environment for future generations, investing in technology and the jobs of the future, ensuring our children have the same or better opportunities than we had, ensuring everyone has access to clean water and no community goes hungry. These issues are solvable thanks to philanthropy but we need more of it.

Encouraging philanthropy

Included in the new intake of generous billionaires is Australia’s own Leonard H Ainsworth, an…

Aims to please: Chiew Kok Hin, CEO of AIMS Group

Aims to please: Chiew Kok Hin

AIMS Group is a leader in the data-centre services industry, providing secure, robust and connectivity-rich data-storage facilities in strategic sites across Malaysia and South East Asia. With the support of its parent company, TIME dotCom, the Group’s portfolio has grown to include co-location services, managed services, network services, disaster recovery, cloud, and content delivery networks.

Its ongoing growth is testament to its competitive strength in a heated market, having seen a 24% jump in revenue last year, as well as a 14% increase in new customers, while its cloud-based services revenue grew by more than 300%.

Joining the IT industry on a whim before the dotcom boom, Chiew Kok Hin’s first experience with AIMS was as a customer-service representative in 1997. He spent the following 13 years working across each and every part of the business, losing track of the number of titles he’s had, before finally being appointed CEO in January 2010.

Since that time, he has spearheaded the growth of AIMS across new regions and capabilities, and even found time in his busy schedule to share with The CEO Magazine how AIMS has grown to become a multiple award-winning market leader.

The CEO Magazine: Over the past two decades, technology – and the end users that rely on it – has evolved drastically. How has the business managed to keep pace?

Kok Hin: We keep pace with an evolving industry by defining ourselves correctly in the ecosystem game, investing in green technology and efficient operating systems, as well as adhering to strict industry standards. We always strive to provide customers with the latest hardware and technology solutions, creating a comprehensive, scalable and future-ready ecosystem.

As the most interconnected data centre in Malaysia, and anchor site for the Malaysian Internet Exchange (MyIX), we now host 100% of domestic telecommunication carriers and more than 80% of foreign carriers.

In 2016, we became the first data centre in Asia–Pacific to partner with Network Infrastructure Inventory Inc [Ni2] to provide an all-in-one platform for IT service management [ITSM], operational support systems [OSS], and data-centre infrastructure management [DCIM] capabilities.

This key achievement is especially noteworthy to our clientele in the financial, OTT, oil and gas, and telco sectors, which seek to outsource their IT infrastructure facilities to professional providers like ourselves to achieve better operational efficiency as well as enhanced customer experiences.

Chiew Kok Hin CEO of AIMS Group

In terms of…

Sounding The Alarm — What Everyone Needs To Know About The Social Paradigm Shift — Now

Co-founder of ‘Who Targets Me’, Louis Knight-Webb, points to Facebook ad graphs from the 2017 general election (Photo credit JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s a digital arms race underway — and most people don’t even know it’s happening.

The stats are shocking. People around the world have embraced social media well beyond anyone’s expectations. U.S. consumers now spend a whopping 10 hours per day looking at a screen and 5 of those are spent on mobile devices with Facebook coming in as the #1 app by a landslide.

Even people (like me) who have been evangelizing the new “medium” since the beginning days have been taken by surprise at the pervasiveness (and addictiveness) of the socially-powered digital experience.

By the way, we were wrong — it’s not simply a new medium, we gave it the wrong name — it’s not a noun, it’s not a thing — it’s a complete and total cultural paradigm shift, The Social Paradigm Shift.

And we’re all struggling to keep up. It’s not just companies who are struggling to keep up either — everyone is. And as they do, the skills gap keeps growing and the statistics point to a scary future where this gap is correlating with another growing gap: the economic differential between the haves and the have-nots. To give you just one example, in the UK, digital tech employees are offered 36% higher wages than the rest of the economy while traditional manufacturing, agricultural and retail jobs are going away altogether.

When it comes to companies, the problem is severe. There is a giant shortage of employees with the social and digital skills necessary to keep up with 21st century consumers and users, especially (and arguably, most importantly) when it comes to senior leadership. In fact, research by Capgemini Consulting with the MIT Center for Digital Business found 77% of companies consider missing digital skills as the key hurdle to their Digital Transformation. 77%!

CEOs don’t realize not being social themselves is harming their company’s ability to succeed, even though Social CEOs are 46 percent more influential than their non-social peers.

Gretchen Fox presenting on The Social Paradigm Shift at Southern Oregon University’s Business Leaders Speaker Series

David Parker

Gretchen Fox presenting on The Social Paradigm Shift at Southern Oregon University’s Business Leaders Speaker Series

HR professionals haven’t mitigated the risks each untrained employee with a social media account poses to the company (and themselves). Aside from risk, employee advocacy is one of the biggest missed opportunities to date. The data shows that socially active companies are 40% more likely to believe their…

Facebook to Launch Paywall in Response to Publisher Pushback


Facebook last week confirmed its plan to launch a paywall for content providers, a move that could ease longstanding tensions with traditional publishers who objected to giving away their print stories for free.

Campbell Brown, former CNN and NBC News journalist and current head of Facebook’s news partnerships unit, announced the plan at a New York digital media forum, outlining the company’s strategy for monetizing the news content that drives so much of the user engagement on the site.

Consumers increasingly are getting their first read of daily news on Facebook.

“We are in early talks with several news publishers about how we might better support subscription business models on Facebook,” Brown said. “As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we are taking the time to work closely with our partners and understand their needs.”

Test Run

Facebook will test its paywall model later this year with a small group of publishers. Readers will be given access to 10 free articles per month but then will have to subscribe to view additional articles. A more robust version is planned for 2018, according to a source familiar with the project.

Brown and fellow Facebook executive Fidji Simo briefed several publishers about the plan during one-on-one meetings last week in New York and Paris, according to the source, and the company has been working closely with numerous publishers in recent months to get a better handle on the issue.

The plan is for the subscription to operate through Facebook’s Instant Articles platform….

Should You Trust Artificial Intelligence to Drive Your Content Marketing?


Before breakfast, I check my Facebook and LinkedIn newsfeeds for a quick synopsis of the day. As I jump in the shower, I hit “download” on a recommended movie on Netflix, knowing I have a long flight this evening. While wolfing down my cereal, I click once to buy a gift for a friend’s birthday next week. My iPhone pings to tell me that I need to leave now if I want to make that early meeting 54 miles away. And as I get in my car, I use voice activation to play my favorite Spotify playlist, and Apple Maps informs me it will take five minutes to drive to the train station this morning.

With real examples of demonstrable value in the market, we can no longer sarcastically joke that AI means “almost implemented.”

We are all being conditioned to rely on technology in our daily lives, not just for communication, but also for decision-making. This ever-deepening interface with technology is rewiring our brains to process information differently, as Nicholas Carr writes in The Shallows. It is the same with our customers.

Popular consumer apps have led to the unconscious mass adoption of advanced, predictive technology. And yet … while we are increasingly outsourcing our cognitive processes to myriad consumer apps and tools, the enterprise is only now waking up to this new level of customer expectation. This lopsided adoption is most clear when we consider that we now trust a car’s built-in collision-avoidance system to protect our lives, yet still question whether a machine can recommend what to write next in a marketing program or which customer should receive a new product offer.

We trust artificial intelligence to drive our cars safely but not to recommend marketing strategy.

Inconvenient truth

Over the past 10 years, marketing automation has grown into a billion-dollar industry by promising to bring personalization and efficiency to marketing programs. The siren call of automated lead nurturing, lead scoring, and triggered responses to critical prospect activities has proved irresistible to B2B organizations: There were nearly 11 times more companies with marketing automation in 2014 than there were in early 2011 (SiriusDecisions), and 60% of companies turning over at least $500 million adopted marketing automation by 2014 (Raab Associates).

However, the inconvenient truth about first-generation marketing automation is that it is not really automated. It is a fantastic central workflow tool that can achieve scale, but it requires resource to set up, integrate, manage, and optimize. Indeed, in many B2B organizations, the phrase “feed the beast” has been accepted into marketing parlance as a way of describing the resource demands of marketing automation. Most fundamentally, there is the issue of rule creep. As you set up campaigns, you define business rules: “If A happens, then do B” or “If the individual has this characteristic, then put them in segment 4.” These can be simple to start with, but are always an inadequate reduction of complex and varied buyer journeys. So, you add more rules to make the campaign more targeted. And every time you measure results, the outcome is that more rules need to be written. Some of our enterprise clients estimate that they spend $500,000 per year on these manual elements of marketing automation – and that is disregarding the vital and significant investment in ongoing content creation.

While marketing automation promises the world, what it actually does is automate the execution of content marketing, while decision-making remains an impractically manual effort. It offers marketers a strong workflow and even insights, but fails to provide an automated way to act on those insights at scale. Fundamentally, the content in those systems is dumb; the system doesn’t understand what the content is about and who should read it. To track those looking at how to address this, Forrester recently started a new research theme it calls “content intelligence,” which it defines as “the use of artificial intelligence technologies to understand and capture the qualities inherent in any content.” As the marketing technology analyst David Raab says, “Something has to give: Either marketers stop trying to make the best decisions or they stop relying on rules.”

Expectation gap

In the face of relentlessly rising customer expectations, leading marketers are investing in AI-based tools – a category that encompasses everything from personalization tools that “learn” from individuals’ online behavior to recommend content more effectively, to tools that can detect minute patterns across massive consumer data sets and predict future behavior. These are some of the most interesting on the increasing list of potential applications for AI in marketing:

  • Content strategy – recommending what content to create next
  • Campaign strategy – recommending what sequence of communications to deliver
  • Personalization – recommending the right content for each customer based on behavior
  • Segmentation – clustering customers based on behavior or intent
  • Copy automation – automatically generating subject lines and descriptions
  • Lead or account prioritization – ranking leads or accounts by their likelihood to close
  • Sales strategy – recommending the right product/service offering and content to use in sales
  • Sales intent – predicting the right product offering, deal size, and close date
  • Retargeting – recommending the right content within retargeted ad units

Since the major marketing suites have yet to fully deploy or productize their AI offerings, adopting AI usually requires a blend of point solutions and…

Jade Clarke Shortlisted as Regional Finalist in CTO’s Caribbean Primary School Writing Competition


Turks and Caicos, July 25, 2017 – Providenciales – The nation’s Top GSAT Student, Jade Clarke of Precious Treasures International Academy, has been shortlisted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) as one of three regional finalists in this year’s Caribbean Primary School Tourism Writing Competition.

The CTO’s Caribbean Primary School Tourism Writing Competition for 2017, the CTO Year of Adventure in the Caribbean, was launched by the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board at the end of March. Held in every CTO member country for children within two age groups – 8-10 years and 10-12 years, the competition sought to encourage both creative and formal writing submissions related to strengthening sustainable tourism development in the region.

The competition featured two distinct entry streams: the Formal Writing Stream included works that count as either essays or prose, while the Creative Writing Stream included works that…

Seeing double: Claus Skadkjaer, Managing Director of Luxottica

Seeing double: Claus Skadkjaer

Claus Skadkjaer sees twice the opportunity for eyewear in Asia and is opening people’s eyes to the functional and fashionable possibilities.

It’s one of the classic rags-to-riches tales of the business world. At the age of seven, a young Leonardo Del Vecchio was sent to a Northern Italian orphanage by his widowed mother, herself struggling with too many mouths to feed. Later, he served an apprenticeship in a Milanese tool factory until 1961 when he established his own business supplying parts for spectacles.

Under his direction, this company – Luxottica (ottica is Italian for optics) – would become the largest eyewear company in the world, catapulting him onto the Forbes Billionaire List (where he currently sits at number 50), and earning him a residence in Monte Carlo and the title of Italy’s richest man.

Testaments to his business acumen include the 1999 acquisition of iconic, yet flailing, eyewear brand Ray-Ban, nursing it back to the cult status it enjoyed during the Aviator-wearing Tom Cruise Top Gun heyday. The company was also listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1990, and later Borsa Italiano in 2000.

Claus Skadkjaer Managing Director of Luxottica
Claus Skadkjaer, Managing Director of Luxottica

At 82, Leonardo is still very much the visionary. After attempting retirement in 2004, he returned to take the reins a decade later, masterminding the merger with French lens manufacturer Essilor, officially announced in January 2017. Forbes predicts that the amalgamation is projected to capture up to 27% of the global eyewear market. “If I’m like Leonardo is at 82, I’ll be very happy,” Claus Skadkjaer laughs.

Claus Skadkjaer establishes a regional footprint

Claus traded in 15 years at Proctor & Gamble to move into the eyewear category when he became Luxottica’s managing director of South East Asia and Hong Kong–Taiwan in 2012. Words like “entrepreneurial”, “passionate” and “visionary” pepper his explanation of why he jumped at the opportunity to join the firm that counts Ray-Ban, Oakley, Persol, Vogue Eyewear, Oliver Peoples, Alain Miki, and Arnette as proprietary brands and produces specs and shades under licence from luxurious labels such as BVLGARI, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Prada.

“What really attracted me to Luxottica was how the company empowers you to be the decision-maker,” he explains. When he started, Luxottica’s presence in the region was limited, undertaken entirely by a distributor network. “So it was my…