If you’re jonesing to revisit the Marvel universe and are already depressed about having to wait another couple of years for the reboot of Iron Man and friends, here’s two pieces of good news. First, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will hit theaters in early May, and second, the Secret Invasion miniseries on Disney+ has Nick Fury fighting a Skrull invasion. What’s the over and under for Samuel L. Jackson saying mother*****r on Disney+?
News from the frontiers of AI. We’ve officially entered the age of AI, as in some version of artificial intelligence will be added to every product. A recent example is Microsoft Security Copilot, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 generative AI. Honestly, more smarts for security can’t hurt, and spreading it from end to end should help. More details from Redmond soon.
Zoom IQ (pictured), also with OpenAI, is a smart companion that boosts collaboration by summarizing chat threads, organizing ideas, drafting content for chats and emails, and generating meeting summaries. Might help you catch the meeting points you missed while going through your email while others prattled on and on.
Cisco added AI to Webex Suite to create cinematic meetings on Cisco Collaboration by following faces, tracking voices, and choosing the best view of the active speaker. Smart lighting automatically fixes exposure problems.
Azure OpenAI service is the tool behind the upgraded Atera RMM platform that allows users to describe what they want and let OpenAI write a script that solves the problem for them. Goal is to speed ticket processing and gain time for higher-level support.
Security news. AI or not, better security is always the goal. ConnectWise announced a partnership with the CISA Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative to rev up cybersecurity for MSPs. Fresh threat intelligence, best practices, and training materials are just a few of the goodies.
Evo Security teamed with Solutions Granted to add its IAM tools to Solutions Granted’s cybersecurity tools for MSPs. End users will get new and improved identity and access features.
LogRhythm upgraded with new automation, extended threat detection capabilities, and log source management. LogRhythm SIEM promises to make life easier for analysts.
Hello to the announced Noname Public Sector’s Hardened Virtual Appliance, which will be available to the US. Federal Government, protecting mission-critical APIs and data.
Cyber emergencies will turn plans into chaos, so the new BlackBerry integration of MDR from CylanceGUARD with critical event management from BlackBerry AtHoc will allow secure bi-directional response communications.
IoT news. Yes, IoT devices like smart phones can help people access banks, especially in areas where 1.4 billion adults have no access to banks.
Everyone hates traffic and the time wasted sitting in your car moving at two miles per hour. RCR Wireless reports on how traffic cameras, video analytics, and parking lot access control may help you go at least 10 MPH.
Our friends at Hackster.io examine the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (pictured), a compact touchscreen dev kit with surprising abilities.
MachineQ and Onity teamed up for IoT-based smart locks for storage systems, all organized by the cloud.
If you’re into IoT and would like a new vertical, check out multifamily housing, says Parks Associates. Smart home tech is pulling them into the future.
No, the Sidewalk project from Amazon didn’t die. Developers are invited to jump in and request a test kit now that Sidewalk cover 90% of the U.S. population.
Other product news. Intermedia Cloud Communications rolled out Intermedia Unite Archiving, a data retention solution that preserves and protects business communication channels like chat, SMS, phone calls, and voice mail. The secret sauce? Generative AI, of course.
Axis Communications’ new cameras (pictured) with the ARTPEC-8 AI-powered chip are adding AI-based tech and video analytics to the company’s surveillance systems.
Scale Computing added Wasabi Surveillance Cloud tools to its edge video surveillance solutions, giving them bottomless storage in the cloud for their CCTV and video cameras.
Nope, you can’t get away from phone calls, but the new Jabra Evolve2 65 Flex professional headset provides best-in-class performance in a fold-and-go design. The 55 and 50 have premium audio quality at a lower price point.
Logitech Zone Learn devices are wired headsets designed to help users sustain focus through hours and hours and hours of comfortable use. Great for the education vertical.
Non-product vendor news. It’s in for one and up for another at Sophos, as Joe Levy (pictured) moves up to president of Sophos Technology Group while Bill Robbins joins as president of worldwide field operations.
The red carpet at NinjaOne unrolled for Joe Lohmeier, who becomes the first global channel chief.
The Welcome Wagon delivered HoJin Kim to the door at WatchGuard so he can become the new SVP and chief revenue officer.
The new guy looking for the meeting room at Deep Instinct is incoming CRO Ed Carter.
New General Manager of CloudOps Haiyan Song will also have executive vice president on her long business card at NetApp.
The double red carpet at UPSTACK bears the footprints of J. R. Vernick and Darren Jones as executive vice presidents and co-heads of customer experience.
The Alliance of Channel Women announced ACWConnect Live! Spring 2023 will be at the Venetian in Las Vegas on May 1, 2023. Attendees can meet and greet the next afternoon.
The “cloud” keeps growing and so do the tools for channel pros. Over at Veeam, the ProPartner Network revved up with the launch of the Veeam Competency Program for Veeam Value-Added Resellers and Veeam Cloud & Service Provider partners.
Someone at Mindmatrix put on a tuxedo to launch the exclusive partner engagement concierge services for its Bridge Partner Enablement Software.
Gradient MSP and CyberHoot did the integration dance for speedier billing reconciliations.
Bacula Systems and Backblaze did the same dance to offer complex IT environments a single backup and high-speed recovery platform.
The carpenters are finished, and Channel Partner Alliance members of CyberPower can now use the new portal.
TD SYNNEX has been named a global distributor for the Aruba EdgeConnect platform.
The Ooma AirDial system, a wireless cellular network connection for phones, has achieved multiple compliance certificates to replace POTS for mission-critical devices such as fire alarm panels, elevator phones, building entry systems, and blue light safety phones.
This week’s stats ticker:
The 2023 MSP Benchmark Report from Kaseya lists top priorities for the 1,000 plus respondents that include automation, cybersecurity, and integration. 90% of MSPs yearn for new automation tools that help them improve efficiency and let them take on more clients, and thereby increase revenue. 64% of executives named automation, including auto-remediation of tickets, as their top RMM feature. YoY, cybersecurity as the top IT challenge jumped 15%, partly because 65% report that most or all of their clients now ask for cybersecurity advice. In a blast from the past, 51% report break-fix is their most time-consuming activity.
“The State of Cybersecurity 2023: The Business Impact of Adversaries on Defenders,” published by Sophos, reports that 93% of organizations call execution of essential security tasks “challenging.” 75% say identifying the root cause of an incident remains tough. Over half admit that cyberthreats are now too advanced for their groups to handle on their own, leading 94% to work with external specialists to scale their security operations. Almost two-thirds wish the IT group could spend less time firefighting and more time on strategic issues like prevention.
The most recent Internet Security Report from WatchGuard Threat Lab had some good news: a decline in network-detected malware. Before you break out the champagne, however, the bad news was the surge in endpoint ransomware, where detection rose 627%. Sorry, that’s not a typo. Encryption is the criminal’s friend, since 93% of malware uses it. Another sliver of good news? Zero day or evasive malware dropped to 43% in unencrypted traffic, the lowest in years.
Maybe Barracuda’s 2023 Ransomware Insights report should be titled, “Some people never learn,” because the headline is that 38% of organizations hit with ransomware in 2022 were repeat victims. Ouch. 73% were hit by at least one successful ransomware attack. 31% of victims of single attacks paid the ransom, but 42% of repeat victims admitted paying up. 69% of attacks started with a malicious email, usually phishing to steal credentials. Interestingly, 77% of orgs with cyberinsurance were hit with at least one successful ransomware attack compared to 65% without the insurance. Over a quarter admitted they weren’t fully prepared to deal with ransomware. Sounds low, since paying the ransom appears to admit your organization wasn’t prepared, according to some experts.
Lost and found. Phoenix is a lovely place with plenty to see and do, and that includes a Dairy Queen with a 15-foot-tall spoon on the side of the building. Yes, a giant red spoon. The owners report visitors often take photos and selfies of the huge utensil. Sounds like fun, right?
Until late one Friday or early one Saturday morning when two people on a motorbike stole the spoon, riding off into the night armed with a tool to attack a swimming-pool sized bowl of cereal. Owners Raman and Puja Kalra were distraught but admitted being more puzzled. “What are they going to do with a spoon?” asked Puja. The police taking the theft report probably had a good laugh, but theft is theft, and they were on it.
The DQ staff had t-shirts made asking, “Where’s my spoon?” Flyers were printed and posted. A reward was offered. OK, free Blizzards, but those are welcome on hot Phoenix days. Alas, nothing.
Until crack detective, well, Pokemon GO player Michael Foster, 52, searched his game and stumbled upon the missing 4.5 meter tall red ice cream to mouth delivery device at a middle school baseball field two miles from the Dairy Queen.
A Phoenix police officer tied the spoon to the roof of his patrol car and delivered the wandering implement back to its Dairy Queen home. Let’s hope he got some free ice cream for doing his civic duty.
Photo: Raman and Puja Kalra via the AP