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Shadow Brokers

A cache of hacks against Windows machines were recently released by the Shadow Brokers hacking group. Microsoft quickly assured Windows users that the OS is fully patched up against the threats and advised users who were not running up-to-date software to update it as soon as possible.

Our View: The threat actor group known as the Shadow Brokers publicized an arsenal of hacking tools as well as a series of zero-day exploits targeting various software, servers, and operating systems. Many previously unknown methodologies and vulnerabilities are disclosed in this release. Our briefing, The Shadow Brokers – Details on Leaked Cyberintelligence Tools and Vulnerabilities, will provide a synopsis of what these leaks mean for users and organizations, and what actions can be taken in response to this new information.

Leverage Unstructured Data

Organizations are leveraging data science and text analytics to strengthen customer experience, reduce fraudulent transactions, and make their business more successful overall. Several organizations have more big data potential than they realize. A study by the University of Texas revealed that Fortune 1000 companies could gain $2 billion a year in employee productivity by increasing the usability of their data by 10%.

Our View: Collecting more unstructured data creates additional business opportunities, but data issues are deeply rooted and extremely complex. Not only do organizations have trouble choosing a starting point to address bad data, but they also have difficulty finding the root cause of the issue. As a result, data audits can be long, tedious initiatives that offer little insight into data issues. An annual data audit initiative will continually revise and fine-tune ongoing practices, processes, and procedures for the management and handling of data within the organization. Use our research, Perform a Data Audit.

IBM Speeds Up IT Help Desk Support

IBM announced in a recent press release that it is working to bring Watson (its cognitive computing product) to the help desk to improve the speed of tech support. This new product, officially called IBM’s Workplace Support Service with Watson, will offer support any time of the day to workers on any device.

Our View: Help-desk costs can be drastically reduced by exploring streamlined and efficient password reset techniques like self-service. Automating provisioning/deprovisioning cycle times through software batch processes also saves time and costs. See our research, Build an Identity Security Services Plan, for more advice.

The Lift: First Global Laughter Yoga Conference

For more than twenty years, laughter yoga has been a method to achieve happiness and wellbeing. Originating in India, the practice of laughter yoga has spread all over the world with the premise that participants should laugh without a reason to invoke a wide variety of benefits from a strengthened immune system to greater interpersonal skills. Whether or not laughter yoga brings anything more than a wave of positive feelings, people will be gathered for the first global laughter yoga conference in Germany this June.

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