Having a headquarters in Austin, Texas is not the only thing that warm cookie delivery company, Tiff’s Treats, and Dell have in common.Another commonality: We both trace back to humble beginnings on a college campus. Fifteen years after Michael Dell launched Dell Computers out of a University of Texas dorm room, it was 1999 and another campus-based company was being baked up… literally.Meet Tiffany and Leon Chen, founders and owners of Tiff’s Treats.Baking and delivering warm cookies straight from Leon’s college apartment kitchen, the Chens have built a cookie empire that now includes 32 stores and counting.If hearing “warm cookie delivery” makes your mouth water but doesn’t spark thoughts of computer hardware, you’re not alone.“People think we are just multiple bakeries, but everything is connected through technology.Share“People think we are just multiple bakeries, but everything is connected through technology,” says Tiffany Chen. “If one store gets too busy, I can press a button and extend delivery times so our customer’s expectations are met.”Initially running their company from a single Dell PC and a QuickBooks license, the Chens technology needs have grown as their cookie brand grew from beloved homegrown Austin business to a national stage.“It’s the Ferrari of laptops.ShareToday, the Chens rely on an in-house IT director and their Dell Small Business Tech Advisor to manage their growing IT needs including Dell POS systems and Leon’s Dell Precision 5520, which he refers to as “the Ferrari of laptops.”Right now, sitting at my desk in Dell’s headquarters, business facts and figures are far from my mind. I’m enjoying a quiet break with a cookie, what Tiff’s Treats has coined my “warm cookie moment.”I love seeing them grow their business. They’ve been Austin’s local celebrities for years and they’ve now been well received in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and then outside the great state of Texas into Atlanta. For me, it’s icing on the… cookie that Dell has been there every step of the way.
As Advanced Persistent Threats Rise, Dell’s BIOS Verification Approach Is the Secure Way ForwardEveryone can relate to the experience of booting up a computer – hitting the power button, hearing the startup sound, and ultimately seeing the home screen appear. But even some tech professionals may not be aware of what’s happening under the surface.When the CPU is booted up, the first thing it does is communicate with the flash memory on the motherboard to fetch a piece of code called the Basic Input Output System (BIOS). The BIOS’s job is to initialize the motherboard components, chipset and other hardware in the system. The BIOS on modern systems is based on the UEFI specification, however, for the purposes of this post, we will use the more general term BIOS to refer to this system firmware.This piece of code is highly privileged and trusted by the computer. It’s the first link in the chain of trust that extends from system reset to your applications, e-commerce transactions and everything else you do on your machine. For cybercriminals, this privileged role makes it an enticing target.If a cybercriminal is able to leverage a vulnerability that allows them access to BIOS-level privilege, it could target your motherboard and potentially cause your OS and hardware components to malfunction. If an attacker gets this level of privilege it could be difficult to remediate by traditional methods, as the BIOS sits beneath the OS layer. BIOS malware has been shown to persist across hard drive wipes, OS reinstalls and other usual means of eradication.For these reasons, the BIOS serves as the foundation of other security layers, and protecting it is a vital part of a defense-in-depth strategy. OEMs, security vendors and IT pros employ a variety of methods to protect the BIOS. And as Cylance Principal Research Scientist Alex Matrosov discussed in a recent Black Hat presentation, Dell’s strategy is among the most comprehensive, including BIOS Lock Enable (BLE), SMM BIOS Write Protection (SMM_WP) and numerous other methods of BIOS protection that our competitors either don’t offer at all or don’t offer to the level of sophistication that Dell does.Another technology that sets us apart from other OEMs is our BIOS verification approach.BIOS verification tests the integrity of the BIOS before it executes, and can restore a known good copy when necessary. The difference from other vendors is that we use a secure cloud environment to compare and test an individual BIOS image against the official measurements held in the Dell BIOS lab. By conducting this test on an off-device environment, users can be assured that the post-boot image is not compromised as the testing takes place in a secure cloud platform and not on a potentially infected device.Some OEMs have tried to take a self-contained approach to verification by including a shadow copy of the BIOS on the motherboard and pre-boot code that checks the BIOS against the shadow copy. The problem with this method is that the “known good” BIOS copy lives on the potentially compromised hardware. So, if cybercriminals have tampered with the copy to match the compromised BIOS, it will make it difficult to see that an attack has even happened.Dell’s approach addresses these challenges in a more reliable way, employing a level of security that will detect modification to the BIOS even if a cyberattacker has gained physical control of the motherboard.The combination of data encryption and advanced threat prevention in one security suite with the added security of off-host BIOS verification provides a three-tier approach for securing data and ensuring overall system security and integrity both above and below the OS. This feature is available on all Dell commercial PCs running Intel 6th generation processors or higher with a Dell Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise license.The only thing evolving as quickly as today’s workforce are the cyber threats it faces. BIOS is the foundation for your most precious data and cyberattackers are knocking – will you be protected? Learn more about keeping your Dell BIOS up to date in our knowledge base article.
Why an integrated, enterprise approach to IoT surveillance is the way forwardMore cameras, more sensors, more intelligence―today’s advanced video surveillance systems do more than ever before to protect people and property, with applications far beyond perimeter monitoring and access control.However, as a recent IDC white paper points out, putting new surveillance technologies to work quickly gets complex. More devices, more data, and more connections mean more potential security risk and more integration and management challenges.With widespread digitization, surveillance moves from what was once an essentially self-contained function to one that spans the larger enterprise IT/IoT environment―with implications for infrastructure, security, data management, analytics, operations, software development, and workplace tools.More “things”In many ways, video surveillance via the first IP (Internet Protocol) cameras in the mid-90s was the original IoT use case, where digital cameras collected and centralized information about the physical world. Fast-forward twenty plus years to today. The ecosystem of digital IP cameras has extended outward to a web of interconnected “things” in surveillance, including not only more advanced imaging sensors but also other types of IoT sensors capable of detecting and digitizing information about the physical environment ranging from chemical signatures to temperature to pressure to sound to vibration. The growth of this market is continuing its upwards trajectory. By 2021, IDC predicts that annual shipments of fixed IP/network surveillance cameras will exceed 130 million and mobile surveillance cameras (e.g., drones, vehicles, body wear) will top 73 million.A more complete pictureThe ability to combine digital video data with other IoT-sensor surveillance data as well as with other data sources (e.g., employee records, building schematics, campus maps) and powerful analytics (e.g., telemetry, facial recognition, machine learning, artificial intelligence) enables a new kind of computer vision. Security officers gain a more immediate, complete, and accurate picture of situations as they unfold. The likelihood of useful machine-recommended responses grows. And investigators gain digital search and analysis tools that make inquiries into past incidents much faster and easier.More data One of the biggest challenges is storing, aggregating, analyzing, and protecting the massive amounts of data generated by a greater number of cameras with higher resolution, multiple modalities, and additional IoT sensors. Security departments are turning to IT organizations for expertise in how best to meet the demands of compute performance, storage, and backend analytics as well as with how to comply with the longer retention periods being set by regulatory bodies and institutional policies. New storage technologies and tiered storage approaches are needed to achieve efficiency and resiliency. And many enterprises are looking to hybrid or private cloud storage, especially for archiving video data, for the flexibility and scalability it offers.More vulnerabilitiesEach IP camera and IoT device in the surveillance network is a potential attack vector, making advanced security methods critical—from software-defined network micro-segmentation to edge compute security to over-the-air updates.More complexities, more opportunitiesThe buildout of advanced surveillance systems presents significant challenges in terms of hardware, software and network integration, deployment and onboarding of new devices over time, and ongoing management. But rather than addressing these challenges at the solution or even application level, organizations should tackle these challenges using a broader enterprise-wide lens—more specifically, by looking at how the solution can be leveraged to help drive future growth and transformation, including:Digital transformation: Determine how surveillance data and other enterprise and external data can be leveraged with advanced analytics, machine learning, and AI not just to address safety and security objectives but also to advance other objectives in areas such as product quality, customer experience, and market differentiation.IT/OT transformation: Achieve new agility and efficiencies through architectural and operational alignment of IT and OT investments.Workforce transformation: Address changes in roles and responsibilities and provide the right type of display and dashboard tools.Security transformation: Take a more proactive, built-in software-defined approach to secure enterprise data and systems to better handle the increased number of threat vectors.A more open, holistic, and integrated approach―from camera to core to cloudAccording to IDC, the best approach to deploying advanced surveillance systems and integrating them into the greater IT environment is with an open, integrated, and holistic platform.As the number one global infrastructure provider for surveillance solutions today, Dell Technologies has done just that with our new Dell Technologies IoT Solution for Surveillance platform. IoT Solution for Surveillance is an end-to-end surveillance platform built on Dell and Intel® technologies―with the customer’s choice of devices, software, and analytics―all validated in one of our three global Surveillance Validation Labs. The open architecture includes designed-in security and scalability that reduces risk, cost, and complexity while providing the flexibility to adapt to future innovations and needs.Dell Technologies IoT Solution for Surveillance combined with our expert strategic consulting services and backed by the Dell EMC Global Services and Support team equips organizations with the right solutions, skill sets, and services needed to meet their surveillance needs today while preparing for what’s coming tomorrow. If we can be sure of one thing, there will always be more.For more information, visit: www.dellemc.com/surveillance
Technology has transformed how we work, live and play. And that’s why we are launching Technology Powers X, a podcast that follows human stories of the many ways innovative new technology is reshaping our world. Join us as each episode explores the intersections of life-changing discoveries, inventions and insights, and the advances in information technology that make them possible. You’ll experience the many unexpected ways new systems and devices are improving social outcomes across the globe.Technology Powers X is hosted by Danielle Applestone, a serial entrepreneur, engineer and CEO/co-founder of Daughters of Rosie, the online job center for hands-on careers. Danielle received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.Episode 1 of Technology Powers X will be available on June 9th on Dell Technologies and through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever else you get your podcasts. Please subscribe to be notified when new episodes are released.Listen to the trailer below for a sneak peak of what’s to come. TranscriptIn a spare bedroom now converted into an office, 23 miles from company headquarters, an executive seeks business as usual against a whole new set of challenges while competing with teenagers for bandwidth, and the family’s beagle who feels the need to chime in during the 9:00 AM staff meeting.At that moment, in an otherwise quiet corner of their lab, a team of audio engineers run a final series of tests that could forever improve the experience of working from home.In an operating room deep within a downtown hospital, a patient counts backwards from 100 as a small surgical team prepares a life changing procedure. Three states away, a hardware engineer calls it a day. On her way home, she passes a hospital wondering, for a moment, what her day’s work might do to change lives inside.I’m Danielle Applestone and this is Technology Powers X, an original podcast from Dell Technologies. Each episode explores unexpected intersections, moments when life changing technologies converge with human stories, and where together they empower each other. These are stories of human obstacles overcome by IT innovation and the people who make it possible. Episode one drops June 9th. Subscribe now on your favorite podcast app.
MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court has fined U.S.-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty $14,600 for violating the country’s law on foreign agents. Under the law, an organization receiving foreign funding that engages in loosely defined political work must register and identify itself as a foreign agent. The court, ruling on a complaint by state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, said Wednesday that two Russian-language websites operated by RFE/RL did not post the required language on stories identifying them as foreign agents. The law is seen as an attempt to discredit foreign reporting and non-governmental organizations because of the pejorative connotation that the term “foreign agent” carries for many Russians.
MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — Police say at least 14 passengers were killed when a speeding bus overturned on a highway in southern Pakistan. Eleven passengers were also injured in Tuesday’s accident, which took place in the town of Uthal in Sindh province. Police say the accident apparently happened when the driver lost control of the bus on account of speeding, though authorities are still investigating. Women and children were among the dead and injured. Deadly road accidents are common in Pakistan due to poor road infrastructure and maintenance, as well as a blatant disregard of traffic laws.