C5 has announced the winners of its inaugural Shield in the Cloud competition. The challenge, supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS), PeaceTech Lab, and SAP NS2, was created to bring together the best and brightest minds working in anti-corruption technology.
Each year, the U.S. Department of State, PeaceTech Labs, and other partners hold a Partners Practitioners Forum. The PeaceTech Accelerator accepts startups whose goals align with the seven “PeaceTech” themes.
C5 and AWS are proud to partner with ICMEC to accelerate and revolutionise the search for missing children globally: GMCNgine: Revolutionizing the Search for Missing Children
A picture speaks more than a thousand words. Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing exponentially as a new industry and has a critical role to play in cybersecurity innovation.
Artificial intelligence refers to an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that learn and adapt through experience. AI technologies use machine learning (ML) to emulate human cognition and learn through experience, rather than cause and effect.
Recent advancements in deep learning and machine learning now mean that machines are able to teach themselves rather than relying on humans. This rise of AI and ML can be attributed to advancements in computing power and also the advent of big data and cloud computing. Growth in these areas means that this technology is beginning to become available to enterprises around the world, and one area it is being put to great use is cybersecurity.
The implementation of AI into cybersecurity systems serves as a real turning point. These systems come with a number of substantial benefits that are helping prepare cybersecurity professionals for taking on cyber-attacks and safeguarding their enterprise.
AI is already being used by organisations to bolster cybersecurity as it offers greater protection against sophisticated hackers. AI helps by automating complex processes for detecting attacks and reacting to breaches. These applications are becoming more and more sophisticated as AI is deployed for security and uses ML to spot greater and more complex patterns in the technology hackers are using in their attacks.
Data deception technology products used in cybersecurity can automatically detect, analyse, and defend against advanced attacks by proactively detecting and tricking attackers. They do this according to a standardized procedure or playbook. Rather than the variability (and ultimately inaccuracy) that comes with a human touch, AI systems don’t make mistakes in performing their function. As such, each threat is responded to in the most effective and proper way.
Although cybersecurity technology can eliminate human error from certain tasks, it still works best when combined with very smart security personnel. Instead of bringing fears that AI will replace human workers in cybersecurity, as well as many other industries, in the sphere of security ML is being used within several different areas to compliment, rather than replace, traditional measures. In practice, this means that AI is there to do the number crunching, and free up cybersecurity analysts for other tasks.
The benefit of ML to AI cybersecurity systems also means that this adaptive technology continues to change and become smarter over time, providing a competitive edge to defenders that have primarily been absent from most cybersecurity technologies to date.
Unfortunately, there are still some vulnerabilities that AI can open up, particularly when it depends on interfaces within and across organisations that inadvertently create opportunities for access by hackers.
As the defenders in cybersecurity begin to deploy AI, it comes as little surprise that the attackers are also beginning to deploy AI, enabling it to have the ability to make decisions that benefit attackers. This means that they will gradually develop automated hacks that are able to study and learn about the systems they target and identify vulnerabilities.
As the technology improves, it’s possible that programmes will emerge with the ability to fully understand when they are under attack and take measures to protect themselves. For now, AI and ML look to have a bright future in cybersecurity as enterprises begin to invest heavily in adding smart security measures to their overall defence.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing has revolutionised the way in which we think about IT infrastructure. It provides businesses with the delivery of computing services including, servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more, over the internet, or ‘the cloud’.
This eliminates the need for the costly ownership and upkeep of computer hardware, with cloud providers instead offering the services on-demand. This is beneficial for many companies, but especially smaller start-ups as it provides exactly the right type and size of computing resources required for the job with no waste, you just pay for what you use.
Although cloud computing services are barely a decade old, the technology has been leapt upon so rapidly that its use has already started to become ubiquitous in our daily lives. If you use email, watch films and TV shows online, stream music, play games, or just store pictures and other documents, it is almost certain that cloud computing is making it all possible.
Cloud computing has caused a real paradigm shift in the way in which businesses think about IT resources. Look at the benefits of cloud computing however, and it becomes clear why so many are turning to it as a preferred IT solution.
The benefits of cloud computing:
Cloud computing eliminates the cost associated with setting up and running on-site data centres including the racks of servers, the round-the-clock energy demands, and the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. It also benefits from massive economies of scale, with many thousands of users, cloud providers can offer their services at lower prices.
Cloud computing services are most commonly provided as on demand services. This means that vast amounts of computing power can be provisioned in minutes, giving businesses the flexibility to up weight and down weight resources as required and stop guessing capacity.
Cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centres, and are regularly upgraded to the latest and most efficient computing hardware. This not only means that the upkeep of these services is done more efficiently than at a single privately owned data centre, but the worldwide network also allows for fast deployment of applications around the world with reduced network latency.
Backing up data is important and cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity far easier and cost effective than ever before.
How does C5 use cloud computing?
Cloud computing is taking the power we have come to know from our personal and upscaled it to create a global network of computing infrastructure to be used for everyone’s benefit. Thanks to the economies of scale involved, it now requires less capital and less infrastructure to build organisations, allowing start-ups to grow, scale and innovate globally on an unprecedented scale.
C5 have recognised the benefits of the cloud to new businesses and have begun running accelerators in Bahrain and Washington D.C. through C5 Accelerate. The eight-week structured program of mentorship is designed to cover all aspects of scaling up, with a focus on scaling using the cloud.
The Cloud Accelerator program in Bahrain is a first for the Middle East and Africa and aims to drive growth in the local and regional business ecosystem by enabling the rapid adoption of cloud technology. The program has already started to develop and fund businesses from across the region with a focus on technologies that align with the economic priorities of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including companies in manufacturing, financial services and technology sector development.
At the PeaceTech Accelerator based at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington D.C. and powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), C5 has launched the first major international peacetech program powered by cloud innovation and dedicated to scaling start-ups around the world. C5 is investing in peacetech because it represents the purposeful application of the innovation that cloud computing enables for good and not evil.
Following the programs, cohort companies enter a peer network for ongoing support and guidance.
These collaborations build on the existing relationship between C5 and AWS, in which AWS supports C5 accelerators with expertise and support to help train program participants on cloud computing services. With the AWS Cloud, PeaceTech accelerator and Cloud Accelerator participants can take advantage of the power of cloud technology to help launch and grow a business rapidly, securely, and cost effectively.
We have to use the power of the cloud to innovate the way in which we track, investigate and prevent money laundering.
Article by Reuters here
I want to share a great blog post by C5’s portfolio company, Panoply.
The world of IoT devices offers consumers and businesses a wealth of benefits, but by sharing more data than ever before, are we leaving ourselves open to more cybersecurity risks than ever?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the name given to the increasingly large number of internet connected devices available to both consumers and businesses. From Amazon’s popular home assistant, the Amazon Echo, to fridges, thermostats and even cars, the number of internet connected devices available continues to grow and is thought to reach 20 billion by 2020.
The IoT has come with many benefits with formally everyday objects now able to become greater than the sum of their parts by connecting to surrounding objects, and sharing an extensive amount of data about our lives in the process.
Traditionally we may have only thought of interconnected devices in terms of computers, and later smartphones and tablets. The world of IoT is one in which just about anything can be connected and communicate in a meaningful way by sharing data to produce usable intelligence. With the IoT, the physical world is becoming one big information system, with the goal of simplifying processes and empowering individuals and businesses.
However, the more personal information and business data that exists in the cloud to make the IoT work, the more it can be exploited through the devices we are coming to increasingly rely upon. A weak link in the chain could provide hackers with nearly limitless entry points that could lead them to valuable data.
While IoT devices are undoubtedly improving our lives and businesses, they pose an increasing security threat. It’s a security threat that has already been exploited in the 2016 Mirai botnet attack that took advantage of unsecured IoT devices such as security cameras and wireless routers to unleash sweeping attacks on key internet services around the world in a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
This attack and others have demonstrated that hackers can now craft attacks with unprecedented sophistication and correlate information not just from public networks, but from different private sources including our smart fridges, thermostats and cars.
Part of the issue that has left the IoT open to such vulnerabilities is the rapid pace that it has progressed with a seemingly constant stream of products coming to market from established brands and start-ups alike. In this quickly evolving world, every device made that connects to the internet is exponentially expanding the points of attack for hackers. A study by Hewlett Packard Enterprise showed that up to 70 percent of IoT devices contain serious vulnerabilities.
Cybersecurity issues with the IoT is becoming a hot topic and consumers and businesses are becoming more aware of the potential risks these devices pose. A survey by digital security company Gemalto found that 90 percent of consumers lack confidence in the security of their IoT devices and only 14 percent believe that they are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the security of these devices. As for businesses 75 percent reported that encryption is their primary method of securing IoT assets with many also realising that they need support in understanding IoT technology and are turning to partners to help.
As more people adopt IoT as a part of everyday life at home and in the workplace, regulations are needed to ensure our safety and security. Industry and government are catching up to the concerns of consumers and businesses with a raft of recently passed legislation and guidelines to secure the future of the IoT.
The most recent legislation comes from the UK government, putting in place new measures for manufacturers to boost cyber security in millions of internet connected devices following a rise in cybersecurity breaches. Manufacturers of IoT devices will now be expected to build-in tough new security measures that last the lifetime of the product.
This comes hot on the heels of the U.S. government’s Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 created to establish guidelines for securing devices procured by the U.S. government.
Similarly, companies are beginning to adopt and develop guidelines to ensure the secure development and deployment of IoT devices. Central to these standards are identity-focused security solutions, which can help IoT security by managing the relationships between these devices, the entities controlling them, and the data being sent and received.
One resource to help create guidelines and drive requirements for businesses to follow is the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), a repository of information on web applications security, which lays out cybersecurity suggestions in its IoT Attack Surface Areas Project.
With capable hackers everywhere, and their focus growing on the IoT due to the increasing flow of data around it, securing our interconnected devices and educating users to the risks has never been more important.
The cybersecurity network is adjusting to the demands of the Internet of Things with a better regulated industry and government legislation helping to minimise the threat from hackers. With some relatively simple cyber hygiene practices that stretch from the IT department to employees, organisations can stay connected and still be safe from cyber-attacks. However, we’re still likely to see bigger and more invasive attacks in the short term while we all get to grips with the risks as well as the benefits of our new interconnected world.
Press release on:
C5, the investment specialist firm focused on cyber security, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, has announced the winners of its inaugural Shield in the Cloud competition. The challenge, supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS), PeaceTech Lab, and SAP NS2, was created to bring together the best and brightest minds working in anti-corruption technology.
The winners were announced at the Shield in the Cloud Awards gala, held at C5’s PeaceTech Accelerator. General Keith Alexander, founder of the United States Cyber Command, former Commander of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and current Chief Executive Officer of IronNet Cybersecurity gave the keynote speech. The General spoke about the work being done by the NSA to combat corruption, both at home in the US, and internationally. Andre Pienaar, Founder of C5 Capital, and Kurt Scherer of Booz Allen Hamilton also spoke at the event. The speakers awarded prizes in three categories: Dream Big, Not for Profit and Government.
The winners were:
1. Dream Big – Donor: Mark Labs
2. Dream Big – Local Community: MyndGenie
3. Dream Big – Global Trade: Pole Star – PurpleTRAC
4. Not for Profit: Ushahidi
5. Government: Transparency International Ukraine – ProZorro.Sale
The Special Operations Division (SOD) of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Citibank also received special recognition awards. The DEA were recognised for building an innovative model to combat the linkage between corruption, narcotics and terrorist finance, and Citibank for their support of global technology innovation through their Tech4Integrity programme.
Andre Pienaar, Founder, C5, said, “Shield in the Cloud is the first global innovation challenge to combat corruption and terrorist financing worldwide. The public cloud provides unprecedented opportunity to innovate, scale and strengthen good governance, everywhere. We were delighted to see the scale and pace of innovation in so many innovative applicants in the challenge. We were honoured to meet so many leaders and entrepreneurs who are determined to fight organised crime, terrorist finance and corruption to protect their countries and communities, often against the odds.”
Georgina Callander, Director, Cloud Leadership Centre, said, “There has been an incredible and uplifting number of applicants and discussions that have come out of the challenge. It’s clear that the issues that have been raised during our roundtables and interviews with key technology leaders and government officials are front-of-mind for all. This first competition has been a great success and we look forward to continuing to work in this field—not just with the winners—but with some of the high level companies that have also participated in the Challenge.”
A total of 61 organisations connected with the challenge. A panel of expert judges then created a shortlist of 24 before selecting the winners. These judges included Patrick Garver, formerly Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Barrick; Andy Powell, Head of Product Management, Eduserv; Moira Andrews, Director, Praetor Consultants; Andre Pienaar, Founder, C5 and; Kurt Scherer, Director, Booz Allen Innovation Center. The full shortlist can be seen here.
Prize winners will receive AWS cloud credits and the option of taking a place at C5’s PeaceTech Accelerator in Washington D.C. to further develop their products under the guidance of C5, AWS, SAP NS2 and PeaceTech Lab mentors.
Photos of the event are available on request, along with full profiles of each winning company.
C5 portfolio company, Panoply, saves Kimberley-Clark money with AWS and Tableau.
Article from Tableau
In Europe, the company’s e-commerce data comes from multiple regions and disjointed data sources. The EMEA Analytics team is responsible for managing it, but their legacy systems did not provide the flexibility they needed to quickly address questions coming at them, which required considerable data analysis. The selection to use Tableau on Panoply has been a game-changer, saving the company $250,000 in two years and up to eight hours weekly, while also putting the power of secure data analysis in more hands. For the analytics team, the upside has been significant with more time gained to interpret the data versus spending endless hours making sense of it.
Kimberly-Clark saves thousands of dollars, without straining resources
Ask Helena Carre, EMEA Omnichannel Analytics Lead at Kimberly-Clark, about the Tableau platform running on Panoply, and she’ll tell you it’s like having “analytic superpowers.”
Carre spends most of her time immersed in data, leading the EMEA Analytics team. Kimberly Clark’s e-commerce data stems from 15 different regions, aggregated from disparate sources.
The diverse EMEA region has different SKUS and item descriptions for each retailer. The team also collects and analyzes consumer data from multiple internal sources (including data on sales and marketing spend), external sources (like SimilarWeb and Nielsen), and web applications. Combine those SKUs with siloed data and duplicate data points inherent in their legacy systems that include digital shelf analytics and a web-based platform, and their landscape is quite saturated.
It was mission-critical to find a nimble solution. Carre’s team chose to adopt Panopy’s AI-driven smart data warehousing solution in conjunction with Tableau. The powerful combination has saved the team over 400 hours in a year, equivalent to nearly a quarter of a million dollars, while enabling secure, automated data access to more professionals within the organization. They now spend less time collecting and wading through data and more time interpreting it. The combined strengths of Tableau and Panoply also gives them a ‘playground’ where they can adjust datasets for ad-hoc discovery. Carre compares “a data pro without a sandbox to a painter without a canvas”; and her sandbox is something that wasn’t available with existing solutions.
“The one-two punch of using Tableau on Panoply for fast performance was the best possible solution for my team,” says Carre. “It gave me the things I needed – speed, automation, efficiency, flexibility – without blowing up my budget, increasing my headcount, or adding unneeded complexity. It continues to be a great complement to my existing resources.”
As an added bonus, new capabilities for the team have included being able to easily compare side-by-side the performance by store format (i.e. online, in-store, express format, superstore, etc.). Examples of performance metrics now analyzed include: pricing and promotions, pack size, market share and growth.
Expanding analytic capabilities, without requiring more staff
Carre and her team support Kimberly-Clark by reporting on the latest market share, price elasticity, and consumer trends. Because of the company’s large, complex datasets, Carre often called on IT resources to help her design queries and ETL processes for business intelligence questions before she could visualize them in Tableau. While this process worked, it was not agile enough for them to quickly answer the demanding business questions being asked.
The Tableau on Panoply solution addresses the data wrangling and analytics needs faced by Carre’s team, and has saved the company an immense amount of time and headcount. For example, on just one regional retail report, the team saved eight hours per week—equivalent to $250,000 every two years, as referenced above. This report is one example of Kimberly Clark’s “huge return on investment,” bringing new capabilities without adding another Business Analyst to the team or undergoing lengthy requirements-gathering or customer development processes.
Under the hood: “Tableau on Panoply” solution
Panoply monitors queries in real-time, automatically adjusting for optimal performance. To accomplish this Panoply uses proprietary AI algorithms to learn usage patterns, optimize datasets, and cache frequently-run queries, all with the goal of improving responsiveness to the end user. Tableau and Panoply ran a joint study looking at these performance improvements with common dashboard configurations. Over the course of this three week study, they found that Panoply provided up to a 90 percent reduction in dashboard runtime.
To learn more, read the whitepaper:
- How Panoply optimized Amazon Redshift to deliver performant Tableau dashboards
- How Tableau work with the AWS ecoystem
Article from Tableau