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The Dark Side of Metaverse, Cryptocurrency & NFTs

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The Dark Side of Metaverse, Cryptocurrency & NFTs

Digital ponzi schemes promise high financial returns by exploiting breaches in the metaverse, cryptocurrency and NFTs.

Organisations that engage in a ponzi scheme focus all of their energy into attracting new customers to make investments.

Due to the lack of regulation in new technologies, fraudulent arrangements are premised on using new investors’ funds to pay the earlier backers.

Criminals are now using the metaverse, cryptocurrency och NFTs to scam investors.

What is a Ponzi Scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors. A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam which generates returns for earlier investors with money taken from later investors. This is similar to a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new investors’ funds to pay the earlier backers.

Ponzi schemes rely on a constant flow of new investments to continue to provide returns to older investors. When this flow runs out, the scheme falls apart.

Anatomy_of_a_Ponzi_Scheme.png

The term “Ponzi Scheme” was coined after a swindler named Charles Ponzi in 1920. However, the first recorded instances of this sort of investment scam can be traced back to the mid-to-late 1800s, and were orchestrated by Adele Spitzeder in Germany and Sarah Howe in the United States. In fact, the methods of what came to be known as the Ponzi Scheme were described in two separate novels written by Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, published in 1844 and Little Dorrit in 1857.

In 2008, Bernard Madoff was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme that falsified trading reports to show a client was earning a profit on investments that didn’t exist.

How to Spot A Digital Ponzi Scheme

The_Ponzi_Pyramid.jpeg

Regardless of the technology used in a digital Ponzi scheme, most share similar characteristics: 

  1. A guaranteed promise of high returns with little risk
  2. A consistent flow of returns regardless of market conditions
  3. Investments that have not been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  4. Investment strategies that are secret or described as too complex to explain
  5. Clients not allowed to view official paperwork for their investment
  6. The investment opportunity seems too good to be true 
  7. Customers facing difficulties removing their money

The Dark Side of the Metaverse

Harassment, assaults, bullying and hate speech already run rampant in virtual reality games, which are part of the metaverse.

Most of metaverse’s envisioned activity will have a financial aspect, and much of it will be unburdened by today’s technological, regulatory, legal and even logical/ethical constraints, opening the doors wide to an army of fraudsters, large and small crime cartels, and cyber criminals, thieves, spies, blackmailers, and every vice in between. Both legit players and every type of criminal under the sun is sure to try to exploit the obvious benefits of anonymity coupled with the luxury of enhanced presence and access, enabling crooks to cast their malign nets far and wide in search for victims – the naïve, uninitiated, old, and impressionable.

The_Metaverse_Ecosystem.png


Criminals will surely flock to the metaverse
, since it promises to be a rich source of potential recruits, operational capabilities and funds. The metaverse will expand the reach and impact of online recruiters, help them to fine-tune their message to optimise impact and help them press with accuracy every button in their targets’ psyche.

State-sponsored and commercial intelligence outfits, including North Korea, and, of course, Meta, Amazon and Google, are already investing time and resources to learn about and probe the operational limits of the upcoming interface between reality and virtuality to collect more information about everyone and everything.

The Dark Side of Cryptocurrency

Scammers exploit the fact that so many people are still fairly unfamiliar with cryptocurrency aside from its supposed “get rich quick” potential. 

Crypto_Scams.png

Chainalysis reports that a single Ponzi scheme based in China by itself brought in at least $2 billion last year, which would make it one of the biggest ever. PlusToken was a cryptocurrency wallet service that promised users high returns if they used Bitcoin or Ethereum to buy the fake company’s own token, called Plus. An elaborate marketing campaign convinced more than three million people—the majority of whom were in China, Korea, and Japan—to invest by reaching them through the popular messaging platform WeChat, holding in-person meetups, and posting ads in supermarkets. 

In June 2020, Chinese authorities arrested six people alleged to have been behind the scam, but it appears that at least one still hasn’t been caught, since someone has continued to launder the funds and even cash some of them out.

The Dark Side of NFTS

To buy your first NFT, you’ll need to sign up for a wallet that transacts on the Ethereum blockchain. MetaMask is perhaps the most popular Ethereum wallet for NFT collectors. However, MetaMask users were recently targeted in a phishing scam involving phoney advertisements that asked for users’ private wallet keys or 12-word security seed phrases (a big red flag). There are also fake malicious pop-ups operating via Discord, Telegram and other public forums that link to normal-looking login pages, such as MetaMask or other popular websites.

Gameover_for_Crypto.png

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have exploded into a multibillion-dollar sector of the crypto industry in the last 12 months alone. Top collector’s items, such as rare pieces from the Cool Cats and Bored Ape Yacht Club collections, trade for upwards of $30,000 or more.

If five- and six-figure price tags seem like a lot for a JPEG, NFT creators have a one-word answer for you: utility. Because NFTs create an indelible digital record of your ownership on the blockchain (aka the same tech on which crypto is minted), owning a digitally tokenized piece of art can also serve as your membership ticket to exclusive online clubs, gaming communities, Discord chat rooms and interactive experiences.

Slutsats

Regulation is needed to protect the reputation of the metaverse, cryptocurrency and NFTs markets. 

It also protects investors from fraud, ensuring fair competition and a level playing field. Good regulation is also good for the tech industry.

The metaverse, cryptocurrency and NFTs are still revolutionary. Patience is needed as these technologies have the potential to change the world forever. 

Given the rapid rate of technological change, professional financial advisors skilled in cryptocurrency, NFTs and the metaverse are required. That way, investors can understand technological, financial and cybersecurity risks to make informed decisions.


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TEKNOLOGI

IBM launches new way to partner through IBM Partner Plus

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Cloud Computing News

IBM has developed IBM Partner Plus, a new program that reimagines how IBM engages with its business partners through unprecedented access to IBM resources, incentives, and tailored support to deepen their technical expertise and help speed time to market.

The program is designed to fuel growth for new and existing partners, including resellers, hyperscalers, technology providers, independent software vendors and systems integrators, by putting them in control of their earning potential. IBM Partner Plus is central to the company’s Hybrid Cloud and AI strategy and aims to empower partners to help clients automate, secure and modernize their businesses.

IBM Partner Plus offers partners a transparent, simple and modern experience. By growing technical expertise and demonstrating sales success, participants can progress to three tiers – Silver, Gold and Platinum – which unlock specialized financial, go-to-market support and education benefits. In the new program, badging will become the standardized measure of skills and validated solutions will demonstrate expertise. The enhanced IBM Partner Portal consolidates and tracks all expertise, revenue, and deals globally, offering each partner a clear line-of-site into their progression through the program.

“IBM Partner Plus introduces a new way for IBM to deliver value to new and existing partners by helping them gain skills, grow faster and earn more,” said Kate Woolley, GM, IBM Ecosystem. “We’ve heard from partners that they want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients. I’m confident these changes and our continued investment in our ecosystem will make IBM the partner of choice across the industry, and together we can drive growth for partners, clients, and IBM.”

IBM Partner Plus results from the company’s journey to put partners at the centre of IBM’s go-to-market strategy and act as a growth engine to help capture the $1 trillion hybrid cloud and AI market opportunities. IBM has invested in elevating the role of partners and accelerating partner-led sales by enabling the ecosystem to become a preferred route to market, offering clients an optimal mix of technology, services, and consulting expertise. To drive continued growth, IBM will increase its capacity to support partners by doubling the number of partner-facing brand and technical specialists to help them prospect and win additional client business.

“The new IBM Partner Plus program provides an enhanced experience that sets our company up for success by offering employees access to skills and opportunities, so we can help more clients utilise IBM’s technology portfolio to modernise their operations,” said Bo Gebbie, President, Evolving Solutions. “IBM is more serious than ever about putting partners first. They’ve listened to our feedback, and it is reflected in the new partner experience that makes it easy for us to collaborate, rewards our investments and fuel growth.”

IBM Partner Plus brings all partner types and programs together – whether they sell, build on or with, and/or provide services for IBM technology – into one integrated ecosystem. For example, to help broaden the market opportunity and create new revenue streams for its ecosystem, IBM recently enabled partners in North America to resell IBM products through other cloud marketplaces. This allows for independent software vendors to embed IBM Software from partner marketplaces into their own solutions. All partner sales through the marketplace accumulate towards their progression in IBM Partner Plus. 

Competitive incentives

Partners can advance through tiers to unlock benefits and demand generation programs which could offer them up to a threefold increase in total investment from IBM. The IBM Partner Portal gives partners real-time visibility into the incentives they are eligible for, predictability into potential earnings, and includes an automated deal share engine that helps them surface quality leads. This has improved deal registration and introduced partners to more than 7,000 potential deals valued at over half a billion dollars globally.*  IBM investments in co-marketing campaigns and co-sell support with partners can also help bring solutions to market and generate demand.

Insider access

IBM Partner Plus builds on the successful release of its October badging and selling enablement materials to partners, which has driven more than 15,000 partner enrollments in sales and technical badges. Offering partners the training, enablement, and experiential selling resources available to IBMers at no cost can help better equip them to win with clients. Additionally, access to IBM’s seller tools can help them generate competitive and transparent pricing. Partners can also attend IBM’s quarterly Sales Kickoffs together with IBM sellers, and participate in live training sessions and other global technical advocacy events to help upskill, increase eminence, and engage with technical experts. For new partners, IBM is launching the IBM New Partner Accelerator, which provides onboarding, training, and other benefits during their first six months in the program to help accelerate their path to profitability.

Enhanced support and benefits

Partners can grow skills, develop solutions, and build sales expertise with technologies like AI, security, and cloud on an open hybrid cloud platform by leveraging technical experts from IBM. IBM will also assist partners in the development of minimal viable products, proofs of concept, and custom demos to help them win client business and accelerate growth. In addition, as partner businesses grow with IBM, they can unlock additional benefits designed to help them expand capabilities and find new clients.

PartnerWorld will transition to a new IBM Partner Plus experience on January 4, 2023, with the new incentive program taking effect on April 1, 2023. Registered PartnerWorld members will maintain their current tier through July 1, 2023 and can progress to the new tiering system during this time as they meet criteria.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge här.

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How Technology is Improving Pet Health

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How Technology is Improving Pet Health

An increasing number of people are taking up pet ownership. And why not?

Pets offer loyal companionship to humans and can even provide many health benefits. According to a recent market analysis, pet ownership increased from 56% to 68% of households in the past 30 years.

Pets are part of your family, and you want to keep them healthy and happy. But it can be challenging to determine your pet’s best approach. Fortunately, plenty of innovative technology-based solutions available today make it easier than ever to keep tabs on your four-legged furball’s well-being.

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Wearables

Wearables are becoming more common in the pet industry as they can provide a wealth of information about your dog. These devices can monitor a pet’s health and activity levels, including heart rate, body temperature, and location. They can also track daily activities such as walks or playtime with other dogs.

The biggest draw of wearables is how much data they collect on each animal and how quickly they send that data back to owners so they know what’s happening at all times. This can help with many things, but the best advantage of wearables is that owners can track their pets’ location.

According to a recent NCBI study, around 3% of cat and dog pets are lost annually. Wearables can use radiofrequency technology to communicate the pet’s current location through radio waves. This can help reduce the number of lost pets.

Online Pet Medication and Grooming Accessories Stores

Online pet medication and grooming accessories stores are increasingly important in helping pet owners care for their furry friends. These stores offer a wide variety of pet care products, from medications and supplements to grooming supplies. This makes it easier for pet owners to find the items they need to keep their pets healthy and happy.

Additionally, these stores often offer discounts and free shipping, making it more affordable for pet owners to purchase the necessary items. With the help of these stores, pet owners can easily access the products they need to keep their pets healthy and happy.

For instance, allergies and allergy-related pruritus are common problems in pets. However, you can now easily purchase medication like Zyrtec for keeping allergies at bay. Additionally, you can also learn about Zyrtec through online resources. 

For example, if your cat has allergy irritation and you want to give Zyrtec but don’t know how much, you can read about the Zyrtec for cats dosage. This will let you administer the right dosage of Zyrtec and help with quick treatment.

Smart Collars

Smart collars are a technology that’s been around for a while, but they’ve recently been making their way into the pet world. These devices can track your pet’s activity and location, alert you when it’s in danger, help administer medication to your furry companion, and more.

Smart collars aren’t just for dogs. Some cats also wear them. They work similarly to GPS-enabled collars on people. They can calculate how much exercise your cat gets each day by measuring the distance traveled and time spent moving around. This information is then transmitted back to the owner via smartphone or tablet app so that he or she knows precisely where their kitty has been spending his time.

Pet Medical Records Platforms

If you’re a pet owner, your veterinarian has likely recommended keeping a medical record of your furry friend. This can be anything from an ultrasound or x-ray image to their blood pressure and weight or even just basic information about their day-to-day health needs.

Pet medical records are stored in the cloud, meaning they’re accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and can be accessed through mobile apps or web browsers. Some platforms are specific to particular hospitals. Others allow users to share information between different vets’ offices.

It’s important to note that some platforms use “secure storage,” which means only authorized people have access rights to them. Other ones don’t require any special permissions at all. The latter option might make sense if you live somewhere where there aren’t many veterinary practices nearby yet but still want access whenever needed afterward.

Many such platforms are being created for pet healthcare. For instance, Vedi is one such platform. It is similar to the Federal government’s My Health Record database. The My Health Record database records human health data, and Vedi will record pet health data. According to Startup Daily, the platform raised $3 million in funding to go global in 2023.

Pet-Specific Apps

Pet-specific apps can help you find a vet, track your pet’s health, and manage your pet’s medications. For example, if you’re interested in finding a new home for your pet as soon as possible, several websites offer homes for sale or rent near your home.

In addition to vet search engines and pet accommodations sites, there are also apps designed specifically for this purpose. If the idea of having an app on your phone sounds too much like work, consider downloading one that will help simplify finding a new home for your furry friend and maybe even make things easier than calling around and asking questions.

Veterinary Telehealth

Veterinary telehealth is a technology that allows you to consult with your vet remotely using the internet. This can be used to diagnose and treat your pet’s health issues, as well as general wellness checks and vaccinations.

While this technology has been available for some time now, it’s still not widely used by pet owners who can’t regularly travel to their veterinarian. Vet telehealth also allows vets around the world to offer remote consultations with one another via video chat or phone call.

Finally, vet telehealth could be particularly useful when treating sick pets who need hospitalization or long-term care, such as chemotherapy treatments or radiation therapy sessions.

Pet Cams

Several types of pet cams are available in the market, but they all have one thing, they help you keep tabs on your dog or cat.

  • A security camera is a good option if you have trouble keeping track of your pet alone at home. It will record everything around the house when you aren’t there so that if something happens while they’re out, you’ll be able to see what happened and whether or not it was an accident or something more serious.

  • A health monitor can help detect illnesses early on, especially kidney failure, heart disease, and thyroid issues that could cause serious health problems later down the line if left undetected for too long before treatment begins.

The demand for pet cameras is growing. According to a market analysis by Future Market Insights, the pet surveillance cameras market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% between 2022 and 2032 to reach $93.5 million by 2032.

Slutsats

Technological advancements allow you to monitor your pet’s health and well-being. These advances in technology have helped people better understand the needs of their pets, as well as provided solutions to common problems.

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TEKNOLOGI

Zero Trust Cybersecurity-Focused Leadership in the Digital Era

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Zero Trust Cybersecurity-Focused Leadership in the Digital Era

Zero trust cybersecurity is increasingly being adopted as a way to improve cybersecurity in organizations of all sizes and industries.

Source: Beyond ID

The impact of cybercrimes is expected to increase exponentially by 2025 and reach an estimated $10.5T. In CY 2022 cybersecurity breaches had a global economic impact evaluated at $6T and the average cost reported per cybersecurity breach was $4.35M. Investors have recognized the need and potential of this mega-industry which is equivalent to a nation’s GDP and larger than most country’s GDPs. We have witnessed an increase in venture capital , private equity and overall mergers and acquisitions, as well as a vibrant startup ecosystem offering a complex range of cyber-defense solutions.

Zero-trust cybersecurity is a security model that assumes that any network, device, or user may be compromised and therefore requires authentication and authorization for access to resources. As outlined by the World Economic Forum (WEF) there is an urgency for governments and business leaders to adopt zero trust cybersecurity in this current global economic and socio-political environment. 

The zero-trust approach that encourages us to “never trust and always verify” can help restore digital trust by limiting access to sensitive information and systems to only those who have been verified and authorized, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches. Additionally, it can also help organizations comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards for data security.

The principles that define a zero-trust architecture are:

  • All data and services are resources 

  • All communications is secured regardless location 

  • Access to enterprise resources is session based 

  • Access to resources is determined dynamically

  • Continuous security posture monitoring

  • Strict authorization and access enforcement 

  • Continuous data collection & enforcement enhancements 

  • Integration with enterprise detection & response 

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Source: Paloalto

Investing in zero trust cybersecurity can include a variety of different technology solutions and services. Some common investments that organizations may make to implement a zero-trust model include:

  • Identity and access management (IAM) solutions: These solutions can be used to verify the identity of users and devices and control access to resources based on predefined policies.

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions: These solutions can be used to add an additional layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of authentication before accessing resources.

  • Network segmentation solutions: These solutions can be used to segment networks and isolate sensitive data and systems from the rest of the network.

  • Endpoint security solutions: These solutions can be used to protect endpoint devices such as laptops and mobile devices from malware and other threats.

  • Cloud security solutions: These solutions can be used to secure cloud environments and protect data and systems that are hosted in the cloud.

  • Security information and event management (SIEM) solutions: These solutions can be used to monitor and analyze security-related data from various sources to detect and respond to threats.

  • Professional services: Organizations can also invest in professional services such as security assessments, penetration testing, and incident response planning to help identify vulnerabilities and develop a robust security strategy.

The zero-trust cybersecurity investment size and type will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the organization, the size of the organization, as well as the organization’s technological maturity, risk tolerance and results of a robust feasibility analysis.

The impact of zero-trust cybersecurity can vary depending on the specific industry sector and the types of data or systems that are being protected. Examples of implementing a zero-trust model in various industries include:

Zero-trust cybersecurity architecture, as outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST can have a profound impact on data governance, as it can help to secure sensitive data and systems in various industries by verifying the identity of users and devices, and by limiting access to resources based on predefined policies related to regulatory guidelines or specific business rules.

However, there are numerous challenges encountered when deploying zero-trust cybersecurity, such as cost, interoperability, alignment with other enterprise strategic priorities, harmonization with ethics and risk programs, etc.

What can C-suite leaders do to be better prepared for success when planning a zero trust strategy? They can focus on creating a culture of cyber-resilience, which translates into increasing cyber-literacy and cyber-fluency for the general enterprise workforce, and optimize ( via upskilling and reskilling) cyber-specific skills for their technical team. The workforce management efforts should be complemented with a proactive digital ethics program deployment and an honest SWAT assessment in the face of increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks globally. Performing a robust FMEA analysis is an imperative for companies that wish to retain or gain competitive advantage. Evaluating and examining existing internal enterprise cyber-capabilities, versus the option to forge strategic partnerships or perhaps scout out for a potential cyber-acquisition should also be on the agenda. The design and deployment of cyber-metrics is a crucial step that requires alignment with other financial, operational and ethics enterprise dashboard metrics. Last, but certainly not least, forward thinking leaders must embed innovation and continuously improve their cyber-defense program to dynamically adjust to the rapidly evolving cyber landscape.

Futurists envision cyber-resilient programs that will most likely include satellite internet, human-computer interfaces, cyber-digital twins, quantum technology, federated learning, etc.

Globalists and ESG-conscious leaders are hoping that our transition to the next iterations of the world wide web, such as web 3.0 and web 4.0 will have state of the art cyber-defense programs and will align with both the UN SDG 2030, as well as with the net-zero UN 2050 agendas.

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