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3 Ways In Which Blockchain Improves Your Product Packaging

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Blockchain provides an immersive packaging experience.

The use of blockchain for supply chain processes sees exciting applications that can improve package tracking, consumer awareness and brand protection from counterfeit production.

Supply chains are getting more complex as the number of players involved is increasing. Tracking, communications, contracts, and payments are becoming difficult to be managed. Moreover, businesses have to also focus on their consumers while handling their operations. The use of blockchain for the supply chain can help streamline the processes involved, including product packaging.

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How Blockchain Can Simplify Packaging & the Supply Chain Process

Using blockchain for supply chain, including product packaging, enhances the processes and reduces the shortcomings. Here are three ways blockchain is benefitting product packaging operations.

1. Enhanced Tracking and Tracing

With blockchain, customers and businesses can track products right from their origin. Blockchain also enables a quick and easy way for accessing the information with something as simple as having a QR code on the packaging. It forgoes the need to have long information displayed on the packaging boxes.

Since the data on a blockchain is immutable, customers can be assured of the authenticity of the information. Moreover, businesses can trace issues easily in the supply chain, such as recalls. 

Thus, both businesses and customers get enhanced tracking and tracing with blockchain for supply chain. Many companies have already adopted blockchain for the same. For example, Bumble Bee Foods lets users trace information about their yellowfin tuna fish, from when it is caught to the availability on store shelves, using blockchain technology.

2. Reduced Instances of Counterfeiting

As blockchain enhances tracking, tracing and transparency, the instances of counterfeiting are reduced automatically. It ensures businesses and customers that they are getting the right product. For example, a jewelry business can utilize blockchain to eliminate conflict minerals. 

The diamond leader DeBeers is already using blockchain for the same purpose and also eliminating child labor practices from its supply chain. Similarly, customers too can verify the authenticity of their ordered products using blockchain technology. Ardnamurchan distillery has incorporated a QR code on their single-malt scotch bottle that lets buyers verify its authenticity.

3. Improved Contracts and Payments

Blockchain enables smart contracts that enhance contract execution, completion and the payment process. The terms and conditions set in a smart contract cannot be changed once set. Moreover, the contract is executed automatically only after meeting the specified conditions. This helps reduce inefficiencies and automates the process.

Similarly, the payment is also made automatically once the contract has been completed. Looking forward, we can see cryptocurrencies being the default payment method for smart contracts executed on blockchains.

The use of blockchain for supply chain operations, including product packaging, enhances its security and accountability. This is just the beginning of the implementation of blockchain in product packaging. There are still yet-imagined use cases of blockchain in this area, and we can see new applications emerging every day as we move closer towards the ‘Internet of Packaging.’


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Cloud security tops 2023 cyber risks, according to UK senior executives

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Cloud Computing News

Cloud related risks top the list of cyber security concerns that UK senior executives say will have a significant impact on their organisations in 2023, according to PwC’s annual Digital Trust Insights.

The research is based on an extensive survey of global and UK business leaders looking at key cyber security trends for the year ahead. Some 39% of UK respondents say they expect cloud-based risks to significantly affect their organisation in 2023, more so than cyber risks from other sources such as laptop/desktop endpoints, web applications and software supply chain. 

A third (33%) of respondents expect attacks against cloud management interfaces to increase significantly in 2023, while 20% say they expect attacks on Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and operational technology (OT) to significantly increase in the next 12 months.

However, long-standing and familiar cyber risks remain on the horizon in 2023, highlighting the challenge facing businesses. Just over a quarter (27%) of UK organisations say they expect business email compromise and ‘hack and leak’ attacks to significantly increase in 2023, and 24% say they expect ransomware attacks to significantly increase. Nevertheless, cyber security budgets will rise for many organisations in 2023, with 59% of UK respondents saying they expect their budgets to increase.

Richard Horne, cyber security chair, PwC UK said: “In part the increase in cloud-based threats is a result of some of the potential cyber risks associated with digital transformation. An overwhelming majority (90%) of UK senior executives in our survey ranked the ‘increased exposure to cyber risk due to accelerating digital transformation’ as the biggest cyber security challenge their organisation has experienced since 2020.

“However, these digital transformation efforts – which include initiatives such as migration to cloud, moving to ecommerce and digital service delivery methods, the use of digital currencies and the convergence of IT and operational technology – are critical to future-proofing businesses, unlocking value and creating sustainable growth.”

Around two-thirds of UK senior executives say they have not fully mitigated the cyber risks associated with digital transformation. This is despite the potential costs and reputational damage of a cyber attack or data breach. Just over a quarter (27%) of global CFOs in the survey say they have experienced a data breach in the past three years that cost their organisation more than $1 million.

Cyber attack now seen as the biggest risk to organisations

The C-Suite is becoming more aware of how these complex cyber threats and the potentially damaging impact of them can pose a major risk to wider organisational resilience. Just under half (48%) of UK organisations say a “catastrophic cyber attack” is the top risk scenario, ahead of global recession (45%) and resurgence of COVID-19 (43%), that they are formally incorporating into their organisational resilience plans in 2023. This echoes the findings of PwC’s 26th annual CEO Survey, where almost two-thirds (64%) of UK CEOs said they are extremely or very concerned about cyber attacks impacting their ability to sell products and services.

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles, crisis and resilience partner, PwC UK, said: “The potentially destructive impact of cyber threats such as ransomware have significant implications for the wider resilience of whole organisations. Only by taking a more strategic approach to resilience across high impact and increasingly plausible threats can organisations protect what matters most to business survival, reputation and ultimately build trust.”

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The Dark Side of Killer Drones

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The Dark Side of Killer Drones

Killer drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have been a topic of much debate in recent years.

On one hand, these drones have the potential to be used for a variety of beneficial purposes, such as surveillance, search and rescue, and targeted killing of terrorists. On the other hand, there are serious concerns about the potential negative consequences of using killer drones, such as the loss of innocent lives, violation of international laws, and the psychological impact on both the drone operators and the communities affected. In this article, we will explore the dark side of killer drones.

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Source: Crown Copyright/ BBC

1. More Innocent Casualties

One of the primary concerns about the use of killer drones is the risk of innocent casualties. Drones are often used in conflict zones, where the situation is often complex and fluid, making it difficult to accurately identify targets. As a result, there have been numerous reports of innocent civilians being killed or injured in drone strikes. For example, a report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimated that between 384 and 807 civilians have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan between 2004 and 2019.

2. Violation of International Laws

Another major concern about the use of killer drones is the potential violation of international laws. The use of drones in conflict zones raises questions about the legality of targeted killings, the right to due process, and the protection of civilians. The United Nations has called for greater transparency and accountability in the use of drones, and several human rights organizations have criticized the use of drones as a violation of international law. For instance, in 2013, a report by Human Rights Watch found that the US drone program in Yemen was violating international law, including the right to life and the prohibition against arbitrary killing.

3. Psychological Impact on Operators

The use of killer drones also has a significant psychological impact on the operators who are responsible for carrying out the strikes. Drone operators often suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. This is partly due to the fact that drone operators are often required to carry out long-distance killings, often for extended periods of time, and the fact that they are often isolated from the consequences of their actions. For example, a study by the University of Utah found that drone operators were more likely to experience symptoms of PTSD and depression compared to other military personnel.

4. Stronger Dammage on Communities

The use of killer drones also has a significant psychological impact on the communities affected by the strikes. The constant threat of drone attacks can cause significant stress and anxiety, leading to social and economic disruption. For instance, a report by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic found that drone strikes in Pakistan had a significant psychological impact on the local population, including symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.

Conclusion

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Sources: Thales, General Atomics, Northdrop Grumman, EMT Penzberg, Prox Dynamics | © DW

The use of killer drones raises serious concerns about the potential for innocent casualties, violation of international laws, and the psychological impact on both the drone operators and the communities affected. The negative consequences of using killer drones far outweigh the benefits, and it is imperative that steps are taken to limit their use and ensure greater transparency and accountability. The international community must work together to establish clear guidelines for the use of drones, to ensure that they are used only in a manner that is consistent with international law and human rights.

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Vodafone Ireland turns to Amdocs to drive enhanced customer experience

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Cloud Computing News

Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.


Vodafone Ireland has chosen Amdocs, a provider of software and services to communications and media companies, to transition its infrastructure and application workloads to the cloud, enabling an enhanced customer experience and rapid adoption of the latest 5G innovations.

Under the agreement, Amdocs Customer Experience Suite (CES) will migrate from Vodafone Ireland on-premise to the cloud, providing the Irish operator with greater flexibility and capacity to support its future growth.  

Mairead Cullen, CIO at Vodafone Ireland, said: “Moving to the cloud is a key part of our strategy as we look to become even more dynamic, agile and responsive to our customers’ needs. We have a long-standing relationship with Amdocs and we’re pleased to be collaborating with them on this important initiative.”

Anthony Goonetilleke, group president of technology and head of strategy at Amdocs, said: “By migrating its IT services infrastructure to the cloud, Vodafone Ireland can ensure it has the foundations in place to achieve growth and further enhance the experience of its customers.

“We are excited to be taking such a central role in the company’s cloud strategy.”

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 here.

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