Category Archives: Tech Time

3 Attacks That Can Wipe Out Your Database

Woman Mad In Front of her Laptop

As companies become more wired and the number of information grows, more and more companies start using databases. As their name suggests, databases act as repositories of several different things, from a person’s name to addresses and financial details. Those who use the cloud system mean they can access their data any time and anywhere. For this reason, databases are a favourite target for attacks.

What kinds of attacks are we talking about? Check out the following list:

1. Brute Force

Brute force is a simple and straightforward type of hacking. Hackers try to guess your password using trial and error. Cracking tools are usually out of the picture. For many people, knowing the password in this manner sounds impossible. But, many databases are poorly secured and companies still rely on the default passwords.

2. Abuse of Privileges

Do you know one of the leading causes of security breaches is an inside job? Although some incidents are “accidental” – for instance, an employee didn’t log out of the database and another person took over and messed with it – in a number of cases, the attack is deliberate. A common trigger is excessive privileges. A database administrator may gain access to information out of his or her job’s description.

3. SQL Injection

SQL injection is an attack where the hacker sends malicious queries to the database by spotting vulnerabilities on the web applications and procedures. If it’s successful, the person will not only see but also modify and extract information.

It takes only a few seconds for a well-planned attack to wreak havoc in your database and scrap away protection for your data. To better safeguard your business against attacks and costly unplanned outages, hire remote DBA services. They can provide you with quality administration and monitoring, as well as round-the-clock support to prevent or minimise significantly these threats.

Headset, laptop and telephone over the table

Workplace Trends of the Future

Headset, laptop and telephone over the tableOver the years, work operations across the globe have changed completely, the same way our way of living has. In the 90s, the most advanced technology in HR systems was process automation for recruiting and hiring, while today’s cloud based systems allow them to engage employees on multiple levels like performance management and training. The corporate landscape is continuously changing and evolving it might be time to check if you need to do some catching up.

Man versus Machines

This century marks the beginning of an era of artificial intelligence and automation where robots displace human jobs to make the future of workplaces more efficient. More and more companies are relying on computers to store information and in some cases, make calculated decisions based on data.

The future is already here,” says Peter Andrew, a workplace strategy director. "Humans have biases, and artificial intelligence (AI) eliminates those biases.”

While some may see AI as a threat to the workforce, it gives people more opportunities to take on better, less monotonous jobs. Creative work and tasks that require human flexibility are just two of the many things that technology cannot replace, and Andrew says people need not be afraid of this development.

Creative, Collaborative Space

The rise of technology also has seen the rise in the demand for a much more collaborative work culture, one which fosters team spirit of employees. Cubicles are no longer necessary, and people prefer working near social and commercial centres. With the well-being and happiness of staff in mind, work environments just like these Paya Lebar offices are designed to provide a dynamic working eco-system where the team can make the most out of their talent and ideas they generate.

According to William Lee, director of real-estate strategy at Microsoft, a vibrant ecosystem encourages employees to discuss with and help each other. He quoted an example of a campus-like environment where people are able to talk on the way to the office, on the way to the meetings. The aim is to create better working environments strengthening the country’s already massive innovation hubs. Just in the last few years, Singapore has committed S$19 billion to support research and development for this key focus area.

Technology and corporate culture are playing a greater role in promoting a better work experience for employees all over the world. It may be time to rethink your operations to see if a more cohesive, all-encompassing model works better.

Three Ways to Have a Good Relationship With a SaaS Vendor

A group of employees working on a program Software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors offer more than an application or software. They provide expertise in a specific area that benefits their clients on a long-term basis, such as a full-service online banking system for credit unions and community banks. So when you engage with a SaaS vendor, you are entering into a partnership that goes deeper than merely buying a product from them.

Of course, you’ll want to have a partnership with your SaaS vendor that is mutually beneficially for both of you. So here are some of the best management practices you can observe when working with SaaS vendors:

1. Include service level agreements (SLAs) in your contract

Many SaaS vendors do not state the level of service they provide in the contract, so make sure you look for it before signing or renewing a contract. If they have promised 24/7 service or 99 percent uptime performance, then you had better receive it once you sign the contract. You can add SLAS through an addendum to the contract, so don’t be afraid to speak up about it.

When dealing with multiple vendors, consider using management software, as advised by MetaSaaS.com. This application can help you keep track of the contract terms during renewals.

2. Ask for the vendor’s security, IT, and financial audits

In a way, you’re outsourcing a part of your business operations when working with a SaaS vendor. Thus, it is important that they meet your corporate and security standards. Most SaaS vendors let their clients take a peek at their security, IT, and financial audits, especially during the clients’ annual audits. If your vendor can’t provide these necessary documents, you might want to look for another provider.

3. Participate in product development

SaaS vendors continually improve their applications to improve their service to their clients. Again, you’re outsourcing a business operation when you engaged with a SaaS vendor, so it is crucial that you have a voice in the SaaS vendor’s product development. Make sure you participate in the user conferences and meetings. This way, you can contribute ideas for future product upgrades.

With these three management tips, you can make certain that both you and your vendor will get the most out of your business partnership — from the beginning until the end of the relationship.

3 Facebook Changes That Can Affect the Way You Market Online

User Browsing Facebook There is no doubt Facebook is presently the biggest social networking website in the world. In fact, it is so huge it is now less likely to find someone who does not have an FB account.

For this reason, Facebook is a great online marketing option especially for businesses that want to improve their customer reach and engagement. Thankfully, the website does not disappoint when it comes to providing tools for businesses. When it updates a feature, however, you should be aware of its effects on your marketing strategy. Here are some of them.

Advanced Measurement

Any online marketer needs to track advertising performance. Facebook is trying to help you in this area through Advanced Measurement. This tool will be helpful in determining your reach and attribution not only on this website but also in Facebook networks such as Instagram and other publishers.

What You Can Do: It is not enough you just buy social signals. Work with a company in helping you track performance using this tool.

Reactions vs. Likes

If you want your posts to appear more often in the news feed, you need to get more than a virtual thumbs-up. It looks like Facebook’s algorithm update favours reactions such as sad, happy, or love icons than the staple blue thumbs-up. One of the possible reasons is the idea these reactions portray a much better picture of the user’s level of engagement or interest on the post.

What You Can Do: Emotions are a powerful tool for marketing, and you can capitalise on that when doing Facebook ads.

Tagging Fake News

Facebook is also taking the new adage “Think before you click” more seriously. Due to the increasing complaints of the growth and spread of fake news on the social media site, Facebook is now tagging suspicious news links, displaying the word “disputed” along with the organisations that evaluated the source.

What You Can Do: Do your own policing. Before posting any third-party content, verify all the information to avoid the risk of ruining your credibility.

These updates are still in their infancy, so it is unclear their main impact to online marketing, but that does not mean you should ignore them. Explore, get to know more about these changes, and modify accordingly to give yourself a good head start against competitors.

TV Buying Guide: Understanding Complicated Terms and Jargons

A man showing a selection of televisions to a couple Nowadays, it’s easy to get lost with all the buying jargons and acronyms when buying a television. LED, LCD, HDTV, and 3D are only among the most commonly heard terms when choosing a unit.

If you’re among the majority who has no idea about these, you would obviously need a knowledge or two about the latest in television technology. Ninostrading.com and other known sellers recommend taking note of the following before anything else:

1. Screen size

When it comes to screen size, bigger is not necessarily better. The location of the television as well as the angle where the people are supposed to sit and watch and the size of the room itself should be taken into consideration. Still not sure with your screen size? Look for free online calculators to help compute your distance and size ratio.

2. Screen resolution

The standard resolution for television is 1080p. Anything below that should not be considered, as technology advances rapidly. Ultra HD and 4k resolution are the most recommended ones, but can be costlier than the standard 1080p.

3. Features

Smart TV is a television that can connect to the web, run apps, and function like a computer. Smart TVs won’t be going away anytime soon, so if you want to enjoy your new television to its fullest potential for the next 5 years, choosing one would be recommended.

4. Ports and connections

In choosing a TV, make sure it has at least three to four HDMI ports to have more flexibility and lesser hassle in connecting other appliance (i.e. sound system, Blu-Ray players etc.) to your TV.

Now that you have these things in mind, finding the right television for your home needs would be easier. Happy shopping!

Two-Step Tactic That Doubles the Impact of Your Video Marketing

Online Marketing

Video content is a great tool to engage users and drive traffic to your website, as well as social media profiles. However, not all digital marketers know how to use videos to their fullest potential. If you’re one of those who struggles to get more views on their video content, here are several tips for you:

Hook the Viewers in the First Three to Seven Seconds

Nowadays, people have a shorter span of attention, and they quickly click away once they get bored. So, the challenge for video marketers is not only that they should catch the attention of the viewers, but to make the audience hooked for the whole duration of the video, as well.  To achieve that, make sure that your video has interesting visuals, strong message, and clear audio. It will also help if the video has an interesting thumbnail, bold subtitles, compelling or witty caption, and a first few seconds of eye-catching shots, according to Musselwhite Marketing and Consulting. This way, the video will stand out among other content on a website or a social media feed.

Engage with Your Viewers

Video marketing doesn’t stop after you post and optimize your video content. You also need to engage your viewers for two key reasons: one is to signal social media platform algorithms that you’ve posted a quality content, and another is to encourage viewers to view your other video content, too.

With Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms, a video would stay on top of the newsfeed if it appeared engaging (with a lot of likes and comments) from the time it was posted. Hence, it is crucial that you reply to the comments so you can engage the viewers in a lengthy discussion, encouraging them to put more comments in the video content. But every time you reply to your audience, remember to promote your other content, as well.

Try the strategies mentioned above, and you’ll see significant improvements in your video marketing campaign. You’ll increase the viewership, drive more traffic to your targeted site, and even make your videos go viral.

Medical Research

The Importance Of Medical Research In Discovering New Treatments

Medical ResearchNew treatments are needed due to the rising number of new virus strains and very worrisome diseases. To make such discovery more efficient, technological advancements are used to ensure that results are accurate and reliable.

Ailments caused by insect or animal-borne viruses are almost new occurrences. Reading the news would reveal such ailments affecting various parts of the globe. At the same time, you would also read about new virus strain that is stronger than its predecessor. With all these occurrences, medical researchers are working double time to discover treatments for these ailments. Fortunately, they have state-of-the-art tools and technologies that allow them to do such.

A Linked Information System

One of such technology is the cloud-based laboratory information management system, more popularly known as LIMS. This system, which uses the Software as a Service (SaaS) infrastructure, allows medical researchers from various parts of the globe to connect with each other. For instance, one group of researchers stores their virus strain discoveries and observations on the LIMS system, while other groups can also add their own findings to the initial data. This way, information will be kept updated which may lead to a medical breakthrough. This system, according to Search Health IT, can be used as a web tool or locally.

Collaborative Work

This system works much like most online medical information system services except that LIMS is more geared towards keeping an efficient database with records that could easily be retrieved anytime. If you are a medical researcher, labworks.com says that LIMS can make it possible for you to access these records and perhaps apply the research findings of the other team into your own research.

Global Helping Hand

Such collaborative work in finding the cure for such types of ailments can be done on a global scale. For instance, a certain cure is found in one part of the world, while another, which would complement and create an almost perfect treatment, can be utilized despite its location nowhere close to the former. Such can only be made possible through the LIMS.

IFLScience said that there is always a new virus being discovered. Such would then require new treatments. With LIMS, finding new treatment has become less tedious.

Improving Lab Efficiency

Ways to Increase Lab Efficiency and Eliminate Costly Errors

Improving Lab EfficiencyWith companies investing heavily in research to refine their products and services, it is important to eliminate inefficiencies.

Extensive research underlies new and exciting developments in a fast-paced world. In the face of the enlightened consumer, education, evolving technology, and investing in research give you a competitive edge. You get to understand the needs of your users so you can adapt your products to their preferences. People are likely to try out your services if they provide a solution to a pressing problem. However, some actions in the lab only serve to lower competence in production and it could decrease your output. By extension, such an event could dull your competitive edge.

Keep All Working Spaces and Benchtops Clutter Free

While many people take a messy desk or working bench as a hallmark of productivity, it is just but a common fallacy. You are likely to misplace your data and other crucial materials halfway through a project. A messy desk also slows your ability to organize files, costing you precious time. Imagine you are on a tight deadline or the eve of a breakthrough only to fail to locate a critical element or data. That would not only fill you up with frustrations but also set back your efforts by a mile. In any case, when working with chemicals, untidy workplaces increase the chances of a spill, risking your life.

Embrace Technology

Regardless of your field of operation, you are likely to get significant benefits from using technology in your research process. Other than the usual basic computer stuff, you need to delve into specialty software, explains an expert from LABWORKS. Such technologies ease the processes, increase competence and improve lab management. Some tools feature real-time updates, reminders, and other nifty bits to eliminate human error and oversights. Using such expertise in your facility is a cost-effective measure that improves output while reducing losses.

Efficient lab processes are essential in improving output and eliminating various sources of danger and inaccuracies that could prove ruinous. With proper considerations, you can eliminate incidents that lower your productivity.

Choose the Right Estimate Software with These 4 Criteria

estimation software funtion
Civil engineering is a profession that involves not only a large amount of money but also a large amount of construction materials that range from small to giant sizes.

As you deal with all the funding and the materials, you will inevitably need an effective estimate software for civil engineering. Finding the right one is another story altogether, however. How can you choose the right one?

What do You Expect?

You can consider certain factors that experts believe are important. You can first identify what end result you want to receive from a software. This includes the type of reports you want to see and other features. In this way, you can gain a rough understanding of the software you want. Afterward, you can compare your expectations with the actual features of software choices.

Integrated Programs

When you are working alongside other professionals in a firm, you can choose enterprise-based software that features a shared platform with other applications or software. Such programs can work together without data being re-entered. They have a reduced margin of error since data is shared, too.

How Was Your Experience?

The second factor that you can consider is your user experience. You can check and see if the interface is user-friendly and if the software has an integrated database. You can see how well customer support works as well as if the program is cloud-based and compatible with multiple devices.

How Much Is It?

The last factor is pricing. Before looking at the price, you can first check if the vendor offers a free trial. Unless there is a free trial where you can judge the software based on personal experience, you are better off with another software. When you deem the free trial worthy, you can now take a look at the total price of the program.

As long as you judge an estimating software for civil engineering with these factors, you can get the right one that you need. Start your search now.

Conservation Tools: Tracking Animal Migration with Satellites

Wildlife MonitoringFor many years, scientists have been tracking animals and the ways they migrate and respond to changes in the environment. Migratory patterns across animal taxa have always fascinated the scientific community, and so they developed techniques to better monitor and understand them.

You may have heard about the multi-generational, long-distance migration of certain species of birds and insects, such as the painted lady butterfly and wondered how it’s even possible. From wintering, spawning, to feeding, animals migrate for several reasons. And everything we know now about animal migration is all thanks to biotelemetry.

Fish and Wildlife Monitoring

Introduced in the 1940s, radio telemetry marked the first use of technology in wildlife monitoring. Then, acoustic and ultrasonic telemetry was introduced a couple of decades later. Today, thanks to Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, scientists can now monitor migration patterns of deep-sea fish and mammals remotely, continuously and non-invasively.

Once tagged with a transmitter weighing less than 1 gram, the device can transmit not just migration paths, but also a range of physiological parameters, such as respiration rate, heart rate, oxygen consumption, and so on. Singtel Satellite notes that not do satellites provide broadcasting services, they have revolutionised remote tracking.

The transmission of data is so incredible that it can give clear and real-time data of marine mammals and fish in the subarctic to subtropical regions, where the deep waters are unkind to humans. Scientists believe that as technologies improve, so do their ability to obtain more physiological data.

Conservation

GPS satellites and Google Earth are capable of transmitting vivid images and remote sensing data from space back to earth. Satellite sensors have spatial resolutions high enough to search for important species and habitats – especially those that are under direct threat.

In addition to natural threats, such as predators and changes in the environment, man-made barriers are one of the biggest threats to migratory species. Having quick access to real-time data help scientists influence governments and organisations to take quick action on certain issues.

Understanding animals – how they behave, interact with each other, and respond to changes in the environment – is the key to protecting them. Now that climate change and anthropogenic barriers are taking their toll on wildlife, there’s a bigger need to develop better tools.