Report: Cryptomining And IoT Malware Both Rise Over 70%…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — McAfee: Cryptomining and Internet of Things malware both rose over 70% in Q3 2018.

The December McAfee Labs Threats Report says that cyber criminals are currently generating 480 new threats per minute, and Internet of Things malware rose 73 percent in the third quarter of this year. In addition, cryptocurrency mining malware was up 71 percent, even though the value of many cryptocurrencies has declined. Even worse: the McAfee report says entrepreneurial cybercriminals have new ways of evading law enforcement. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

As the popularity of digital currencies and the Internet of Things rise, so does malware associated with them.  Your technology investments for 2019 should include machine-learning security software that can adapt to these changes, training for your employees and a good online backup application that can restore data if infected.

2 — Facebook imposters are trying to swindle users out of bitcoin.

This week, Facebook admitted that there are many users creating fake accounts with its profile picture and inputting the same name as bitcoin mining company Bitmain. These imposters are setting up the fake accounts to comment on legitimate threads from Facebook, advertising some sort of ‘partnership’ tied to bitcoin in an attempt to get users to make cryptocurrency transfers. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Repeat from above: as the popularity of digital currencies rise, not only does malware associated with them but also scammer who will try to take your money from you via fake transaction requests.  The latest example is the above Facebook scam.  Be careful, particularly as your business steps its toe into the digital currency universe.

3 — The Department of Energy issues Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Funding Opportunity Announcement.

The U.S. DOE has released its second Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs for Fiscal Year 2019. The Phase I Release 2 FOA, with approximately $37 million in available funding, will provide money for innovations that address multiple R&D programs throughout DOE. Phase I grants are 6-12 months in duration with maximum award amounts of $200,000, and Phase II grants are up to 2 years in duration with maximum award amounts of $1.1 million or $1.6 million, depending on the research topic. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy)

Why this is important for your business:

Many small businesses don’t realize that various federal agencies – like the Department of Energy – give out free money in the form of grants in return for developing technology that could benefit the government as well as the private sector. If you think you’ve got a early-stage technology that requires funding then it’s a good idea to look further into these programs.

4 — A startup raises $15 million to help companies develop their own customer service chatbots.

Canada-based startup Ada, which helps companies develop automated customer service tools, has raised CAD$19 million (USD$14 million) in a series A round of funding. Founded in 2016, the company develops chatbots and related AI software to help nontechnical teams at companies set up these chatbots to manage inbound customer queries more quickly. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Chatbots are artificial intelligence-based software that conduct conversations with unknowing users.  Their benefits are significant (cost reduction for companies, quicker responses for customers) and their uses are growing. Many customer relationship management and office productivity applications are including this technology in future versions. But companies like Ada are developing easy to use tools for a business owner that wants to construct his or her own process using chatbots.

5 — Robotiq raises $23 million to ‘free human hands from repetitive tasks’.

Another Canadian company called Robotiq says it wants to free up human workers from tedious tasks so they can focus their attention elsewhere.  Founded in 2008, the firm makes equipment it claims can handle repetitive tasks that usually require the dexterity of humans. One piece of equipment is a ‘gripper’ that can pick up and place components or products on an assembly line. Robotiq also manufactures sensors, camera technology, and the software that binds everything together. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Robotic technology like the kind developed by Robotiq is allowing businesses to reduce man hours doing tasks on the assembly and production line. As more companies like this make it to market, the cost of this technology has continued to drop, making it more accessible to small companies too.

 

 


December 23, 2018 at 07:22AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2018/12/23/report-cryptomining-and-iot-malware-both-rise-over-70-and-other-small-business-tech-news-this-week/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
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