A data breach can cost millions — and you might be paying it

According to a recent report from IBM Security, data breach costs are constantly on the rise. Unfortunately, this spells bad news not just for the companies involved, but also for the customers — in more ways than one.

The report, which states that an average data breach is now estimated to cost $4.4 million, exposes the fact that the skyrocketing costs of data breaches directly affect the prices paid by the end customer.

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As the number of cyberattacks continues to rise, having nearly doubled since last year, hackers keep finding new ways to break the defenses of various companies. When it comes to cybercrime on a larger scale, a data breach can affect millions of people when their data gets leaked. This can be seen both in nation-state attacks and in private companies that are sometimes told to pay a ransom in order to secure the leaked data.

The report prepared by IBM Security focuses on the costs of a data breach and compares them to the previous years. Unfortunately, the prices keep going up. The average data breach is now at an all-time high of $4.4 million, which is a 2.6% increase from last year, and a massive 13% bump when compared to 2020.

A lot of the analyzed data breaches affected some of the most crucial industries and their most critical infrastructure, such as financial services, technology, energy, healthcare, education, communication, transportation, and the public sector. Those breaches were estimated to cost an average of $4.8 million, which is up to $1 million more than what was paid by less critical organizations. Healthcare data breaches were the most expensive of all, with an average $10.1 million estimate and a nearly $1 million increase from the previous year.

To obtain these results, Ponemon Institute (sponsored by IBM) surveyed 550 organizations that experienced data breaches between March 2021 and March 2022. Up to 11% of data breaches were the result of ransomware attacks. This also marks an increase — in 2021, that number was at 7.8%. The report estimates that up to 16% were caused by phishing attacks, and lastly, that nearly a fifth of all the data breaches took place because of compromised credentials.

A large monitor displaying a security hacking breach warning.
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It goes without saying that a data breach bears major consequences for both a company and its customers. A recent cybersecurity breach took Nvidia’s systems down for two days. Similarly, large-scale cyberattacks result in data leaks that affect millions of people, often containing very sensitive information. Just this month, an anonymous hacker was able to break into the Shanghai police department’s database, resulting in a staggering leak — up to 1 billion people’s data has been extracted. Smaller databases get hacked regularly, too, such as this recent Neopets breach that leaked up to 69 million records, which were then put up for sale for crypto.

Beyond the fact that personal data gets leaked and can be misused, the growing costs of a data breach are shouldered not just by the affected companies, but also their customers. According to the report, more than half of the surveyed organizations admitted to the fact that the costs of data breaches have been worked into the pricing of their products and services. This means that the customers were made to pay higher prices because of the rising costs of cybersecurity threats.

The average $4.4 million price of a data breach can be broken down into various smaller payments. These include ransom payments as well as the costs of investigating the cause of the attack, containing it, and then preventing it from happening again. Some of the costs only show up long after the breach was contained, such as lost sales and regulatory fines. On average, half of the costs related to a given breach were incurred a year or more after it took place.

Editors’ Choice

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Nvidia RTX 4090 could shatter speed records, at a big cost

It’s a foregone conclusion that Nvidia’s next-gen RTX 40-series will be the most exciting upgrade we’ve seen thus far for its GPUs.

Rumors have already pointed toward the massive performance boost the upcoming boards will deliver, but a new report suggests that the GPU lineup will be even better than previously believed.

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

As reported by TechRadar, credible technology insider Kopite7kimi — who has been at the forefront of next-gen GPU rumors — recently stated that it should be “easy to reach 2.8GHz, at least not very hard” for Team Green’s AD102 GPU die, which is said to be the chip powering the RTX 4090.

Comparatively, the GeForce RTX 3090 sports a 1.79GHz base clock speed. In any case, it seems the aforementioned 2.8GHz figure and the assumption that it’s not difficult to hit that clock speed is actually an understatement, according to a new message from Kopite.

He has now provided a follow-up to his original tweet by stating that: “I must say we can expect a much higher frequency.”

Naturally, the presumption will now fuel rumors of a base clock speed of at least 3GHz for the RTX 4090. Hardware Times also highlights how custom liquid-cooled models will obviously push that number further.

Even with such unprecedented clock speeds for standard models, the website still believes the peak power draw will remain in the 400 to 450 watts range.

Elsewhere, Hardware Times points out how clock speeds of 3GHz could therefore theoretically see the RTX 4090 variant surpass the 100 TFLOPs limit. We’ve already heard rumors earlier this year regarding this GPU approaching that unheard-of TFLOP mark.

Still, “significant heat generation and an unreasonable power draw” are the drawbacks with such a high TFLOPs count, according to the website. It also reiterates how the RTX 4080 should hit the 50 TFLOPs mark, while the RTX 4070 should exceed 30 TFLOPs.

Either way, Nvidia is reportedly working on a GPU that will require a massive 900 watts of power, so you can only imagine what kind of TFLOP performance that particular video card will offer.

So how does a base boost clock of 3GHz compare with AMD’s own next-gen Radeon 7000-series? We’ll still have to wait and see until both companies officially introduce their new graphics cards. That said, rumors circulating around Team Red’s offerings suggest they may ultimately beat Nvidia in both efficiency and performance. Only time will tell who comes out on top.

Editors’ Choice

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Europe’s AI laws will cost companies a small fortune – but the payoff is trust

Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more

Artificial intelligence isn’t tomorrow’s technology — it’s already here. Now too is the legislation proposing to regulate it.

Earlier this year, the European Union outlined its proposed artificial intelligence legislation and gathered feedback from hundreds of companies and organizations. The European Commission closed the consultation period in August, and next comes further debate in the European Parliament.

As well as banning some uses outright (facial recognition for identification in public spaces and social “scoring,” for instance), its focus is on regulation and review, especially for AI systems deemed “high risk” — those used in education or employment decisions, say.

Any company with a software product deemed high risk will require a Conformité Européenne (CE) badge to enter the market. The product must be designed to be overseen by humans, avoid automation bias, and be accurate to a level proportionate to its use.

Some are concerned about the knock-on effects of this. They argue that it could stifle European innovation as talent is lured to regions where restrictions aren’t as strict — such as the US. And the anticipated compliance costs high-risk AI products will incur in the region – perhaps as much as €400,000 ($452,000) for high risk systems, according to one US think tank — could prevent initial investment too.

So the argument goes. But I embrace the legislation and the risk-based approach the EU has taken.

Why should I care? I live in the UK, and my company, Healx, which uses AI to help discover new treatment opportunities for rare diseases, is based in Cambridge.

This autumn, the UK published its own national AI strategy, which has been designed to keep regulation at a “minimum,” according to a minister. But no tech company can afford to ignore what goes on in the EU.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws required just about every company with a website either side of the Atlantic to react and adapt to them when they were rolled out in 2016. It would be naive to think that any company with an international outlook won’t run up against these proposed rules too. If you want to do business in Europe, you will still have to adhere to them from outside it.

And for areas like health, this is incredibly important. The use of artificial intelligence in healthcare will almost inevitably fall under the “high risk” label. And rightly so: Decisions that affect patient outcomes change lives.

Mistakes at the very start of this new era could damage public perception irrevocably. We already know how well-intentioned AI healthcare initiatives can end up perpetuating structural racism, for instance. Left unchecked, they will continue to.

That’s why the legislation’s focus on reducing bias in AI, and setting a gold standard for building public trust, is vital for the industry. If an AI system is fed patient data that does not accurately represent a target group (women and minority groups are often underrepresented in clinical trials), the results can be skewed.

That damages trust, and trust is crucial in healthcare. A lack of trust limits effectiveness. That’s part of the reason such large swathes of people in the West are still declining to get vaccinated against COVID. The problems that’s causing are plain to see.

AI breakthroughs will mean nothing if patients are suspicious of a diagnosis or therapy produced by an algorithm, or don’t understand how conclusions have been drawn. Both result in a damaging lack of trust.

In 2019, Harvard Business Review found that patients were wary of medical AI even when it was shown to out-perform doctors, simply because we believe our health issues to be unique. We can’t begin to shift that perception without trust.

Artificial intelligence has proven its potential to revolutionize healthcare, saving lives en route to becoming an estimated $200 billion industry by 2030.

The next step won’t just be to build on these breakthroughs but to build trust so that they can be implemented safely, without disregarding vulnerable groups, and with clear transparency, so worried individuals can understand how a decision has been made.

This is something that will always, and should always, be monitored. That’s why we should all take notice of the spirit of the EU’s proposed AI legislation, and embrace it, wherever we operate.

Tim Guilliams is a co-founder and CEO of drug discovery startup Healx.


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The MacBook Pro’s Fast Charging Feature Will Cost Extra

Apple finally introduced its redesigned MacBook Pro line that brought many features that professionals and prosumers alike will definitely enjoy. One of those features is ability to get at least 50% charge after only 30 minutes of fast charging. However, the catch is that the ability to fast charge comes at an additional cost.

The base model 14-inch MacBook Pro ships with the 67W USB-C adapter. The problem is that it isn’t enough to actually fast charge the base model. To take advantage of Apple’s impressive fast charging, buyers must pay an extra $20 for the 96W USB-C power adapter. While $20 doesn’t seem like much (especially if you’re paying $2,000 or more for a laptop), it’s disappointing that one of the marquee features of the new MacBook Pro is still an extra charge.

Many customers who purchase Apple’s base model MacBook Pro may not realize that the included 67W charger won’t fast charge their shiny new laptop. Apple’s website says that the 96W charger is a “free upgrade” if customers opt for the model with the 10-core M1 Pro chip, but that’s a $200 upgrade. The irony is that because Apple’s M1 chips are so powerful and efficient, many people may opt to just get the base 8-core M1 Pro instead of the more powerful 10-core.

This isn’t the only time Apple removed an important feature in base Mac models. The base 24-inch M1 iMac does not have the power adapter with the gigabit ethernet jack built in. That upgrade will set you back around $30. Again, it’s not that $30 is particularly expensive given how much the iMac already costs, it’s the principle of removing such a basic feature and selling it back as a paid “upgrade.”

By all accounts, the new MacBook Pro models provide the best price to performance out of any laptop out there. The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are game changers that vastly outshine even the already impressive M1 chips. Early benchmarks for the M1 Max reveal a nearly 60% increase in performance compared to last year’s M1 chips. It’s just a shame that Apple continues to nickel and dime customers for access to advertised features.

Editors’ Choice

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Nintendo Switch N64, Genesis controllers up for pre-order: Here’s how much they cost

Going along with today’s announcement of the pricing for the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, Nintendo has opened up pre-orders for the Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis gamepads. The Expansion Pack, of course, allows players to play classic N64 and Sega Genesis games, so like it did when it introduced NES and SNES games, Nintendo is releasing Switch-compatible controllers so players can get more of an authentic experience playing those titles.

Sadly, it seems that the authentic experience is going to cost more for N64 and Genesis than it did for SNES and NES. The N64 and Genesis controllers are priced at $49.99 each – a steep price to pay when you consider that the NES controllers run $59.99 for a pair and the SNES controllers are $29.99 each.

Neither the Genesis nor the N64 controller features a rail to slide into the Switch’s Joy-Con connector as the NES controllers do. Instead, they’re charged using USB-C, just like the SNES controller. One interesting thing to note is that the N64 gamepad has rumble support built-in, so in N64 games that supported the console’s Rumble Pak, you’ll get that functionality.

These controllers are full-sized, so it should be like using the real thing. Unfortunately, here in the US, we’re getting the classic 3-button controller for the Sega Genesis. While the 6-button controller is considered to be the better choice, that ultimately isn’t the one Nintendo decided to go with for this release.

Both controllers are going up for pre-order today, and like the NES and SNES controllers that came before these, the N64 and Genesis controllers can only be ordered by those with an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Customers are limited to four controllers per account, and orders will begin shipping out on October 25th – the same day Nintendo Switch Online’s Expansion Pack launches.

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Tech News

Razer USB-C GaN charger can charge four devices at once, but it’ll cost you

To go along with its freshly-announced Razer Blade 14 – the first AMD-based gaming laptop the company has made – Razer also announced that it’s getting into the business of making Gallium Nitride (GaN) chargers. Dubbed simply the Razer USB-C GaN Charger, this new charger comes with a surprising amount of functionality and portability. The only downside, it seems, is that it’s going to cost a lot of money to own one.

The Razer USB-C GaN Charger offers up to 130W of total charging power between its four charging ports. Two of those are USB-C ports and the other two are USB-A ports, so you can charge a variety of items with this brick. In addition, you can use all four of those ports at the same time to charge four different devices at once as well.

According to Razer’s own specs, the wattage breakdown sees both USB-C ports sharing 100W, while the two USB-A ports share 18W. The charger clocks in at 0.35g and comes with modular plugs that cover the UK, EU, and the US, so Razer is definitely positioning this as something of a travel charger as well.

The fact that it uses Gallium Nitride helps keep the charger’s footprint small while also offering better power delivery than standard charging bricks. It also should run significantly cooler than standard fast chargers, which in turn reduces the risk of overheating when you’re charging multiple devices at once.

All of that sounds great, but these features come at a cost, as we said at the outset. Razer has priced its USB-C GaN charger at $179.99 – significantly more than the fast chargers most of us are probably used to buying. If that price tag isn’t enough to dissuade you, then the Razer USB-C GaN Charger is available beginning today from Razer’s website.

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Lack of AI implementation may have cost enterprises $4.26T, Signal AI finds

Elevate your enterprise data technology and strategy at Transform 2021.

AI’s potential impact on the U.S. economy could reach into the trillions of dollars, according to a report published this week.

Signal AI, which offers a decision augmentation platform infused with AI, interviewed 1,000 C-suite executives in the U.S. for the study. The report found 85% of respondents estimate upwards of $4.26 trillion in revenue is being lost because organizations lack access to AI technologies to make better decisions faster.

According to the Signal AI survey, 96% of business leaders said they believe AI decision augmentation will transform decision-making, with 92% agreeing companies should leverage AI to augment their decision-making processes.

More than three-quarters of respondents (79%) also noted that their organizations are already using AI technologies to help make decisions.

In general, 96% of business leaders said they believe they can leverage AI to improve their business decision-making processes, with 80% noting they already feel they have too much data to weigh when making decisions. On average, 63% of respondents said they spend upwards of 40 hours a week on decisions.

Reputations and expectations

More than two-thirds of respondents (69%) ranked data higher than instinct in terms of influence on business decisions, even though many execs have been skeptical of the quality of data being employed within analytics and business intelligence (BI) applications.

Arguably the most surprising survey result is that just over 85% ranked reputation as a bigger priority than profit margins, Signal AI CEO David Benigson said. There’s a growing appreciation for the impact reputation has on both profitability and revenues, he noted.

But some business leaders may have unrealistic AI expectations, Benigson reported. “Just like with other technologies, they are overestimating the impact of AI in the short term and underestimating it in the longer term,” he said.

Estimating the potential revenue impact of AI is an inexact science. But a lot of complex business processes are occurring in near real time that are impossible for humans to optimize with AI augmentation. The challenge is building AI models that accurately reflect those business processes. Many of the data science teams that have been hired to build AI models lack a deep understanding of the process they are being tasked with automating. Many AI models, as a consequence, never get deployed in a production environment.

Nevertheless, the volume of AI models being deployed continues to increase. The next big challenge for organizations will be the maintenance of all those AI models, many of which are subject to drift as new data sources become available. This means an AI model may not be as efficient as it once was because it needs to be retrained or replaced altogether.

Regardless of the path forward, AI models will increasingly become just another type of artifact to be incorporated into the application development process. The challenge will be aligning the efforts of application developers with the data science teams that build AI models to ensure neither is waiting for the other to finish a project before an application can be deployed.

In the meantime, business leaders may want to temper their AI expectations. Implementing an AI model is roughly akin to hiring a junior member of a team that needs some time to learn how processes work. Unlike a human, however, that AI model never takes a day off, quits, or forgets what it learns unless it is retrained. The only real issue is that when an AI model does make a mistake it may be at a level of scale that is difficult for the business to recover from unless the proper guardrails are in place.


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Tech News

Camtasia 2021 is a down-and-dirty video editor that helps craft pro quality videos without the time and cost

TLDR: With Camtasia 2021, no-nonsense video producers can knock out a professional grade video that looks fantastic and won’t eat up hours of time to make, all at $100 off its regular price.

Video production. The words instantly make any content creator get anxious. They aren’t usually overly worried about creating the video itself. They’re worried about the time and money that go into such an event. 

While Hollywood blockbusters and the high cost of video production suites like the Adobe Creative Cloud have many fearful they’ll end up footing the bill for a $200 million James Cameron-style spectacular, there are still plenty of smart, even cost-effective ways of delivering a brilliant digital video quickly and painlessly.

Camtasia 2021 is ready to step in on that project, offering a host of options for making a professional-grade video for any presentation, social media post, advertisement, and more that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Camtasia works with a very simple streamlined approach. Loaded with pre-built video templates, this software lets users record their computer screens, import PowerPoint presentations and basically add all kinds of visual aspects to their project, then turn it all into a video.

Without resorting to the fancy editing tricks of those ultra-expensive editing suites, Camtasia is a beginner-friendly platform and interface focused on easy solutions that make creating a video both quick to produce and attractive for viewers.

Using Camtasia, creators can record from their computer screen or from a webcam, then add high quality visual effects that fit with the project, all with simple drag-and-drop functionality. With a click, you can build in eye-catching titles and annotations, zoom in, pan across, animate objects and even transition between scenes with the skill of an Oscar-winning editor.

Castasia also includes a complete library of royalty-free music and sound effects for projects, so you’ll never run afoul of copyright infringement lawyers.

And as the 2021 edition, this version includes a whole collection of brand-new features, including 75 new and modern transition effects, motion blur and corner rounding abilities, and customizable media clips to go with your newly-shot video, logos, color schemes, and more. 

Right now, this bundle includes a copy of Camtasia 2021 as well as a year of program maintenance, which not only offers priority support and exclusive training, but will also hook you up with a brand new copy of Camtasia 2022 when it’s eventually released.

Regularly $299, this extremely limited time deal cuts that price by a third, getting you Camtasia 2021 and a year of app support for just $199. This offer is only available for a few more days, so get in on the deal now while you can.

Prices are subject to change.

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Tech News

Twitter’s subscription service may cost $2.99 a month and have an ‘undo tweet’ feature

Twitter’s upcoming subscription service may cost $2.99 per month and include an “undo tweet” button and “Collections” feature, according to app researcher Jane Manchun Wong.

Wong, who’s renowned for finding hidden app features before they’re released, tweeted a screenshot of the platform, tentatively titled Twitter Blue.

She said the company is also working on a tiered subscription model, which could give higher-paying users access to extra features, such as a “clutter-free news reading experience.”

[Read moreThis dude drove an EV from the Netherlands to New Zealand — here are his 3 top road trip tips]

Th Undo Tweet button would function in a similar way to Gmail’s “Undo Send” timer, giving users a brief window of time in which they can recall a tweet before it’s posted. Wong first revealed that Twitter was working on the feature back in March.

It’s not quite the edit button Twitter users have been demanding for years, but it may be the closest we get to it for the foreseeable future.

The Collections feature, meanwhile, would allow users to save and organize their favorite tweets so that they’re easier to find.

I wouldn’t part with my hard-earned cash for those two tools alone, but Wong expects that the feature set — and pricing — could change before the launch.

Just don’t expect the finished product to include an edit button. Twitter boss Jack Dorsey said last year that the company will “probably never do it.”

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Tech News

Hulu Live TV adds 14 ViacomCBS channels, but some cost extra

If you remember back in early January, Hulu announced a big deal with ViacomCBS that would bring 14 of its networks to the streaming service’s live television plan. Now, months later, those channels are finally available to subscribers, offering the opportunity to watch Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and other popular networks.

As originally announced, a total of 14 ViacomCBS channels are now available to people who have signed up for Hulu’s Live TV offering — though you’ll need to pay extra for the platforms’ Entertainment package to get access to all of the networks.

Assuming you have both Hulu Live TV plus its Entertainment package at another $7.99/month, you’ll get access to Paramount Network, TV Land, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, VH1, CMT, BETher, NickToons, TeenNick, MTV Classic, and MTV 2.

The last four networks on that list are all locked behind the Entertainment package paywall, however, so you’ll find yourself with only the first nine on the list if you’re not willing to sign up for the extras package.

The Hulu Live TV subscription remains at the same $64.99/month price. It’s unclear whether this new addition will result in a future price increase or if moving some of the channels behind the paid Entertainment package was a way to avoid raising the base streaming plan rate.

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