What’s Tricking Companies into Losing Billions?

Spoofing Emails. In many circumstances an employee may get an email that looks like it’s from a boss requesting that money be sent over to complete a transaction with another business, however, a lot of the time the money will never get to the location it was intended to be and now the company has lost a lot of money (BBC 2019). According to Search Security, the definition of email spoofing is, “the forgery of an email header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source” (Search Security 2019).

This type of attack usually uses “low-tech” and cyber-criminals can just “simply spoof the email address of a company executive and send a convincing request to an unsuspecting employee,” usually making it seem like there’s a “sense of urgency to the order” (BBC 2019). These types of scams are only on the rise and have resulted in a great loss of money for companies around the world. According to the article I read, since 2016 these hacks have “resulted in worldwide losses of at least $26bn” (BBC 2019). Just earlier this month there was a massive take down operation of “global cyber-crime networks based on scams” in which 281 suspected hackers were arrested from 10 different countries around the globe (BBC 2019). This type of scam is actually the “most expensive problem in all of cyber-security” (BBC 2019).

It also turns out that these criminals don’t always go for the most executive targets. Sometimes they just go for whoever is the most exposed and easiest to trick. For example, sometimes “employees’ emails are spoofed and the attacker asks the human-resources departments to send a victim’s wages to a new bank account” (BBC 2019). These attacks might not always give the hacker the biggest return, but it helps them “fly below the radar” and lessens the chances of them getting caught (BBC 2019).

Finally, I wanted to discuss some ways that companies can avoid this problem from happening. An article I found online shared ways you can avoid becoming the target in these situations. First off, you want to check your SPF (sender policy framework) records and perform any adjustments if needed, and if you had received a spoofed message to “make sure your system is set to perform SPF checks” (Star Chapter 2019). Of course, you will also want to check the sender’s information very carefully as well. There are a list of smaller things to be looking out for. And of course, companies need to be educating there employees on all of this (Star Chapter 2019). If everyone knows how to spot a fake email then the company as a whole will be better protected and less likely to fall victim to these terrible scams.




Are Drones the Future of Delivery?

In today’s world, shopping is being done online more than ever before. Bespoke’s Paul Hickey says that “The days of the internet and online shopping being “just a fad” have come a long way over the years” (CNBC 2O19). In fact, in April “the total market share of “non-store,” or online U.S. retail sales was higher than general merchandise sales for the first time in history” (CNBC 2019). So, with this high demand for faster delivery times some are starting to turn towards a modern kind of technology to make these more prompt delivers possible. Drones.

“Unlike delivery trucks, drones can travel “as the crow flies” – skipping over traffic congestion and complicated navigation paths” (getelastic 2019). Because of this, drones can get to their destinations much faster and so these “faster fulfillment times brought about by drones could result in lower shipping costs for the customers, meaning more sales and higher revenues for businesses” (getelastic 2019). In addition to this, businesses can also lower their environmental impact by utilizing these drones to make some of their deliveries. However, even with all of these benefits there’s still a few challenges that we are faced with. “The most pressing of these are the airspace governance and legal barriers that physically restrict where drones can travel” (getelastic 2019). Having places where drones can’t travel make it difficult for nationwide drone delivery to become a reality. Additionally, there’s also “limited battery technology” which means “drones can only travel for small distances with very small loads” (getelastic 2019). Even with these obstacles Amazon, UPS, and even Domino’s have gone about testing drone deliveries. Amazon Prime Air “aims to deliver goods to customers in 30 minutes or less” and is “currently being tested in several international locations” (getelastic 2019). UPS is “testing drone deliveries, using the top of its vans as a mini-helipad” and “according to their estimates, eliminating just 1 mile from the routes of each of their company’s 66,000 daily delivery drivers could save up to $50 million” (getelastic 2019).

Before drone delivery can become a reality, companies need to work around the obstacles that are in the way of making this happen. The industry for drones continues to grow and if this can be made possible, it seems like it will be overall more beneficial for everyone involved in the process.


“Online shopping overtakes a major part of retail for the first time ever”


“Are drones really the future of delivery? [infographic]”





Are Self-Driving Cars Actually in Our Near Future?

I’m sure you have all heard something about the development of self-driving cars and that soon enough there will be plenty out driving on the roads. But after not hearing any news on this matter for so long I had to ask myself the question, “Are they really that close?”

I discovered through an article titled “How Do Self-Driving Cars Work?” that self-driving cars can function thanks to three types of technology. First there’s IOT Sensors that are for “blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, radar, camera, LIDAR, and ultrasonic” which all work together to help with the navigation of the vehicle. There’s also IOT Connectivity which allows the cars to use cloud computing for information on traffic, weather, maps, different conditions, as well as adjacent cars and this “helps them monitor their surroundings better and make informed decisions.” The final technology that helps out self-driving cars is Software Algorithms. There is a ton of data that needs to be collected and “analyzed to determine the best course of action.” If this doesn’t work as intended to it can lead to accidents.

The fact that we have this kind of technology to help us develop self-driving cars is amazing but the problem is car makers and technology companies have overestimated just how long it would take them to do so. In an article by The New York Times it is written that, “making autonomous vehicles is going to be harder, slower and costlier than they thought.” The article states that Ford and Volkswagen have recently teamed up to work on this challenge and plan to use autonomous-vehicle technology from Argo AI. Argo’s chief executive and others “attribute the delay to something as obvious as it is stubborn: human behavior.” It can be hard to get the technology just right and the cars “have to navigate unexpected situations every day.” With radars and cameras it’s easy for the cars to detect the different objects around them on the street, but “the hard part is anticipating what they’re going to do next.”

What Pony.ai and Toyota’s Driverless Cars Might Look Like

Even with all the advanced technology that has already been developed to help create these self-driving cars, there’s still not enough. There’s more that’s needed to help make the car drive perfectly on it’s own and this includes “software that can reliably anticipate what other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are going to do.” The CEO of May Mobility, which operates autonomous shuttles said that “she believed it would take years and perhaps even a decade or more to develop driverless cars that could travel anywhere, any time.”

At the beginning of this “game” there was “this incredible optimism” and a huge rush to try to make this realistic dream a reality. However, the truth of the matter is that it’s just a bit farther out of reach than we all believed it to be.



“How Do Self-Driving Cars Work?”


“Despite High Hopes, Self-Driving Cars Are ‘Way in the Future’ ”