Sectors – Big Data Made Simple https://bigdata-madesimple.com One source. Many perspectives. Fri, 17 May 2019 08:35:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/bdms-favicon.jpg Sectors – Big Data Made Simple https://bigdata-madesimple.com 32 32 5 ways to integrate data analytics into your marketing strategy https://bigdata-madesimple.com/5-ways-to-integrate-data-analytics-into-your-marketing-strategy/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/5-ways-to-integrate-data-analytics-into-your-marketing-strategy/#respond Thu, 16 May 2019 09:43:41 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34934 Launching a start-up can be as competitive as struggling to find a corporate job that actually satisfies you. Promoting and marketing your start-up is challenging – you thought passion and enthusiasm were enough to drive it alone, but even with these two attributes, you know just exactly what’s been lacking. If you can launch a … Continue reading 5 ways to integrate data analytics into your marketing strategy

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Launching a start-up can be as competitive as struggling to find a corporate job that actually satisfies you. Promoting and marketing your start-up is challenging – you thought passion and enthusiasm were enough to drive it alone, but even with these two attributes, you know just exactly what’s been lacking.

If you can launch a start-up after months and years of contemplating, then you can surely devise a marketing strategy to help you elevate your brand. Your marketing strategy is the fuel your brand needs. Your target audience is out there – unhinged, exposed, and waiting to be served. It requires awareness and significant marketing campaigns in order to know more about your brand.

Today, every brand relies on the collection of big data to help them know more about the target audience. Thankfully, we live in the era of digital marketing where analyzing big data isn’t hard or expensive at all.

In order to fuel your marketing campaigns, we have put together 5 ways to integrate big data analytics into your marketing strategies.

1. Notice audience behavior and response

First things first – before you go on towards the analysis of big data for the development of other core marketing strategies, you need to realize the importance of having deep insights regarding your audience behaviour. Significant knowledge about your audience can help you establish the foundation of any marketing strategy.

Knowing about the way your users interact with your products or your e-commerce website as a whole can help you develop an insight into your business’s performance.

Mixpanel – insights into audience interaction

Mixpanel, a data analytic gold mine, consists of a suite of tools that can help you analyze your audience interaction and engagement on your website and apps. It has new age no-code technology that can be operated by anyone other than techies and junkies for a better understanding of their business. Mixpanel’s suite of data analytic tools is ideal for start-ups and enterprises alike.

Cost

Mixpanel caters to ‘data points’ for the analysis of audience behaviour on any given website or mobile app. A data point is generated whenever a user action is reported on your website, even if it is in the form of a mere click-through towards your website.

For instance, Mixpanel’s subscription is completely free for the analysis of the buildup of the 5M data points per month on your website – this means that startups have nothing to fear and can opt for this data analytical tool without having to worry about investing a fortune.

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2. Track lead generation and revenue

The next step in any digital marketing strategy is to assess and analyze where your core revenue is coming from. Is it from your social media channels or via search engines? Even with the exhaustive use of search engines, you need to assess whether your keyword research is optimum for driving your target audience towards your website for your desired traffic.

You need to integrate big data analytic tools into your marketing strategy that can help you analyze your lead sources, therefore, allowing you to tweak your campaigns towards the maximum generation of your leads.

Google Analytics – track lead sources for maximum revenue

Google Analytics is perhaps the most compelling yet free set of tools known to any digital marketer and venture. The development of a digital marketing strategy cannot be complete with integrating Google Analytics into your marketing channels for insights regarding revenue and generation of leads.

It allows you to track the data you require by allowing you to establish Goal IDs for the segmentation of your business goals up ahead. Once you’ve your goals in place, you can utilize this data to analyze where your leads are coming from, therefore, allowing you to assess your investments and buildup of revenue in return.

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For instance, let’s suppose that Facebook is helping to bring you at least 2,000 leads while those generated via Twitter aren’t even a fraction of this amount. This will help you to segment your investments as well, allowing you to reap value with your subsequent funding.

Google Analytics will also help you to analyze the different approaches used for the generation of traffic. For instance, if the leads generated via organic traffic are comparatively lesser than those from your direct your referral approaches, then this means you’d have to up your SEO strategies for your audience to find you easily through search engines.

3. Social media tracking and monitoring

Approximately 42% of the world’s population actively use social media on the Internet. Facebook generates about 2 billion active users per annum in the world, moving its status as the most widely used and actively search social media platform in the world.

Hootsuite – social media performance grading

Hootsuite is one of the most versatile suites of social media data analytic tools on the Internet. It allows you to give a hoot about the performance and response generated via your marketing strategies on social media channels.

You can track the interaction and response of your audience along with significant monitoring the performance of the content you post on social media channels. Hootsuite can be integrated with other data analytical tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights for optimum monitoring and integral tracking of user data.

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Cost

Hootsuite has different pricing options, starting from free plans for users with 1 – 3 social media profiles. Its pricing plans vary significantly for professionals, teams, small businesses and enterprises with a 30-day free trial for core assessment of the value of its data analytics.

4. Focus on e-mail marketing

E-mail marketing might be one of the oldest digital marketing tactics in the book (or preferably the Internet), but it is also the one that still has the ability to generate a higher revenue than any other strategy combined. This depends on how you’re using e-mail marketing tactics to your benefit.

For instance, when used proactively, every $1 spent on e-mail marketing has the ability to generate $44 of revenue for high ROI of the brand. Most startups depend on personalized e-mail marketing techniques for maximum customer acquisition and retention.

Marketo – e-mail marketing

Marketo, a multi-billion dollar infrastructure, comprises of data analytic tools that can help you up your e-mail marketing software and techniques according to your targeted users.

In other words, Marketo has the ability to help you analyze the right and most approachable leads, hereby, allowing you to develop optimum content for targeted and personalized e-mails. It can also be integrated with social media channels and Google’s cloud platform for optimum digital advertising.

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For instance, in order to acquire more customers, you can try personalizing your e-mails by offering your most loyal leads with free e-books as top-off-the-shelf and exclusive information. You can take help from any e-book creator if you want to integrate graphics and visuals in between the information-laden text of your optimally designed e-books.

Cost

Marketo has packages and bundles streamlined for its various marketing services. From consumer marketing and e-mail marketing to customer based marketing and lead management. Whether you’re starting anew or are on your way of building an enterprise, Marketo’s e-mail marketing bundles will help to build a strong and long-term consumer relationship.

5. Provide competitor analysis

Before you display your ammunition to the world, it is better to get an insight on how your competition is doing. This will help you lay out a comprehensive plan that includes prevailing and over-the-edge marketing strategies for the required oomph amidst competition.

For this purpose, you need to analyze your competitors in order to understand their dynamics and just exactly how well they’re performing before their (and your) target audience.

Ahrefs – competitor research and analysis

Ahrefs comprises of a few technical features that can help you analyze the revenue and leads generated by your competitors. You can also analyze the sources and number of backlinks, content development strategy and social media campaigns of your rivals as well.

With the help of rank tracker, you can monitor and therefore, grade the performance of your website in contrast to your competitors on the internet in accordance with your target audience. Its site explorer will help you create a core SEO strategy for attaining maximum organic and direct traffic.

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Cost

Ahrefs offers a 7-day trial for $7 that can help you venture through its state-of-the-art tools and features before you delve into the big numbers.

The bottom line

For anyone starting out with their business, it is critical to say that resources are tight, thus, minimizing the window of investing gravely in likable opportunities. Despite the lack of resources, you need to know whether there is any significant expenditure that you can invest in for the value of money, time and efforts.

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Phishing Attacks in numbers: how it affects the corporate world https://bigdata-madesimple.com/phishing-attacks-in-numbers-how-it-affects-the-corporate-world/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/phishing-attacks-in-numbers-how-it-affects-the-corporate-world/#respond Fri, 03 May 2019 16:37:24 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34915 Phishing attacks use social engineering to manipulate a target into giving away their personal information. The cybercriminal poses as someone you trust (or can trust) and convinces you to share information such as bank account details, addresses or phone numbers. It takes several forms and uses different channels of communication. The criminals interact with their … Continue reading Phishing Attacks in numbers: how it affects the corporate world

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Phishing attacks use social engineering to manipulate a target into giving away their personal information. The cybercriminal poses as someone you trust (or can trust) and convinces you to share information such as bank account details, addresses or phone numbers.

It takes several forms and uses different channels of communication. The criminals interact with their target in different ways. Including live calls, instant messaging, chats, emails, etc. It doesn’t matter what channel they use. The goal is simple. They want to extort you.

In this article, we are going to discuss recent statistics on phishing attacks. And explain how these attacks work in a corporate environment.

Introduction to phishing

Phishing is a hacking technique. It manipulates a user to visit a fake website or download malware content to give away their confidential information. Over the recent years, phishing attacks on corporates and individuals are increasing in number. And phishers are becoming more and more sophisticated with each attack. Corporations around the world suffer from at least 1,000 phishing attacks every month. So, it’s important for companies to come up with ways to improve their own data privacy and beef up their internal data protection regulations. As well as meet the standards of international data protection laws.

What are the Data Protection Regulations?

The rules and regulations to protect personal information are updated every minute. The bar has been raised for data protection several organisations, as well as international unions. If you don’t know how data is protected across different industries and countries, here’s something that might help.

GDPR

General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation enacted by the European Union quite recently. The purpose is to protect the privacy of EU citizens by setting out clear requirements and penalties. It processes personal data. The regulation applies to every organisation that stores and processes personal data.

According to this regulation, a user’s personal data can include any information that can be used to identify the user. The GDPR covers all of this data. It includes names, email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses and so on. It also keeps in mind aggregation including gender, ethnicity, birth date, etc. Under this regulation, an organisation is liable to be fined for heavy penalties for a personal data breach.

A personal data breach is defined as a breach of security leading to accidental and unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, and unauthorised disclosure. GDPR requires an organisation to report a breach to the appropriate authorities within three days of discovering the breach.

HIPAA

Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a regulation imposed on healthcare services and vendors or subcontractors of healthcare providers. It protects a patient’s personal information from data breaches. This includes,

  • Conversations between patient and healthcare providers related to the patient’s own treatment
  • Billing information, and
  • Medical information stored by the patient’s health insurance provider

Failure to comply with HIPAA requirements results in a hefty fine to the organisation who leaked the information. It can cost $50,000 for every breach.

PCI DSS

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) protects confidential data of credit and debit card users. These organisations store and protect the user’s account number, name, service code, and card expiration dates. However, they are not permitted to store full magnetic stripe data, including CVC Code and PIN Numbers. The penalty for PCI DSS non-compliance can range from $5,000 to $100,000 every month.

The Cost of a breach?

Phishing attacks are popular and hard to predict when they are likely to happen. When someone falls victim to a phishing attack, the whole network and brand are at risk. And the consequent reparation costs can be enormous.

Reputational damage

Brands are made on trust. If a company discloses its user’s database due to weak infrastructure or security, it tarnishes the brand. This impacts the reputation of a company and their customers will lose trust in it. A company’s brand lays the base of a company’s market capitalisation. Negative brand effects of these attacks can cost a company a fortune.

Intellectual property loss

Intellectual property theft is the worst loss. Phishing attacks will compromise trade secrets, costly research, customer lists, formula and product recipes. It’s near impossible to recover from this kind of loss.

Direct costs

Phishing attacks can cost your company big money. These attacks can lead to fines levied by regulatory bodies in case of breaches that violate HIPAA and PCI. The costs of identity protection and compensation to employees or customers who lost their data along with theft would come from the company itself. Phishing attacks account for 13% annual cybercrime. It costs billions of dollars to corporates around the world.

The Change

You can defend yourself against phishing. Organisations are already taking vital steps to fight off the risk of phishing and other such attacks.

As Cyber-attacks get more sophisticated; cybersecurity organisations and institutions make specific anti-phishing defenses imperative. Companies require security tools which will counter phishing threats and attacks. Anti-phishing tools can help to detect phishing attacks and quarantine suspicious emails and warn recipients before clicking on malicious links.

How will it change in 2019?

Phishing attempts have become rampant today. The statistics on phishing attacks show an increase in attacks by 65% since 2017. But how many of these succeeded? It’s hard to get an accurate number for the following reasons:

  • Companies detect phishing attack and control it without involving authorities and notifying outsiders about the breach. The company may choose to resolve the issue and secure their networks, devices, communication channels, etc. It might not stop a powerful attack, but it will fend off several weak attacks that can cost a fortune as well.
  • Only a few companies report such attacks. Some companies don’t realise that they’ve been attacked, until after has long been done. They get a wakeup call only when their breached data is leaked.

It is believed 3 out of 4 business, which is nearly 76% businesses fell victim to phishing in 2017. Since then, 1.5 million new phishing sites have been introduced.

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6 ways to address anonymity and privacy in conversational AI https://bigdata-madesimple.com/6-ways-to-address-anonymity-and-privacy-in-conversational-ai/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/6-ways-to-address-anonymity-and-privacy-in-conversational-ai/#comments Wed, 24 Apr 2019 08:51:20 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34900 Artificial intelligence is a great way to help you develop your business online. Most online companies use chatbots for communication. Chatbots play a crucial role in your daily business communication. They open up opportunities for businesses to communicate with their customers openly. The big question is: how can the security of customer and business personal … Continue reading 6 ways to address anonymity and privacy in conversational AI

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Artificial intelligence is a great way to help you develop your business online. Most online companies use chatbots for communication. Chatbots play a crucial role in your daily business communication. They open up opportunities for businesses to communicate with their customers openly.

The big question is: how can the security of customer and business personal information be ensured when artificial intelligence communication is used? Well, this article will provide helpful tips on how IA anonymity can be addressed.

Use two-factor authentication

This method is a great way to address confidentiality with conversational AI. If a customer wants to connect to a website with the help of chatbots, two-way verification is needed. The chatbot asks for your password and username. A security question is asked to confirm your personal details. This helps the parent platform to check your personal information. You can thus address the anonymity of a user because the two processes cannot be circumvented.

You can use a token for a certain period of time during authentication. If you do not check your details within the specified time, the token is removed. A verification link could also be used to verify. Biometric authentication is also used to check users and protect their privacy. A person may be asked to use their fingerprints or use authentication eye recognition software.

Request data verification

Hackers may attack your website and jeopardize your personal information. In order to compact this and to ensure the privacy of your personal data or customer information, ask for verification. When someone signs up for your website, ask them to register by sending a link to their personal email address or telephone number.

One way to protect the user’s privacy is to allow a person to access or share information only when he or she verifies their personal data. You can also send a person code to the system to check its details. If the user enters an incorrect code, the use of the system is prohibited automatically. Another way to protect privacy in conversational AI is sometime after the chat to delete and destroy sensitive messages. For example, if a user has communication with a chatbot and the transfer of information is very sensitive, the information after the 30 minutes of chat is destroyed.

This prevents data from reaching a third party that can use it to jeopardize user privacy. Some bots can keep your location information and secure your information. It is essential that you use a free VPS server to reduce costs and benefit from a vps server. It extends the web hosting services to provide website owners with better experience, increase sales and revenues.

Use Machine Learning applications

Companies can verify users’ personal information using machine earning applications. The machines have the ability to speak and analyze text to help companies identify personal information. The learning tools such as Watson, a cloud-based conversation, help chatbots interact with the users. It creates user requests and answers to learn more about the users before verifying their details.

The bots can be taught to react with natural language as they interact with the user to know the person, keep the user information and protect it. The bots can know and recognize sensitive data from users with the learning tools. When creating bots, business owners and companies should take account of the GDPR rules. This helps ensure the privacy of the details of your customers and protects them from hackers.

Use a secure messaging scorecard

You can use the message scorecard with conversational AI to protect the privacy of your personal data. The message scorecard can help address anonymity and privacy issues with your chatbots in various ways. Here are some of the following ways:

1. Encrypt the conversation to allow the provider to read the message.
2. Recent code editing should be included to protect previous messages and communication traits.

For any communication, the system had end-to-end encryption. The conversation cannot be read on the platform on which the message is communicated.

Personal and private communication

In order to address data protection in artificial conversational intelligence, bots have been used to control the exchange of data between platforms and users. For example, people can buy goods online using chatbots. Facebook has a messaging app that allows you to communicate with brands and buy online services. The Internet server platform protects user-chatbots communication. This allows the privacy and personal data of users to be protected within the platform.

Use of user character profiles

All your communication details and personal information are recorded as you continue to interact with a bot. The bot can use the information to create your user character. Contact information, images, and email links are crucial for the creation of your user profile. Bots and their users can help create their character profile by emotional communication. Use the right emotions and words to communicate with bots.

Your communication characteristic with bots may affect your privacy if you don’t care about the content that you share with bots. By means of its character profiles, the bot can identify users and makes it easy to address the users ‘ anonymity.

Conclusion

Safety in any online communication is crucial with the rise of digital technology in the digital age. Bots play an important role in facilitating communication. However, your personal information’s security and privacy are essential. As a business owner, it is important to keep the details of your customers safe. Make sure your bots are safe to use. They should be easy to interact with and have data and information protection security precautions.

Building confidence is an important part of online business. Customers are free to share their personal information when they trust that their information is secure. Businesses should ensure that they offer their customers the best customer service by using secure and effective bots.

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How big data fits in with eCommerce Customer Engagement https://bigdata-madesimple.com/how-big-data-fits-in-with-ecommerce-customer-engagement/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/how-big-data-fits-in-with-ecommerce-customer-engagement/#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2019 15:21:22 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34889 In the field of marketing, the term “engagement” is thrown around a lot. Just about every type of campaign will be aimed at boosting “engagement rates.” For instance, success in social media marketing is often measured by engagement indicators such as likes, shares, comments, and click-through-rates. There is no doubt that building meaningful connections with … Continue reading How big data fits in with eCommerce Customer Engagement

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In the field of marketing, the term “engagement” is thrown around a lot. Just about every type of campaign will be aimed at boosting “engagement rates.” For instance, success in social media marketing is often measured by engagement indicators such as likes, shares, comments, and click-through-rates.

There is no doubt that building meaningful connections with your customers leads to profitable relationships that can help your business grow. But as technology becomes a more prevalent part of consumerism, it can actually breed a level of disconnect between customers and companies.

Technology has made it possible for businesses to reach larger markets than ever before. However, this often leads to companies treating customers like a figure in a database. According to a study conducted by Accenture, a digital disconnect has caused 52% of consumers to switch providers because they missed the human connection that was replaced with technology.

So, how exactly can businesses cultivate and nurture these connections in today’s highly digital age?

Surprisingly, the answer here is to integrate more technology, specifically big data systems. By using these tools to understand your customer’s behavior and create a better experience, your company can effectively engage with customers in a way that everyone wins!

Here’s how.

Customer data for customized product targeting

Personalization has a lot to do with the customer experience these days, considering the fact that consumers are highly receptive to customized offers and product recommendations. In the e-commerce sector, one online business idea that really took off is offering personalized on-demand custom products.

Take the company Care/Of as an example. They offer vitamin and supplement plans that are completely customized based on factors that are unique to the individual customer, such as their age, weight, fitness levels, goals, and specific health concerns.

 

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These types of products have high demand, but it is important that brands know how to market them successfully. By applying big data insights from your audience, you can create hyper-targeted ad campaigns for various niches that would be interested in specific products.

Care/Of did this by using their social media audience data to create buyer personas and identify specific markets that would respond to specific messages. From there, they used big data to determine the type of content that would work best with each segment and adjusted their messaging accordingly.

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Optimized buyer’s journey mapping

Knowing when and how to re-engage a customer can do wonders to increase the number of conversions, plain and simple. This is often best done by incorporating the type of content that will have the biggest influence on your customer’s trust as well as their purchasing incentives.

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Customers in the last stage of the buying process tend to be more interested in unbiased assessments and third-party reports because they want to get a full picture of the product.

The SaaS company Trustpilot understood that in order to grow the number of customers moving from the final consideration phase towards a purchase, they needed to increase their visibility on niche third-party sites, like Finances Online. This fulfills their customers’ need for fair-minded information that would help them make a more informed decision.

Big data can be useful here for automated targeting that brings the right content directly to the customer. Say that a customer visits your site, looks at some products and adds an item to their cart, but then leaves without a purchase. A well-placed ad or an email promoting brand pages on niche third-party sites could potentially turn them into a paying customer.

Obviously, this type of trigger-based strategy requires loads of behavioral data and smart automation systems. You will need to have a deep understanding of the sales funnel for your specific audience. Big data is the solution here because it provides online sellers with the information, they need to create a realistic customer journey map. From here, you can identify falling off points where customers need to be re-engaged through content, retargeted ads, or promotions.

Incentivized loyalty through personalized perks

Most businesses want to offer more personalization since it has such an incredibly strong influence over conversions. Proper data analysis is the only thing that makes this possible because personalization needs to be based on relevant customer information in order to be effective.

One of the best ways that online retailers can use this is to create customized incentives for each customer based on their product purchases and views. According to Bond Insight’s study, 87% of consumers stated that they would willingly share personal details and allow companies to track their behavior in exchange for personalized rewards or offers. Furthermore, this report found that businesses offering customized loyalty programs saw up to a 99% increase in customer spending.

Obviously, good data and proper execution is the key to making a customized loyalty program work. Starbucks does a great job of this through their rewards programs. The data-fueled program sends out specialized offers that are based on the customer’s favorite purchases. From here, Starbucks subtly encourages higher buying volumes as an incentive towards a free reward.

Clearly, Starbuck’s approach is based on the immense amounts of behavioral data that they have access to. Now, this may not be possible for a smaller e-commerce organization to do, but there are ways that Big data can still be useful.

For example, simply analyzing how often customers tend to purchase items and identifying typical purchase patterns (like frequently bundled products) can be used to create custom incentives. If a customer purchased an item two weeks ago and are likely to run out, they could be reminded to repurchase, along with a custom discount and recommendations for related items.

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Conclusion

Engaging with your e-commerce audience is incredibly important – and not just for the initial sale. When customers feel connected to a brand, they are more likely to be loyal and recommend it to others. Be sure that you are doing all that you can to create this connection by utilizing big data in a way that cultivates meaningful engagement.

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3 in 4 APAC banks believe fraud will increase in 2019 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/3-in-4-apac-banks-believe-fraud-will-increase-in-2019/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/3-in-4-apac-banks-believe-fraud-will-increase-in-2019/#respond Tue, 16 Apr 2019 06:33:31 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34877 Almost three in four banks in Asia Pacific anticipate that fraud in their country will increase in 2019, according to a recent poll by FICO. FICO surveyed 50 executives from financial institutions across the region at the annual FICO Asia Pacific Fraud Forum held in Bali, Indonesia. Of specific concern are transactions completed when neither … Continue reading 3 in 4 APAC banks believe fraud will increase in 2019

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Almost three in four banks in Asia Pacific anticipate that fraud in their country will increase in 2019, according to a recent poll by FICO. FICO surveyed 50 executives from financial institutions across the region at the annual FICO Asia Pacific Fraud Forum held in Bali, Indonesia.

Of specific concern are transactions completed when neither the card nor the cardholder is physically present (card-not-present or CNP fraud), as well as cards taken out by criminals under false identities (application fraud). These were identified as the two key concerns, as well as the biggest fraud challenges faced by banks in 2019.

Key findings:

  • 74 percent of Asia Pacific (APAC) banks surveyed believe that cases of fraud in their country will increase moderately or significantly in 2019.
    Prioritizing risk management over customer convenience, more than 50 percent of APAC banks’ continue to simply block cards on the first fraud alert. Only 6 percent will keep the card open while trying to confirm fraud with the customer.
    Overall fraud losses remain the leading indicator for 80 percent of fraud departments at APAC banks. Only six percent of APAC banks ranked customer satisfaction as their number one metric.

“The volume and velocity of transactions is growing in Asia,” said Dan McConaghy, president of FICO in Asia Pacific. “Over 50 percent of global online retail sales in 2018 originated from the region. This growth in ecommerce along with the efforts of banks to digitize more services has seen a change in fraud risk. Dealing with an ocean of transactions means that AI and machine learning are essential when it comes to detecting fraud.”

The survey found that efforts to keep up with changing fraud patterns remain mixed. Most APAC banks surveyed continue to take a precautionary approach to stopping fraud. More than 50 percent of APAC banks continue to simply block cards on the first fraud alert, a rate that remains unchanged from the 2017 survey. In contrast, 6 percent will keep the card open while trying to confirm fraud with the customer. Positively, this number has doubled since the same question was asked in the previous poll.

“While protection against fraud is important, some banks are still struggling to balance prevention with customer convenience,” said McConaghy. “Smart communications is one tool lenders can use to deliver a frictionless customer experience. Engaging customers with an automated SMS or call to check if a transaction is genuine, while they are still at the register, engages them in the protection of their account and can have a positive influence on their impression of the bank.”

Interestingly, banks in the region are still measuring their fraud departments on key fraud metrics other than customer satisfaction. Overall fraud losses remain the leading indicator for 80 percent of APAC banks, followed by revenue at 10 percent. Only six percent of APAC banks ranked customer satisfaction as their number one metric and only four percent said customer attrition was their key measurement.

“The results are a little surprising as fraud rates are still relatively low, even though they are starting to climb,” said McConaghy. “In developed markets where their lenders compete over share of wallet, we start to see a greater emphasis on customer experience. Potentially, what we are seeing is that in some organizations the fraud department remains a more siloed operation. However, as fraud levels climb, increased levels of customer churn are likely to shift the priorities for banks.”

Of the banks surveyed, 54 percent of respondents said there would be a moderate rise in fraud in 2019 while 20 percent said there would be a significant jump.

Identity theft also remained a key priority for four-in-ten banks. Last year’s survey found that for one in five banks the number of fraudulent applications for credit cards sat between five to 10 percent.

“Exposure is increasing in this area, given the rise in digital customer acquisition and the proliferation of compromised data from cyberattacks in APAC,” said McConaghy. “A recent report stated that APAC accounts for 35.9% of global cybersecurity events and up to 27.2% of compromised records worldwide. However, the actual figures could be much higher since most countries in Southeast Asia don’t require a compulsory report of data breaches which means fraudsters are better armed with identity-based data than ever before.”

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Data protection in OneDrive and iCloud: the differences and similarities https://bigdata-madesimple.com/data-protection-in-onedrive-and-icloud-the-differences-and-similarities/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/data-protection-in-onedrive-and-icloud-the-differences-and-similarities/#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2019 05:54:33 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34874 The proliferation of cloud storage platforms has transformed the way in which many of us work. This is not surprising, considering that 73 percent of companies questioned for a survey, depend on at least one cloud-based application. This figure is expected to keep rising, and it is easy to see why – storing and managing … Continue reading Data protection in OneDrive and iCloud: the differences and similarities

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The proliferation of cloud storage platforms has transformed the way in which many of us work.

This is not surprising, considering that 73 percent of companies questioned for a survey, depend on at least one cloud-based application. This figure is expected to keep rising, and it is easy to see why – storing and managing files in a cloud-based platform offers a wealth of benefits. These benefits include access to documents that can be restricted to key players only, real-time collaboration which encourages teamwork, and sharing of files with groups in just a click or two. The list goes on.

However, data protection is a major concern for all of us. Hackers can find ways to access files in the cloud and disrupt services, causing many problems if unaddressed. Data breaches can remain undetected for as many as 191 days on average, and it takes a further 66 days to fully contain it.

OneDrive and iCloud are two of the most popular cloud storage solutions, with millions of users worldwide. But what levels of data protection do they provide for customers?

iCloud: how does Apple’s Cloud Storage Platform perform?

Apple; its name alone inspires confidence in buyers, providing valuable peace of mind when choosing any product or service. However, it is well known that iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage platform, has been subject to cyber attacks. One of the most notorious attacks saw the privacy of high-profile celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst invaded in a very public way.

While these occasional breaches do occur,  Apple does take users’ security seriously and offers impressive options to boost their data safety, such as two-factor authentication.

How does this work? Well, signing into iCloud on any new device for the first time (such as your iPhone, iPad, etc.) will prompt the platform to request a password and a six-digit code. Two-factor authentication is becoming increasingly common across different platforms and applications and is worth utilizing.

The extra work required to access your data when logging in on a different device may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it’s a reliable security feature that can help safeguard your data. Your logins will be far harder to guess, and if someone has access to your password, they still will not be able to breach your account without the information required to complete the process.

All data is protected using TLS/SSL and 128-bit AES. While this is inferior to the stronger AES 256-bit alternative, it is still a trustworthy addition.

iCloud also takes advantage of end-to-end encryption. This is designed to maximize the security of all data being transmitted and to minimize the danger of unauthorized users accessing it. If you activate the optional two-factor authentication feature, you will benefit from this high-level encryption.

Another aspect of iCloud’s data protection is Keychain. This is designed to manage critical and sensitive types of data such as credit card details and passwords. It also protects data from applications you may use regularly, such as your contacts, messages, and applications on your MacBook as well, making data across devices more secure. Additionally, Apple has no access to your Keychain encryption keys as they are established on personal devices only, adding an extra level of assurance.

Microsoft OneDrive: How secure is your data with OneDrive?

Like Apple, Microsoft is a corporate giant with a long and proud history of great products and service. Its OneDrive cloud storage platform is incredibly popular and offers some solid features, but how does its data security compare to iCloud’s?

In OneDrive, data is protected with SSL encryption. However, there is a slightly controversial issue with this, if the data is sitting in your account and not being used directly. To put it simply, OneDrive will not encrypt your data with SSL when it is ‘at rest’ unless you are a business customer. While most companies using OneDrive will invest in a business account, small enterprises may prefer to use the free version (which gives you 5GB). This leaves some people wary about the safety of information in their files and spreadsheets when they are away from the office.

Additionally, OneDrive includes a feature which syncs all attachments in Outlook to the cloud, causing potential security issues if users add sensitive data to the cloud without realizing.

However, OneDrive’s security does have its merits. Business-account holders benefit from encryption on a file-by-file basis. If a single file is hacked by a cyber-attacker, only that particular will be affected. Other files should stay safe, minimizing the potential damage an attack could inflict on their operations.

Like iCloud, OneDrive also offers two-step verification as another way to reinforce your account’s security. This must be manually activated, though; it is not automatically in place. Signing into your account from a new device prompts Microsoft to send a security code to you, which must be entered in the login page. An authenticator app is available too, though it is not essential.

Conclusion

There are a number of similarities and differences between iCloud and OneDrive. iCloud’s at-rest encryption is a big benefit if you only depend on its security without additional measures (firewalls etc.). Rest assured, your data is being protected even when it’s idle.

For business account holders, OneDrive offers a significant advantage over iCloud with its per-file security in addition to its at-rest encryption. Having each file encrypted individually can prevent a single compromised file from infecting others. If you are not willing or able to invest in a business account however, your idle data could be vulnerable.

Both platforms offer two-factor authentication as a security measure and it is a helpful feature worth activating. iCloud’s Keychain system cannot be overlooked either.

Apple and Microsoft are both clearly committed to helping their customers’ data stay safe in an age when hacks are so commonplace. It is hard to say if one is better than the other; just ensure to exercise extreme caution with data in the cloud. No matter how safe a cloud storage platform is, complacency and human error can still leave your data vulnerable.

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Why AI is a double-edged sword in the Cybersecurity? https://bigdata-madesimple.com/why-ai-is-a-double-edged-sword-in-the-cybersecurity/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/why-ai-is-a-double-edged-sword-in-the-cybersecurity/#respond Wed, 10 Apr 2019 05:38:13 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34851 If you are in any way part of the world of technology and business, you would be aware of how much cybercrime and cybersecurity threats that have evolved in the recent past. The concern for data security around the world is all-time high as the world has witnessed cyber breaches at the highest levels. Benjamin … Continue reading Why AI is a double-edged sword in the Cybersecurity?

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If you are in any way part of the world of technology and business, you would be aware of how much cybercrime and cybersecurity threats that have evolved in the recent past. The concern for data security around the world is all-time high as the world has witnessed cyber breaches at the highest levels.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel simulated a cyber-attack to demonstrate the cybersecurity challenges. He addressed his nation and called on to collaborate for the most sensitive system of a nation that can shatter the complete economy by gaining the access of bank account holders, Government securities and defence system of the nation. Such is the importance of cybersecurity.

If we look at the brighter side, businesses and corporates are scaling up their artificial intelligence aura. In a recent report by Gartner and Deloitte’s AI in the enterprise have reported that companies are stepping up in the usage of artificial intelligence to 33% from 17%. And 82% of the AI adopters are have reported an impressive ROI.

But, on the other hand, the reports also indicated that 32 percent of the businesses have experienced cybersecurity breach. As a result, they were hesitant to continue and have slowed down their initiatives.

This makes artificial intelligence a double-edged sword. In one hand artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms make a strong barrier between digital systems and cybercriminals. On the other hand, artificial intelligence can be used in a malicious way by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access. They can now develop more robust and seamless attacks. Hackers are busy in creating artificial intelligence augmented attacks that are hard to detect and halt.

Let us see how AI will be involved in the Attacker VS Defender war:

In favour of defenders

1. Make security teams strong

The cybersecurity teams are looking towards AI as a strong armour to shield against cyber-attacks. AI helps the cybersecurity teams to be at a step ahead of the cyber-attacks. The security analysts have to be always ready against any type of attack, loopholes and security breach. Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms can learn from past attacks. This makes the new security algorithms more adaptable and improved version of themselves.

2. Detect unusual patterns

Artificial intelligence algorithms can detect new patterns and unusual activity that deviates from the normal pattern. Machine learning algorithms can speed up the response time as soon as it detects any potential threat and makes the data inaccessible by adding more security layers at the runtime. AI algorithms immediately alert the authorities concerned. AI can also identify the type of malware and also red flags the malware that is new or hasn’t been detected in the past.

3. AI for a better defence mechanism

AI and machine learning based technology help in accelerating incident detection. This means, doing a better job of correlating, curating and integrating the system with security alerts to create an incident detection pattern. Cybersecurity was considered as a defence mechanism to detect the breaches and loopholes in the security system. This paradigm has been reshaped through the recent advancements in artificial intelligence. Cybersecurity teams are now able to predict the attacks and suppress even before they happen.

4. Better Data Discovery

Data discover helps in providing a better insight into the security networks. By using the artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithm, cybersecurity experts can build models for the supervised as well as unsupervised purposes. Supervised models can take advantage of datasets for which the outcomes are known and help in filtering the algorithms that drive the outcome. Unsupervised learning does the same thing but, in this case, the outcome is unknown. But there is not a lot of labelled data in cybersecurity, so a balanced combination of both the approaches is implemented by cybersecurity experts.

In Favour of Cyber Criminals

Cyber criminal’s activities are broadly classified into the following types:

  • Information Collections– For the preparation of the attack
  • Impersonation– Attempt to steals authentication credentials
  • Unauthorized access– Gain access to user accounts by bypassing the restrictions
  • Attack– Distributing malware and viruses through online networks

1. Bypassing the CAPTCHA

CAPTCHA has become an essential tool on the internet that allows applications to differentiate between humans and robots. The visitors are presented with the images or texts which only humans can identify. By using artificial intelligence, bots are able to solve captcha accurately 98% of the time.

2. Improving the Phishing attacks

More than 75% of organizations fell victim to the phishing attacks. Many organizations have also implemented high-end programs as protection against phishing. But artificial intelligence enabled phishing attacks can easily bypass the security layers. Attackers can frame messages that will produce a high degree of success rate. Social media enabled phishing attacks uses artificial intelligence to identify the valuable targets and frame messages on the basis of their profile, history, and interests.

3. Create adaptive malware

Hackers use scripts and toolkits to develop and distribute malware. But the cyber defence has become more intelligent and sophisticated. Attackers are now using artificial intelligence to increase the effectiveness of the attacks. They can perform checks to identify the hardware configuration and the environment of the victim and can also check if a human is operating the machine at the time of the attack. Weaponized artificial intelligence attacks are fatal and can do more damage by breaching the security layers.

4. Finding security loopholes in software

Finding security loopholes and vulnerability in the software is a very time-consuming process. Artificial intelligence has automated the process of software security vulnerability detection. AI tools can scan through the networks and find out the possible weak links that can let the attackers breach the security. AI programs are able to find the vulnerabilities that can take the entire system down.

Conclusion

Artificial intelligence is truly a double-edged sword in the cyber security domain. This is a perfect example of how AI can be used for good and for evil. Research teams have been working to eliminate the blind spots in the machine learning algorithms and eliminating the weaknesses.

Thus, the combination of AI and cybersecurity is necessary to stay ahead of the cybercriminals and cyber-attacks.

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Financial institutions put consumer data at risk – Analyst report https://bigdata-madesimple.com/financial-institutions-put-consumer-data-at-risk-analyst-report/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/financial-institutions-put-consumer-data-at-risk-analyst-report/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2019 09:49:28 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34805 A new research by Arxan Technologies found that financial institutions put consumer data at risk by failing to protect financial services apps against multiple vulnerabilities. The research titled “In plain sight: The vulnerability epidemic in financial services mobile apps” revealed widespread security inadequacies and protection failures among consumer financial applications, leading to the exposure of … Continue reading Financial institutions put consumer data at risk – Analyst report

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A new research by Arxan Technologies found that financial institutions put consumer data at risk by failing to protect financial services apps against multiple vulnerabilities.

The research titled “In plain sight: The vulnerability epidemic in financial services mobile apps” revealed widespread security inadequacies and protection failures among consumer financial applications, leading to the exposure of source code, sensitive data stored in apps, access to back-end servers via APIs, and more.

Senior cybersecurity analyst Alissa Knight of Aite Group, who authored the study, examined the mobile apps of 30 financial institutions (FIs) downloaded from the Google Play store across eight financial services sectors: retail banking, credit card, mobile payment, cryptocurrency, HSA, retail brokerage, health insurance, and auto insurance.

Using tools readily available on the internet, Knight found nearly all of the applications could easily be reverse engineered allowing access to sensitive information stored inside the source code, such as improperly stored PII, account credentials, server-side file locations, API keys, and live deployment and QA URLs used by the developers for testing the apps.

The research highlights a systemic lack of application appropriate protection such as application shielding, threat detection, encryption, and response technology across financial services apps.

Key findings from the research

  • Lack of Binary Protections — 97% of all apps tested lacked binary code protection, making it possible to reverse engineer or decompile the apps exposing source code to analysis and tampering
  • Unintended Data Leakage — 90% of the apps tested shared services with other applications on the device, leaving data from the FI’s app accessible to any other application on the device
  • Insecure Data Storage — 83% of the apps tested insecurely stored data outside of the apps control, for example, in a device’s local file system, external storage, and copied data to the clipboard allowing shared access with other apps; and, exposed a new attack surface via APIs
  • Weak Encryption — 80% of the apps tested implemented weak encryption algorithms or the incorrect implementation of a strong cipher, allowing adversaries to decrypt sensitive data and manipulate or steal it as needed
  • Insecure Random-Number Generation — 70% of the apps use an insecure random-number generator, a security measure that relies on random values to restrict access to a sensitive resource, making the values easily guessed and hackable

“During this research project, it took me 8.5 minutes on average to crack into an application and begin to freely read the underlying code, identify APIs, read file names, access sensitive data and more. With FIs holding such sensitive financial and personal data — and operating in such stringent regulatory environments — it is shocking to see just how many of their applications lack basic secure coding practices and app security protections,” said Alissa Knight, Senior Analyst at Aite Group.

“A large number of vulnerabilities exposed from decompiling these applications poses a direct threat to financial institutions and their customers. These resulting threats ranged from account takeovers, credit application fraud, synthetic identity fraud, identity theft and more. It’s clear from the findings that the industry needs to address the vulnerability epidemic throughout its mobile apps and employ a defense-in-depth approach to securing mobile applications — starting with app protection, threat detection and encryption capabilities implemented at the code level. Of all the findings, the most shocking was without a doubt, the SQL queries exposing information on the backend databases hard coded in the app along with private keys being stored unencrypted in different sub-directories.”

Of all the industry verticals examined in the research, disturbingly, retail banking, retail brokerage, and auto insurance applications were found to be at risk for all the discovered critical vulnerabilities. The fewest vulnerabilities were found in the Health Savings Account applications, indicating that as an industry there is higher regard for securing patient information and interactions than the FI sector has for securing customer data and financial transactions. Surprisingly, the smaller company apps analyzed had the most secure development hygiene, while the larger companies produced the most vulnerable apps.

“It’s no secret that the finance industry is a hot target because the payload is cold, hard cash,” says Aaron Lint, Chief Scientist and VP of Research, Arxan. “Virtually none of the apps tested in this research had app security measures in place that could even detect an app was being reverse-engineered, let alone actively defend against any malicious activity originating from code level tampering. We expect financial institutions to be leaders in security, but unfortunately, the lack or app protection is systemic across these and most organizations using mobile apps to drive business — which in today’s environment is everyone. Organizations need to take their head out of the sand and realize how significant the attack surface really is due to the nature of how apps are rapidly developed, left unprotected and deployed capriciously.”

To minimize the risk of these vulnerabilities being identified and ultimately exploited, it is advised financial institutions adopt a comprehensive approach to application security that includes app shielding, encryption, threat detection, and response — and ensure their developers receive adequate application protection and shielding training and implement appropriate security at each stage in the software development life cycle. Additionally, it is essential that application security solutions easily integrate into DevOps environments, post-coding, so they do not disrupt rapid app development and deployment processes.

Download the full research report here.

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How to improve your supply chain with data visualization techniques https://bigdata-madesimple.com/how-to-improve-your-supply-chain-with-data-visualization-techniques/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/how-to-improve-your-supply-chain-with-data-visualization-techniques/#respond Thu, 28 Mar 2019 05:30:36 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34785 Every business with a physical footprint that deals in tangible goods will eventually run into optimization issues with their supply chain. It’s a simple factor of business: If something can be shipped poorly, it will be. Whether poor driving efficiency or less than ideal distribution station choices drive down the yield of your business, the … Continue reading How to improve your supply chain with data visualization techniques

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Every business with a physical footprint that deals in tangible goods will eventually run into optimization issues with their supply chain. It’s a simple factor of business: If something can be shipped poorly, it will be. Whether poor driving efficiency or less than ideal distribution station choices drive down the yield of your business, the end result is a flow of products that could lead to millions of dollars in waste that aren’t immediately visible to scrutiny.

While moving a box across the country will never be a perfected task there are tools available in the realm of data visualization that can help pinpoint where a business’ supply chain needs the most attention.

Data visualization: Business basics

At its most basic level, data visualization for a business can be as simple as putting an overlay of delivery chains on a country-wide map and calling it a day. Unfortunately this approach cuts out many of the most useful aspects of collecting and collating data in favor of making it easier to digest. As such, data visualization works best when handling specific problems and analyzing certain data points:

  • Points of congestion
  • Efficiency of distribution center placement
  • Distribution cost analysis

Each component makes for an important part of putting data into an easily digestible format, but the issue of turning numbers into results is well documented. Until data is used towards an end, it’s just a collection of numbers. As such the implementation of efficient solutions will always be more valuable than the raw data used to make those changes, but putting that data to use is the first big hurdle to overcome in proper implementation.

It’s rather appropriate that data visualization in its many forms has become integral to many fields that may seem like abstract choices for visualization. Mapping the color palettes used by famous artists and using a visual medium to express them may not spring to mind immediately and it won’t clear up shipping routes, but taking in strictly visual information is easiest when presented in a nicely packaged visual format.

If you’re concerned that implementation might be impossible in your business, you’d be surprised by how flexible data visualization can be.

Global problems require global solutions

In businesses with worldwide clients, many problems that are effective in a single country simply won’t work without tailoring solutions to meet specific problems. Collecting and visualizing data for specific regions in which a business hopes to operate is a step towards understanding risks and potential issues, but there are some problems that can only be overcome by clever use of that data.

Current political climates between the United States and China have led to a trade war that has slowed many businesses that rely on a strong working relationship between the two countries. Chinese manufacturers and suppliers are responsible for a great deal of goods and materials that are either then put to use in a refined form or delivered through a middleman, which is effective thanks to the relatively low cost of sourcing and delivering products from overseas. Various dropshipping pros and cons become magnified by inefficiency, poor handling and miscommunication.

Businesses must move to adjust accordingly and time spent scrambling to source and review data leads to losses that can permanently harm their growth. When margins decrease, visualization as a cost measurement tool becomes integral to import and export business optimization without sacrificing months of progress. If overseas shipping becomes less lucrative, tightening existing supply chains and cutting out the biggest cost burdens becomes the next logical step.

Implementing your solutions

Once you’ve found the problems inherent in your supply chain, how do you solve them? The data collected and bundled into an efficient format is only as helpful as how you present it to those with the power to implement tangible change. It’s not even a problem that large headquarters must deal with, as even shipment centers and carriers need to be alerted to inefficiencies.

As always, analyzing the data you have and presenting only that which is most pertinent will have the greatest results. Overwhelming problem-solvers with data that is unrelated to their largest issues may only server to clog up an otherwise effective rollout as they scramble to address dozens of problems all at once. Worse yet, tertiary information that can be more effectively rolled into a broad solution might lead to dismissal of other small problems as something that will be lost in the shuffle.

If a shipping company tracks their average delivery route time and finds that a specific street causes more problems than others, but then goes further and discovers an issue with distribution that would be better solved by moving the burden of delivery to another center, the information pertaining to a trouble street likely isn’t worth focus unless it proves to be a recurring issue.

It’s not the end-all solution, but rather the tool with which you can identify troubled areas and support future solutions by continuing to compare data as solutions are rolled out. Visualization isn’t a one-stop bandage to inefficiency, but rather the means by which you can prove growth or failure through diligent study.

If you find your grasp of supply and demand is lost in the world beyond the scope of your business, data visualization is one of the quickest ways to find problems in a way that is digestible and accessible to nearly anyone. Implementing your changes will always be more difficult than putting together the visualization but the effectiveness of a visual medium could cut hours of anguish out of your problem solving routine.

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Top 10 agritech companies you need to know https://bigdata-madesimple.com/top-10-agritech-companies-you-need-to-know/ https://bigdata-madesimple.com/top-10-agritech-companies-you-need-to-know/#respond Mon, 25 Mar 2019 06:31:56 +0000 https://bigdata-madesimple.com/?p=34717 The term “agritech” is a fusion of “agriculture” and “technology,” referring to the use of technological innovations to augment the output and efficiency of agriculture. It entails the application of robots, devices, AI, and even big data to improve the farming process, minimize manual labor, increase harvest, and reduce the resources needed to grow crops. … Continue reading Top 10 agritech companies you need to know

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The term “agritech” is a fusion of “agriculture” and “technology,” referring to the use of technological innovations to augment the output and efficiency of agriculture. It entails the application of robots, devices, AI, and even big data to improve the farming process, minimize manual labor, increase harvest, and reduce the resources needed to grow crops. Despite “agriculture” being part of its name, agritech is also applicable to horticulture (the art of growing garden plants and trees) and aquaculture (raising aquatic animals and plants for food).

Why does it matter?

Agritech is growing in popularity for several good reasons.

It provides solutions. Many new technological trends are met with reservations because of suspicions that they are nothing more than a flash in the pan. Not agritech. Despite a history spanning millennia, agriculture retains a number of problems that technology can solve. Agritech gives farmers healthier seeds, better equipment, and safer fertilizers. It improves storage capabilities and expands business by connecting farmers with customers from other parts of the globe, allowing them to meet international orders without the need for middlemen.

It comes at reasonable prices. In the past, you may have considered adopting technology but held back because of the possible costs. As long as you have basic knowledge in agritech, you can start growing crops using a greenhouse equipped with features like automation and internal ecosystem support without the need for too much capital.

You have government support. Growing food efficiently is a global challenge and more and more governments are realizing this. Apart from the U.S., many countries in Asia and Europe are offering grants to agritech companies because of their potential contributions to growing safe and clean agricultural products.

It has great potential. Many investors and experts recognize the potential in agritech. If you ever decide to start a business in agritech, you won’t have a shortage of people and organizations to back you up. Angel investors and support professionals are all within easy reach, while experts are looking to join research teams to find this young sector’s hero product.

Who’s making it big in agritech in 2019?

Agritech startups are changing and improving the farming sector around the world. Here are some of the 10 most promising names in agritech for 2019:

Impossible™ Foods

Impossible™ Foods lives up to their name by creating meats and cheeses made from plants. Their secret is heme, a natural molecule that’s said to give meat products their distinct taste. The company has successfully created heme from plants through genetic engineering and is now crafting burgers, tacos, empanadas, and other foods traditionally made with meat, without actually harming any animal. Their goal is to save the planet by reducing the need to grow livestock without withholding meat-lovers the pleasure of having their favorite meals. The company is based in Redwood City, California.

NinjaCart

This Indian startup aims to solve two problems: the low quality of food in groceries and supermarkets and the low income that farmers generate from their produce. NinjaCart connects farmers directly with retailers, skipping several steps – and middlemen – along the way. As a result, farmers are able to quickly sell and get up to 20 percent more revenue from their products, while retailers obtain high-quality produce at more competitive prices. The absence of middlemen also means products are now traceable to farmers, which benefits consumers in the long run.

Mei Cai

Mei Cai is an online store and network that sells agricultural products, allowing consumers to get fresh, high-quality farm produce at discounts of up to 36 percent with just a single click. Orders are delivered within two hours. The system also allows Chinese farmers to avoid middlemen altogether and get more revenue for their products.

Indigo

Indigo believes there is a better, safer way to grow the grains that a large percentage of the world population considers their staple food. They offer an array of agricultural services, the most notable are technologies focused on microbes that have been helping plants grow healthy for billions of years. Indigo’s products offer growers an effective and low-risk means of growing crops, as well as healthy food sources for consumers.

Rootwave

Pesticides and the risks they pose on both the environment and consumers have been a point of discussion in science for years. Rootwave, a U.K.-based company, manufactures a device that zaps weeds from the roots up using an electrical pulse. The product eliminates the need for noxious chemicals and is currently aimed at small-scale farmers and gardeners.

ProducePay

The company offers comprehensive financial services to growers, shippers, distributors, and marketers. Their goal is to help parties involved in agriculture to build networks that will help them expand their business and increase their revenue. They also offer payment solutions, as well as a one-stop platform where interested parties can find pricing, weather, trend, movement, and seasonal information.

Bombay Hemp Company

This India-based startup aims to help in setting up a stronger market for hemp products. They support hemp farmers by providing them with high-quality seeds, as well as feedback and agricultural products. They are also engaged in research on the many applications of cannabis, including clothes made from hemp and drugs for the treatment of conditions like cancer and epilepsy.

Apeel Sciences

This company helps farmers produce healthier and safer yields. Their first product, aptly named Apeel, is an edible plant-based second peel for fruits. It protects fruits from the elements, keeping them fresh longer and reducing farmers’ dependence on harmful chemicals and preservation methods.

LettUs Grow™

The company produces both hardware and software for aeroponic indoor farms. Plants are kept in carefully controlled grow beds and are watered through a fine mist. The method not only uses 95 percent less water than conventional farming methods, it also produces plants that are healthier and more delicious.

Benson Hill Biosystems

This North Carolina-based company partners with government institutions, companies, and universities to breed crops with traits optimized for sustainability, performance, nutritional content, and flavor. These are all done through a mixture of agriculture, machine learning, and genetic engineering. As part of their services, they allow both suppliers and consumers to design crop and ingredient specifications as needed.

What is the impact of agritech on the future?

The world is expected to be home to nine billion people by 2050 and it’s natural to wonder if the current state of agriculture can produce enough food to feed this population. The World Resource Institute’s report, entitled “Creating a Sustainable Food Future,” outlines five ways to avert a possible food crisis, one of which is to increase agricultural productivity.

Although feasible, this solution is not as simple as it sounds. Raising agricultural productivity could lead to two problems: 1.) agricultural land expansion will inevitably use up the space occupied by forests and other natural ecosystems, and 2.) more agriculture can lead to more greenhouse emissions. Increasing food production must, therefore, be done wisely and with more emphasis on small farmers in developing countries.

Agritech can help curb the possibility of a food crisis. Technologies that allow farmers to produce food with minimal space and resource costs are already around and are being developed. With sustainable machines and methods that eliminate the need for greenhouse gases and noxious chemicals, the farmers of the future will also be able to produce food with little to no harmful impact on the environment.

What do you consider the most exciting development in agritech? Tell us in the comments.

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