Nvidia in 2018: faster and faster, pricier and dicier

2018 started off with all the makings of a hot year for Nvidia. Everyone was still talking about cryptocurrency, and Nvidia’s graphics cards were caught up in the middle of the mining craze. The prices of existing Nvidia cards like the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti were nowhere close to as low as they should have…

2018 started off with all the makings of a hot year for Nvidia. Everyone was still talking about cryptocurrency, and Nvidia’s graphics cards were caught up in the middle of the mining craze. The prices of existing Nvidia cards like the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti were nowhere close to as low as they should have been, and the company’s flagship cards were long overdue for an update. Thankfully, we just got that with three brand newNvidia TuringGPUs plus a whole new ray tracing revolution – at least in one game anyway.

We’re going to take an in-depth look at how the year actually played out and it’s been a challenging one for big green, to say the least. Nvidia has arguably ended the year in a tougher spot than when it started. Although the company has made some of its biggest leaps forward, they’ve also came with heavy caveats.

Nvidia in 2018

Nvidia at the start of 2018:

Nvidia kicked off the new year at CES 2018 talking about its big moves with powerful cards that would go into data centers and power AI, like that used in self-driving cars. 

It also hyped up the Max-Q versions of its 10-Series graphics cards, which offer desktop-like performance in thin-and-light laptops. 

But, what the company wasn’t doing at that time was announcing the replacements to the 10-Series. It showed off the new Titan V that was hardly a gaming-targeted, consumer-facing product, but little did we know that its Tensor cores would make their way into its new line of 20-series GeForce GPUs.

Still, in spite of nothing for gamers to get too excited about early in 2018, Nvidia was doing well.

Nvidia in 2018

Gamers’ pains, Nvidia’s gains:

One thing that was driving Nvidia at the beginning of 2018 was cryptocurrency. Popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were booming, and miners needed powerful graphics cards to mine many of them. Nvidia’s were the most powerful around and the demand was huge.

Nvidia recordedrecord revenue in early 2018with a huge bump in graphics card sales. The company didn’t attribute the surge solely to cryptocurrency, rather crediting “new games, holiday-season demand, iCafe upgrades, esports and cryptocurrency mining,” in an earnings call.

As good as the sales were for Nvidia, gamers were hurting for much of the first half of 2018. The high demand formining graphics cardsdrove prices up, making it hard for gamers looking to upgrade or build new PCs without spending a fortune.

Nvidia made some efforts to ensure the core audience of gamers could still get their hands on GeForce graphics cards. One of the schemes Nvidia used to prevent miners from gobbling up all the GPU stock was encouraging retailers toprevent bulk buying. Some shops even went further bybundling graphics cardswith monito

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The best antivirus protection for start-ups or bigger businesses

Who is Avast?Founded in 1988 by two Czech students, Avast has grown into world-class security giant with over 1,700 people in 25 locations, serving more than 400 million users around the globe.The company has proved its antivirus credentials by automatically protecting its users from many devastating real-world attacks, including WannaCry, BadRabbit and Petya. There was…

Who is Avast?

Founded in 1988 by two Czech students, Avast has grown into world-class security giant with over 1,700 people in 25 locations, serving more than 400 million users around the globe.

The company has proved its antivirus credentials by automatically protecting its users from many devastating real-world attacks, including WannaCry, BadRabbit and Petya. There was no re-engineering involved, no emergency updates required– the software just did its job and kept its users safe.

In recent years Avast has further expanded its range by acquiring fellow Czech-based security company AVG, the popular VPN provider HideMyAss!, and CCleaner developer Piriform.

The company may be well known for its consumer-friendly free antivirus, then, but Avast now offers so much more. Whether you’re looking for a handful of endpoint protection tools for a small business, or a managed security platform to cover a global enterprise, there’s a solution for you here.

(Image: © avast)

Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus

Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus is Avast’s top-of-the-range endpoint protection solution, a comprehensive security suite which uses multiple advanced shields to keep attackers firmly locked out of your network.

This starts with the core antivirus engine which scans every point of entry to your system – the applications you run, the files you download, the URLs you click and the email attachments you receive – to detect and block threats before they can do any harm.

Avast’s business experience means the protection goes way beyond consumer antivirus apps. For exampl

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Android, Antivirus, Apple, Chromebook, Enterprise, Internet Security, Microsoft, Mobile, OS X, Windows

Is Buying Antivirus Software Necessary?

Let’s address the elephant in the room – malware and viruses do exist! Devices are not immune so we have…

Let’s address the elephant in the room – malware and viruses do exist! Devices are not immune so we have to ask “Is Buying Antivirus Software Necessary?”! It is worth noting that if your phone, tablet or computer is invulnerable to internet threats today, it isn’t a guarantee it will stay so forever.

Having said that, let’s discuss why viruses are immensely prevalent on some platforms while on others they are almost non-existent.

First and foremost, we need to understand that cybercrime is a lucrative business. Hackers are always in search of ways to sneak in into users’ systems and capitalize on sensitive information.

While most vulnerabilities till now have been centered around the Windows OS, other system software like that of Apple’s isn’t as protected either as it once used to be.

It’s not that there are issues with Apple’s inbuilt security system, but rather, cyber culprits have found new ways of slipping through advanced defense systems. The reason why they have started out so late is that they were pretty content targeting the much easier and larger number of Windows and Android users till now.

Though Apple’s security is pretty impressive, it isn’t completely immune. For cybercriminals exploiting the system, it is just a matter of time.

As of now, Apple doesn’t really have antivirus software for the iOS and the same goes for Google’s Chrome OS, one of the most secure systems to date.

The few apps that claim to protect devices running on these operating systems are probably Security Software. So, for the time being, we will focus our attention on Windows, OS X, and Android systems.


Windows PCs and Laptops


Before progressing any further, let’s answer the simpler stuff first – Is buying antivirus software necessary for windows 7 or older?

The answer is simple and straightforward – YES, IT IS!

Now back to what’s more popular: What about Windows 8 and Windows 10?

While Windows 8 and above have had some significant improvements in their security system, especially after the introduction of Windows 10 with which Windows Defender Antivirus (a step-up to the Microsoft Security Essentials) comes included, the everlasting question whether one needs an additional antivirus software or not still remains unanswered.

Before passing any judgment, it must be noted that Windows Defender switches off gracefully once it detects a third-party program to avoid any interference. Hence, you once an antivirus software is installed and running the Windows Defender isn’t going to work any longer. Unless you are confident with your antivirus software, it is best letting Microsoft’s default defender do the job.

While Windows Defender if good, it certainly isn’t the best! According to AV-TEST, Microsoft’s inbuilt security program score a 4.5 out of 6. Of course, it isn’t bad but not as capable as Avira’s or Avast’s antivirus software that topped the list in December 2017.


Mac OS X Desktop Computers and Laptops


For a long time, Mac OS X was incredibly safe. Apple’s intelligently designed sandbox OS made it extremely difficult for criminals to hack Apple devices.

As a matter of fact, if a few years ago a Mac user would install an antivirus software, the only purpose it would solve was preventing it from passing to other devices on the same network. However, Macs have been cracked and have lately been more vulnerable to threats like never before.

For now, home users are pretty safe from being affected by a malware or a virus. Even though not many Mac users have been affected by a virus, it wouldn’t be right to forget that the risks are there.

To be on the safer side, it wouldn’t be a bad idea investing in an antivirus. Just like for the Windows, antivirus software from Kaspersky, Symantec and Avast do an impressive job of protecting Apple devices.


Android Phones and Tablets


It wouldn’t be safe to say that Android viruses do not exist at all. However, as long as one refrains from downloading apps from external sources, it is almost impossible your device to be infected by a virus or malware.

While, by default, Google doesn’t allow its Android users to installs apps from third-party source, this can be easily modified through a few steps in the settings. If you regularly install apps from unknown sources or are one of those courageous users who fiddle with their devices by gaining root access, having an antivirus installed wouldn’t be a bad idea.

It must be noted, that the Android threats known till now aren’t as malicious as the ones affecting Windows PCs and Laptops. This is mainly because it isn’t as easy to exploit an Android device and there isn’t much reason to do so as most of the sensitive information that hackers are in the hunt for is one computer.

As of now, there hasn’t been an Android malware that has caused booting issues for a device. Even if one feels his Android phone or tablet has been affected by a virus, all he has to do is back up his data and run a factory reset.

While having an antivirus might seem something optional, one might not regret having a security software instead installed on his Android.

What is important to keep in mind is that Android runs on devices that have a tendency to get stolen. Losing a phone or a tablet is quite daunting indeed. But giving away sensitive information is even worse. And, that is where security software plays a crucial role.


Is Buying Antivirus Software Necessary or will a free version suffice?


While free antivirus software today, like the Sophos Antivirus, protect devices from threats to a good degree, they are obviously nowhere near to what the paid ones are capable of doing.

Whether or not to pay for an antivirus or whether even having one is required is a highly personal opinion and there are certain things that are to be considered while making such a decision. If of course, you have important data on your device, something you cannot afford lose an inexpensive antivirus is worth adding to the expense.

For some suggestions on which antivirus to pick, check our article – Top 5 Antivirus programs for 2018

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Antivirus, Apple, Chromebook, Enterprise, Internet Security, Microsoft, OS X, Windows

5 Reasons to keep your operating system up to date

Many users have developed the bad habit of delaying or ignoring operating systems updates. They see the little pop up…

Many users have developed the bad habit of delaying or ignoring operating systems updates. They see the little pop up reminders and simply hit “postpone” without a second thought. That is until they experience their first major problem with their shiny new PC or laptop!

Instead of putting off important updates, which we all know inevitably pop up at the least opportune times, users should prioritise them. This is not only to keep yourself secure but also it has benefits relating to your computers performance speed.

So, why is it so important to keep your system updated?


Security vulnerability fixes


The very first reason why new updates constantly appear is to fix security holes. The thing is, no matter how secure an operating system is designed to be, hackers more often than not find ways to exploit systems. Most malicious threats are caused by security flaws that remain unfixed due to a not up-to-date OS.

By ignoring updates, this is the digital equivalent of leaving your doors unlocked and open!


Better Functionality


An OS update will usually provide its users with new and enhanced features. This might also include processing speed improvements. So, the next time you feel your computer isn’t functioning as good as it used to a few weeks back, all you might have to do is wait for an update!

Other functionality features can include improved web browsers or built in security features such as fingerprint ID or face recognition logins.


Bug fixes


All software providers, including your OS provider, carry out meticulous checks before selling their products. However, it is only after some time that faults in the source code starts to appear. That is where updates come into play.

By not updating and having these bugs in play, many bad things can potentially happen on your PC. From software simply not working to an entire OS failure at the extreme end of the spectrum!


Improvement of Hardware performance


OS updates very often bring along driver updates. A driver is a piece of software that allows the operating system to interact with hardware. Depending on the hardware connected to a computer, driver updates might increase the overall performance of your machine, especially when it comes to gaming and connecting to the Wi-Fi.

Although many hardware manufacturers provide driver update capabilities separately, OS providers have improved leaps and bounds in recent years as far as seamlessly providing driver updates is concerned.


Avoiding passing a virus to other computers


While your computer’s operating system might be relatively immune to different malware, it doesn’t necessarily mean it cannot spread to other devices that are on the same network you are on.

For instance, your Macintosh should be quite safe from cyber attacks however you may easily pass a threat to your friends or colleagues who are on a Windows device if you are sharing a common network.

While an update might not be able to completely prevent such a scenario, it definitely can reduce the risks associated with it.

As well as updating your operating system, make sure you have an anti-virus installed to protect yourself. For more information check our article – Top 5 Antivirus programs for 2018


No excuses – Keep your Operating System up to date!


Don’t forget, system updates are designed to protect their users from cyber attacks and provide the best performance. Ignoring them might prove critical to the functioning of your device. If you want to ensure best user experience, there really shouldn’t be an excuse to not keep your operating system up to date!




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Enterprise, Internet Security

How do companies protect against a security breach?

It is no secret that any criminal will have his eyes on the biggest piece of cake he can acquire….

It is no secret that any criminal will have his eyes on the biggest piece of cake he can acquire. It is no different when it comes to cybercriminals. And for them, their favorite desserts are the big tech companies. That is why it is so important for every company to do what they can to protect against a security breach.

With huge amounts of sensitive/customer data around, exploiting just one company can give access to information worth millions of dollars!

No matter how protected business databases tend to be, hackers have very often been able to effectively slip through corporate security defense systems.

One recent example is the Petya Ransomware, a cyber attack predominantly targeted on Ukraine that caused havoc all across Europe and various other parts of the world with an estimated damage of more than $300 million to businesses – most of them being government organizations.

While large tech-companies invest millions of dollars on advanced defense systems, they are often defeated by stronger players in the wilds of the internet. It’s events like these that have pushed tech companies in stepping up their cybersecurity game like never before.


So, what do companies do to protect against a security breach?


Identity and access management (IAM) systems

Traditionally, identity management has been broadly defined as the set of policies, processes, and technologies used for managing access to information systems through the right individuals. It is the core network responsible for safeguarding digital data while effectively tracking system activities.

Even though the system itself is quite complex, the concept is simple – enhancing the privacy of data by limiting the various associated attributes to certain interactions.


Restricting use of unnecessary hardware and software

The higher the number of software or hardware connected to the network- the higher the number of possible exploits. Even though, software companies that sell their products to various IT firms make sure they are immune to cyber attacks, using a redundant program just isn’t worth taking the risk.

More often than not, giant tech firms make sure that different departments of their organization have devices connected to different servers, so that, even if one gets breached, the rest stay secured.


Background checks and constant monitoring

While IT firms carefully monitor for possible malware trying to attack their systems, there have been a good number of instances of intrusion from inside the network. No matter how high-caliber cybersecurity a company has, nothing can stop sensitive data from being stolen if it is operated by someone having a different purpose.

Lately, tech-firms have started resorting to serious background checks and screenings before giving access to important information to their employees.


IT training

Tech-firms and hackers, both, are well aware of each others’ goals! What that means is hackers know that their potential targets have taken the mandatory measures to try to keep them at bay from attacking their servers. Cyber culprits, however, have more than a dozen ways of sneaking into systems which they successfully achieve by capitalizing on human error.

Tech-firms have paid significant attention on developing a corporate culture focusing on security training programs aimed at teaching their employees the risks of negligent use of networks, phishing content, careless password management and improper disposal of information.


Encrypting Data

While having sensitive data stolen is a nightmare itself, things get a lot worse when this stolen data can be used for the wrong purposes. One way to keep data safer is by converting it into a code which can be decoded only by the entity with the decryption key. This doesn’t mean hackers might not have a solution of converting encoded information into a readable form. However, it certainly makes things harder for someone trying to obtain unauthorized access.


Strong Passwords and Password Managers

Using strong usernames and passwords should be a no-brainer. However, what is more important is properly storing them and that is where a password manager comes to play.

Password managers are software that saves usernames/passwords and keeps them encrypted. However, the risk here is the software itself as it is the master program containing all the passkeys. A security issue with it is enough to create a potential security risk.


Having information stolen is the last thing any organization would want to happen, especially if it is that of their clients. Not only it is a matter of reputation, a company might face serious legal issues for not being able to protect their customer’s information.

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