Bird Construction highlights the need for security
On 26 January, Ontario-based Bird Construction acknowledged that it had been the victim of a recent ransomware attack.
Speaking with CBC News, an anonymous spokesperson for the company said that “Bird Construction responded to a cyber incident that resulted in the encryption of company files. Bird continued to function with no business impact, and we worked with leading cybersecurity experts to restore access to the affected files.”
Although it appears, on this occasion, that the damages have been limited by Bird, this revelation highlights the absolute necessity for businesses to maintain effective cybersecurity to protect data.
Emphasising this crucial requirement is a report by IT World Canada, which found that 2019 was amongst the worst years for Canadian organisations falling victim to cyber-attacks.
Top three cybersecurity companies in Ontario
It is fortunate that, although the country is experiencing difficulty managing cyber-threats, the Ontario region is a leader in developing cybersecurity solutions that safeguard against hackers and provide increased protection.
Herjavec Group: Canada’s largest IT security provider and one of the fastest-growing overall tech companies in the country, Herjavec started from humble beginnings in 2003, maintaining a staff of just three employees.
It is now generating revenues in excess of CA$200mn per year and has taken the top spot in the annual Cybersecurity 500 three years running. Robert Herjavec, the Founder of the company, was also invited to take part in the White House summit on cybersecurity in 2015.
Blackberry: Headquartered in Waterloo, the tech giant is maintaining a strong presence across several aspects of the industry. However, Blackberry has particularly focused on security in recent years, particularly in its application within the automotive sector.
A recent announcement was covered by Business Chief in early January, when the company exhibited the hybrid of QNX and Blackberry Cylance at CES 2020:
Cylance is a unique tech solution that uses AI to solve problems before they arise, sometimes as much as 25 months in advance. The software, configured to ‘learn’ and ‘improve’ in perpetuity, is able to predict the patterns of malware and take appropriate action.
eSentire: Prioritising speed of response when dealing with an attack, eSentire aims to start investigating a breach within seconds.
Partnering with CrowdStrike at the end of 2019, the company hopes to improve its Managed Detection and Response (MDR) capabilities and extend its leadership in the cloud-delivered security services.
Commenting on the collaboration, CEO Kerry Bailey said, “The relationship is focused on our combined go-to-market and innovation, which brings together the best security expertise and global security operations centers in the industry to support our joint customers.”
For more information on business topics in Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Canada.
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Ivy.ai’s new chatbot streamlines resources and policies
Ivy.ai, a creator of AI chatbots for higher education, is offering a chatbot that helps institutions streamline name, image, and likeness policies for athletic programmes.
This solution will allow athletic departments to dramatically reduce inbound inquiries while answering inquiries related to compliance, financial aid impact, how-to documents, and best practice training videos.
It will allow institutions to condense information in a way that is easily accessible and eliminates the need for student-athletes to read complicated manuals. Institutions can also engage with student-athletes via a real-time feedback loop to see which topics truly matter and what needs further clarification. This allows administrators to be proactive and provide a competitive edge in recruiting.
Helping institutions connect their students with information
“Athletic departments at colleges and universities are overwhelmed by the challenges posed by the name, image and likeness legislation,” said Mary Frances Coryell, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Partnership.
“Ivy.ai is uniquely positioned in the market to help institutions connect their student-athletes with policies and information related to NIL such as state laws, restrictions and relevant contacts. Our chatbot can digest all relevant policy information and provide answers to student-athletes at any time on any device. We expect the NIL market to move quickly, so student-athletes deserve the answers on their terms, rather than exclusively during work hours.”
Primary use cases for the chatbot include:
- Answering commonly asked questions related to name, image and likeness
- Communicate policies such as state laws, restrictions and compliance regulations
- Provide contact information for various advisors and agencies
- Connect training materials for athletes to improve their branding
- Engage in two-way reactive and proactive communication to keep policies student-centric
Back in March 2020, the company offered schools a free COVID-19 Response System, including a customisable COVID-19 Response Bot, a human-to-human live chat system and an SMS Text platform. These services are offered completely free of charge.
"The customisable COVID-19 Response Bot will help schools connect their students with important information, such as the school's operational status, where to go for treatment, and what to do to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We already added that information to all of our clients' AI chatbots, and we found that in many cases students needed additional support. That's why we're including our human-to-human Live Chat system in this offer. The SMS Text platform can be used to drive awareness to this communications channel for your students." said Mark McNasby, CEO of Ivy.ai.