Category: Croyten’s Blog

Knowing More: The Rise of AI

By Amine Mekkaoui,

Knowing More The Rise of AI by Croyten

In 1956, at Dartmouth University, Artificial Intelligence was first introduced. It was taken with  a lot of optimism. In fact, some people at the conference believed robots and AI machines would be doing the work of humans by the mid-1970s. During that same conference, AI was described as an attempt to model how the human brain works and, based on this knowledge, create more advanced computers. The scientists expected that to understand how the human mind works and digitalize it shouldn’t take too long. After all, it only took the  brightest minds of that time an intensive 2-months of brainstorming session only.

In an interesting turn of events, that did not happen. Instead, a phenomenon referred to as “The AI Winter” did, and it happened twice. AI has ostensibly lasted into the 2000s, when IBM’s Watson peaked a lot of interest in artificial intelligence again.

More than 60 years after it survived its lowest points and after John McCarthy coined the term “artificial intelligence” to describe the science and engineering of making machines intelligent, it is now back in the playing field, stronger and more invasive.

Although Artificial General Intelligence, otherwise known as machines that compare to or surpass the human mind, still belongs in the distant future, researchers believe that machines are gradually approaching human levels when performing simple tasks, such as understanding naturally spoken language or evaluating unknown, new situations.

AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning

Despite our everyday encounter with the use of artificial intelligence, many of us are still clueless and dumbfounded with regards to the difference of AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning. In fact, one of the most popular Google search requests goes as follows: “are artificial intelligence and machine learning the same thing?”.

To understand these better, here are the differences of the three:

  • Artificial intelligence is a science like mathematics or biology. It studies ways to build intelligent programs and machines that can creatively solve problems, which has always been considered a human prerogative.
  • Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. In ML, there are different algorithms (e.g. neural networks) that help to solve problems.
  • Deep learning, or deep neural learning, is a subset of machine learning, which uses the neural networks to analyze different factors with a structure that is similar to the human neural system.

To make it short, Artificial Intelligence both covers Machine and Deep Learning. In addition, there are three categories involved in AI:

  1. Narrow/Weak AI. Weak, or narrow AI, is good at performing a particular task, but it will not pass for humans in any other field outside of its defined capacities.
  2. General/strong AI. This is the point in the future when machines become human-like. They make their own decisions and learn without any human input. Not only are they competent in solving logical tasks but they also have emotions.
  3. Superintelligence. This is the piece of content everybody usually expects when reading about AI. Machines, way ahead of humans. Smart, wise, creative, with excellent social skills. Its goal to either make humans’s lives better or destroy them all.

Nowadays, narrow artificial intelligence is widely used in science, business, and healthcare. One good starter of this is  Deep Blue, the first computer to defeat a human in chess. Not just any human — Garry Kasparov (in 1997). Deep Blue could generate and evaluate about 200 million chess positions per second. To be honest, some were not ready to call it AI in its full meaning, while others claimed it to be one of the earliest examples of weak AI.

This is just a quick discussion on what AI is all about and how it differs from other varieties of technological learning. While AI is such a promising opportunity, there are still more to discover and explore about it which may allow industries, and humanity in general, to progress more. If you want to learn more about how AI is being applied in practice, you may explore more of our blogs here at

With Google’s promotion of their Chrome 86 versions, 35 security fixes are also being rolled out among Windows, Mac, Android and iOS users. The fixes include a critical bug and a feature that checks if users have any compromised passwords.

There is one flaw that remains, however.  Included in the newest browser version is a critical flaw (CVE-2020-15967) existing in Chrome’s payments component.  This can cause an array of malicious impacts, from causing a program to crash, to potentially leading to execution of arbitrary code.

Google won’t disclose further details about the bugs as “access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix,” according to their Tuesday post.

Ransomware Attack Slows Down COVID 19 Clinical Trials

By Amine Mekkaoui,

Ransomware Attack Slows Down COVID 19 Clinical Trials by Croyten

eResearchTechnology, a medical software company that supplies pharma companies with tools for conducting clinical trials – including trials for COVID-19 vaccines, has been hit by a ransomware attack. According to initial investigation, the attackers could be financially motivated or backed by a nation-state looking to gain competitive advantage. Researchers were forced to switch to pen and paper for tracking patient data while the attack went on for almost two weeks. Thanks to data backups, the impact of the attack was limited and the company is now in recovery mode.

It’s known that attacks on organizations leading the medical fight against the coronavirus pandemic have been continuing. Hence, it is crucial to stay safe now more than ever from cyberattacks especially that a huge portion of the world is starting to operate online. 

On a side note, our company Croyten helps in cybersecurity. To know more about us, just click this link:

IRS COVID-19 Relief Payment Gets Prone to Phishing

By Amine Mekkaoui,

IRS-COVID-19-Relief-Payment-Gets-Prone-to-Phishing by Croyten

A credential-phishing email campaign is making the rounds, using the lure of coronavirus tax relief to scam people into giving up their personal information. The data-harvesting cybercriminals are looking to take advantage of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deadlines that are approaching for consumers who haven’t received an Economic Impact Payment. Using a SharePoint form, users are asked for email credentials, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and tax ID numbers.

To avoid falling victim, users should remain vigilant, and be wary of entering any personal information – including Social Security numbers and the like – after clicking on a link in an email. If your organization is prone to phishing and other similar attacks, better have your system and employees ready. You may tap an IT Solutions company to help you out, such as Croyten. The company assists organizations in creating IT systems that cannot be penetrated by cyber attackers

Beware of Facebook Grant Scams

By Amine Mekkaoui,

Offering $100 million in cash grants to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook has been scrammed by scammers through phishing. Knowing that this is such big news, cybercriminals presented the news as if Facebook was handing out money to all users of the social network affected by COVID-19. They created a website similar to the news outlet, CNBC, and asks its victims to fill out and submit a form which gives them access to the users Facebook account — enough to trick their friends into sending money. The real CNBC site does indeed have an article about Facebook grants, but for businesses — the real beneficiaries of the program. 

On a different note, if your organization needs assistance with your IT and cyber security, feel free to check the services we offer at Croyten. 

Joker Trojan Attacks Android Ecosystem

By Amine Mekkaoui,

More variants of the Joker Android malware are cropping up relentlessly targeting Android mobile platforms, Google Play. Zscaler have found 17 different samples of Joker being regularly uploaded during September. The Joker malware is a mobile trojan that carries out a type of billing fraud advertising themselves as legitimate apps. Once installed, they simulate clicks and intercept SMS messages to subscribe victims to unwanted, paid premium services. Recent variants exhibited some new tricks, such as the use of AES encryption, and code injection into Android’s “content provider” function.

Croyten will recommend and help you build defenses from any type of malwares. Now that more cyber attacks are coming in, it is crucial that your company stands resilient against them.

A report by NTT Ltd shows the root cause of the cybersecurity threat having substantially increased is perhaps the obsolete or aging devices. According to the report, on an average, an obsolete device has twice as many vulnerabilities per device (42.2 percent) compared to aging (26.8 per cent) and current devices (19.4 percent). These devices create security vulnerabilities and put businesses at risk of cyber attacks with people logging in from co-working spaces and remote work locations. The report suggests increase in investment in on-premises infrastructure and cloud spending.

Events like this are addressed by our company, Croyten, by reviewing your cybersecurity controls and recommending changes so that your critical system will be hard to penetrate by cyber attackers. Learn more about the services we offer.

What You’re Missing Out From Adopting Cloud Platform

By Amine Mekkaoui,

If you haven’t been tapping the cloud platform for your organization’s digital development, then you have been missing a lot.

As more and more B2B and B2C transactions are conducted on the cloud, to build a cloud-ready operating model must be companies’ main focus for their investments. Not only does it bring new business capabilities but hugely reduces technology risk as well.

According to an article from McKinsey Digital, companies that adopt well and work with external cloud platforms market more quickly, innovate easily, and scale more efficiently than companies that remain to be indifferent with the cloud. Indeed, cloud platforms are key pillars of digital transformation.

As information and technology officers, it is important to define the cloud as more than just a next-generation application hosting or data platforms because a narrow definition of it guarantees failure.

My observation about many CIOs and CTOs is that they tend to remain into doing traditional implementation models by default because these were successful and safe strategies in the past but that only makes it almost impossible to capture the real value from the cloud. As information and technology officers, it is important to define the cloud as more than just a next-generation application hosting or data platforms because a narrow definition of it guarantees failure. Why you ask? It’s because it is majorly significant to take into consideration the design of how the organization will need to operate holistically in cloud, or else, it will increase the vulnerability of your organization from attackers and will prevent you to maximize a modern technology that enables business agility and innovation. 

Here are some of cloud’s role in organizational digital transformation according to the International Data Corporation (IDC): 

  • Cloud as a platform enables agile application development;
  • Cloud-based infrastructure is key to delivering flexible, on-demand access to the resources underpinning new digital business offerings;
  • Cloud allows organizations to scale infrastructure as needed to support changing business priorities, while reducing the risks of wasted IT resources.
  • Cloud reflects an approach to application design, deployment, and delivery that allows organizations to get more effective use out of their compute and data assets.

Truly the need for CIOs and CTOs  to drive cloud adoption is at its all-time high. So, here’s three things you can do to maximize this opportunity fully: 

  1. Focus your investments on domains for business where cloud can thrive and enable increased revenues. The value that the cloud generates comes from heightened agility, innovation, and resilience provided to the business with sustained velocity. According to McKinsey, this approach helps in focusing towards programs where the benefits matter most instead of scrutinizing individual applications for potential cost savings.
  2. Select a technology and implementation sourcing model that is aligned with your business strategies and risk constraints. Wrong technology and sourcing decisions will definitely raise concerns about execution success, cybersecurity risks, and compliance. However, the right technology and sourcing decisions can “bend the curve” on cloud-adoption costs, which can encourage the management team be excited and support the shift.
  3. Engage and join forces with the leadership team to succeed. Joining forces with your organization leaders is significant in the areas of a) Technology funding – encourage company leaders into investing to critical infrastructure investments that will allow companies to add functionality more quickly and easily in the future; b) Business-technology collaboration – CEOs and relevant business heads must have decision-making authority over technical functionality and sequencing to attain the real value of the cloud. However, they cannot do this without knowledge on technologies and you should be there to help them understand; c) Engineering talent – encourage leaders to change hiring and location policies to recruit and retain the talent needed for success in the cloud, especially that  adopting the cloud requires specialized and hard-to-find technical talent.

With the COVID pandemic, companies are more forced to adopt modern and digital business models. You as business officers can accelerate your company’s progress by adopting the cloud since it is the only platform that can provide the required agility, scalability, and innovative capabilities required for this sudden transition. 

On an important note, the transition towards the cloud can be tricky. Enterprises need a partner that has a wide range of capabilities and skills around cloud consulting to help drive this. Feel free to check out Croyten for our IT services and we can work together to get your organization’s digital transformation through the cloud platform going.

APT28 Mounts Rapid, Large-Scale Theft of Office 365 Logins

By Amine Mekkaoui,

APT28. a Russia-linked threat group has changed up its tactics to include Office 365 password-cracking and credential-harvesting. The attacks have been aimed mainly at U.S. and U.K. organizations directly involved in political elections and have been going on since April.

Microsoft telemetry shows that the group launched credential-harvesting attacks against tens of thousands of accounts at more than 200 organizations between last September and June. 

Organizations and individuals can protect themselves by applying multi factor authentication (MFA) and actively monitoring for failed authentications for the cloud service.

Events like this are addressed by our company, Croyten, by designing your cyber systems into something that’s impenetrable by cyber attackers. Learn more about the services we offer.

A series of ransomware attacks and other cyber threats have plagued back-to-school plans.  Just last week, Hartford’s ransomware attack caused an outage of critical systems, including the school district’s software system that delivers real-time information on bus routes. The attacks include Zoom-bombing, a trend that began earlier in 2020 which occurs when a bad actor gains access to the dial-in information and “crashes” a Zoom session – often sharing adult or otherwise disturbing content. As students prepare to return to school virtually, school districts should prepare and step up their security in battling these virtual classroom hijacking attacks.

To further learn about Ransomware you can check our full article on the said topic at {insert link}. If you need IT solutions or assistance with your cyber security, feel free to check out our company, Croyten.