Analysis of the New Modules that Emotet Spreads

XIAOPENG ZHANG | March 11, 2019

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Just a few days ago, FortiGuard Labs published a research blog about a fresh variant of Emotet. When I wrote that blog, I had not yet detected any further malicious actions from its C&C server. However, I have continued to monitor its connections, and I finally received three new modules from its C&C server. I have now analyzed all of them, and I will now show you how they work on a victim’s system.

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Exasol is passionate about helping companies to run their businesses smarter and drive profit by analyzing data and information at unprecedented speeds. The company develops the world’s fastest in-memory database for analytics and data warehousing, and offers first-class know-how and expertise in data insight and analytics.

OTHER ARTICLES

3 important trends in AI/ML you might be missing

Article | March 8, 2020

According to a Gartner survey, 48% of global CIOs will deploy AI by the end of 2020. However, despite all the optimism around AI and ML, I continue to be a little skeptical. In the near future, I don’t foresee any real inventions that will lead to seismic shifts in productivity and the standard of living. Businesses waiting for major disruption in the AI/ML landscape will miss the smaller developments. Here are some trends that may be going unnoticed at the moment but will have big long-term impacts

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Why protein modeling is poised for global wide industrialization

Article | March 8, 2020

Proteins are often called the working molecules of the human body. Proteins do most of the work in cells and are involved in many functions of the body essential to human life including building up antibodies to fight off disease.

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The Benefits of Managed Services

Article | March 8, 2020

In today’s world, everyone and everything needs an expert’s work. Every sector and organization thrives to achieve perfection for themselves and their customers. But with the evolving scenario and new technologies emerging, perfection needs outsourcing. On that account, every organization is building its services to provide other organizations with managed services. In simple words, managed services are the need of the hour. They have been around for a pretty long time; however, the benefits of managed services have proved their efficiency in the past few years. Managed services are not limited to IT but provide services from supply management to call centers because of its optimal efficiency and organizational performance. This goes for the IT and non-IT sectors as well. Every organization comprises of an IT department. But what happens when the IT department is involved in solving the technical issues of the organization, rather than focusing on their core work? The business goes haywire resulting in more investment than ROI. In the past few years, every business has realized the importance of managed services. As a result, the managed services market’s global business value, which was valued at US$185.98 billion in 2019 is estimated to reach US$356.24 billion by 2025. And this is the result of the benefits of managed services. What are Managed Services? In the post-Covid era, almost all businesses are relying on their IT infrastructure to keep them going. Technology is the need of the hour to assure the best efficiency and gain maximum profits. But an in-house team to manage all the IT work and the infrastructure from servers to networks costs a lot. This is a huge blow to the resources especially for start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses. This is where managed services come to the rescue. Managed services providers have the expertise and infrastructure to ensure that your network administration runs perfectly well. From data backup to security, they take care of everything required for IT support. The benefits of managed services can highly be availed by start-ups and small to medium scale businesses. Implementing managed services provides them with the latest infrastructure and updated technology at nominal costs. As said earlier, managed services can be outsourcing to any part of the business, but IT managed services play a significant role these days. Thus, we will focus on the benefits of managed services related to IT. Benefits of Managed Services Managed services simplify your IT management. They have abolished the break-fix method and paved the way for regular and consistent service. We would not wait for something to break and then repair it while wasting resources. Managed services assure that there is no break or downtime in your IT system. Whether you have a start-up or a multinational company, the benefits of managed services make sure that you focus on the things that matter the most. Here are the top 5 benefits of managed services for your business. Low Costs Managed services lower the IT costs incredibly. Lots of dollars are spent hiring and training the IT staff, plus the in-house infrastructure costs a fortune. In addition, the maintenance of the equipment and the retention of the staff can create financial issues in the organization. Thus, availing IT managed services will widen your resource base. You can put your resources to use in the right place and avail the best IT support services at nominal costs. Your IT services are streamlined and managed by a single provider. It helps to increase and decrease the services according to your demand and supply in the market. In addition, the monthly or yearly subscription plans will help keep your budget as planned. Minimum or No Downtime It is estimated that network downtime can cost a business almost US$5600 a minute. So, now you can take into account how the benefits of the low cost of managed services help your business. Server failures, machine malfunctioning, electrical disruptions, or unintentional human errors can cause downtime. However, managed services can cut down downtime or even make sure that it does not occur. Their proactive approach to the maintenance of the system through remote monitoring and management ensures business continuity. An Expert’s Approach Technologies to a managed service are like solutions to every problem. Their in-depth knowledge, state-of-art infrastructure, and updated technologies guarantee top-notch services and support. An in-house IT service may or may not be able to find solutions to all the technical hurdles. Plus, their training can be expensive and time-consuming. So instead of wasting resources and trying to hit the target in the dark, it is better to avail specialized services. These services can be used according to your requirements. Thus, the benefits of managed services include expert IT services according to your cost, time, and project requirements. Security & Compliance These reasons to use managed services stand out more prominently than others. For instance, even if your company data is accessed by a third party, then an authenticated service provider will regulate to keep all the information secure. Plus, they update the system on a timely basis to keep it safe from security threats and breaches. A managed service provider ensures that your organization is up to date with the required compliances and audits. This saves you from violating data regulations that you may be unaware of. The trusted service provider conducts regular audits and provides system reports while assuring your system is updated with the current technology. Scalability Along with cost savings, the benefits of managed services include scalability. Scalability saves your resources, time and assures that your employees perform the tasks that they are hired for. When you hire a managed service provider, you can scale the acquired services according to your demands. For example, during holiday seasons, when there is increased demand, you can upscale your services, and at the end of the season, you can revert to the original requirements. Scalable solutions allow you to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions while assuring productivity, system availability, and minimal or no downtime. How to Choose the Right Managed Service Provider? The benefits of managed services are totally worth every penny you spend. But it would help if you were extra careful about choosing the provider. Look systematically at the managed services model of the provider and decide. You need an extremely trustable and recognized managed service partner to manage your services. Consider the below factors while deciding. Pre-defined agreements Ample experience 24X7 customer service Total commitment & flexibility Single point of contact Continuous remote monitoring Expert team If the managed service provider fulfills the above considerations and more, you know you have made the right choice. Have an Open Approach to Managed Services You may have a list of the pros and cons of managed services. But we are confident that the pros outgrow the cons. The demand for managed services has surged in the pandemic as businesses are running efficiently even in remote conditions. All thanks to these services, you can now easily utilize managed services for seamless, secure connections and maximum ROI. Frequently Asked Questions What is the value of managed services? Managed services are economical for an organization in terms of time and cost if you compare recruitment or involvement of in-house staff and infrastructure. They provide maintenance, regular reports, minimal or no downtime, and expert security for your systems. Do I need IT managed services? Whether you are a start-up, small to medium-sized business, or a multinational company, you need IT managed services. We all know IT services demand expensive training and infrastructure, and if there is downtime, it costs huge losses to the businesses. As a result, availing these services ensures productivity, maximum ROI, and reliable IT operations with minimum investment. How do you explain managed services? Managed services are processes or tasks that are outsourced to a service provider who handles them exclusively. They improve operations, cut expenses and increase the productivity of the organizations. Managed services let you focus on your core business while your other processes are outsourced efficiently and securely. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the value of managed services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Managed services are economical for an organization in terms of time and cost if you compare recruitment or involvement of in-house staff and infrastructure. They provide maintenance, regular reports, minimal or no downtime, and expert security for your systems." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Do I need IT managed services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Whether you are a start-up, small to medium-sized business, or a multinational company, you need IT managed services. We all know IT services demand expensive training and infrastructure, and if there is downtime, it costs huge losses to the businesses. As a result, availing these services ensures productivity, maximum ROI, and reliable IT operations with minimum investment." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you explain managed services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Managed services are processes or tasks that are outsourced to a service provider who handles them exclusively. They improve operations, cut expenses and increase the productivity of the organizations. Managed services let you focus on your core business while your other processes are outsourced efficiently and securely." } }] }

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Why Humans Need Chatbots And Chatbots Need Humans

Article | March 8, 2020

Chatbots have come a long way in the past few years. The improvements in technology have enabled developers to expand on bot capabilities far beyond just functioning as a FAQ. Today, the automation of chatbots can process orders, perform financial transactions, make bookings, and much more. (Check out other intelligent functions here.) However, as intelligent as bots can be, no chatbot can handle and resolve all your customer queries. It simply cannot answer the infinite number of questions a human may throw at it. The technology is simply not there yet, and it may never truly get there. But perhaps more importantly, brands shouldn’t want a bot to manage every customer query. A bot working independently of human involvement won’t always deliver the best results for customer or agent. It’s the combination of chatbots and human agents that takes customer service to new heights. What you need is a smart and efficient way of translating your organization’s unique customer service philosophy into appropriate action so that every question is met with an answer in the best way possible – whether that be by bot, human agent, or a blend of both. To deliver this, you have to pay attention to the who, what, when, and where of customer engagement. You need to know who your highest-value customers are so you can always route them to a human agent, for example. You need to know what they need help with so a simple question can be managed by a bot. And the list goes on. Here’s why humans need chatbots, and chatbots need humans – and how you can achieve this perfect balance to deliver support that will exceed customer expectations and generate substantial ROI. Why humans need chatbots There’s no doubt that supplementing customer-facing roles with automation can yield fantastic results. The launch of McDonald’s self-serve kiosks is a great example of this. By giving customers the option of ordering their meal through a kiosk, or through a cashier, McDonald’s demonstrates the success you can achieve by combining automation with human. Here are just some of the benefits it brought to the customer and employee experience: 1. Automating large portions of simple queries so workers have more time to focus on other, more complex tasks 2. Reducing monotonous, repetitive queries to improve employee experience 3. Catering to customer preferences – choose quick automated service or deeper human engagement 4. Reducing queue times, in turn improving customer experience 5. Lessening the opportunity for human error 6. Generating ROI by reducing staff numbers These results almost identically mirror the benefits that intelligent chatbots can provide customer service teams. By implementing a bot, a large portion of frontline support can be automatically managed by the bot which: 1. Gives agents more time to handle complex questions 2. Reduces the monotony of answering repetitive questions 3. Allows customer to choose between chatting to a bot or an agent 4. Reduces wait time and queue length (through bot’s ability to handle infinite simultaneous conversations), in turn improving customer satisfaction through quicker resolution 5. Eliminates human error in data entry 6. Generates substantial ROI through lower service costs See how closely those benefits match? Recommended reading: Chatbot ROI Calculator Why chatbots need humans The relationship between bots and humans isn’t a one-way street. While agents need bots to provide more effective and efficient support, bots need agents to provide the personal, ‘human’ touch that many situations call for. In our latest 2020 Live Chat Benchmark Report, we found that chatbots handle 68.9% of their chats from start to finish – although an impressive stat, it still shows that many queries require an agent’s touch. Recommended reading – 2020 Live Chat Benchmark Report There are always going to be situations that call for human assistance: canceling a subscription, reporting a lost or stolen credit card, or registering a serious complaint. Or maybe the topic is sensitive, and your customer would feel more comfortable explaining their situation to an agent. Similarly, some (though increasingly less: stat?) people are still wary or reluctant to communicate with bots and prefer to only speak with a live agent. To cater to these customer preferences, it’s vital that these customers can be routed past or transferred from your chatbot to human agent without effort and without having to repeat themselves. It’s important to note however, that transferring from bot to agent isn’t always just in the interest of the customer – it can often benefit the customer service team too. This is because not all queries are equal. For example, if a customer reaches out asking about a bank’s opening times, this can be easily managed by a bot. However, when the same customer asks about a loan, this high-value interaction may dictate that – according to your unique customer service view – a human agent takes over immediately to ensure the customer receives the best experience and you close the deal as quickly and effortlessly as possible. If your chatbot can’t do this, turn it off and find a chatbot that can (we can help with that). How to create the perfect chatbot – human (agent) balance To begin creating the right balance between chatbot and human, you need a bot that’s widely accessible to today’s digital-first consumers; your bot needs to be where they are, wherever they are. Comm100’s AI Chatbot can serve customers on web, in-app, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, WhatsApp for Business, and SMS. You also don’t need to build separate chatbots for each channel. Simply select the channels you want your bot to be available on (hint: all of them!) and you’re off. Although your customers will know they are speaking to a bot (and you should make this clear to them to set expectations), you need a bot that understands natural human language. Comm100’s AI Chatbot harnesses the world’s most advanced NLP engine so that it can understand your customers’ goals and provide the answers they’re looking for. Better still, add a large range of off-the-shelf integrations to this, and the Comm100 bot can begin performing actions on behalf of your customers – from tracking an order and paying a bill, to booking a flight. By resolving a large portion of your frontline customer service questions, your agents will have more time to focus on higher-value queries and customers that matter most to your bottom line. Recommending reading: Comm100 Chatbot Resolves 91% of Assigned Live Chats for Tangerine As we’ve discussed earlier, there will be times when you or a customer would rather connect with an agent than a bot. It’s crucial that your bot offers this flexibility. Firstly, your bot should be able to give the customer the option to speak to an agent at any time. Eighty-six percent of consumers believe they should always have the option to transfer to a live agent when dealing with a chatbot. You can easily set this option up within the Comm100 AI Chatbot. Next, you need a bot that can automatically identify the conversations that you want an agent to manage. This requires training your bot on the topics – ‘intents’, in bot lingo – that your customers will bring up. If there are specific intents that are of high value to you, you can tag them so when a customer mentions it, the bot recognizes it and automatically transfers the chat to the appropriate agent or department. The bot can also be trained to notify an agent or escalate the conversation when asked a question it can’t answer or if a visitor is clearly frustrated. As a failsafe, your agents should also be able to monitor bot conversations and take them over in these situations. Wrap-up Chatbots will never replace whole customer service teams, and nor should they. The ‘human touch’ is still essential to customer support, and we are a long way off until this changes. However, if implemented intelligently, bots can resolve a great portion of customer queries without any human involvement, allowing team sizes to reduce, or remain the same in the face of increased support volume. Take Tangerine, an Australian telecom company, for example. They experienced rapid growth, which in turn produced a surge in chat requests. By implementing Comm100’s AI Chatbot, up to 91% of assigned live chats were resolved by the bot without any agent involvement. As a result, Tangerine could manage the increase in chat volume without hiring and training more agents. And when high-value customers reached out, their agents were free to provide them with the best experience.

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Spotlight

Exasol

Exasol is passionate about helping companies to run their businesses smarter and drive profit by analyzing data and information at unprecedented speeds. The company develops the world’s fastest in-memory database for analytics and data warehousing, and offers first-class know-how and expertise in data insight and analytics.

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