VPN: The virtual private network and what it can do for you

March 13, 2019 | 123 views

You may have already seen a VPN ad here and there, and there’s a good chance that you’ve heard the term come up in conversation now and then, but you aren’t quite sure what it’s all about. Your friends and perhaps even your own kids are using it, and you keep hearing them go on about how useful it is. This leaves you feeling left out. So – what is a VPN and what can it do for you?

Spotlight

Vangent, Inc.

As a leading global provider of information management and strategic business process services, we serve the Federal government, as well as commercial, education, and healthcare organizations. Our integrated service offerings span the areas of consulting, systems integration, human capital management, and strategic business process services. We have offices throughout the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

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AI TECH

8 Epic App Innovations that Help Your Business Stand Out

Article | July 20, 2022

Contents 1. The Market for Mobile Application Development 2. Innovations in Mobile Application Development 2.1 In-App Paid Features: Android and iOS Development 2.2 Augmented and Virtual Reality 2.3 Beacon Technology 2.4 Al and Ml 2.5 Wearables 2.6 Predictive Analytics 2.7 Blockchain Technology 2.8 On-Demand Applications 3. Long-Term Benefits of Mobile App Development Innovations for Your Small Business: 4. Tying Everything Together Increased use of the internet and smartphones demands better mobile applications be developed. Innovation is the key driving force that can make or break the market regarding mobile app development. A fantastic team of mobile app developers and smart innovation employing the latest technology produce a huge hit app. Let us learn more about how the mobile app development market grows. 1. The Market for Mobile Application Development The mobile application development market is projected to grow at a 13.4% CAGR from 2023 to 2030, with a value of $187.58 billion recorded in 2021. This is due to the increased use of the internet and smartphone platforms, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. The app's algorithms learn and understand user interests to deliver refined results that generate better user engagement. As Ericsson and the Radicati Group forecasted, 6.64 billion people own a smartphone today, which is around 83.32% of the world population, and by 2025, 7.33 billion people will own a smartphone. As a result, there is a substantial rise in demand for better smartphone apps, for which creative and innovative mobile application development is the need of the hour. Innovation will give your business a competitive edge it's never had before. It will also open up new ways to grow your business. Discover the top innovations in mobile app development. 2. Innovations in Mobile Application Development Some of the technological breakthroughs in mobile app development will greatly improve the user experience in the future. These focus mainly on the implementation of the latest technological innovations to realize functionality that has never been seen or done before. Let us now delve into their specifics. 2.1 In-App Paid Features: Android and iOS Development While Android has a market share of 70%, iOS has grabbed a market share of around 28% in the mobile operating systems market as of 2022. In-app advertising and in-app purchases generate the major ROI from mobile applications on both mobile operating platforms. A great UI and UX go a long way toward boosting your app and business, and they also help you rank highly in the respective app markets, i.e., the Google Play Store and the App Store. Rolling out constant updates and adhering to the security standards of the marketplace keeps your business app ranking at the top. 2.2 Augmented and Virtual Reality With the AR kit, you can design and make 3D mobile apps for your customers that use virtual reality. AR and VR are constantly changing the business of making mobile apps. You can use these trends to give mobile users really great experiences. A few of the sectors making successful use of these technologies include gaming, e-commerce, retail, interior design, real estate, tourism and travel, education, training, healthcare, manufacturing and construction, advertising and marketing, and entertainment. Your AR and VR mobile apps are more valuable if you can meet your expectations for maximum ROI with a minimum budget. You can do this by making constant improvements to your minimum viable product. 2.3 Beacon Technology The beacon technology uses a smartphone's Bluetooth to identify any store, museum, or other business in the vicinity. As mobile devices get more powerful, IoT and edge sensors will be used more and more. Because of that, beacon technology will change the way we interact with the world. This technology sends notifications to your customer’s phone about your product when the customer passes by, sends content and descriptions about an ongoing event at your location to your customers, and more. Proximity marketing and indoor navigation notifications are the few ways retail is using this technology. With the help of beacon technology, your business can track assets, keep track of contacts, offer access to loyalty programs, gather advanced data, and send mobile tickets. 2.4 Al and ML The versatility and power of innovations in Al and ML keep them relevant. For example, they let you turn pictures into animations that look real. These animations provide real-time analytics and other valuable insights. As an AI learns from its own experience, providing a better customer experience based on the data you feed it helps create intelligent chatbots. Personalized shopping assistance, fraud prevention, task automation, smart content, voice assistants, and autonomous vehicles are a few of the examples where you will see AI implemented. An AI trains itself through machine learning, or ML. ML forecasts future data trends using available historical data. This invaluable addition to your existing apps transforms the way they interact with customers. We are one step closer to a super-personalized experience. 2.5 Wearables Wearables let you make calls, find your way to your destination, measure and analyze your vital signs in real time, and look at your own personal insights. So, app developers and businesspeople should focus on making apps that give people who use wearables a great digital experience. Getting better apps for wearable devices can greatly enhance their functionality and the user experience. From listening to your favorite music to tracking your fitness goals, taking notes, finding a parking spot, and adhering to your health and fitness regimen, a wearable device does it all. If developing your company’s wearable app delivers more value, this technology is not just a game changer but a lifesaver for many. 2.6 Predictive Analytics Predictive analytics is essential to e-commerce. When it comes to making mobile apps, predictive analysis can help improve both the process and the user experience. By putting together information from many developers, it can help predict problems and suggest solutions. Your predictive analytics will be better if you use artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, machine learning, modeling, and statistics. The data that your small and medium-scale businesses have gathered over a period of time becomes one of the most valuable sources of information that helps predict and forecast future market trends. Unexplained market rises and falls will now have an explanation, as will mobile apps that can precisely tell what, when, and where needs to be changed, replaced, or repaired. Using constants and variables that are already known, predictive analytics and data modeling can help make accurate predictions about the future. 2.7 Blockchain Technology The world of blockchain has innumerable possibilities. Applications backed by blockchain technology benefit from end-to-end encryption. This means no one but you can retain data ownership rights. Blockchain technology is used for a lot of important communication and financial transactions because it is safe and private. Blockchain holds promise for better efficiency, productivity, and performance, as well as for elevating the user experience. Blockchain is more secure and reliable, offers better transparency in financial transactions, makes you go password-free using an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer), promotes simplicity, protects your identity, safeguards access to your digital data and information, and helps transmit and receive accurate data with the help of balanced data transfer using several nodes at once. 2.8 On-Demand Applications As lockdowns and quarantines went on for a long time, many delivery apps started to appear. There were apps for taxis, grocery stores, and even medicine delivery. The on-demand model is likely to grow as more service-based companies shift their focus towards on-demand apps. Technology is always changing, and every year, new versions of technology hit the market. That's why we need to keep up with the latest updates and use them to make applications that are both new and full of features. That's a must for a successful launch of a mobile app. Making the software development process easy for the developers reduces the time it takes to develop applications using the software. There are options like rapid application development software, no code, and low-code application development software. These can include mobile app development, SaaS (software as a service), cloud apps, on-premise standalone apps, desktop apps, and web-based apps for many devices, including IoT devices. Using AI to power the application development process speeds up development, testing, and deployment, which helps a lot with scaling from small to medium to large and beyond. Some quick and effective mobile app development platforms include AppSheet, AppInstitute, Appery.io, AppyPie, Bizness Apps, Caspio, GoodBarber, iBuldApp, Quixey, Rollbar, Shoutem, and more. 3. Long-Term Benefits of Mobile App Innovations for Your Small Business: Creating a winning product doesn’t have to be a long process. Improvements on the product offered by competitors and finding competitor product shortcomings, along with using innovative technologies, help add value to your mobile app as a product. Mobile app development innovations help in many ways, such as: Improve your brand's relationship with your customers Offer 24/7 access to your business Get excellent customer insights Efficiently market your product online Save on additional marketing costs Boost employee efficiency by increasing engagement Improve communication shreds down the busy work and Streamline the data Generate a new revenue stream from ads targeted at in-app purchases. As a result, you meet customer expectations efficiently, allowing you to expand your business and attract potential customers. Your customers and potential customers are always looking for something new and exciting to experience and adopt. Sooner or later, they make habits of seeing something, and then they start thinking of that mobile app as a standard benchmark to look up to. Talking about the scalability of a mobile application, there is a lot of scope to improve using innovative technologies, and all minor to major updates take you from where you are to where you want to be. Finding the right mix of technologies will help your business grow and expand. 4. Tying Everything Together Business growth for small-scale businesses starts with new inputs and strategic technological investments in mobile app development. Although they sound promising, striking the right balance to implement innovative technologies relies heavily on rigorous predictive analysis. Tools and technologies help meet customer expectations at scale and grow the business beyond imagination with the power of innovation.

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FUTURE TECH

Empowering Industry 4.0 with Artificial Intelligence

Article | July 26, 2022

The next step in industrial technology is about robotics, computers and equipment becoming connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) and enhanced by machine learning algorithms. Industry 4.0 has the potential to be a powerful driver of economic growth, predicted to add between $500 billion- $1.5 trillion in value to the global economy between 2018 and 2022, according to a report by Capgemini.

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SOFTWARE

How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Businesses

Article | July 14, 2022

Whilst there are many people that associate AI with sci-fi novels and films, its reputation as an antagonist to fictional dystopic worlds is now becoming a thing of the past, as the technology becomes more and more integrated into our everyday lives. AI technologies have become increasingly more present in our daily lives, not just with Alexa’s in the home, but also throughout businesses everywhere, disrupting a variety of different industries with often tremendous results. The technology has helped to streamline even the most mundane of tasks whilst having a breath-taking impact on a company’s efficiency and productivity

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The advances of AI in healthcare

Article | February 11, 2020

With the Government investing £250 million into the project, the Lab will consider how to use AI for the benefit of patients – whether this be the deployment of existing AI methods, the development of new technologies or the testing of their safety. Amongst other things, the initiative will aim to deliver earlier diagnoses of cancer. It is estimated that in excess of 50,000 extra patients could see their cancer being detected at an early stage, thus boosting survival rates. More specifically, a study has shown that AI is quicker in identifying brain tumour tissue than a pathologist.This would have a positive knock-on effect in other areas, such as enabling money to be saved (that otherwise would have been spent on further treatment) and reducing the workload of staff (at a time when there is a crisis in NHS workforce numbers).

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Spotlight

Vangent, Inc.

As a leading global provider of information management and strategic business process services, we serve the Federal government, as well as commercial, education, and healthcare organizations. Our integrated service offerings span the areas of consulting, systems integration, human capital management, and strategic business process services. We have offices throughout the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Related News

Senators Urge Security Audit of Foreign VPNs

Infosecurity Magazine | February 11, 2019

Two US senators have called for an urgent investigation into whether foreign-owned Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) represent a risk to national security. Ron Wyden and Marco Rubio signed a joint letter to the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Christopher Krebs. It points to the popularity of mobile data-saving and VPN apps, many of which have been downloaded millions of times by Americans despite being made by companies “in countries that do not share American interests or values.” “Because these foreign apps transmit users’ web browsing data to servers located in or controlled by countries that have an interest in targeting US government employees, their use raises the risk that user data will be surveilled by those foreign governments,” the letter continued. In fact, they claimed, the US has already recognized these risks, by banning federal use of Kaspersky Lab products for fear of the influence of the Kremlin, and urging that Chinese telecommunications companies be locked out of competing for major infrastructure projects in the US. “In light of these concerns we urge you to conduct a threat assessment on the national security risks associated with the continued use by US government employees of VPNs, mobile data proxies and other similar apps that are vulnerable to foreign government surveillance,” the letter concluded. “If you determine that these services pose a threat to US national security, we further request that you issue a Binding Operational Directive prohibiting their use on federal government smartphones and computers.” A study of the 30 most downloaded apps in the UK and US last year by Top10VPN found over half (59%) had links to mainland China. “We found a few apps that explicitly stated that users’ internet activity was logged, which we have never seen anywhere else with VPNs. VPN policies usually state that they never ever log data,” explained head of research, Simon Migliano, at the time.

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ProtonMail Launches VPN Application for macOS

SecurityWeek | May 31, 2018

Encrypted email service provider ProtonMail on Wednesday announced the availability of a virtual private network (VPN) service for macOS users. Initially introduced for some of its paid ProtonMail users in early 2017, the VPN service saw a wider launch on Windows last year, and also arrived on Android in January 2018. Last year, the CERN-founded company also launched a Tor hidden service and an encrypted contacts manager. Following a beta testing period, the Swiss-based service provider is now making the VPN application available for all macOS users, allowing them to easily protect their Internet connections. Users who already have a ProtonVPN or ProtonMail account only need to download the application, log in, and start using it immediately. Developed by the same team behind ProtonMail, the VPN service takes advantage of technologies such as Secure Core and Tor integration and is available for free with no ads. Furthermore, the company claims that users can enjoy it without worrying about malware or monetization of user data. “With our VPN for Mac application, it is now extremely simple to switch countries, create custom profiles, connect to the Tor network, and route your traffic through our Secure Core servers. Not to mention all the essential perks of ProtonVPN, like hiding your IP address, defending against cyber-attacks, and unblocking censored content,” ProtonMail says.

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AnchorFree Launches Free VPN SDK to Protect Net Neutrality

eweek | July 26, 2017

For those who want the security benefits of their own personal virtual private network (VPN) but are scared off by the idea of having to deal with such a techy thing, here is an alternative for you: AnchorFree. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company makes a popular freemium-based VPN called Hotspot Shield but shies away from calling it that, preferring to label it an “internet privacy platform.”

Read More

Senators Urge Security Audit of Foreign VPNs

Infosecurity Magazine | February 11, 2019

Two US senators have called for an urgent investigation into whether foreign-owned Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) represent a risk to national security. Ron Wyden and Marco Rubio signed a joint letter to the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Christopher Krebs. It points to the popularity of mobile data-saving and VPN apps, many of which have been downloaded millions of times by Americans despite being made by companies “in countries that do not share American interests or values.” “Because these foreign apps transmit users’ web browsing data to servers located in or controlled by countries that have an interest in targeting US government employees, their use raises the risk that user data will be surveilled by those foreign governments,” the letter continued. In fact, they claimed, the US has already recognized these risks, by banning federal use of Kaspersky Lab products for fear of the influence of the Kremlin, and urging that Chinese telecommunications companies be locked out of competing for major infrastructure projects in the US. “In light of these concerns we urge you to conduct a threat assessment on the national security risks associated with the continued use by US government employees of VPNs, mobile data proxies and other similar apps that are vulnerable to foreign government surveillance,” the letter concluded. “If you determine that these services pose a threat to US national security, we further request that you issue a Binding Operational Directive prohibiting their use on federal government smartphones and computers.” A study of the 30 most downloaded apps in the UK and US last year by Top10VPN found over half (59%) had links to mainland China. “We found a few apps that explicitly stated that users’ internet activity was logged, which we have never seen anywhere else with VPNs. VPN policies usually state that they never ever log data,” explained head of research, Simon Migliano, at the time.

Read More

ProtonMail Launches VPN Application for macOS

SecurityWeek | May 31, 2018

Encrypted email service provider ProtonMail on Wednesday announced the availability of a virtual private network (VPN) service for macOS users. Initially introduced for some of its paid ProtonMail users in early 2017, the VPN service saw a wider launch on Windows last year, and also arrived on Android in January 2018. Last year, the CERN-founded company also launched a Tor hidden service and an encrypted contacts manager. Following a beta testing period, the Swiss-based service provider is now making the VPN application available for all macOS users, allowing them to easily protect their Internet connections. Users who already have a ProtonVPN or ProtonMail account only need to download the application, log in, and start using it immediately. Developed by the same team behind ProtonMail, the VPN service takes advantage of technologies such as Secure Core and Tor integration and is available for free with no ads. Furthermore, the company claims that users can enjoy it without worrying about malware or monetization of user data. “With our VPN for Mac application, it is now extremely simple to switch countries, create custom profiles, connect to the Tor network, and route your traffic through our Secure Core servers. Not to mention all the essential perks of ProtonVPN, like hiding your IP address, defending against cyber-attacks, and unblocking censored content,” ProtonMail says.

Read More

AnchorFree Launches Free VPN SDK to Protect Net Neutrality

eweek | July 26, 2017

For those who want the security benefits of their own personal virtual private network (VPN) but are scared off by the idea of having to deal with such a techy thing, here is an alternative for you: AnchorFree. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company makes a popular freemium-based VPN called Hotspot Shield but shies away from calling it that, preferring to label it an “internet privacy platform.”

Read More

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