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Cyber Security

Responding To COVID-19: Cyber Security and Innovation

Cyber Security

BV TECH develops entirely national technologies in the ICT sector, with the ambition to contribute decisively to the innovation and growth of the country.

For these reasons, we collaborate with important national realities in the public and private sectors in order to contribute together to the development of a safer country.

Our collaborations, in fact, also turn to important universities and research centers both nationally and internationally to push our solutions to the most advanced frontiers of technology in various areas of application such as security risk intelligence and the Cyber ​​Security Operation Center for the management and 24/7 monitoring of infrastructures and critical applications.

READ ALSO: Oil and COVID-19, the second wave and instability risks

Innovation

In response to common future challenges, we are building an Innovation Network for the sector involving major relevant players in the Industry of the Market, Universities, national and international Research Centers, on disruptive technologies and sectors crucial for the growth of the Country such as Artificial Intelligence, Cyber ​​Security, Defence & Space, Health-Tech, Agritech, Fintech, Hyper Data.

We want to build and propose to the Country new answers to new challenges and new social and cultural models.

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BV TECH Covid-19

BV TECH’S COVID-19 MISSION

Faced with the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID19, institutions are turning to technology in order to respond to the pandemic and adapt to the current challenges and the complexities of future ones.

We are proud to support our public and private sector partners in tackling these new critical issues together, rigorously applying all the necessary sources to protect people and preserve the safety and continuity of services.

A joint effort is required to restart and rebuild the economy by proposing new models for societal and cultural development guided by technological innovation.

Our resources offer necessary support to institutions, both local and national, by providing innovative and secure solutions in order to confront the current crisis and the difficulties to come.

READ ALSO: Towards a New Cold War?

Against the COVID-19 Crisis, OUR VALUES

We believe it is essential to uphold our values during a crisis.  Organizations must maintain the highest standards of security and protection of networks, information systems and data, even in extraordinary circumstances. 

Our long-standing commitment to building safe and innovative technologies known as “national strategic infrastrucutres” ensures that our partners can protect themselves and provide their services in a safe and ethical way. 

Numerous entities and companies around the world have been relying on BV TECH for over 15 years.

These organizations and the communities in which they operate require continuity of essential services in a safe, reliable and transparent way and our solutions have been created to also meet these requirements.

We deeply understand the operational challenges that businesses and public bodies face when resources are limited and the need to get down to business is very high. We will gather some of our best use cases in the coming days to help organizations act prudently, forcefully and wisely in response to the crisis.

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China

Towards a New Cold War?

The Stealth War: How China Took over While America’s Elite Slept by Robert Spalding. New York: Penguin Random House, 2019, pp. 256.

di Marzio Di Feo

Robert Spalding, a retired Air Force Brigadier General, worked for the Defense and State Departments and, as Senior Director for Strategy to the President, he was the chief architect for the national competition framework in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy (NSS).

The Stealth War is an “executive summary” of the challenges that Western democracies face in the interconnected and globalized world. In this perspective, the enemy faced by the West, according the author, is the growing “weaponry” system developed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCP). As the author states: “China is closing on achieving its goal of influencing the politicians and corporations of the United States” (xiii).

READ ALSO: Petrolio e COVID-19, la seconda ondata e i rischi di instabilità

China

In doing this, China seeks to portray itself as law-abiding and just, manipulating how observers comprehend past, present, and future and accelerating influencing operations “by attempting to become the world’s technology leader, corner the telecommunications market, and export totalitarian social controls to the leaders in developing nations” (xv).

It is worth nothing that the book is not a typical warning essay, providing dystopian future. It is rather a realistic perspective somewhat sensationalistic on when and how this new balance of power could affect and reshape global order as totalitarian regime monitoring lives, thoughts, or racking action against the West. From a national security perspective, the bipolar order during the Cold War was not just based on the development of nuclear weapons.

The West spends its money on “butter” (recalling the “guns versus butter model” between a nation’s investment in defense and civilian goods), i.e. infrastructures, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, research and development. In other words, national security means not focusing on military as a deterrent but on the development of a strong industrial base, investing for the protection against the challenges posed by globalization.

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Oil and COVID-19, the second wave and instability risks

Written by Bruno Panedigrano

The price of oil futures plunged in late April with the market having difficulty adjusting to the low demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  As storage facilities filled up with crude oil, companies began to pay traders to get the product off their hands. 

The latest May numbers indicate that things are changing for the best, but as lockdowns ease around many parts of the world, questions still remain: why did this happen and what does it mean for the future of oil production? 

To better understand why the prices went negative for the first time in history, let’s take a look back to some key facts that could have told us this would happen. 

Russia and OPEC, the major oil production nations in the world, held negotiations to establish limitations of oil production.  These talks broke down in early 2020 which were followed by an increase in oil pumping in order to drive the competition out of business. 

When the Coronavirus epidemic reached a large global scale and travel dramatically decreased, it meant that there was a massive reduction in demand for oil.  When this typically happens in other markets, consumers tend to take advantage of the opportunity of increased supply and lower costs by buying large amounts of the products. 

Particularly during emergency situations, people around the world are willing to buy more and stock up.  When it comes to the oil market, things are very different due to the fact that the product cannot be stored in large amounts by the average person, especially in its crude oil form.

READ ALSO: The world to come, The history of COVID-19 will be (re) written by the victors

Petrolio Oil

The oil crisis

The oil refining process that converts crude oil to gasoline that is put into cars and planes is expensive which is why gas prices are low, but haven’t turned negative like crude oil.  With tanks full, the only question is: where will you go?  Many countries around the world have stalled and implemented travel restrictions on its citizens with the goal of containing the outbreak and eventually eliminating it. 

Fearing the possibility of getting infected, citizens across the world have stayed home over the last few months therefore taking a toll on the major industries that use oil.  Planes are stuck on tarmacs, cars are parked in driveways, and factory workers remain at home.

Physical Futures contract that were due to be delivered in mid-April had no place to be stored by the buyers.  This meant that they were paying others to get the product off their hands. 

For a brief time, oil became a liability instead of the asset many have been desperate to obtain for low costs over the years.  After filling up storage to the brim and even paying shippers to dock the oil off coasts until they could figure out a solution,

Even though buyers are no longer able to store such large quantities of oil, OPEC members continued production: “Opec members and its allies finally agreed a record deal to slash global output by about 10% … But many analysts say the cuts were not big enough to make a difference” (BBC News).  There may be deeper cuts coming for the month of June, but no agreement has been made yet.

The wounds created by the Coronavirus pandemic will take time to heal, but there already seems to be some progress. 

Slowly, countries are beginning to remove the severe restrictions that have damaged economies across the globe.  Will this mean that everyone will automatically begin to plan flights and road trips for the upcoming summer?  Probably not, since there are still fears that a second wave could strike at any moment leading to travel restrictions and flight cancellations which could potentially leave travelers stranded in other parts of the world with no way of getting home.  The historic event could shake up the oil market for years to come.  Producers can better prepare for similar situations by having this one in mind for future negotiations. 

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COVID-19

The world to come, The history of COVID-19 will be (re) written by the victors

John Allen, “The History of COVID-19 Will Be Written by the Victors”, Foreign Policy, 20 March 2020

Written by Marzio Di Feo

As it’s always been, the story will be written by the “victors” of the COVID-19 crisis. Every nation, and increasingly every individual, is experiencing the social tension of this disease in new and powerful ways.

COVID-19

READ ALSO: Why has video won?

The War at the COVID-19 age

Inevitably, those nations that persevere, both by virtue of their unique political and economic systems, and from the point of view of public health, will claim success on those who experience a different and more devastating outcome.

For some, this will appear to be a great and definitive triumph for democracy, multilateralism and universal health care. For others, it will show the clear “benefits” of a determined and authoritarian government.

Either way, this crisis will reshuffle the international power structure in ways we can only begin to imagine. COVID-19 will continue to depress economic activity and increase tension between countries. In the long term, the pandemic is likely to significantly reduce the production capacity of the global economy, especially if businesses close and individuals leave the workforce. This risk of dislocation is particularly significant for developing countries and those with a large percentage of economically vulnerable workers. In turn, the international system will be under severe pressure, resulting in instability and widespread conflicts within and between countries.

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Video Zoom

Why has video won?

By Stefano Giuliani

Covid 19 has generated a profound “crisis” throughout the world, even in the most etymological sense of “rupture”, deeply involving politics, economics and sociality. A “rupture” with the past that is creating a new global scenario and, in some ways, a marked change in globalization itself, which is exposing its failure. From the socio-political point of view, the considerations are truly manifold and deserve a separate study. Here I limit myself to some reflections on the present and future impact on the work world and everyday life, which are obviously not disconnected from the social and political situation.

A look at the present

In today’s scenario, where perhaps people thought more about protecting themselves from computer viruses, physical social distancing was necessary to contain this pandemic. This situation has led, among other things, to the deprivation of personal freedom and to the almost total paralysis of many productive activities, with consequent economic and financial disasters that have already resulted and above all will derive from it. The lockdown, like an inexorable watershed, has also created a profound diversity in businesses and commercial activities. Many activities have found themselves with decimated turnover, almost without the possibility of recovery and, in some cases, at risk of survival. We think of hotels, transport, shops, restaurants, bars, the auto sector, etc … everything that involved mobility or close physical contact.

A planet paralyzed and closed inside the house, for months, without knowing how to move, in fear, subjected to the restrictions resulting from a new possible epidemic peak and with the specter of a new lockdown. Other activities instead, for the same identical reason, have found themselves with increased turnover and profits, such as companies in the IT, food or pharmaceutical sector.

This diversity has also been created in the world of online service platforms. Think of online sales platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba, Deliveroo, IT and logistics infrastructures organized for home delivery, or streaming platforms of audiovisual content such as Netflix and Spotify, which have seen a growth in their business. Facebook has announced the launch of Shops, a platform that will allow millions of businesses to offer goods and services online free of charge, starting from the American market, bouncing their shares by 50%, only after having reached its historical lows in March, due to the negative effects of major advertising losses. Same losses in the advertising sector for Twitter at the beginning of the year, and in the sector of mobility or tourism services for Uber, Lyft, Booking and Airbnb, which found itself having to lay off 600 employees. And the effects in the medium to long term are still unclear.

A proper reflection must be made for those who in this period have seen only an exponential growth in their profits: the video communication sector, whose diffusion and greater use allow moreover to only imagine positive effects in the medium-long term.

Many companies have activated work in smart working mode, a way that in several cases could remain definitive over time, and integrated video conferencing systems for business collaboration increasingly necessary.

Video

READ ALSO: “Is AI a new DNA?”

Zoom and the Video Explosion

In this sector there is a reality that stands out above all, not known to most, at least until recently. It’s about Zoom, a company that provides video conferencing services through a platform that allows free connections for up to 100 simultaneous participants. During the lockdown period, many workers, students, managers began to use it to take lessons, webinars, speak with colleagues or with the company. The platform went from “just” 10 million users connected per day in December, to the stratospheric figure of 300 million users connected per day in April.

Born in 2011, headquartered in San Jose, California, listed in 2019 for 16 billion dollars, with Coronavirus it literally took off in a few months, overshadowing competitors such as Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Apple Facetime and Google Meet. It has become the most popular meeting place in the world for those whom Coronavirus prevented from meeting in person.

And so in a few months Zoom achieved an incredible performance, becoming a company worth $48 billion on Wall Street today, whose shares went from $36 a year last year to $171 today, surpassing in worth a giant like General Motors.

At the same time, many airlines are likely to go bankrupt without the help of governments. Completely different sectors that the same crisis has put in completely different situations.

Facebook, realizing that the use of its video calling services via Messenger and WhatsApp, more than doubled, of the direct live on Facebook and Instagram, has decided to launch Messenger Rooms, a new group video calling service, in an attempt to counter Zoom.

And even if after the Coronavirus the number of connections will certainly decrease, the app has now been downloaded and used by millions of users, who didn’t even know it, and who will continue to use it more than it had been used before. It is however certain that this pandemic, in an already digital world, forcing billions of people at home for months, has made the use of videoconferencing systems even more necessary.

A “New World”

A “new world” of work, education, music, entertainment, remote activities in general, which, on several occasions, could remain so forever. We think of the activities that previously only insiders had been carrying out for some time without moving, saving time and money, and which have now become common use for all. Thanks to the use of these video communication systems, simple to use, available anywhere and by anyone via the Internet, thanks to increasingly effective new technologies, a network and increasingly performing devices, many activities, in many areas of application, could remain definitely “virtual”.

It must be said that the world of digital communication, especially of the management and interactive distribution of audio and video content, both in the consumer and in the business world, had already been for some time now the attention of the most visionary and innovative companies in the IT panorama of the new century.

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AI Turing Sessions

“Is AI a new DNA?”

This is the Turing Sessions first appointment headline, a new project promoted by BV TECH Group to create a discussion netwok through “inspiring talks”.

“Artificial Intelligence is the science of making machines perform operations that, if done by human beings, would require intelligence.  The real AI is not what we see in films, but is basically an instrument”, as the AI Specialist and first guest, Vincenzo Paduano said. 

READ ALSO: Alan Turing, Do androids dream of electric sheeps?

AI as DNA of the modern world

According to the specialist, AI can be defined as the new DNA to the extent that it is very a pervasive tool within the modern world.

Just think of the many areas in which AI is used, such as agriculture, finance, industry, medicine, marketing, transport, and much more.

“The pervasiveness of this tool has increased over the years, nowadays there are AIs that try to understand even the way of thinking of human beings, when they are not used for other purposes such as the creation of synthetic faces (think of FB and the introduction of facial recognition)”.

“It is necessary for us to expect further steps forward. It is possible, in fact, to note how many new applications are being developed and designed with the aim of contributing to economic growth. Healthcare, medicine, biomedical and biological research are all fields that may require standards too high for a human being, while a machine can make a great contribution in maintaining an overview”, explains Paduano.

Although different and “thinking” – concludes the specialist – AI is still an instrument, dependent on how and who uses it.

If used correctly it can work alongside us, be useful to accompany us to understand the world in unexpected ways.

For more information about it, read the full article on Medium..

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TRIPS: A New Approach to Designing Transport Systems Free of Mobility Barriers

“You only need empathy in design, if you have excluded the people you claim to have empathy for.” – Liz Jackson, Founder of The Disabled List

The ambition of the TRIPS project is to take practical steps to address and pre-empt discrimination of all citizens, who are dis-abled by barriers and challenges in urban transport.

By ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the EU and all Member States are committed to respect the rights of people with disabilities, including the right to mobility and independent living. In practice however, these rights have yet to materialize for disabled people in large parts of the EU, and today’s transport systems remain largely inaccessible. 

As a consequence, people are disabled from accessing job opportunities, education, social and leisure activities and other services. This limits lifestyle choices, reinforces exclusion from local communities, and ultimately blocks people from participating in society as full and independent citizens.

The TRIPS project will:

  • Propose a co-design approach that allows people, disabled by inaccessible environments, to take the leading role in designing accessible and useable transport systems. By focusing on the experience and needs of disabled people, we aim to directly address a wide variety of barriers in current urban transport systems. This includes barriers due to for example age, health, or language.
  • Provide case studies that show how such co-designed mobility solutions can indeed provide inclusive urban transport-for-all in seven example European cities: Bologna, Brussels, Cagliari, Lisbon, Sofia, Stockholm, and Zagreb.

The consortium brings together organizations for disability (ENIL), transport (UITP), accessibility and assistive technologies (AAATE), and design (TUE) to devise and promote a co-design-for-all methodology for developing inclusive mobility solutions and effect process innovation and change. The consortium is completed by partners with expertise in strategy and change management (TB), strategic technology development and user-centered design (DLR), and policy and regulatory advice on technologies (TRI). In addition, we will work with local partners in the transport ecosystem (ZAGREB, CTM SPA, CARRIS, SRM) to develop and test methods and mobility solution models as well as derive lessons-learned with respect to change management and process innovation in the cities of Bologna, Brussels, Cagliari, Lisbon, Sofia, Stockholm, and Zagreb.

T Bridge will have a transversal role in identifying the technological applications to be used in local trials in the seven pilot cities, which will then coordinate the implementation and business case planning phase.

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ITASEC

ITASEC 2020, BV TECH presents the “CyberSecurity Suite products and SOC” research project.

BV TECH participated as a Platinum Sponsor at the 2020 edition of ITASEC, which took place February 4th-7th in Ancona. Hundreds of cyber security players were present at the event to assess the national security perimeter situation and ensure that the country remains on track with the constant technological evolution of the sector. On this occasion, BV TECH presented its activities in the development of national cyber security technologies, with a particular focus on the “CyberSecurity Suite products and SOC ” research project, funded by the Regione Puglia (a co-financed operation with the European Regional Development Fund Puglia POR Puglia 2014 – 2020 – Axis I – Specific Objective 1a – Action 1.1 R&S) and with the support of the University of Bari and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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