Week Ending: 7th May - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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May is finally here and it is clear the weather is very confused about what season we’re in! As it has been a short week for many of us, you’ll be forgiven for missing what’s been happening in the world of I.T. and Tech.

The collaboration between Uber and Arrival for electric taxi development, code-sharing program linked to the Microsoft Exchange hacks and Microsoft’s launch of Power BI Goals are just a few of the news stories hitting the headlines this week.

Let’s get you up to date.

Microsoft fears code-sharing program could be the source of Exchange security nightmare

Tech giant Microsoft believes that the cybercriminals involved in the recent Exchange hack were tipped off by one (or more) of its own customers. As a result, the company are looking at changing how they communicate with these customers.

The cyberattack on Microsoft Exchange earlier this year resulted in more than 60,000 email systems around the world being compromised, some of which belonged to the US government. The vulnerabilities could allow hackers to read emails from an Exchange server without authentication.

A special initiative, Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) notifies certain customers of the vulnerabilities discovered a few weeks before disclosing them publicly. The group has 81 members, of which some were notified of the Exchange vulnerability in advance. Investigations are leading towards two Chinese customers within this group for the tip off.

Microsoft commented in a statement

“We believe there are many benefits to mutual information sharing with the security community to help protect our mutual customers against attacks. We continue to evaluate how to best balance the benefits of this sharing with the risk of early disclosures.”

The idea that Chinese state-sponsored attackers were behind the Exchange hack has led to Microsoft removing specific members from the MAPP, however the reconsideration of the type and volume of data shared with Chinese members could be a more effective route.

Read more here.

Uber and Arrival to collaborate on electric taxi development

Uber, the American ride-hailing company has announced this week a partnership with British electric vehicle start-up Arrival. The partnership will explore the production of a purpose-built electric taxi for consumer use.

Currently this is just a concept with the production set for 2023. The idea is that the electric taxi will be designed in partnership with Uber to make it best suited for the drivers’ needs. Once completed it will join Arrival’s previously announced commercial vehicles, the Bus and Van.

Tom Elvidge, Senior Vice President of Arrival Mobility UK commented,

“We are confident that electrifying ride-hailing vehicles will have an outsized impact on cities, and we are keen to support drivers as they manage this transition. Arrival Car will be designed around drivers’ needs to create a vehicle that is affordable, durable and desirable. We have a great partnership with UPS to create a best-in-class electric delivery vehicle, and we hope to replicate that success with Uber as we develop the best possible product for ride-hailing that elevates the experience of the passenger and improves drivers’ health, safety and finances.”

According to Arrival, taxis travel between 27,961-31,068 miles a year, therefore the switch to electric vehicles will have a real impact on emissions and running costs and offer a much cleaner solution to city travel.

Uber has already committed to helping every driver in London upgrade to an electric vehicle by 2025 and hope that the partnership with Arrival will help achieve this goal.

Discover more here.

Microsoft launch Power BI Goals to help manage productivity

As part of its virtual Business Applications Summit this week, tech giant Microsoft announced the launch of Power BI Goals, a set of tools in preview that lets customers tap into the AI capabilities in Power BI (a business analytics service). The organisation explained that it has been designed to “empower users to make data-driven decisions and stay on top of team or individual targets”.

According to a study by Gartner, 26% of HR leaders reported having used some form of software or technology to track remote work since the start of the pandemic. Power BI Goals offers a solution to allow remote workers to keep on top of tasks and prioritise efficiently.

Alysa Taylor, Microsoft CVP commented

“Even as challenges from the pandemic continue to reverberate across industries, from supply chain disruptions to recurring restrictions, most businesses are taking steps towards recovery. They’re taking stock of vulnerabilities and opportunities across their organisations, markets and industries, and the steps needed to move forward into the future.”

Power BI Goals lets users build specialised scorecards to delegate tasks and measure progress toward specific goals. Managers can then use these scorecards to identify areas of improvement and collaborate through platforms such as Microsoft Teams, as well as taking action with check-in notes.

Keeping on top of tasks whilst working remotely can prove difficult, Power BI Goals has been designed to bring it all together, with different goals and subgoals that the whole team can access. Users can also assign owners to a goal to help delegate and assign a status to let stakeholders know if something is on track or falling behind.

Explore more here.

Those were some of this week’s biggest stories in I.T. and tech, but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.