Tech Bytes Week of Jul 25

Tech News to Actionable Insights for Smart Business leaders

📰 Recent Top Tech News

  1. Pegasus Software used by governments to spy on 50k people

  2. Zoom video conference launches App marketplace

  3. Edtech company Byju spends $500Mn to acqui-enter US market and more

The Takeaways

  1. NSO Group, the maker of Pegasus hacking software, was found to have helped hack into the phones of at least 50,000 people, since at least 2016. The leaked list includes the phone numbers of many well-known journalists, government officials and business executives. Pegasus uses 0-day* vulnerabilities in iPhone and Android phones that can be remotely activated.

🔎 Our Take

  1. Given enough resources, and time, anything can be hacked. Governments are increasing developing (or paying for) cyber warfare skills starting from data gathering (like the Pegasus hacks) to full sabotage (such as taking down critical infrastructure). There are likely hundreds more large scale hacking efforts which don’t make it to the news.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Unless you are in your government’s focus for political reasons, you are not worth spending at least an estimated $500,000 just for set up by Pegasus. Don’t let the hype about this distract you from easier ways to hack your phone, like learning the passcode that you have been reusing for the past 3 years.

2. Zoom launched an apps marketplace, allowing third parties to integrate within Zoom meetings.

🔎 Our Take

  • Zoom launched into the public domain with the right product at the right time, making video conferencing simple and reliable for groups. However, until recently, Zoom was really only about meeting and sharing screens. With the new apps, Zoom adds much needed additional functionality such as games, quizzes and more. We expect Zoom to work on further integrations to become part of a productivity or entertainment ecosystem.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • If you have only ever been selling or providing a single service, then consider diversifying via partnerships to offer more end to end value to your customers.

3. Edtech Company Byju’s acquires US-based Epic, an online reading platform for children, spending $500Mn. Byju’s also acquired Great Learning and Toppr, based in India for $600Mn and $150Mn respectively, all 3 made public this week.

🔎 Our Take

  • Byju’s is fueled by investors keen to own the education market and continue to exploit parent’s sentiments towards providing any and all advantages to their children. These acquisitions expand Byju’s coverage of the education market by Age and Area: (1) Epic offers a reach of 90% of elementary schools in the US, (2) Great Learning adds ‘Upskilling/Reskilling’ focused on professionals (3) Toppr offering a school management system and a popular app with young kids below 12.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Take stock of your existing offerings vs where your brand or mission lies. Consider bringing in partners, hiring people or even acquiring companies that could fit organically to this mission, and offer even more value to your new and existing clients.

Jargon Buster

  • 0-Day (“Zero Day”) - This refers to active security vulnerabilities with no patch or way of protecting yourself. Technology vendors continuously aim to roll out updates, but there is usually a few days or weeks gaps between when a zero-day exploit is discovered to when its updated in a majority of systems.

Dear QTBees,

Olympics is in the air! With Tokyo 2020* underway, and Brisbane (hey fellow Brisbanites!) announced for the 2032 Olympics, there’s a lot going on.

What strikes me though is watching sports scenes and records from 50-100 years ago vs today. Things that were considered impossible (4-minute mile run, Yurchenko double pike, 10Km in 30 minutes) were revered, anticipated, and then broken. Now humans look to breaking the next impossible thing.

So keep looking up. Todays ‘impossible’ is likely to be tomorrows ‘been there, done that’.

Stay Awesome!

Founder & Director

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