May 19, 2022
Illustration: alexsl/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: how AI-powered tools aren’t enough on their own to solve the accessibility challenge, why a new shift in the DOJ’s priorities was welcomed by the cybersecurity community, and this week in enterprise tech moves.
There’s plenty of evidence demonstrating how ransomware has become such a threat to businesses around the world, and new research from Ivanti shows that security hygiene remains the best defense. Ransomware attackers are targeting older vulnerabilities — which can be hard to detect and patch — more than ever, growing 18% from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022.
“It’s a lot to listen to a robot all day long,” said Tina Pinedo, communications director at Disability Rights Oregon, a group that works to promote and defend the rights of people with disabilities.
But listening to a machine is exactly what many people with visual impairments do while using screen reading tools to accomplish everyday online tasks such as paying bills or ordering groceries from an ecommerce site.
Still, people with disabilities and those who regularly test for web accessibility problems say automated systems and AI can only go so far.
Evinced’s software automatically scans webpages and other content, and then applies computer vision and visual analysis AI to detect problems.
Some companies that make accessibility overlay software take a blunt approach to selling it: The threat of lawsuits.
Even champions of AI-based tech for accessibility recognize the need to involve people in the process.
The speed at which security has been built up over the last 12 months has been a derivative benefit of what we’ve seen during the pandemic. Privacy, compliance and security are three legs of the same stool. What we’re seeing increasingly is that intersection continuing to happen. RingCentral has invested in all those elements.
A major reversal by the U.S. Department of Justice on how it views good-faith security research is expected to be warmly welcomed by the cybersecurity community.
On Thursday, the DOJ announced a new policy that "for the first time directs that good-faith security research should not be charged" under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, according to a news release.
The act has long been controversial among cybersecurity professionals, particularly following the death of Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, who died by suicide in 2013 after facing severe legal issues for downloading documents from a server at MIT.
The DOJ said the new policy aims to ensure that the agency only focuses on certain specific Computer Fraud and Abuse Act cases. "The policy clarifies that hypothetical CFAA violations that have concerned some courts and commentators are not to be charged," the DOJ said in the release.
The news release says the agency will focus on cases where "a defendant is either not authorized at all to access a computer or was authorized to access one part of a computer — such as one email account — and, despite knowing about that restriction, accessed a part of the computer to which his authorized access did not extend, such as other users’ emails."
"However, the new policy acknowledges that claiming to be conducting security research is not a free pass for those acting in bad faith," the DOJ said in the release.— Kyle Alspach (email | twitter)
Over the past week Google saw a number of executive shakeups, from promoting execs to lead a brand new industry group to grabbing a high-profile hire from Apple. Here’s what else happened with the people of enterprise tech at Google, Twilio and more.
Joyce Kim is Twilio’s new CMO. Kim was previously the CMO at Genesys.
Umesh Vemuri is now head of Google Cloud's newly formed group, called Global Strategic Customers & Industries. Vemuri will report directly to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.
Lori Mitchell-Keller is leaving her role as Google Cloud's VP of Global Industry Solutions to pursue new opportunities.
Ian Goodfellow joined Google's DeepMind AI group. Goodfellow had a high-profile exit from Apple earlier this month.
John Jester is the new CRO for Veeam. Jester was previously VP of Google Cloud Customer Experience, and was a corporate VP at Microsoft prior to that.
Teresa Carlson joined Karat as a board member. Carlson was formerly president and chief growth officer at Splunk.
Edd Wilder-James joined container and cloud security company Sysdig as VP of Open Source Ecosystem. Wilder-James was formerly open-source development lead at Google.
Sharath Keshava Narayana joined Sanas as co-founder and COO. Keshava was previously co-founder of Observe.ai.
Pavan Karnam joined Sanas as VP of Data and Analytics. Karnam was formerly principal engineering and data science manager at Microsoft.— Aisha Counts (email | twitter)
Meta launched a new API for WhatsApp that will allow companies to pay for the ability to use WhatsApp as part of their customer service or contact-center applications.
Fastly acquired low-code and no-code developer Glitch for an undisclosed amount to help build out its edge computing strategy.
Intel will build a $700 million research facility at its campus outside Portland, Oregon, in order to work on improving data-center cooling technologies.TSMC is considering adding a new chipmaking plant in Singapore, which is one of the larger hubs in Asia for chipmaking outside its home in Taiwan.
At RingCentral, we’re focused on making hybrid work simpler for organizations so they can best set up, run and manage their business. We’re asking ourselves what's the benefit that we can derive, or that we can enable, that is better than the best-in-class in the industry?
Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!