The statistic that cybercriminals have been unleashing 18 million phishing emails laced with malware on a daily basis into cyberspace during the pandemic is mind boggling and one that executives should pay attention to when prioritizing resources for user education. Math was never my strongest subject, but the math of 18 million malicious emails targeted at all of us on a daily basis is a LOT.
A new study rolled out by Google, in collaboration with researchers at Stanford University, studied over a billion malicious emails and targets that Google had identified and blocked over a period of five months, to get more intelligence about who was being targeted and how the campaigns were targeting users. The study found that users in the U.S. were targeted more than any others in the world, followed by the United Kingdom and Japan.
The study found that the most effective phishing scams were fast and short lived, lasting one to three days. They found that over 100 million malicious emails were launched in these short time frames. In addition, they found that if a user’s email address or personal information had been previously compromised, they were five times more likely to be targeted by a phishing scheme. The study also concluded that users aged 55 to 64 were 1.64 times more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals than 18-24 year olds.
The statistic is astounding, but the results of the analysis are very informative for businesses. The take away is that the number of phishing schemes continue to rise, user education continues to be essential in protecting company data against these schemes, and education is particularly important depending on users’ age.
Singapore analytics and acoustic solutions company H3 Zoom.AI’s founder, Shaun Koo, began using drones for building inspection and facilities management after realizing that the city’s highly urban landscape was “overdue for digital technology disruption.” For example, traditional building facade inspection involves workers tethered to ropes or on gondola lifts, scaling high and/or remote areas to inspect or take photographs. This manual process is risky and allows room for human error.
Instead, Koo suggested equipping drones with cameras and flying them around buildings to scan and capture images of building facades from multiple angles. The images could be fed into an AI and machine-learning platform designed to flag problem areas, thus making the inspection process safer, faster and more accurate. Koo demonstrated that his drone inspection system and AI technology could reduce the inspection time by 70 percent. For example, in one demo, the use of the drones lessened the inspection time from 4 weeks to 4 days. H3 Zoom.AI aims to partner with government agencies like the Housing & Development Board and Singapore Land Authority to spread the use of drones for building inspections throughout the city. As of last month, H3 Zoom.AI had used drones to inspect over 200 buildings in Singapore, and the company aims to expand into Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. The key to this drone system is the AI; this technology uses predictive thinking to inform its clients about structural faults that COULD happen to their buildings in the future, in addition to the current structural issues. This is a key to safety and cost reduction for big cities like Singapore.
As we continue to integrate drones into the U.S. national airspace, perhaps companies and cities will use drones equipped with AI technology like H3 Zoom.AI’s to bring this same efficiency and safety to building inspections and management here as well.