Blockchain Platform MultiChain Enters Beta with 15 New Partners

Blockchain Platform MultiChain Enters Beta with 15 New Partners

New Industry Partners are Joining

MultiChain, the private blockchain platform launched by Coin Sciences Ltd, has entered beta phase with the release of MultiChain 1.0 for Linux and Windows. The platform has also revealed that 15 new industry partners are joining its Platform Partner Program – a consultancy group originally backed by financial services giant Accenture.

Notably, the new members of the program include three multinationals – Boston Consulting Group, PwC, and Worldline – as well as 11 smaller companies. The MultiChain platform was set up with the aim of helping organizations more easily build applications using blockchains and distributed ledgers.

CEO Shinam Arora of Primechain Technologies, a new member of the partner program, explained some of MultiChain’s use cases, saying:

"We are using MultiChain for building several blockchain-powered solutions, including shared KYC/AML, syndication of loans and consortium lending, trade finance, asset registry, asset re-hypothecation, secure documents, cross-border payments and peer-to-peer payments.”

The platform said it plans to release a final version of the software this summer. In related news, Seal Software, a contract discovery and analytics platform, has said it will integrate MultiChain into its platform. The marriage will enable a machine-learning framework based on what the company called "intelligent contracts" to be used in conjunction with MultiChain's blockchain functionality.

Chain and Thales Interlock for
Blockchain Key Security Solution

 

A new Integration with Blockchain

French cyber-defense and aerospace firm Thales has launched a new integration with blockchain startup Chain aimed to boost blockchain security. The partnership will see Chain bridging its enterprise-focused blockchain software capabilities with the nShield hardware security module (HSM) developed by Thales. The move comes shortly after Thales unveiled a blockchain offering in conjunction with professional services firm Accenture.

Thales’ HSM is a hardware solution for securely storing private keys – the all-important strings of data that, for example, protect a user's bitcoin or other blockchain-tied tokens. As these pieces of information are critical in the context of digital asset management, the hardware offering has been positioned as one that would alleviate security concerns among enterprises and other organizations.

Jon Geater, CTO for Thales' cybersecurity arm, said in a statement:

"Blockchain is a game-changer in the financial services industry, with the potential to enhance security, speed and operational efficiency. Our integration with Chain provides a strong root of trust and ensures the integrity of the underlying blockchain operations that enables organizations to build, deploy, and operate blockchain-based transaction networks with confidence."

Regulators are also likely to cheer the advance of security measures in the blockchain space. In February, the European Securities and Markets Authority proclaimed that distributed ledger technology regulations would be premature, given the state of the tech and a lack of market-wide cybersecurity standards.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

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Basic Rules for Beginners in bitcoin Trading

Basic Rules for Beginners in Bitcoin Trading

basic rules for trading

 

There has been a protracted debate on the actual identity of Bitcoin, whether it should be regarded as a currency or a commodity.

With reasonable support on each side of the debate based on its inherent characteristics, a huge segment of the ecosystem is of the opinion that Bitcoin can, and should be regarded as both a currency and a commodity.

Whatever definition attached to Bitcoin, the constant variation in price offers an opportunity for investors to make a profit by trading the cryptocurrency, either as a long term investment or in a speculative short term pattern.

What is Bitcoin trading?

Bashir Aminu, Bitcoin trader and convener of online crypto group Cryptogene, explains the basic Bitcoin trading process as follows:

“If you buy Bitcoins at one price and then sell them for a higher price, you make a profit of the difference between those two prices, less any commission that you paid. However, if the price goes down, you will be in the uncomfortable position of having to either sell them at a loss or hold and hope the price goes back up while risking higher and higher losses if the price continues to drop.”

There are two major types of traders in the Bitcoin market, they are ‘long term’ traders and ‘short term’ traders. Each of these group of traders are classified by how long they may wish to hold onto a given position of trade.

Long term traders are usually involved in studying price trends over long periods of time. This informs their decision to buy and hold Bitcoin also over long periods with the hope of taking profit at a price higher than their original entry point. With Bitcoin still in its developmental stages, a lot of users suggest that this is a good time to buy.

This suggestion is based on the assumption that with increasing use case scenario and more adoption, demand for Bitcoin and its associated technology will increase, thereby creating more demand for the cryptocurrency which will automatically cause an eventual increase in value. Glimpses of this have been observed with the surge in Bitcoin price which coincides with a boost in its market capitalization and volume of trade.

On the other hand, short-term traders analyze the intraday behavior of Bitcoin price and seek to take advantage of the swings in price. These traders thrive in market volatility, a factor that is presently characteristic of Bitcoin.

In its early stages, the swings in Bitcoin price was usually so huge as every little event within the crypto space had very serious impact on the price of the cryptocurrency. As adoption grows and Bitcoin becomes more stable, price volatility has reduced considerably and experts think it is a better time to trade the cryptocurrency, compared to an earlier time.

“Bitcoin is certainly safer to invest in now than it was a couple of years ago”, says Aminu.

 

Trading rules

Aminu describes Bitcoin trading as extremely profitable if you play your cards well. According to him, it all depends on the market movement pattern. He tells Cointelegraph that Bitcoin value rises and falls dramatically throughout each trading day, jumping in whole dollar amounts. A phenomenon which he identifies as very risky when misjudged.

Based on his trading experience, Aminu outlines a set of rules for newcomers who may wish to profit from the Bitcoin market as follows:

Never put all your eggs in one basket. Your capital should be broken into smaller lots for multiple positions at different price levels.

Do not invest your life savings or money that may change your life drastically in the event of a loss. This rule is important mainly due to the existing level of uncertainty that still exists within the Bitcoin market.

Take full advantage of available technology in order to gain maximum profit

Understanding the market is a continuous process and requires a lot of time, concentration and effort. It is very crucial to do research and be up to date with current trends.

Know when to cash in. It is important to stay focused, unemotional and professional.

Traders should keep in mind that losing, just as much as winning, is an integral part of trading. It is the cumulative gains that count.

If this sounds to complicated there is a proven way of automated trading in the top 10 Cryptocurrencies by joining Trade Coin Club who do the hard work for you allowing you to share in the profit at three levels of risk. This frees you from having to follow the markets, minute by minute or hour by hour.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

By Iyke Aru

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The ways that blockchain will change your life

The ways that blockchain will change your life

  

Blockchain is an intriguing concept to explore

Starting to gain traction in the mainstream, this technology has a lot of far-reaching potentials. Blockchain is an intriguing concept to explore. It is a digital ledger that entails transactions, working with data arranged through a series of records called blocks. This uses a secure system and is essential for managing financial data as well as the development of the Bitcoin. With all the hype that it’s received over the past year with Santander and others announcing that they are setting up their own internal Blockchain systems, it begs the question as to why blockchain is all of a sudden so appealing.

For those who already own a few Bitcoins but keep them and want to exchange for the higher price, there are many options to calculate, how rich you are. Even if you haven’t mined or bought Bitcoin yet, there are ten good ways how the underlying technology of blockchain will impact your life. These entail points on security, simplicity, and how well it works with your budget in mind.

It makes things secure

Blockchain technology is very secure and effective. You can get all transactions validated when adding blocks. This is thanks to how the blockchain system reads more data and is very transparent. The data gathered can be read by multiple databases. Encryption is not included in the blockchain system. You can still add that if desired. Digital signatures may also be added to confirm one’s identity when using it. Such signatures can also regulate read/write access rights.

The identities of people who work with the system can also be secured if needed. Proper certificates can be used to allow people to log onto a setup and use it. This allows the certificate to be used in lieu of an actual person’s name. This may work with a setup that keeps individuals from being identified. In some cases, the business running it may be listed but the individual responsible for triggering a transaction will not be listed.

Additional control is possible

You will get more control over any blockchain system you use. You can adjust your content in any way that you see fit. In particular:

● You can create limits as to what specific parties can do with a blockchain setup.
● The central owner of a block of data can be determined. You can adjust the identity of the owner to make whoever is in charge of a certain part more accountable.
● Limits can be created with regards to what people can or cannot do with a blockchain. This is especially for when you are trying to keep certain people from accessing specific spots.

You can use blockchain in cases where you need to get many parties to read the same data but while also maintaining some control. There is no limit to the amount of protection that you can add to it. This adds a setup that isn’t too hard to use without being complicated or far too technical.

It is a more durable solution

The blockchain setup uses a series of decentralized networks. This allows blockchains to be read by more parties. As a result, there are no central points of failure. It is easier for the blockchain system to handle any possible failures that may develop.

Transactions run faster

Transactions are easy to handle within the system. A universal system is used with the same kind of interface. This does not require any outside standards from separate providers. Confirmation times can vary on the system. It often takes less than half an hour of a transaction to be managed. It can take a few hours in some instances but such cases are rare.

Transaction costs are reduced

A great part of blockchain is that it uses no third parties for managing transactions. As a result, funds will be easy to move without spending too much money on each one. It often costs less than $10 USD to get a single transaction managed. The cost varies but it is typically around that total.

Only one ledger is required

You only need one ledger to get a blockchain transaction handled. This is another benefit of there being no third parties involved. Therefore, you can process a transaction quickly and effortlessly.

Transparency is possible

With a blockchain transaction, you can learn all about what happens. You will learn everything you need to know about an individual block by looking it up. You’ll find details on:

● How many transactions are involved in a single block
● Transaction fees
● The approximate volume of the block
● The size of the block
● Who is relaying that block
● How much time it takes to get some transactions reviewed

The information you will get is extremely detailed. It does require a bit of extra technical knowledge in some instances.

It is a direct solution

The blockchain system is made as a direct solution. All parties involved with a blockchain can alter the chains they find. Information on all prior blocks will also be made available online. With this, people can get a clear idea of how the system works. They won’t have to worry about any suspicious details in their chains.

Energy credits may be available

You may be able to get energy credits depending on where you are located. Blockchains may be generated for acquiring renewable energy credits. This helps you to get a business or other entity to work with solar or wind power or with other renewable energy options. This is useful if you are planning on generating renewable energy. This includes energy used for private purposes. This is useful but you must watch for the total credits you will earn versus what you might spend on energy. This includes looking at how much money it costs to generate energy used to produce a new blockchain.

Digital signatures may be required

The last improvement that blockchain uses comes from digital signatures. A digital signature is a setup that encrypts data with a digital code. This should entail a setup that is difficult to read without a proper encryption key. This helps to make it easier for you to get the most out of your security. You should look at how blockchain can be of benefit to you. This makes it easier for transactions to be made while also being fully transparency. The simplicity that comes with the setup is especially important. Be sure to consider it for your general use in the future.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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How Blockchain Technology Will Dominate The Travel Sector

How Blockchain Technology Will Dominate The Travel Sector
 

Blockchain Technology can be a Valuable

CEO of CellPoint Mobile, which develops payment solutions & technologies that help airlines & travel companies. I am among those enthusiasts who believe that blockchain technology can be a valuable corporate finance tool outside of the banking sector. Airline industry CFOs and finance executives throughout the travel sector belong on the growing list of beneficiaries as well. As the backbone of digital currency, blockchain is already revealing its value in areas such as transparency, data security, logistics and process simplification, and even regulatory compliance. Recently, Walmart and IBM announced a pilot project to apply blockchain technology to Walmart's global supply chain management system.

Of course, not every company is a candidate for blockchain applications: A recent Wharton analysis concluded that a company must determine whether blockchain is suitable based on multiple factors. The rationale for embracing blockchain technology will make the most sense — and take on a degree of urgency — if the business structure involves any number of parties that need trust and inter-party data access and management. As a provider of mobile commerce and payment solutions for travel companies, this makes the travel sector an ideal candidate in my book.

More Business Equals More Revenue 

The travel business is complex and fragmented – ask any travel sector CFO or technology vendor. In addition to operational and financial challenges connected with protecting and growing their business, travel executives face distinctive challenges in their efforts to protect their customer base. Among the most pressing is identity management as security concerns persist and passenger numbers grow exponentially.

As the Walmart pilot suggests, there is growing evidence of blockchain's value on an operational level. But its potential benefits, including security features, extend to "soft" yet vital airline success factors, such as customer satisfaction and retention. For example, with blockchain processes serving as the underlying authentication layer for biometric-equipped mobile and wearable devices, a passenger's experience becomes easier, faster and more satisfying. They can verify their identities, purchase travel products, and ancillary services before, during and after their trips. They can communicate with airlines in a variety of new and engaging mobile formats without pulling out IDs and expose personal financial information every single time.

To extend the vision from a passenger's perspective, imagine going from home to the airport for a flight, then from the destination airport to your hotel and straight to your room without standing in a single line or sharing your personal data. Managing frequent flyer and loyalty programs and tracking baggage can also be a piece of cake, using blockchain technology as the information "connector." The beauty of this vision is that it serves as a genuine win-win for both the airline and its customers. And by contributing to customer satisfaction, an airline is much more likely to retain and grow that source of revenue, not to mention the range of ancillary purchases that become easier with blockchain technology.

From Visionary To Commonplace

Airlines and governmental bodies are already investing in the idea of a universally accepted blockchain ID, to both simplify travel and make it safer. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are important players, yet airlines and other travel companies must wrestle with the fact that innovation is being driven outside of their industries by companies such as IBM, Google, and Apple. Venture capital continues to pour into the bitcoin and blockchain world, with an estimated $1 billion in VC funding since 2014.

As the blockchain universe evolves within the travel sector, it holds the potential to integrate new products and services without excessive investment costs or overly complicated implementation efforts. Granted, this will not happen overnight. It will likely take another three-to-five years before blockchain technology matures to the point of widespread adoption, and perhaps even longer before many airlines and travel-related businesses understand out how to embrace and monetize blockchain. Only then can they affect change throughout the enterprise.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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Arizona Lawmakers Pass Blockchain Records Bill

Arizona Lawmakers Pass Blockchain Records Bill

  

Arizona's legislature has cleared a bill that would recognize blockchain signatures and smart contracts under state law, sending it to the governor's desk for final approval.The measure, as previously reported by CoinDesk, would make data tied to a blockchain "considered to be in an electronic format and to be an electronic record" in Arizona. It also notably featured language specifically related to smart contracts, signifying an effort to capture new kinds of delivering information – in this case, via blockchain – under existing rules.

The bill's authors wrote:

"'Smart contract' means an event-driven program, with state, that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger and that can take custody over and instruct transfer of assets on that ledger."

Public records show that the bill was sent to sent to Gov. Doug Ducey's office on 27th March after clearing the Senate by a 28-1 vote on the 23rd. While it's not immediately clear if or when the governor will sign the bill, the broad support the bill saw in the legislature – members of the legislature's lower chamber approved it unanimously late last month – suggests the measure could ultimately get the green light. The bill is akin to legislation passed and signed into law last year in Vermont. Lawmakers in the state proposed allowing data embedded on a blockchain to be used in a court of law.

IBM Unveils Blockchain Platform for Oil Trade Finance

A group of companies including IBM has spearheaded the development of a new blockchain-based crude oil trade finance platform.Along with IBM, commodities trading group Trafigura and corporate investment bank Natixis took part in the creation of the platform, built using code from the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger project. IBM’s BlueMix cloud hosting service is also being utilized.

Within the system, parties can view transaction data as it is published on the blockchain. The platform also hosts documentation and updates on shipments, deliveries, and payments. Natixis, a member of the R3 distributed ledger consortium, is no stranger to trade finance applications of blockchain, having joined with the "Digital Trade Chain" project last year. According to Arnaud Stevens, Natixis’ head of global energy and commodities in New York, the bank sees the tech as potentially bringing down costs while also boosting procedural transparency.

Stevens said in a statement:

"We want to use blockchain to optimize the antiquated arena of commodity trade finance. The current process is paper and labor intensive, we have multiple friction points with high processing costs and limited automation. Distributed ledger technology brings some much-needed innovation into our industry."

The platform’s introduction marks the latest bridging of the blockchain and trade finance worlds. It’s an application that has attracted significant interest from a range of companies and governments worldwide, including Dubai. Many of the world’s banks also continue to push ahead with related projects focused on the commodities trade.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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Jesus Can Heal Addiction

You can be free from addiction.

Written by Lois on 24/05/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Addiction, Forgiveness, Freedom, Grace, Sin
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
We all have wrong desires and are tempted, but God has given us an Advocate who will help us resist sin if we are willing. Are you tired of being addicted to alcohol, sex, drugs, pornography or greed? Jesus has made a way for you to be free. This is how you can resist temptation and allow Jesus to heal your addiction.

There are countless people who are enjoying an addiction because they have not faced consequences yet. Galatians 6:8 tells us if a person “sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him.” There is no peace or freedom found in loving an addiction or sin. If you want to be healed, you have to turn away and renounce the addiction or sin.

Resist the Temptation
2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

Temptation happens to everyone; no one is being singled out
Learn to recognize the people, things and situations that overtake you
After recognizing the tempter, resist him
It’s your choice, so choose to do what pleases God
Pray for Jesus to help you
Seek friends who love God, have resisted temptation and can help you
There is Healing
Jesus is able to heal every kind of addiction, even those we willfully sought out. Jesus is able to "restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten" (Joel 2:25), even if suffering is His chastisement to a person for sinful behavior. God's purpose is never to tempt us to sinful despair but to make us holy and useful. (James 1:13; Hebrews 12:11-13) David, who knew something about God's chastisement, said, "Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice." (Ps. 51:8) Ask Jesus to heal physical or emotional pain from an abusive parent, the brokenness of losing a child, the loneliness of the death of a spouse, or being orphaned.

An addiction is not going to heal you. Letting a sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting God’s Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:6

Pray this week:

Father, this sin is wrecking my life. Will you help me? In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June

Ethereum style smart contracts for Bitcoin in June
 

Ethereum has gained a lot of attention over the past year or two as it became the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap. The platform enables the execution of smart contracts, a feature coming to Bitcoin in the form of RSK.

On a recent episode of Coin Interview, RSK’s co-founder, Gabriel Kurman, claimed that RSK’s private testnet will turn into a public testnet on May 22nd at the 2017 Consensus conference. RSK will then be launched on Bitcoin’s mainnet approximately a month later.

“RSK goal is to add value and functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by enabling smart-contracts, near instant payments and higher-scalability.”

A smart contract is simply a computerized transaction protocol that executes the terms of a contract. According to the Elements Project, smart contracting platforms with more expressive scripting systems, such as Ethereum and RSK, are attractive to developers as Bitcoin’s scripting system is limited by design for security reasons.

Ethereum is in essence a programmable blockchain. Rather than giving users a set of predefined operations, such as bitcoin transactions, the platform allows users to create their own operations, of any complexity. In this way, it serves as a platform for many different types of decentralized blockchain applications, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies. “Ethereum allows us to move much faster than building on Bitcoin due to its turing complete script,” explains Augur co-founder Joey Krug.

The team behind RSK has done everything they can to make it easy for Ethereum developers to move to their platform. According to the original RSK white paper, the platforms virtual machine is backwards compatible with the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM), which “gives the opportunity to developers working on Ethereum to benefit from the robustness of the BItcoin blockchain.” The EVM allows developers to create applications using programming languages modelled on existing languages like JavaScript and Python.

Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson has hypothesized that the smart contracts written on top of these kinds of systems will be released on multiple platforms. The process would look similar to releasing mobile applications for both iOS and Android, developers may decide to release their applications on Ethereum, RSK, and Ethereum Classic.

In addition to RSK’s advanced smart contract capabilities, the sidechain also has the potential to decrease the transaction burden on the main Bitcoin blockchain. “We have the Lumino Transaction Compression Protocol (LTCP), which allows 2,000 transactions per second on chain and the Lumino Network which will allow up to 20,000 transactions per second off chain,” said Kurman. “Every single developer is going to be able to plug in, and run their contracts. It’s going to operate against the Bitcoin testnet for a month approximately, and then we’re going to apply [it] to the Bitcoin mainnet.”
 

“We expect RSK to be multiple times more secure than other platforms because it has Bitcoin’s hashing power behind it, and it's fuel should cost 1/10th of that of Ethereum. RSK is subsidized by Bitcoin, plus its virtual machine is six times faster than Ethereum’s given Sergio Lerner's improvements.” – Gabriel Kurman RSK co-founder

The initial version of the RSK sidechain will not require any changes to the underlying Bitcoin protocol to implement the necessary 2-way peg (2WP) to work with Bitcoin. The 2WP allows the transfer of bitcoins from the Bitcoin blockchain to a secondary blockchain and vice-versa. The “transfer” is in fact an illusion: bitcoins are not transferred, but temporarily locked on the Bitcoin blockchain while the same amount of equivalent tokens are unlocked in a secondary blockchain. The original bitcoins can be unlocked when the equivalent amount of tokens on the second blockchain are locked again in the secondary blockchain.

 

In the short term a federation will manage the multisign keys to release the bitcoin on the way back from the peg, Kurman explains. According to the RSK website, well-known Bitcoin companies, such as Xapo and Bitpay, have signed up to be notaries for the sidechain. According to Kurman, these notaries will participate in the governance of the federation, and provide more services to RSK. “The federation will provide multiple services in the future on top of the peg such as security checkpoints in each block, oracle services, and providing liquidity,” he said.

 

According to Kurman, miners already have the ability to merge mine the private RSK testnet. “Bitcoin India is already merge-mining with 100% of it's hashing power. Most other major pools are testing the plugin,” said Kurman. “Once a separate soft fork is implemented in Bitcoin, the release [of bitcoins on the sidechain] will be done by a combination of miners and federation — hence a hybrid 2-way peg.”

RSK currently has 30 partners building on the platform from multiple different industries. “Once the source code becomes public and the platform open on May 22, we expect a lot of use cases being ported to RSK given its full compatibility with Ethereum,” Kurman stated.
 

David Ogden
Entrepeneur

 

Kyle Torpey, – Author

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The 2 Biggest Cybersecurity Fears of NASDAQ’s Chief Information Security Officer

NASDAQ CISO, Lou Modano, shares the big picture fears that businesses need to think about — even if they already have a great information-security program in place.
  
By Joseph Steinberg CEO, SecureMySocial   @JosephSteinberg

I recently spoke with Lou Modano, Chief Information Security Officer of NASDAQ, and asked him what his greatest fears are right now when it comes to keeping NASDAQ cyber-safe. Of course, there are many threats facing NASDAQ – from criminals to hacktivists to nation states – and the stock exchange obviously has an army of highly skilled information-security professionals, intensive information-security-related training, and a robust information-security technological infrastructure, so my question went beyond the usual technological and human issues, and, instead focused on what risks are hardest to correct even with significant cybersecurity resources. As such, CISO Modano's observations provide insight into the big-picture problems that businesses, cybersecurity professionals, and policymakers should be thinking about.

Modano told me that his two greatest concerns are:

1. The speed at which vulnerabilities are exploited to create cyber-weapons.
It is no secret that, in recent years, hackers have become much more adept at creating cyberweapons to exploit vulnerabilities, and that the time between the disclosure of a particular vulnerability and the creation of a weapon that exploits it has dramatically decreased. When vulnerabilities are found in software, the software makers typically issue patches – that is, fixes that can be downloaded and installed either automatically or manually. Modano pointed out, however, that the because the time between the issuance of a patch and the discovery of weapons that exploit the associated vulnerability in unpatched systems is going down, organizations wishing to stay secure often have a lot less time to deploy patches than they used to have in the past. Because a formal change management process including the testing of patches is needed in order to ensure that patches do not interfere with system functions or otherwise have adverse side effects, organizations face a growing risk of being unable to fully deploy patches before hackers start attacking unpatched systems or of deploying inadequately tested patches. While businesses can work to make their patching and change management process extremely efficient, even doing so does not fully solve the problem – especially in situations in which vulnerabilities are announced before patches are available, in which cases criminals often create cyber-weapons that exploit the vulnerabilities even before the associated patches are released by vendors. We may see an example of this in the near term if Wikileaks decides to publish details of CIA cyberweapons before the associated vulnerabilities are fixed by vendors, and folks have had adequate time to test and install the fixes; such an occurrence could force security-conscious organizations to temporarily disable various online services.

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Lesson: Make sure you have an efficient process for obtaining, testing, and deploying security fixes, and be aware of when you may be at risk even with such a process in place.

2. How does the information-security team know what it does not know?
As Sun Tzu pointed our thousands of years ago, it is much easier to defend against attacks when you know your enemy and its tactics. While security professionals do attempt to monitor hacker communication channels for indications of brewing attacks and exploits, one of the greatest problems that defenders face is that hackers are, by definition, one step ahead. Security pros face challenges in getting as much intelligence about what threats are coming – sometimes there are warnings from chatter or from information shared on social media, but sometimes defenders know nothing about a powerful attack before it is launched. Modano pointed out that industry groups and other methods of exchanging information do help – as one organization that detects something anomalous or hostile can share its findings with others both to warn them and to see if others have observed similar potential threats. Even firms that compete for business often recognize that when it comes to information security it is in their common interest to share information about threats that they discover – after all, if a criminal or nation state breaches one of the firms, he/she/it is likely to launch similar attacks against the others. At the same time, however, as Modano noted to me, there is a lack of standardization across federal and state regulators on matters related to privacy, information sharing, breach notification, and other areas of security; a lack of uniformity complicates matters related to knowledge sharing, as not all businesses are subject to same rules and requirements.

Lesson for us all: Make sure you obtain as much relevant intelligence as you can about threats to your business and personal information systems. Industry groups and information-security venues can be one good source of such knowledge.

For insights from other experts who attended the recent NASDAQ – National Cybersecurity Alliance Summit in New York, please see my article 6 Insights From Experts At The NASDAQ-NCSA CyberSecurity Summit.

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Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds

Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as "remarkable".

Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.
 
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It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.

The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.

"It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.

"And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.

“Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system."

Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.

During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.

In trials humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period.

Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumour growth.

"We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system," added Prof Longo.

"When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged," Dr Longo said.

"What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?"

Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy.

"While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy," said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.

"More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.”

"We are investigating the possibility that these effects are applicable to many different systems and organs, not just the immune system," added Prof Longo.

However, some British experts were sceptical of the research.

Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded "improbable".

Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said: “There is some interesting data here. It sees that fasting reduces the number and size of cells and then re-feeding at 72 hours saw a rebound.

“That could be potentially useful because that is not such a long time that it would be terribly harmful to someone with cancer.

“But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea. People are better eating on a regular basis.”

Dr Longo added: “There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial.

“I have received emails from hundreds of cancer patients who have combined chemo with fasting, many with the assistance of the oncologists.

“Thus far the great majority have reported doing very well and only a few have reported some side effects including fainting and a temporary increase in liver markers. Clearly we need to finish the clinical trials, but it looks very promising

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Recovering From Addiction

How far are you willing to go in destroying your life with an addiction?

Written by David on 28/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Repentance, Forgiveness, New Life, Restitution, Brokenness
If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot.

James 5:16
The end of the line for an addicted person is a self-made prison with four walls — Terror, Confusion, Frustration and Despair. There seem to be no doors or windows, and fear fills your life as you see that you’ve embraced self-destruction of your own accord. There is no protection for what awaits you in the deepest, darkest, isolated, solitary moment of an out-of-control life of sin.

God’s Word is there to give you hope. But first there must be a "death:" “In the same way, you must think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But Christ Jesus has given life to you, and you live for God.” (Romans 6:11) This is because the hope is not found in yourself: “I know that my selfish desires won’t let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot.” (Romans 7:18)

Apathy Gives the Enemy Power
Do you spend a daily time with the Lord? Make it a daily quest in your life. Many days I falter in this goal to be in the presence of the Lord through His Word. But I know that my mind, left to itself, will wander to a place of apathy. And I know where this leads: shame, anxiety and destruction. This is what the Bible calls evidence of the "natural man:" a sinful nature seeded in our heart. “More than anything else, a person's mind is evil and cannot be healed. No one truly understands it.” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Where are You Looking for Your Fulfillment?
King David allowed his own heart to wander. It threw him into the four-walled prison: Terror, Confusion, Frustration and Despair. “In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants, and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful.” (2 Samuel 11:1-2) King David should have been fighting alongside his men as other kings went out to war. Instead, he stayed behind, allowing his eyes and mind to wander and looking at the beautiful Bathsheba. He fixed his eyes and didn’t turn away. Acting against God’s will according to his own desires resulted in an unexpected sequence of events. His sinful thoughts and pattern of behavior led to a terrible outcome.

Hope is Found in Brokenness Before God
God searches the heart to find what is good in us. The good is what He has planted. It is a seed that yearns to have a true, authentic relationship with Him. You must have a broken spirit, as David eventually expressed: "I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt. You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me." (Psalm 51)

And Once You Have Confessed and Received His Restoration…
Focus on what is hopeful and favorable. “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8) True faith continues to take God at His word. “If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.” (2 Timothy 2:13)

This is the turning point of our conversion: repentance, total acceptance and submission to Him through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit living in us. In spite of this, it’s possible to wander in dissatisfaction, looking to fulfill our lives with worldly pleasures and worthless things. When we do this, we can quickly be distracted from God. Losing our perspective about what is important leaves us with emptiness. So the temporary pleasure ends with shame and self-destructive despair. It’s like falling on the sword of our own actions and desires.

The Path of Restoration for a Broken, Sinful Life
God is the answer for the broken hearted and sinful man. Addiction may have taken you to a place of desperation and even complete destruction of some things in your life. Remember that God is much bigger than any "hopeless" situation. Yet there has to be a complete turnaround. You must confess. Admit your sinful habits. Complete confession means confronting your ways from the moment they led you away from God all the way to the end. You need true, transparent, genuine repentance. God will forgive your sin if you confess. (1 John 1:7-10)

Pray this week:

Lord, keep me safe from the sinful ways of my heart. Fill my heart and mind with your thoughts and keep me in the path of righteousness. Create in me a pure heart and make my spirit right again. Amen

Your story could be complicated, like that of Zacchaeus. (Luke 19:1-10)

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