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Apple to improve AirTags security with Android app, audio tweaks

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I have written professionally about technology for my entire adult professional life – over 20 years. I like to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.

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Internal docs reveal project ‘Columbus’, Apple’s huge push to improve App Review

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.


New internal documents filed as part of the Epic Games vs Apple trial have revealed Apple made a huge push in 2015 to improve its app review process for the App Store dubbed project ‘Columbus’.

Apple’s Trystan Kosmynka was asked about Columbus during day five of the trial, describing it as a move to “heavily invest in App Review automation and efficiency.”

In a presentation from late 2015 seen by iMore, Apple spoke about to the need to automate app review, making the process more efficient. The presentation begins with a quote from Pinterest’s Mike Beltzner that states anything Apple could do to reduce review times “would be perhaps the single most impactful change to our ability to ship great apps.”

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Apple highlighted that at the time it was receiving more than 60,000 submissions a week from 155 different countries and 24 different app categories. Apple listed a staggering 910 different types of rejection reasons given for apps. Notes from the presentation state:

Here’s the problem, the volume is immense and continues to grow. The complexity is insane… 155 countries and 910 different types rejection reasons today. They are looked at manually everytime starting from scratch and by different people (inconsistent). And all of this results in an SLA longer than developers should expect and even worse creates a great deal of anxiety and ill will between Apple and developers.

The presentation notes that in 2015 Apple recognized there were a “ton of scam apps” in the App Store, as noted by reviews. The goal of Columbus was to tackle this, reducing the number of manual reviews and the perceived review time for developers whilst improving quality and consistency.

The presentation highlights some big impact areas such as the top ten reasons for rejection. For example, 14% of apps were rejected because more information was needed, the biggest single reason for rejection. Apps were also rejected for exhibiting bugs (10%), having poor interfaces, crashing, and more.

The notes reveal 60% of app review submissions were updates rather than new apps, and that 20% were the stock ‘bug fixes and performance’ updates that really…

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Improve your AppSec program with the Synopsys partner ecosystem

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.


Understand how the Synopsys partner ecosystem can help your organization address your software quality and application security challenges.

Synopsys partner ecosystem

To build secure, high-quality software in today’s challenging environment, organizations need world-class partnerships backed by industry-leading software quality and application security products and services.

Tom Herrmann, newly appointed vice president of channels and alliances at Synopsys, understands the value of global channel partner networks and what they can do for customers. He has spent the last 25 years working closely with partners, both large channel and alliances organizations and smaller organizations, to build partner businesses from the ground up. Today he oversees all partner program and go-to-market strategy and execution across all partner types for Synopsys.

We spoke with Tom to learn how the Synopsys channel partner ecosystem—which includes resellers, distributors, system integrators, consulting firms, cloud solution providers (CSPs), independent software vendors, and other technology partners—provides solutions to business problems. He also shares what differentiates the Synopsys partner ecosystem from other channel programs in today’s market.

What do you hear from the partner community that they are most focused on with their customers?

Companies face myriad business challenges today—everything from digital transformation, the cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data, to regulatory compliance, cyber security, data privacy, cost containment, customer experience, employee experience, and so on. Trying to solve these challenges is virtually impossible without the help of other companies that have expertise in these areas.

Like Synopsys, our partners work closely with customers and clients to help them address their most challenging business problems. They offer guidance on processes improvements, policies, security posture, and efficiency gains, as well as provide operational services and recommend technology solutions to help address these challenges.

How does Synopsys engage with its partners to help solve these challenges?

The Software Integrity Group at Synopsys has developed a…

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How Can You Improve Financial Services Cybersecurity?

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It’s common knowledge that threat actors target banks. Not only might these attackers want to directly steal money, by doing this they’re also hitting the customers and the trust in the bank. If a financial institution suffers a loss, even insurance can only go so far to minimize the actual cost to the organization. The cost gets shared and passed on to each stakeholder, and the business model becomes untenable. With the need for security and privacy becoming more apparent, it is up to you to think about how you can improve your financial services cybersecurity posture.

Of course, there are cybersecurity requirements for financial service companies and cyber laws related to banking to ensure the end consumer does not suffer the brunt of the cost when everything is said and done. But banking cybersecurity regulations are not enough. Why? Because even though data may be our most valuable currency today, money is still the next best currency. It’s tangible, it’s needed for trade and without it life comes to a crashing halt. You’ve heard it before and you are going to keep on hearing it: financial cybersecurity is all about risk management.

The Tough Questions for Financial Services Cybersecurity

When it comes to financial services cybersecurity, like any other security, you need to be honest with yourself. You can rely on outside help, but like any improvement, you need to begin and end from within. Before you begin any type of self-assessment, you need to ask yourself these three questions:

  • Are you really willing to change what you’ve been doing?

  • Can you think of a better strategy or idea than the status quo?

  • Can you execute on your chosen solution?

These three questions are core to how you will manage your cybersecurity challenges. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume you truthfully answer yes to all three questions. What are the next steps?

Here are five questions that can help guide you. The beauty of these questions is that they are not temporal, so even as financial services cybersecurity evolves, you can ask yourself these questions on a regular basis and they will still apply. They’re also useful questions…

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