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HPE0-S54 Designing HPE Server Solutions learner |

HPE0-S54 learner - Designing HPE Server Solutions Updated: 2024

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Exam Code: HPE0-S54 Designing HPE Server Solutions learner January 2024 by team

HPE0-S54 Designing HPE Server Solutions

Exam ID : HPE0-S54

Exam type : Proctored

Exam duration : 1 hour 30 minutes

Exam length : 60 questions

Passing score : 66%

Delivery languages : English, Japanese

Supporting resources : These recommended resources help you prepare for the exam:

Designing HPE Server Solutions, Rev. 18.11

The Minimally Qualified Candidate (MQC) for Server Architect at the Accredited System Engineer (ASE) level has advanced knowledge of HPE solutions and underlying technologies, which include CPU, memory, disk, power, networking, management subsystems, data center environments, and multi-site configurations. The typical MQC will have worked in the IT industry in an HPE server environment for at least 18 to 36 months.

Complete the training and review all course materials and documents before you take the exam.
Use HPE Press study guides and additional reference materials; study guides, practice tests, and HPE books.
Exam items are based on expected knowledge acquired from job experience, an expected level of industry standard knowledge, or other prerequisites (events, supplemental materials, etc.).
Successful completion of the course or study materials alone, does not ensure you will pass the exam.

55% Plan and Design Solutions

Based on the customers goal, determine the appropriate information to gather from the customer.

Given a scenario, determine an appropriate tool to size, specify, or build a solution.

Given a scenario, describe how to generate the customer proposal (for example, Bill of Materials, TCO Report, diagrams, Quote, third-party items, power and cooling statistics).

Given a scenario, identify potential design issues with the customers existing environment.

Determine under which circumstances an architect would propose specific industry standard server, storage, network architectures and technologies.

Given a customers long-term vs short-term needs, determine a solution with a possible upgrade path.

Given a scenario, describe the service offerings that meet the business and IT objectives.

Analyze customer information to determine the gap between the existing customer environment and the documented customer needs.

Compare and contrast available HA and DR solutions, match them with the customers business needs, and available budget.

Provide a rationale for a product line within a given solution.

Given a scenario, map the solution benefits to the original customer requirements and respond to customer objections raised by key stakeholders.

20% Install, Configure, and Set Up, Solutions

Evaluate the customer environment to determine POC suitability. (site specific/scenario based)

Analyze the success criteria and proposed POC solution to determine the gap between them.

Describe the steps for implementing the design.

Determine how the design achieves the customers technical requirements and highlight additional improvements identified during design implementation.

10% Troubleshoot Solutions

Given a customer problem, determine an appropriate resolution path.

Explain how to use the appropriate tools to identify a problem.

Describe the correlation between a remediation and its predicted outcome.

15% Manage, Monitor, and Maintain Solutions

Given a customer situation, identify the appropriate management tool to use.

Describe the steps for performing common management tasks.

Interpret collected data for lifecycle management operations.

Interpret collected data to optimize performance and availability.
Designing HPE Server Solutions
HP Designing learner

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Designing HPE Server Solutions
Question #98 Section 1
A customer needs a solution to run a read-intensive workload. You propose the following configuration:
✑ HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen10 server
✑ HPE Smart Array P408e-p SR
✑ 6 SFF SAS HDD drives
✑ 1 SSD drive
✑ RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.0 operating system
The customer needs to lower latency while minimizing investment in new SSD drives.
Which HPE Storage technology most effectively lowers latency of the HDD storage?
A. HPE 12Gb SAS Expander
B. HPE Secure Encryption
C. HPE SmartCache
D. HPE SSD Smart Path
Answer: C
Question #99 Section 1
A customer plans to use RESTful API to deploy their rack of DL380 Gen10 systems. How does use of this protocol support the customer? (Select two.)
A. support multiple scripting languages
B. Secure remote scripting
C. Ability to run scripts against multiple servers
D. Boot via SFTP
E. Boot via HTTP
Answer: AB
Incorrect Answer:
C: RESTFUL APIs cannot run scripts against multiple servers.
Question #100 Section 1
A customer is using a DL380 Gen10. They attempt to boot an installation media ISO with iLO Virtual Media, and the system fails to access the ISO. What are the most
likely causes of this issue? (Select two.)
A. HPSSA drives are configured for RAID 1 and not RAID 5
B. Legacy Boot is not enabled and the media is not UEFI compatible
C. Secure Boot has derived access to the ISO
D. The ISO operating system is not supported by HPE
E. UEFI is not configured for iSCSI initiator support
Answer: CD
Question #101 Section 1
A customer needs a new compute environment based on HPE Synergy with VMware vSphere 6.5. This needs to interact with the customer's exiting network consisting of
300 independent global sites. Each site has 15 unique VLANs. What network technologies would you recommend to meet the customer requirements?
A. NVGRE increasing the amount of separated Layer 2 segments
B. VxLAN as it allows flexibility and suitable for multitenant environment
C. RDMA as it increases host efficiency and virtualization performance
D. VLANs as it supports up to 4094 VLAN ids
Answer: B
Question #102 Section 1
A customer reports a recent SSD drive failure in an HPE D2220sb Storage Blade that hosts its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environment. The customer is concerned about
the remaining expected lifetime of the SSD drives in its array. Which tool includes the SmartSSD Wear Gauge report that identifies drives at risk of failure?
A. HPE Smart Storage Administrator
B. HPE OneView (Volumes screen)
C. Option ROM Configuration for Arrays
D. HPE SmartCache
Answer: A
Reference -
Question #103 Section 1
A customer wants to use iLO Federation to manage firmware deployments with HPE SUM. Which options are included? (Select two.)
A. Automatically discover iLO Federation groups on the same management network
B. Apply updates to all members of iLO Federation group with an iLO standard license
C. iLO federation is leveraging ICsp functionality to update firmware
D. Update all applicable firmware on HPE ProLiant servers through the iLO using offline deployment
E. Update the iLO firmware and system ROM offline through the iLO Federation group
Answer: BD
Question #104 Section 1
A customer is looking to add StoreVirtual VSA to their HPE Synergy environment. Which questions should you ask to ensure success?
A. Is there adequate rack space for expansion?
B. Which servers are currently being utilized?
C. Is fiber channel or iSCSI being utilized?
D. Which applications are running?
Answer: D
Question #105 Section 1
A customer needs to maximize Hyper-V Live Migration performance. What technology will meet the customer's requirement?
A. virtual extensible LAN(VXLAN)
B. Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
C. network virtualization using generic routing encapsulation (NVGRE)
D. RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE)
Answer: D
Question #106 Section 1
Your customer wants to add additional five HPE Synergy frames to an existing environment based on ten frames. The customer wants to know how to add new frames to
existing infrastructure. How should you explain the expansion process?
A. Add required licenses to the HPE Composer, and add them to the existing logical enclosure
B. Add additional HPE Composer to match a 3:1 frame-to ""Composer ratio
C. Discover new frames in HPE Composer, and add them to the existing logical enclosure
D. Add new frames to the existing management ring using Frame Link Modules
Answer: D
Question #107 Section 1
You are introducing Synergy to a new customer. Which tool can you use to demonstrate the physical components of the Synergy frame and how they connect?
A. HPE Product Bulletin
B. HPE Synergy Planning Tool
C. HPE Product Tour
D. HPE PartSurfer
Answer: B
(p.33, power supply configurations)
Question #108 Section 1
Which product provides an interface for customers to monitor device health, hardware events, and contract and warranty status?
A. Intelligent Provisioning
B. Insight Online
C. HPE OneView Global Dashboard
D. HPE OneView
Answer: B
Question #109 Section 1
A customer operates a High Performance Cluster (HPC) environment and wants to innovate and maximize GPU processing. Which solution should the customer use for
A. Apollo
B. ProLiant DL servers
C. Synergy
D. ProLiant c-Class
Answer: A
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HP Designing learner - BingNews Search results HP Designing learner - BingNews How to buy a gaming PC for the best performance and value No result found, try new keyword!Buying a gaming PC doesn't have to be complicated. Our guide on how to buy a gaming PC will walk you through what's most important. Wed, 03 Jan 2024 06:05:08 -0600 en-us text/html The best laptops you can buy in 2024

What's the best laptop to buy? I get this question all the time, and the answer is quite different now than it was a decade ago — even five years ago. It starts with this: There's no one laptop brand that's markedly better than another. I know, I know... I'll supply you a minute to absorb that.

This isn't as blasphemous as it sounds. The reality is, when it comes to getting your work done, it really doesn't matter if you choose Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung or another major brand. They all make really good portable PCs, so it's hard to make a bad choice. (Whew! Relief, right?)

Instead, focus on the aspects that matter most: size, design, performance and, of course, price. Below, you'll find my top laptop picks in various categories, followed by a deeper discussion of these attributes and why they're important.

Why I'm qualified to choose the best laptops

Hi, I'm Rick Broida. You might remember me from such print magazines as Computer Shopper and Home Office Computing. (If so, we're both older than we care to admit.) I've been writing about technology for most of my professional life, and during that time I've tested and reviewed more laptops than I can count. That's one reason I feel comfortable with my opening statement about laptop brands. Provided you get the specs you need and price you can afford, chances are good you'll come away happy.

How I created this list of the best laptops

These selections were made based on a number of criteria, including other professional reviews, user ratings, price-to-performance ratio and, where possible, personal experience. (I managed to get hands-on time with some of the models listed below, but not all of them.)

The best overall laptop for 2024


Processor: Intel Core i5 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Screen size: 14" | Screen resolution: 2,880 x 1,800 | Touchscreen: No | Weight: 3.1 pounds

Unless you have specialized needs — high-end gaming, for example, or heavy-duty video editing — what remains is to pick a laptop that's a good all-purpose machine, a utility player that can handle everyday computing tasks. The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is that machine.

For starters, it strikes a good balance between comfort and portability: The 14-inch screen is large enough to let you work without feeling cramped, while the 3.1-pound chassis is light enough for any carry-on.

The real standout here, however, is that screen: Even in the base configuration, HP serves up a beautiful high-resolution OLED panel. That's going to make everything look better, whether it's web pages or Netflix movies.

And speaking of resolution, the webcam captures up to 2,560 by 1,440 pixels, a major upgrade over the 720p or even 1080p webcams found in most laptops. You're going to look good on those Zoom calls.

The Pavilion's speakers aren't great, despite the B&O hardware behind them, but that's true of nearly all laptops. I'm more displeased with HP's ongoing use of small, weirdly arranged cursor arrow keys, which are a pain to use.

It's worth noting that there are multiple Pavilion Plus 14 configurations available, both at HP and elsewhere. Some models run on AMD processors rather than Intel, and HP will also custom-build one to your specifications. 

Whatever Pavilion Plus 14 you end up with, you're likely to find it a fast, flexible computing companion, both at home and on the road.

  • High-resolution OLED screen
  • 5-megapixel webcam
  • Fast-charge battery
  • Backlit keyboard
  • So-so built-in speakers
  • Half-size cursor arrow keys
$680 at HP

The best budget laptop for 2024


Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Screen size: 15.6" | Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Touchscreen: No | Weight: 3.8 pounds

What kind of laptop can you expect for under $500? In the case of Acer's Aspire 3, a pretty solid one. This machine should handle most mainstream computing tasks with no trouble, though there's one spec shortcoming you should note.

And it's this: Although the Aspire's Ryzen 5 processor has plenty of juice to power modern applications, and even some games, it comes with just 8GB of RAM. That's fine if you keep only, say, 10 browser tabs open at once, but anything more will start to tax the system. Same goes for running more than a few programs at once.

This wouldn't be a big deal if you could expand the RAM, but it's soldered to the motherboard and there's no slot for adding more. Acer also failed to provide a memory-card slot. Although you can easily plug an adapter into a USB port, the Aspire has only three of them — and only one is USB-C.

The good news is there's plenty to like about the Aspire 3, from the bright Full HD screen to the very good battery life. And let's remember that with a price tag below $500, a few hardware compromises are to be expected. If you're looking for a solid laptop to handle the basics, the Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P is definitely worth a look.

  • Priced below $500
  • Good battery life
  • Full HD screen
  • Current-gen Wi-Fi 6 onboard
  • No memory card slot
  • No room for additional RAM
  • A little on the heavy and chunky side
  • Non-backlit keyboard with reduced numeric keypad
$449 at Amazon

The other best laptops for 2024


Processor: Intel Core i7 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Screen size: 15.6" | Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 | Touchscreen: No | Weight: 5.1 pounds

The whole idea of a desktop replacement is a little old-fashioned now, as laptops have largely supplanted desktops as the preferred PC choice. Indeed, this is more likely to be end up replacing a previous laptop rather than a desktop.

That said, it definitely has the latter's bona fides, including lots of horsepower and one of the largest screens you can get. Whether for work or play, the XPS 17 wants for nothing.

Although the baseline configuration is extremely good, Dell lets you configure nearly every component of the system. If the Core i7 isn't fast enough for you, there's a Core i9 available. Need more RAM or storage? Easy. The default discrete graphics subsystem is great for games, but serious players have three upgrade options available. And you can even opt for a touchscreen if you want it.

One thing you can't change, alas, is the 720p webcam. It's decent, but a system with this kind of horsepower (and price tag) feels like it should have a higher-resolution camera. (HP's Pavilion Plus 14 has one, and it's less than half the cost.) I also wish the XPS 17 had at least one Type-A USB port for legacy devices; the four that are included are all USB-C (though Dell does provide a USB-C-to-USB-A adapter).

Those nitpicks aside, this is one seriously well-equipped machine. You'll pay for it, but chances are good you wouldn't need to upgrade again for a long, long time.

  • Very powerful even in the base configuration
  • Lots of upgrade options available at purchase
  • Discrete graphics subsystem
  • Very expensive
  • Low-resolution webcam
  • No Type-A USB ports
$2,199 at Dell


Processor: Intel Core i7 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Screen size: 17.3" | Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Touchscreen: No | Weight: 6.4 pounds

Gamers have very different needs than work-from-homers: Big screen, lots of storage and processing power and so on. The MSI Raider GE77HX ticks all the important boxes, starting with the raw speed needed to keep games running smoothly at the highest resolutions. To that end it packs a 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB solid-state drive and Nvidia's RTX 3080 TI GPU. And because bigger is always better when it comes to gaming, the screen spans a massive 17.3 inches.

That screen tops out at 1080p resolution, which seems a bit low given the rest of the specs, but you could always plug in an external 4K monitor; the processor and graphics subsystem can handle the extra pixels, no problem. The latter comes with a whopping 16GB of dedicated video RAM, on par with what you'd find on modern desktop video cards. And the 360Hz screen refresh rate rivals any gaming-minded monitor; standard ones top out at just 60Hz.

Unsurprisingly, this is a big, heavy machine (6.4 pounds), one designed not for backpacks but for basements and game rooms. Thankfully, it's also designed for pizazz: A color-changing LED light bar spans the entire front edge, and the keyboard backlights to match (though you can also customize it on a per-key basis, which is pretty cool).

Finally, the Raider serves up ample expansion ports along the sides and rear edge: Five USB, one HDMI, one mini Displayport and an Ethernet jack. It's the rare gamer who'd need anything more.

Although I didn't get the chance to test the Raider, it earned top marks from customers and reviewers alike. One item worth noting: Several customers indicated that the system runs hot and produces a fair amount of fan noise (both fairly common in gaming laptops).

This thing ain't cheap, but for anyone serious about gaming — either at home or on the go — it's worth the investment.

  • Packed with power
  • Nifty colored-LED accents
  • Plenty of expansion options
  • Very expensive
  • Fans can get noisy
  • Screen resolution a bit low
$1,870 at Amazon


Processor: Apple M2 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Screen size: 13.3" | Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Touchscreen: No | Weight: 3 pounds

If you're concerned about the materials used to make your laptop — both what they are and where they came from — look to Apple's MacBook lineup. The company has made impressive commitments to energy efficiency, recycled materials and overall environmental friendliness.

For example, all MacBooks are free of mercury, arsenic, brominated flame retardants and PVC plastic. And Apple itself has pledged to be a 100% clean-energy company by 2030. Needless to say, choosing a MacBook helps support that mission.

Of course, there are other reasons: MacBooks are widely regarded as some of the best laptops you can buy, notable for their rock-solid construction, virus-resistant operating system and unrivaled customer support. The 2022 Pro models feature blazing-fast processors, backlit keyboards, amazing battery life (up to 20 hours, according to Apple) and Apple's dazzling Retina displays.

If you're coming from the Windows world, however, be prepared to battle a small- to medium-size learning curve, as Mac OS definitely works a little differently. You should also brace for the "Apple Tax," as the MacBook Pro lineup (normally) starts at $1,299 and rises sharply from there.

  • Made from eco-friendly materials
  • Fantastic screen
  • Top-of-class battery life
  • Works seamlessly with iPhones and iPads
  • Expensive
  • Not much RAM or storage in this configuration
$1,270 at Amazon


Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Screen size: 13.3" | Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Touchscreen: Yes | Weight: 2.2 pounds

A Chromebook is simply a laptop that runs Google's Android-like Chrome operating system instead of Windows. Is that the right choice for you? Lenovo's IdeaPad Duet 5 certainly makes a strong case. It's one of the most versatile, affordable laptops on this list.

For starters, the Duet 5 features a 13.3-inch FHD OLED touchscreen — plenty big and bright for working in comfort, and accompanied by a full-size keyboard. (Beware smaller Chromebooks, which are likely to have cramped keys.) But here's the kicker: That keyboard is detachable, meaning the Duet — true to it name — is also a tablet. A big one. One that can run Android apps, just like phones.

Indeed, this isn't a mere parlor trick; the screen effectively becomes a full-fledged Android tablet, one equipped with front and rear cameras, four speakers, two microphones and a battery that's good for up to 15 hours (according to Lenovo). It also has a built-in kickstand, so you can easily prop it up for movies, video calls and so on. Feeling creative? The screen supports stylus input as well, though you'll have to buy that separately. (Here's a rechargeable, pressure-sensitive Chromebook pen for $30.)

The Duet 5 is available in a few different configurations; this one includes 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage — quite a lot for a Chromebook. And unlike most 2-in-1 laptops, this is actually on the lighter side at 2.2 pounds.

Given its shared DNA with modern smartphones, the Duet 5 does carry a few similar limitations. For example, it lacks a headphone jack. It has Bluetooth, of course, but if you prefer to plug in your favorite wired 'phones, you're out of luck. It also lacks an SD or microSD memory-card slot, though it does have a pair of USB-C ports for use with external drives and such.

If you're in the market for a Chromebook rather than a Windows laptop or MacBook, the IdeaPad Duet 5 is definitely one to consider.

  • Full-featured laptop that can transform into a full-featured tablet
  • Dazzling touchscreen display
  • Ample RAM and storage (for a Chromebook)
  • Weighs just over 2 pounds
  • No headphone jack
  • No memory-card slot
$396 at Amazon

What features are important when choosing a laptop?

I'll say it again: Brand is arguably the least important part of the equation. The best laptop isn't the one made by XYZ Company; it's the one that ticks the boxes that matter to you. Here are the three main things to consider when choosing a laptop.

How to decide what size to get

Size matters! Pick a laptop that'll best suit where, and how, you like to work (or play).

Where is this laptop going to spend most of its time? On a desk? In your lap? No matter where you work, a bigger screen is always better — but the bigger you go, the heavier and bulkier your travel companion. If commuting or working offsite is part of your regular routine, choose a laptop that has a 13- or 14-inch screen and travel weight of under three pounds. If you're mostly working at your desk, however, it's worth considering a larger model; things like weight and battery life aren't nearly as important.

When you take that step up in size, you may also step up to a keyboard that includes a dedicated numeric keypad — useful if your work involves numbers (think: spreadsheets, financial docs, etc.).

How to decide on a laptop design

Except for a few niche cases, there's just not a ton of value in a laptop that can do this -- especially one that runs Windows. A 360-degree hinge usually results in a thicker, heavier machine, too. (Photo: Lenovo)

As you shop for laptops, you'll notice that some models (often referred to as 2-in-1s) boast a 360-degree hinge, meaning the screen can swivel around to accommodate other configurations — including a full-on tablet mode, which sounds great on paper but doesn't have as many practical applications as you might think.

Why? For starters, although Windows does have an app store, it offers only a fraction of the apps available for your Android tablet or iPad. But the real issue is size: A 10-inch tablet is light and comfortable enough to hold in one hand for long stretches of time, but a 13-inch that's hitched to a keyboard? Trust me: You won't like using it as a tablet.

I do like the option of using "tent mode" for watching videos. But even that's kind of superfluous; you can watch just as easily in the standard laptop configuration — and that makes it infinitely easier to type your Netflix search words, too.

My only real recommendation here is to decide whether a touchscreen is important. If you're accustomed to using a mouse anyway, it may not be. The touch capability can be nice at times, but it adds bulk, weight and cost to the machine. And you'll have to clean the screen more often owing to the fingerprints you'll leave behind.

Speaking of fingers, a backlit keyboard is a nice extra if you prefer (or are stuck with) a dimly lit workspace. And look for at least one USB-C expansion port, which will make it easier to work with newer peripherals and accessories.

How important is laptop performance?

In the old days, processor speed was arguably the single biggest consideration for any PC purchase. Now, they're all pretty fast, even at the lower end. When you consider that most modern computing takes place in a web browser, with occasional dips into apps like Word and Zoom, you don't need to worry too much about processor speed. An Intel Core i3 or i5 (or AMD's Ryzen equivalent) is more than sufficient for everyday tasks; choose a Core i7 only if your computing plans include gaming, massive spreadsheets and/or video editing.

Beyond that, take note of RAM — look for 8GB minimum, 16GB if your budget allows — and make absolutely sure the system has a solid-state drive (SSD), not a mechanical drive (HDD). The former makes a huge difference in terms of boot speed and overall performance. And the more RAM you have, the more apps and browser tabs you can keep open simultaneously without a performance hit.

I mentioned gaming; anyone serious about that hobby should look for a dedicated (aka discrete) graphics subsystem, or GPU. Check the specs for mention of Nvidia, the brand behind most of the dedicated GPUs found in modern laptops. If it's listed, the machine is well-suited to games.

Should you buy a mini-PC instead?

Once upon a time, you bought a laptop only when you needed to work on the go. Now it's the default pick, even with so many of us still working from home. But is it the best option? Would a desktop setup make more sense?

I'm not talking about one of those hulking tower-PC systems of yesteryear, which are now almost exclusively the domain of hardcore gamers, but rather a mini PC. Small enough to hold in your hand, these little machines pack ample horsepower for everyday computing.

Here's why I like them: My laptop is currently connected to a big-screen monitor and full-size keyboard, meaning it's the brains of my comfortable, largely permanent workstation. Honestly it just takes up space on my desk — and kind of adds to the clutter. A mini PC would be barely visible, especially if I mount it on the back of my monitor (which is an option with most models).

For example, the excellent Geekom IT8 starts at around $380 (sometimes less when there's a sale) and offers just as much computing horsepower as most mainstream laptops. It comes with Windows 11 and offers plenty of expandability, both inside and out.

Bottom line: If your workstation plans include a big monitor and keyboard, consider a mini-PC instead of a laptop. You might save money; you'll definitely cut down on a desktop clutter.

Wed, 03 Jan 2024 07:47:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Kick off the new year with the HP Victus 16 laptop

HP is dropping the perfect partner to make your new year even more unforgettable. Whether you’re treating yourself or surprising a loved one, the HP Victus 16 just might be the all-around laptop that you’re looking for.

The Victus 16 laptop comes out swinging as a reliable and versatile companion, as it offers a wealth of features designed to enrich one’s learning, productivity, and gaming journey. Fully Windows 11-ready with access to all the latest OS features, it’s definitely a compelling choice for your day-to-day. As for those keeping track of all the latest titles, the OMEN Gaming Hub adds a touch of versatility to enhance your gaming experience. What’s more is, in line with HP’s commitment to sustainability, the Victus laptop also incorporates eco-friendly materials, including ocean-bound and post-consumer recycled plastics in its design.

As far as specs go, it’s packing an NVIDIA® GeForce RTXTM 3050 discrete GPU with 4 GB of GDDR6 dedicated memory for enhanced graphics performance. It also comes with 16 GB DDR5-4800 MHz RAM and a speedy 512 GB PCIe® NVMeTM SSD for fast and efficient multitasking and storage. For chipsets, this laptop is equipped with up to an AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800H processor and NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ graphics, providing high-performance capabilities for gaming, content creation, and multitasking.

Of course, we can’t forget its 16-inch QHD (Quad High Definition) display boasting a high refresh rate of up to 165Hz, delivering crisp visuals and smooth gameplay experiences

With MediaTek Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth® 5.3, you’re ensured reliable wireless connectivity for virtual classes and seamless connections with your peers. HP Fast Charge technology juices up your laptop from 0 to 50% battery life in just 30 minutes, keeping you productive round the clock.

Let the HP Victus 16 be your partner in memorable moments both in productivity and gaming this 2024.  To learn more about the Victus by HP Laptop, and other HP products, check out the HP’s official store.

Wed, 03 Jan 2024 15:09:00 -0600 By Carlos Franco en-US text/html
Could volunteering be your new year's resolution?

Leaders from Paris Baguette, AmCham, KPMG, and HP share their approach to facilitate volunteerism in their employees, hoping to spark the habit into their workforce.

With the new year comes new resolutions. Most would say their “new year, new me” would consist of a healthier diet, or clocking in some time in the gym. However, have you ever considered volunteerism as a hobby that you can inherit over the course of the year?

To inspire, HRO has put together this special feature on how leaders from Paris Baguette, AmCham, KPMG, and HP — partners of the SG Cares Giving Week which took place in December 2023 — are encouraging this as a culture among their employees.

Case study: Paris Baguette
Interviewee: Clara Tan, Human Resources & Training General Manager

pb x fei yue csr event footprint 1

Q. How are you and your team actively encouraging and facilitating volunteerism among your workforce, and what initiatives are in place to make it an integral part of the company culture?

At Paris Baguette, we strive to be the quintessential bakery-cafe brand with a heart for the community. This echoes through our internal company culture as well; and within Paris Baguette Singapore, we place concerted effort on our commitment towards community engagement and philanthropy.

The marketing department takes the lead in orchestrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in partnership with external entities, providing both in-kind and financial sponsorships. Our human resources department, in conjunction with a dedicated community leader (also serving as the general manager of design and facilities), actively promotes and supports employee volunteering. These quarterly CSR activities are thoughtfully organised, allowing employees to contribute during official work hours.

In 2023, we successfully executed several CSR programmes such as:

  1. Collaborating with The Plastic Project, we undertook a coastal clean-up initiative. Beyond environmental contributions, this programme facilitated comprehensive learning about mangrove and beach ecosystems, recyclable plastics, and their societal and environmental impact.
  2. Our collaboration with the Fei Yue Active Ageing Centre involved visits to their Hougang Dewcourt and Buangkok Green locations. Bringing the Paris Baguette café experience to the seniors, we planned and incorporated elements such as a food table set-up with Paris Baguette pastries and delights, hosted interactive games including a Singapore-inspired bingo game, and the distribution of curated goodie bags.
  3. Most recently in November, we distributed 200 care packages from Paris Baguette to Fei Yue Active Ageing Centre, bringing a dose of joy and happiness to the elderly.

These initiatives extend beyond team building; they empower our workforce to witness the tangible impact of collective efforts.

Providing compensated time for volunteer activities not only aligns with our commitment to corporate social responsibility but also contributes to fostering a corporate culture marked by empathy and an understanding of the significance of community engagement, all while maintaining a trajectory of business growth and an overarching endeavour to be a brand with heart.

Q. What is the leadership’s role in driving volunteerism within the organisation? How do company leaders inspire and support employees in contributing initiatives?

We believe that leadership serves as a pivotal force in fostering a culture of volunteerism within our organisation. At Paris Baguette, our leaders not only espouse this philosophy but also lead by example. They actively participate in CSR activities and champion diversity and teamwork, serving as inspirational figures who support employees by allocating essential resources and providing recognition to employees who actively extend their time for volunteering activities.

Case study: AmCham Singapore
Interviewee: Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

amcham corporate community day 2022 with ne cdc cooking demo

Q. How is AmCham promoting volunteerism among its member companies, and what strategies are in place to ensure active involvement and enthusiasm from employees?

As one of the most active business chambers in Southeast Asia, AmCham encourages, promotes, and highlights ways in which the American business community in Singapore can contribute to a more caring and inclusive environment for all.

Initiatives such as the AmCham CARES Recognition Programme, Corporate Community Day, the AmCham-SMU Scholarship Fund, and SMU Global Innovation Immersion Award help to Boost the lives of Singaporeans.

AmCham member companies Osler Health International and Procter & Gamble (P&G) were 'high distinction' recipients at the 2023 AmCham CARES Recognition Ceremony, recognised for their excellent CSR programmes that create long-term economic and social value for Singapore. Osler Health International’s 'giving back' programme aims to offer all women the same healthcare protection, providing free cervical cancer tests to foreign domestic workers employed by Osler patients.

P&G’s extensive CSR programme uses an employee ground-up approach to impact the community through supporting Singaporeans, equality & inclusion, and sustainability. Their community impact initiatives range from hygiene education to supporting the reintegration of ex-offenders and at-risk teenage girls.

AmCham also partners closely with the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), Community Development Councils, and other charities in our Local Charity Partners Programme because we are committed to Singapore’s success.

Q. One initiative in place is the showcase of artworks by Shaping Hearts PwDs. How does the leadership actively support and champion these initiatives? Additionally, how does this involvement contribute to a sense of purpose and engagement among AmCham’s own workforce?

AmCham supports the government’s vision for Singapore to be a caring and inclusive society.

Working closely with North East Community Development Council (NECDC) on evolving resident needs and enhancing social capital, AmCham decided to focus our support this year on the Shaping Hearts inclusive arts festival that celebrates the artistic talents of the special needs community. The cause is aligned to the Chamber’s focus on talent development, a key pillar area identified in our 2022 – 2024 strategic plan. AmCham employees came together to review the artwork before enthusiastically exchanging ideas and selecting our favourites that best reflect the Chamber’s appreciation of Singapore.

AmCham will continue to work closely with our community partners to sustain social mobility and build an inclusive society.

Case study: KPMG Singapore
Interviewee: Janice Foo, Head of People

janice foo kpmg

Q. In December, KPMG organised a charity bazaar involving charities and social enterprises. How are you encouraging employees to actively participate in such events and contribute to the community, and what impact has this had on the company's overall culture?

The organisation of the charity bazaar represents a mere facet of KPMG in Singapore's sustained commitment towards societal impact, an ethos deeply ingrained in our corporate DNA for decades. The charity bazaar, part of our Giving Week initiative, serves as a strategic platform to advance our long-standing mission of uplifting communities through purpose-driven work.

Our emphasis on active participation is not confined to isolated events but is woven into the fabric of daily operations at KPMG.

For Giving Week, we have instituted flexible giving mechanisms, allowing employees to contribute in ways that resonate with them - be it through volunteering, fundraising, or donation-in-kind. Our distinct 'Give Time' initiative further empowers employees by providing up to 40 hours of paid leave annually to participate in community projects. In 2022 alone, this resulted in an impressive tally of up to 1,800 volunteer hours.

However, it is essential to note that while these events provide a tangible measure of our efforts, they are not the sole drivers of our societal impact. The true catalyst lies in the collective action of our people whose consistent dedication to community service has led to a significant cultural shift within the firm.

Honoured as a Champion of Good by Singapore’s National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre for the second consecutive year in 2022, KPMG in Singapore's commitment to fostering a caring, inclusive and purpose-driven culture is more than just a statement; it is a testament to our unwavering dedication to making a positive difference.

Q. Could you share about the leadership team's commitment to volunteerism at KPMG? How do leaders champion these efforts, and what strategies are in place to ensure sustained employee engagement in charitable activities?

At KPMG in Singapore, our leadership team is deeply committed to driving societal impact, an endeavour that is seamlessly interwoven with our business transformation efforts. Our leaders don't merely create opportunities for impactful work; they actively participate, setting a compelling example of responsibility towards society. This commitment extends beyond serving clients to fostering an environment where our people can make a significant difference to the communities we serve.

Our leadership's dedication to volunteerism is exemplified through the Make A Difference Everyday (MADE) programme. This initiative empowers employees to lead their own charitable endeavours, promoting a sense of ownership and responsibility while fostering an enduring culture of community service within the firm. To support these efforts, KPMG provides funding of up to S$10,000 for meaningful causes championed by our people.

In 2022 alone, more than 130 employees devoted 432 hours to five distinct projects, ranging from providing digital upskilling support for the elderly to cleaning homes and packing food packages for various Singapore communities.

These initiatives not only contribute to societal upliftment but also offer our employees an invaluable opportunity to apply their business acumen in real-world contexts while leading projects end-to-end.

Our strategy for sustained employee engagement extends beyond individual projects. It lies in fostering a collective spirit and community within the firm, driven by consistent leadership attention and support. By creating an environment where every team member feels empowered to contribute, we aim to ensure that our commitment to societal impact and business transformation is not just a temporary endeavour, but a long-term, firm-wide ethos.

Case study: HP Singapore
Fiona Lee, Managing Director

fiona lee hp

Q. HP has an internal fundraiser programme involving employees. How are such programmes helping foster a sense of volunteerism in the workforce, and how do they also align with HP’s values and mission?

HP believes in creating a more equitable and sustainable future for our communities and to create lasting, positive change for our planet, our people and the communities where we live, work and do business. By organising volunteering events all year round for our employees, we are able to raise more awareness on pressing courses impacting our communities such as diversity, equality, and inclusivity.

Through activities such as this, we are also able to provide our employees with more opportunity to supply back to society and for them to be involved in community programmes.

Q. What is the role of HP’s leadership in driving employee participation in charity shows and volunteer activities? How does leadership inspire and guide employees to make a meaningful impact?

People is at the heart of all that we do. As leaders, we try to provide platforms for employees to be enabled and empowered while being accountable, whether it’s for work or for social impact activities. We also encourage leaders to lead by example and work alongside employees in volunteer work.

Giving back to the community is also an important way of nurturing and developing our employees, and one of the key components in creating an ecosystem for giving.

READ MORE: Igniting a passion for volunteerism: Youth inspiring youth

Lead photo / 123RF
Interviewees' photos & activities' photos / Provided by Paris Baguette, AmCham, KPMG, and HP

Mon, 01 Jan 2024 13:51:00 -0600 en text/html
Biggest AI trends of 2024: According to top security experts

Generative artificial intelligence headlines dominated 2023 and looks to do the same in 2024. Predictions from thought leaders at CrowdStrike, Intel 471, LastPass and Zscaler forecast how the technology will be used, abused and leveraged in surprising ways in the year ahead.

Curated perspectives assembled here go beyond the potential and perils of AI in 2024 and include how the technology will impact workforces, attack surfaces and create new data insecurities as companies struggle to manage new large language model (LLM) data pools.

As the boom of AI continues, the cybersecurity stakes are raised into the new year with a U.S. presidential election in November, a continued skills gap for the cybersecurity sector to contend with and the rise of ransomware threats - once again - worrying infosec pros.

2024 will bring a serious cyberattack or data breach related to AI

Mike Lieberman, Kusari CTO and cofounder, Kusari:

The rush to capitalize on the productivity benefits of AI has led to teams cutting corners on security. We’re seeing an inverse correlation between an open source AI/ML project’s popularity and its security posture. On the other end, AI will help organizations readily address cybersecurity by being able to detect and highlight common bad security patterns in code and configuration. Over the next few years, we will see AI improving to help provide guidance in more complex scenarios. However, AI/ML must be a signal – not a decision maker.

AI is a wild card

Michael DeBolt, chief intelligence officer, Intel 471:

Michael DeBolt

While there doesn’t appear to be a killer AI application for cybercriminals thus far, its power could be helpful for some of the mundane backend work that cybercriminals perform.

The advent of cybercrime-as-a-service, which is the term for the collective goods and services that threat actors supply to each other, is marked by an emphasis on specialization, scale and efficiency. For example, using LLMs to sort through masses of stolen data to figure out the most important data to mention when extorting a company. Or employing a chatbot to engage in preliminary ransom negotiations.

Another hypothetical innovation could be an AI tool that calculates the maximum ransom an organization will pay based on the data that is stolen. We reported a few examples of actors implementing AI in their offers during the second quarter of 2023, which included an initial access broker (IAB) offering free translation services using AI. In May 2023, we reported a threat actor offering a tool that allegedly could bypass ChatGPT’s restrictions.

AI and ML tools are capable of enabling impersonation via video and audio, which pose threats to identity and access management. Videos rendered using AI are fairly detectable now, but synthesized voice cloning is very much a threat to organizations that use voice biometrics as part of authentication flows. We still assess that AI cannot be fully relied upon for more intricate cybercrime, and doing so in its current form will likely render flawed results. But this area is moving so swiftly it's difficult to see what is on the horizon.

The proliferation of open-source LLMs and services — some of which are being built with the intention of not having safety guardrails to prevent malicious use — means this area remains very much a wild card.

AI blind spots open the door to new corporate risks

Elia Zaitsev, CTO, CrowdStrike:

Elia Zaitsev

In 2024, CrowdStrike expects that threat actors will shift their attention to AI systems as the newest threat vector to target organizations, through vulnerabilities in sanctioned AI deployments and blind spots from employees’ unsanctioned use of AI tools.

After a year of explosive growth in AI use cases and adoption, security teams are still in the early stages of understanding the threat models around their AI deployments and tracking unsanctioned AI tools that have been introduced to their environments by employees. These blind spots and new technologies open the door to threat actors eager to infiltrate corporate networks or access sensitive data.

Critically, as employees use AI tools without oversight from their security team, companies will be forced to grapple with new data protection risks. Corporate data that is inputted into AI tools isn’t just at risk of threat actors targeting vulnerabilities in these tools to extract data, the data is also at risk of being leaked or shared with unauthorized parties as part of the system’s training protocol.

2024 will be the year when organizations will need to look internally to understand where AI has already been introduced into their organizations (through official and unofficial channels), assess their risk posture, and be strategic in creating guidelines to ensure secure and auditable usage that minimizes company risk and spend but maximizes value. 

GenAI will level-up the role of security analysts

Chris Meenan, vice president product management, IBM Security:

Chris Meenan

Companies have been using AI/ML to Boost the efficacy of security technologies for years, but the introduction of generative AI will be aimed squarely at maximizing the human element of security. In this coming year, GenAI will begin to take on certain tedious, administrative tasks on behalf of security teams — but beyond this, it will also enable less experienced team members to take on more challenging, higher level tasks. For example, we'll see GAI being used to to translate technical content, such as machine generated log data or analysis output, into simplified language that is more understandable and actionable for novice users. By embedding this type of GAI into existing workflows, it will not only free up security analysts time in their current roles, but enable them to take on more challenging work — alleviating some of the pressure that has been created by current security workforce and skills challenges.

Increase in sophisticated, personalized phishing and malware attacks

Ihab Shraim, CTO, CSC Digital Brand Services:

Phishing and malware continue to be the most used cyber threat vectors to launch attacks for fraud and data theft, especially when major events occur, and frenzied reactions are abound. In 2024, with the new rise of generative AI usage such as FraudGPT, cybercriminals will have a huge advantage launching phishing campaigns with speed combined with sophistication. ChatGPT will allow bad actors to craft phishing emails that are personalized, targeted, and free of spelling and grammatical errors which will make such emails harder to detect. Moreover, dark web AI tools will be easily available to allow for more complex, socially engineered deepfake attacks that manipulate the emotions and trust of targets at even faster rates. 

Beyond phishing, the rise of LLMs will make the endpoint a prime target for cybercriminals in 2024

Dr. Ian Pratt, global head of security for personal systems at HP Inc.:

One of the big trends we expect to see in 2024 is a surge in use of generative AI to make phishing lures much harder to detect, leading to more endpoint compromise. Attackers will be able to automate the drafting of emails in minority languages, scrape information from public sites such as LinkedIn to pull information on targets, and create highly personalized social engineering attacks en masse. Once threat actors have access to an email account, they will be able to automatically scan threads for important contacts and conversations, and even attachments, sending back updated versions of documents with malware implanted, making it almost impossible for users to identify malicious actors. Personalizing attacks used to require humans, so having the capability to automate such tactics is a real challenge for security teams. Beyond this, continued use of ML-driven fuzzing, where threat actors can probe systems to discover new vulnerabilities. We may also see ML-driven exploit creation emerge, which could reduce the cost of creating zero-day exploits, leading their greater use in the wild. 

Simultaneously, we will see a rise in "AI PCs," which will revolutionize how people interact with their endpoint devices. With advanced compute power, AI PCs will enable the use of “local Large Language Models (LLMs)” — smaller LLMs running on-device, enabling users to leverage AI capabilities independently from the internet. These local LLMs are designed to better understand the individual user’s world, acting as personalized assistants. But as devices gather vast amounts of sensitive user data, endpoints will be a higher risk target for threat actors.  

As many organizations rush to use LLMs for their chatbots to boost convenience, they open themselves up to users abusing chatbots to access data they previously wouldn’t have been able to. Threat actors will be able to socially engineer corporate LLMs with targeted prompts to trick them into overriding its controls and giving up sensitive information — leading to data breaches.

The menace – and promise – of AI

Alex Cox, director of LastPass’ threat intelligence, mitigation and escalation team:

AI is trending everywhere. We’ll continue to see that in 2024 and beyond. The capabilities unlocked by AI, from GenAI to deepfakes, will completely shift the threat environment.

Take phishing as an example. An obvious “tell” of a phishing email is imperfect grammar. Anti-phishing technologies are built with these errors in mind and are trained to find them. However, generative AI like ChatGPT has significantly fewer shortcomings when it comes to language — and, as malicious actors take advantage of these tools, we’re already beginning to see the sophistication of these attacks increase.

AI’s big data capabilities will also be a boon to bad actors. Attackers are excellent at stealing troves of information — emails, passwords, etc. — but traditionally they’ve had to sift through it to find the treasure. With AI, they’ll be able to pull a needle from a haystack instantaneously, identifying and weaponizing valuable information faster than ever.

Thankfully, security vendors are already building AI into their tools. AI will help the good guys sift through big data, detect phishing attempts, provide real-time security suggestions during software development and more.

Security professionals should help their leadership understand the AI landscape and its potential impacts on their organization. They should update employee education, like anti-phishing training and communicate with vendors about how they are securing against these new capabilities.

There will be a transition to AI-generated tailored malware and full-scale automation of cyberattacks

Adi Dubin, vice president of product management, Skybox Security:

Cybersecurity teams face a significant threat from the rapid automation of malware creation and execution using generative AI and other advanced tools. In 2023, AI systems capable of generating highly customized malware emerged, giving threat actors a new and powerful weapon. In the coming year, the focus will shift from merely generating tailored malware to automating the entire attack process. This will make it much easier for even unskilled threat actors to launch successful attacks. 

Securing AI tools to challenge teams

Dr. Chaz Lever, senior director, security research, Devo

It’s been a year since ChatGPT hit the scene, and since its debut, we’ve seen a massive proliferation in AI tools. To say it’s shaken up how organizations approach work would be an understatement. However, as organizations rush to adopt AI, many lack a fundamental understanding of how to implement the right security controls for it.

In 2024, security teams biggest challenge will be properly securing the AI tools and technologies their organizations have already onboarded. We’ve already seen attacks against GenAI models such as model inversion, data poisoning, and prompt injection; and as the industry adopts more AI tools, AI attack surfaces across these novel applications will expand. This will pose a couple challenges: refining the ways AI is used to help Boost efficiency and threat detection while grappling with the new vulnerabilities these tools introduce. Add in the fact that bad actors are also using these tools to help automate development and execution of new threats, and you’ve created an environment ripe for new security incidents.

Just like any new technology, companies will need to balance security, convenience, and innovation as they adopt AI and ensure they understand the potential repercussions of it.

From threat prevention to prediction, cybersecurity nears a historic milestone

Sridhar Muppidi, CTO, IBM Security

As AI crosses a new threshold, security predictions at scale are becoming more tangible. Although early security use cases of generative AI focus on the front end, improving security analysts’ productivity, I don’t think we’re far from seeing generative AI deliver a transformative impact on the back end to completely reimagine threat detection and response into threat prediction and protection. The technology is there, and the innovations have matured. The cybersecurity industry will soon reach a historic milestone, achieving prediction at scale.

The democratization of AI tools will lead to a rise in more advanced attacks against firmware and even hardware

Boris Balacheff, chief technologist for system security research and innovation at HP Inc.:

In 2024, powerful AI will be in the hands of the many, making sophisticated capabilities more accessible at scale to malicious actors. This will not only accelerate attacks in OS and application software, but also across more complex layers of the technology stack like firmware and hardware. Previously, would-be threat actors needed to develop or hire very specialist skills to develop such exploits and code, but the growing use of Generative AI has started to remove many of these barriers. This democratization of advanced cyber techniques will lead to an increase in the proliferation of more advanced, more stealthy, or more destructive attacks. We should expect more cyber events like moonbounce and cosmic strand, as attackers are able find or exploit vulnerabilities to get a foothold below a device Operating System. recent security research even shows how AI will enable malicious exploit generation to create trojans all the way into hardware designs, promising increased pressure in the hardware supply chain.  

The political climate will continue to be in unchartered waters with disinformation, deep fakes and the advancement of AI

Ed Williams, regional VP of pen testing, EMEA at Trustwave:

In the U.S. election, databases were leaked in the past, and one can only assume that an attempt or possible success of a cyberattack will happen again.

AI has the ability to spread disinformation via deep fakes and in 2024 this will only continue to explode. Similarly, deep fakes and other misinformation are already prevalent today. This shows that many people do not check for authenticity, and what they see on their phones and social media becomes their idea of the truth, which only amplifies the impact. There is discourse on both sides of the aisle, particularly ahead of party elections. This alone will create an environment susceptible to spreading misinformation and encourage nation-states to interfere where they can.

Enhanced phishing tools will Boost social engineering success rates

Nick Stallone, senior director, governance, risk and compliance leader, MorganFranklin Consulting:

2024 will see broader adoption of automated and advanced spear phishing/vishing tools. These tools, combined with enhanced and more accessible deep fake and voice cloning technology, will vastly Boost social engineering success rates. This will lead to increased fraud and compromised credentials perpetrated through these methods. All industries must be aware of these improved methods and focus on incorporating updated controls, awareness, and training to protect against them as soon as possible.

On the other side, cybersecurity tools that incorporated machine learning and artificial intelligence over the past few years will also become more efficient in protecting organizations from these threats. The training models associated with these tools will have access to more data from increased adoption, leading to shorter implementation periods and exponential market growth in 2024. These tools will bring the greatest level of efficiencies and reduced costs for cybersecurity monitoring and assessments, allowing security teams to be more focused on their organization’s greatest risks.

Democratization of AI will be a double-edged sword for cybersecurity

Atticus Tysen, SVP and chief information security officer, Intuit:

While the democratization of AI shows great promise, its widespread availability poses an unprecedented challenge for cybersecurity. AI will evolve specific attacks against enterprises to become continuous, ubiquitous threats against businesses, individuals, and the infrastructure they rely upon. Even still, it will be a race against the threat actors to design resilient systems and protections. If we fail, the risk of successful hacks becoming commonplace and wreaking havoc in the near future is a clear and present danger. 

In 2024, English will become the best programming language for evil

Fleming Shi, CTO, Barracuda:

Fleming Shi

It was no surprise that coming into 2023, generative AI would be integrated into security stacks and solutions. However, the big surprise was how quickly generative AI has taken over every aspect of the technology space. This is concerning as we enter into 2024 because just as security professionals are using the new technology to add to their defenses, bad actors are doing the same. LLMs are extremely capable at writing code, but often come with guardrails that prevent it from writing malicious code. However, generative AI can be “fooled” into helping threat actors anyway – particularly when it comes to social engineering techniques. Rather than telling the tool to create an email phishing template, one only has to ask it to write a letter from a CEO asking for payment for an invoice. The slight changes in phrasing make these tools vulnerable, generally available, and extremely useful to bad actors everywhere. Because this process is so easy, 2024 will be the year that English becomes the best programming language for evil. 

AI attacks to supply new meaning to 'garbage in, garbage out'

Dave Shackleford, faculty and IANS Research, founder and principal consultant:

In 2024, we will definitely see emerging attacks against machine learning and AI models and infrastructure. With more and more organizations relying on cloud-based AI processing and data models, it’s likely that attackers will begin targeting these environments and data sets with disruptive attacks as well as data pollution strategies. Today, we have almost nothing in terms of defined attack paths and strategies for this within frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK, but that will likely change in the next year. These attacks will supply new meaning to the classic maxim of “garbage in, garbage out” and we will need to learn to identify and defend against them.

Language models pose dual threats to software security

Andrew Whaley, the senior technical director, Promon:

Large language models (LLMs) have come a remarkable way over the past year; and with this so have bad actors’ reverse engineering capabilities. This poses two main threats: 1. Reverse engineering is now far easier, providing fledgling hackers with the capabilities typically associated with specialists. 2. The reduced effectiveness of traditional protection methods against automated deobfuscation attacks. This increases software vulnerability to malicious exploitation, and will lead to an expected rise in incidents, including high-value attacks. Examples include mass attacks against mobile banking apps, remote mobile OS takeover, and malware targeting smart devices.

Deep faked CEOs

Navroop Mitter, CEO of ArmorText:

Dramatic improvements in the quality of generated voice and video of real-life persons coupled with further improvements in GenAI and LLMs to automatically assess and replicate the nuances of how individuals communicate, both orally and in written form, will enable novel attacks for which most organizations are severely underprepared.

Over the next 24 months organizations will face attackers mimicking their executives not just by email spoofing, but perfect AI driven mimicry of their voice, likeness, and diction and this will present multiple challenges, but most especially during incident response. How will companies distinguish between the Real McCoy and a near perfect imposter amidst the chaos of a crisis?

Existing policies and procedures designed around handling rogue executives won’t apply because the Real McCoy is still present and very much needed in these conversations.

Businesses will need to learn to hide their attack surface at a data level

Sam Curry, VP and CISO at Zscaler:

The influx of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT has forced businesses to realize that if their data is available in the cloud/internet, then it can be used by generative AI and therefore competitors. If organizations want to avoid their IP from getting utilized by gen AI tools then they will need to ensure their attack surface is now hidden on a data level rather than just at an application level. 

Based on the rapid adoption of gen AI tools we predict businesses will accelerate their efforts to classify all their data into risk categories and implement proper security measures to prevent leakage of IP.

API security evolves as AI enhances offense-defense strategies

Shay Levi, CTO and co-founder, Noname Security:

In 2023, AI began transforming cybersecurity,  playing pivotal roles both on the offensive and defensive security fronts. Traditionally, identifying and exploiting complex, one-off API vulnerabilities required human intervention. AI is now changing this landscape, automating the process, enabling cost-effective, large-scale attacks. In 2024, I predict a notable increase in the sophistication and scalability of attacks. We will witness a pivotal shift as AI becomes a powerful tool for both malicious actors and defenders, redefining the dynamics of digital security.

The emergence of 'poly-crisis' due to pervasive AI-based cyberattacks

Agnidipta Sarkar, VP CISO Advisory, ColorTokens

We saw the emergence of AI in 2022, and we saw the emergence of misuse of AI as an attack vector, helping make phishing attempts sharper and more effective. In 2024, I expect cyberattacks to become pervasive as enterprises transform. It is possible today to entice AI enthusiasts to fall prey to AI prompt injection. Come 2024, perpetrators will find it easier to use AI to attack not only traditional IT but also cloud containers and, increasingly, ICS and OT environments, leading to the emergence of a “poly-crisis” that threatens not only financial impact but also impacts human life simultaneously at the same time in cascading effects. Critical Computing Infrastructure will be under increased threat due to increasing geo-political threat. Cyber defense will be automated, leveraging AI to adapt to newer attack models.

AI developments for threat actors will lead to nearly real-time detection methods

Mike Spanbauer, Field CTO, Juniper Networks:

AI will continue to prove dangerous in the hands of threat actors, accelerating their ability to write and deliver effective threats. Organizations must adapt how they approach defense measures and leverage new, proven methods to detect and block threats. We will see the rise of nearly real-time measures that can identify a potentially malicious file or variant of a known threat at line rate.

AI won't be used for full-fledged attacks, but social engineering attacks to proliferate

Etay Maor, senior director of security strategy, Cato Networks:

No, there won’t be a wave of AI based attacks — while AI has been getting a lot of attention ever since the introduction of ChatGPT, we are not even close to seeing a full-fledged AI based attack. You don’t even have to take my word for it — the threat actors on major cybercrime forums are saying it as well. Hallucinations, model restrictions, and the current maturity level of LLMs are just some of the reasons this issue is actually a non-issue at this point in time.

But, we should expect to see LLMs being used for expediting and perfecting small portions or tasks of the attacks, be it email creation, help with social engineering by creating profiles or documents and more. AI is not going to replace AI, but people who know how to use AI will replace those who don’t.

The balance of attackers and defenders continuously tested

Kayla Williams, CISO, Devo:

This one may be a no-brainer, but it must be said again and again. Bad actors will use AI/ML and other advanced technologies to create sophisticated attack tactics and techniques. They’ll use these tools to pull off more and faster attacks, putting increased pressure on security teams and defense systems. The pace of progress is equally fast on both sides — defenders and attackers — and that balance will continually be tested in the coming year.

AI accelerates social engineering attacks

Kevin O’Connor, head of threat research at Adlumin:

Commercially available and open-source AI capabilities — including Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and LLaMA, and countless variants — will help attackers in designing thought out and effective social engineering campaigns. With AI systems increasingly integrating with troves of personal information through social media sites from LinkedIn to Reddit, we’ll see the ability for even low-level attackers to create targeted and convincing social-engineering based campaigns.

Mon, 01 Jan 2024 23:19:00 -0600 en text/html
2024 Tech Industry Predications: A Few May Surprise You

As we stand on the cusp of 2024, technology continues its relentless march forward, shaping how we live, work, and interact with the world around us.

Indeed, 2023 was an exciting year in tech, and some of you may enjoy my podcast from a few weeks ago, where I opined during my SmartTechCheck podcast on what I believe were last year’s most significant tech issues.

Anticipating the trends that will define the technological landscape in 2024 requires a hurry understanding of current developments and foresight into the evolving needs of society. It’s no easy task because of the expansive list of hot courses to choose from.

Regardless, let’s delve into the top five technology predictions for 2024 from my vantage point. While I believe it will be difficult to argue the trends I’ve chosen, some might find the context and perspective controversial.

ARM-based PCs finally become a big deal.

As we enter 2024, the tech industry is abuzz with the anticipation of Arm-based Windows PCs becoming a significant category. Two key players poised to benefit from this transition are AMD and Qualcomm.

This shift represents a departure from the traditional x86 architecture, with Arm’s energy-efficient design offering a compelling alternative for Windows-powered devices.

Microsoft’s latest iteration of Windows 11, which runs Arm-based processors, is getting close to providing an x86-like Windows experience with little app or peripheral compatibility problems. It also provides power and battery life benefits that classic x86 processors simply can’t offer.

AMD has been at the forefront of innovation with its Zen architecture, which has proven to be a game-changer in the CPU market. The collaboration between AMD and Microsoft in embracing Arm for Windows PCs aligns with the efficiency and performance goals that both companies have been striving to achieve.

AMD’s expertise in delivering powerful yet power-efficient processors position it as a critical player in the Arm-based Windows PC landscape. Consumers can expect AMD-powered devices to provide a balance of high-performance computing and energy efficiency, catering to a diverse range of applications from gaming to productivity.

In past years, Qualcomm’s initial Snapdragon-based PCs did not capture significant market share as users and IT managers were reluctant to embrace a new class of laptops that might have app compatibility challenges and not provide sufficient performance for video and photo editing.

However, the company’s latest Snapdragon X Elite processors are showing promising performance and battery life results (in the same ballpark as what Apple has achieved with its M family of chips).

I fully expect customers will take notice as companies like Dell, HP, and others begin offering laptops with Qualcomm’s new processors.

Qualcomm is well-positioned to thrive in the Arm-based Windows PC era. Snapdragon processors are renowned for their energy efficiency and integration of advanced connectivity features.

As Windows PCs increasingly emphasize mobility and connectivity, Qualcomm’s expertise in delivering efficient, connected solutions makes them a natural fit for the ARM architecture. The Snapdragon-powered Windows PCs will likely excel in always-on connectivity, extended battery life, and seamless integration with 5G networks, enhancing the overall user experience.

As Arm-based Windows PCs gain prominence in 2024, AMD and Qualcomm stand out as beneficiaries of this transformative shift.

These chipmakers’ commitment to advancing processor technology aligns with the demands of an evolving market, offering consumers a new era of Windows computing characterized by enhanced performance, energy efficiency, and seamless connectivity.

The democratization of AI solutions will accelerate, especially with PCs.

AMD and Qualcomm stand to gain significantly as the technology sector eagerly awaits the rise of Arm-based Windows PCs as key new devices in the market. This transition signifies a departure from the traditional x86 architecture, positioning these companies at the forefront of this evolving landscape.

What used to be the province that only large government agencies or even countries that could afford or fund these types of programs, AI-based data is fueling the kind of supercomputing power at a lower cost, unthinkable just a few years ago.

Enabled by its Instinct MI300 Series accelerators, AMD is embracing an industry standards approach that allows it to provide a stronger value proposition from a pricing standpoint versus companies like Nvidia, which is a leader in this space but tends to have a more costly proprietary orientation.

AMD is also betting that its Ryzen AI family of Threadripper processors that enable local AI applications with its Zen architecture will broadly appeal to users. While this could be a game-changer in the CPU market, much of this will depend on Microsoft — who will carry the industry’s water on messaging — successfully convincing users that AI truly matters at the PC level.

This process will take a long time as PC OEMs often fragment their messaging on big innovation topics, unlike Apple, which speaks in a singular voice.

Regardless, the collaboration between AMD and Microsoft in embracing Arm for Windows PCs aligns with the efficiency and performance goals that both companies have been striving to achieve. AMD’s expertise in delivering powerful yet power-efficient processors positions the company as a critical player in the Arm-based Windows PC landscape.

Consumers can expect AMD-powered devices to provide a balance of high-performance computing and energy efficiency, catering to a diverse range of applications from gaming to productivity.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite chips bring significant benefits from an AI standpoint. These advanced chips leverage AI-enhanced capabilities to optimize network performance, ensuring efficient data transmission and connectivity.

Integrating machine learning algorithms enhances the overall user experience by predicting network conditions, reducing latency, and improving the reliability of AI applications on mobile devices. The Snapdragon X Elite chips thus contribute to a seamless and intelligent AI-driven connectivity experience, positioning Qualcomm at the forefront of mobile AI innovation.

As Arm-based Windows PCs gain prominence in 2024, AMD and Qualcomm stand out as beneficiaries of this transformative shift. Their commitment to advancing processor technology aligns with the demands of an evolving market, offering consumers a new era of Windows computing characterized by enhanced performance, energy efficiency, and seamless connectivity.

Intel, a once-dominant force in the tech industry, especially during the 1990s and early 2000s, is facing new challenges despite its recent foray into AI-based CPU technology.

Although Intel continues to possess significant market share in the PC industry, which positions it potentially as a key player in AI-enabled laptops and desktops, the company seems to be grappling with issues related to vision and overall user excitement.

Given the current financial pressures and evolving market dynamics, it raises questions about Intel’s ability to meet these new challenges effectively. This shift in Intel’s market position reflects the rapidly changing landscape of the technology sector, where innovation and adaptability are crucial. It’s not 2002 anymore.

The maturation of 5G continues, transforming connectivity.

The benefits hyperbole of 5G that began in 2018 was clumsy and ham-fisted in many ways. The initial rollout of 5G faced several challenges, contributing to an inelegant launch. Infrastructure deployment complexities, varying global standards, and the need for significant investments hampered a smooth transition.

Issues like limited device availability and inconsistent coverage led to a fragmented user experience. Coordinating efforts across telecom operators and addressing compatibility concerns further complicated the early stages of 5G implementation, resulting in a less-than-ideal and somewhat disjointed launch.

But things are getting a lot brighter, which could finally unleash the potential of 5G.

The rollout of 5G networks has begun, ushering in faster and more reliable connectivity. In 2024, anticipate the widespread maturation of 5G technology, enabling a seamless and interconnected world.

Beyond faster smartphone internet speeds, 5G will underpin the growth of the internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, and smart cities.

Integrating 5G into various industries will lead to enhanced capabilities, such as real-time remote surgeries, augmented reality experiences, and smart infrastructure management.

Moreover, research into 6G technology will likely gain momentum, setting the stage for even faster and more efficient communication systems in the latter half of the decade.

The global sustainability movement is shown to have goofed by myopically focusing on EVs.

Hybrid cars represent a pragmatic transitional choice for steering the automotive industry away from traditional gas-based vehicles, providing a middle ground that addresses immediate environmental concerns while easing the shift towards fully electric vehicles (EVs).

There are several reasons why hybrids might have been a more sensible option during this transitional phase.

Hybrid-based cars offer a gradual shift towards cleaner transportation without requiring an extensive infrastructure overhaul. Unlike fully electric vehicles, hybrids can rely on existing gas stations and refueling infrastructure, making them more convenient for consumers and reducing the pressure on rapid charging network development.

Next, one of the primary concerns with early electric vehicles is range anxiety due to limited charging infrastructure and the time it takes to recharge. Hybrids alleviate this concern by incorporating an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. This dual power source provides a safety net, ensuring drivers won’t be stranded if they exceed the electric range.

Environmentally, while hybrids still rely on internal combustion engines, their integration of electric propulsion reduces overall emissions and improves fuel efficiency. This incremental reduction in environmental impact allows for a more gradual transition away from traditional gas-based vehicles, providing manufacturers and consumers time to adapt without sacrificing immediate gains in fuel efficiency.

Finally, there is the subject of cost. Without substantial tax subsidies at the state and federal levels, EVs are a challenging value proposition for most consumers. Subsidy-free EVs cost $60,000 or more, limiting their appeal to many consumers.

Hybrids often come with a lower upfront cost compared to fully electric vehicles. This affordability makes them a more accessible option for a broader range of consumers, encouraging a faster uptake and contributing to a more widespread reduction in emissions. Generally, the cost difference between a hybrid-based car versus a gasoline-only powered cost is approximately $5,000.

Focusing on hybrid cars as a transitional step offers a practical and balanced approach to moving away from traditional gas-based vehicles. By addressing concerns related to infrastructure, range anxiety, environmental impact, and cost, hybrids pave the way for a smoother and more inclusive transition towards a more sustainable automotive future.

Unfortunately, the myopic focus on EVs has turned off many consumers, proving once again that indifference to addressing the challenges above with EVs has backfired as hybrids have represented a much more reasonable approach to transition the auto industry.

Apple’s credibility will be put to the test when Vision Pro finally ships.

Extended reality (XR), encompassing virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), is set to redefine how we experience the digital and physical worlds.

XR technologies will mature in 2024, offering more immersive and interactive experiences. From virtual meetings and remote collaboration to augmented reality applications in education and training, XR will bridge the gap between the digital and physical realms.

Whether Apple likes it or not, the company will become the poster child for the future success or failure of the entire AR/VR category once Vision Pro begins shipping in the February or March timeframe (if the industry rumors are true).

As I’ve maintained before, Apple’s “spatial computing” approach will depend mainly on the “killer” app getting developed, which I believe will not come from Apple.

The gaming industry, in particular, will see a surge in XR integration, creating more lifelike and engaging virtual worlds. Additionally, XR will find applications in health care, allowing for advanced medical simulations and remote patient monitoring. As the technology evolves, XR will play an increasingly vital role in enhancing our understanding of and engagement with the world around us.

Final Thoughts

Unquestionably, AI is poised to become an integral part of our daily lives in 2024, transcending its role as a behind-the-scenes technology. Advances in natural language processing and computer vision will make AI more accessible and user-friendly, leading to a more intuitive and humanized interaction with technology.

AI will continue to play a pivotal role in health care diagnostics, personalized education, and content creation. Conversational AI, powered by sophisticated language models, will redefine customer service and automate various business processes. However, as AI becomes more omnipresent, ethical considerations surrounding data privacy, bias, and accountability will demand increased attention and regulation.

2024 promises to be a pivotal year in technology, with the emergence of AI-based PCs and the ripening of 5G, AI, and AR/VR/XR emerging as the driving forces behind transformative change.

As these innovations unfold, the challenge will be to navigate the ethical and societal implications, ensuring that we harness the benefits of technology for the greater good.

The future is exciting, and as we embrace these technological advancements, we must also remain vigilant in shaping a future that is sustainable and conducive to the well-being of humanity.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 00:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Christmas Gift Guide: Gift Ideas Anyone Will Love No result found, try new keyword!This Christmas gift guide is full of gifts that are great for anyone. From Star Wars lovers to travel gear, we have you covered! Sat, 23 Dec 2023 19:48:17 -0600 en-us text/html 2025 Volvo EX30 Electric SUV First Drive: A Thoughtful, Modern Marvel

It’s a common discussion right now: Are electric cars really worth the price? Are they all they’re cracked up to be? Is the learning curve worth the trouble?

There’s a lot to learn, and a lot to consider. And the Volvo EX30 is no exception. Volvo has rethought its design language, innovated functions and focused on the driver experience, leaving a lot for buyers and test drivers to consider.

If you test drive the Volvo EX30, as I did in this video, take a minute; you’ll need it. When you slip into the driver's seat, you won’t see a few things you might expect, such as a driver display screen or window controls on the door. What you will see is a large Tesla-like screen that displays everything you need to know as you spend time in this new electric flagship SUV from Volvo.

If you want to put your water bottle in a cup holder, you may need to extend it from the floating center console (which is also where you’ll find the window buttons), and if you want to plug in your phone, you’ll need to lift the false floor panel in the lower console storage area; you can leave your phone there to charge.

Take in all the center screen offers: driver information such as speed, the selected gear and safety systems are at the top of the screen. The middle portion of the screen will display selected options, such as climate, radio or navigation. The lower portion features two fixed tool bars: an app bar with Spotify, SoundCloud, the front window defroster and the glovebox (tap it to open the box, which is in the center of the dashboard rather than in front of the passenger). Below that are vehicle settings, climate and the home icon.

And for those who might push back on having all controls on the single center screen, you can do this: say “Hey Google,” then ask for what you want. Google provides the multimedia operating system, which features voice assistance. You can say “turn on the driver’s heated seat,” or “navigate to Starbucks,” or “change the radio station to Coffee Shop,” and the Google Assistant (for whom you can pick your voice and accent) will happily oblige. And, yes, Volvo has included wireless Apple CarPlay for those who want it.

What might take a bit more time to appreciate are the materials and colors that are deeply thoughtful. Not only does each palette — take your pick: light blue Breeze, pale green Pine, light gray Mist or pale blue Indigo — evoke a specific mood, but each is comprised of recycled and renewable materials, from the cloth and leatherette upholstery to the speckled or textured dashboard and door panels.

I was instantly intrigued by the interior door panels, which bring all the materials together in layered treatment that reflects the dashboard and seats. A slash of metal across the upper door serves as the door handle; the arm rest floats across the door’s center. To save materials and reduce the car’s carbon footprint, windows, locks and speakers were moved to other places in the car: Window buttons and door locks are on the center console; there is a single sound bar placed between the windshield and dashboard.

To start the car, simply push the brake pedal and you’re ready to go. Turn the gear selector stalk on the steering wheel and you’re ready for what is sure to be a fun drive. My drive partner and I took the Volvo EX30 out for the day, covering more than 120 miles of hills, country roads and city streets. Of course, I immediately put the car in regenerative braking mode, which is an option on the touch screen (though the system stays on until you turn it off). In slower city driving, this function was fantastic: you simply regulate the accelerator to slow down or speed up. I almost never needed the brake, even when stopping at stop signs and crosswalks.

At higher speeds, however, such as on the highway or on winding country roads, I found regenerative braking mode less helpful in slowing the car. It’s not true one-pedal driving.

We had the chance to drive both the single motor and the dual motor models, and both were fun: There’s plenty of power under foot to quickly merge into traffic and go with the flow on the highway. On our curvier part of the drive the Volvo handled nicely. Its size and shape, as well as 6.5” of ground clearance lend to both easy handling and a comfortable ride.

Rear seat passengers should agree, though they won’t feel as pampered. As an entry-level luxury car, priced at just under $35,000 to start, amenities are limited in the rear seat, as is space. Two passengers will be comfortable but three may be a squeeze. There are two USB ports (in the Plus and Ultra trims), a storage bin and two sets of child car seat LATCHes. Passengers won’t find air vents, a fold down arm rest or cup holders, though there are bottle pockets in the door panels.

The Volvo EX30, which can be reserved now and should arrive in Summer 2024, is offered in two powertrains and three trim levels. The single motor produces 268 hp — more than enough for a car this size — and has a driving range of 275 miles. The dual motor generates 422 hp and has a range of 265 miles. Both powertrains are offered in all three powertrains, but the dual motor is only available in the Plus and Ultra trims.

With a starting price of $34,950, the base Core model includes the large screen, Google’s operating system, adaptive cruise control, wireless Apple CarPlay, heated front seats and a charge cable. The Plus trim, which starts at $38,900, adds a panoramic sunroof, dual zone climate control, the front storage bin, digital phone-as-key and a wireless phone charger. The Ultra trim, which starts at $40,600, adds park assist, Pilot Assist hands-free highway driving, power front seats and a surround view camera. Buyers of Plus and Ultra can upgrade to the more powerful dual motor powertrain for an additional $6,000. Buyers can also choose from the four interior design options.

It’s exciting to see Volvo’s design language evolve and the use of sustainable materials become a staple. The feel in the EX30 is all Volvo: Modern, thoughtful and solidly built. The drive is not a disappointment: powerful and responsive. And the price, well, that’s a delightful surprise. When we start to see the Volvo EX30 on the street this summer, expect a lot of discussion around rethinking the viability of electric cars.

You can read more electric car reviews on my website, and please, connect with me on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Sat, 30 Dec 2023 06:44:00 -0600 Scotty Reiss en text/html
25 Smartest States with the Highest Average IQ

In this article, we will be looking at the 25 smartest states with the highest average IQ. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of the education market in the US, you can go directly to 5 Smartest States with the Highest Average IQ.

IQ stands for intelligence quotient and it can be measured using a set of tests designed to assess human intelligence. Intelligence and education are both associated with brainpower and cognitive functioning. The positive correlation between intelligence and educational attainment suggests that pursuing an education can increase the individual’s intelligence.

Education can unlock intelligence and allow it to flourish. Before we look at the smartest states with the highest average IQ, let’s take a look at the education market in the US.

The US Education Market at a Glance

Driven by an increasing demand for quality education, online learning platforms, and technological advancements, the education market in the US is thriving. According to a report by Vantage Market Research, the US education market’s value was estimated to be $1.04 trillion in 2022. Looking forward, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.2% during 2023-2030, pushing the education market to reach a value of around $1.45 trillion by the end of the forecast period.

In recent years, there has been a surge in demand for lifelong learning opportunities with a focus on developing practical skills. This has opened doors for professional development programs, online courses, and micro-credentials. Moreover, personalization, blended learning, and the rise of educational technology, also known as edtech, are all key factors creating a positive outlook for the education market in the US.

In the US, overall spending on education is expected to increase and positively influence the education market. With increasing disposable incomes and the growth in the importance of personalized learning, mental health, and academic assistance, the demand for educational services and additional resources is expected to grow. On September 2, Reuters reported that according to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending in the US is expected to reach a record high in 2023. The retail trade group predicts that spending will reach above $135 billion this year, an increase of more than $24 billion from 2022.

Notable Names in the US Education Market

Some of the biggest education companies operating in the US are 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU), Stride, Inc. (NYSE:LRN), and Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE).

Growing spending can translate to increased demand for educational products and services. Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE) is an educational services company that is leading educational transformation and ranks among the best education stocks to buy in 2023. It provides education services to colleges and universities in the US, which can include technology solutions such as learning management systems, internal administration, and support services. Other services that Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE) offers include faculty training and development, class scheduling, program and curriculum development, and counseling services. On November 2, Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOPE) reported earnings for the fiscal third quarter of 2023. The company reported an EPS of $1.26 and beat estimates by $0.17. The company’s revenue for the quarter grew by 6.32% year-over-year and amounted to $221.91 million, ahead of market consensus by $2.29 million.

Education companies are teaming up with educational institutions and continuously creating new and relevant courses to attract more students and prepare them for the ever-evolving job landscape. Stride, Inc. (NYSE:LRN), formerly K12 Inc., is an education management organization (EMO) that offers online and blended education programs. On November 29, Stride, Inc. (NYSE:LRN) reported that the University of New England (UNE) has teamed up with MedCerts to offer a variety of healthcare-focused classes. MedCerts, a subsidiary of Stride, Inc. (NYSE:LRN), is known for its innovation in online healthcare and IT career training. Through UNE’s list of healthcare offerings, the new classes will increase the available options for students who are interested in pursuing a rewarding career in healthcare. The new partnership between Stride, Inc.’s (NYSE:LRN) MedCerts and the University of New England (UNE) aims to fight against the healthcare worker shortage in the US by accelerating student pathways to in-demand roles.

2U, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU) is an American edtech company and the parent company of the online education platform edX. On September 18, 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU) announced that edX and HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) have partnered up to launch a new online Professional Certificate program in Esports Management, Game Design, and Programming. This new program includes courses that encompass both technical skills including coding and testing, as well as essential business skills, such as marketing, storytelling, and content creation. With over 60 curated models, the new Professional Certificate program will help learners prepare for jobs in the gaming, media, and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors. President of partnerships at 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ:TWOU), Andrew Hermalyn, said:

“With the launch of its first program on edX, HP joins hundreds of universities and institutions in the edX global partner network committed to expanding access to affordable, cutting-edge education in the world's most in-demand fields.”

Now that we have discussed what’s going on in the US education sector, let’s take a look at the 25 smartest states with the highest average IQ.

25 Smartest States with the Highest Average IQ



In this article, we have listed 25 smartest states with the highest average IQ. To rank the US states with the highest IQ scores, we consulted the “Updated IQ and Well-Being Scores for the 50 U.S. States” report by Bryan J. Pesta. This report is available at the National Institutes of Health’s website and it provides us with state IQ scores for all of the 50 US states. We used the data available and narrowed down our selection to rank the 25 smartest states with the highest average IQ, which are listed below in ascending order.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

25 Smartest States with the Highest Average IQ

25. Maryland

State IQ Score: 100

Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US that ranks among the top 25 smartest states with the highest average IQ. According to recently reported data, Maryland has an estimated IQ score of 100. 

24. Ohio

State IQ Score: 100

Ohio is a Midwestern US state that ranks among the most populated states and has an estimated IQ score of 100. Ohio is home to a thriving manufacturing sector, and it is one of the biggest automobile-producing states in the US.

23. Pennsylvania

State IQ Score: 100.2

Pennsylvania is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region that is known for its diverse geography. It is the fifth-most populated state in the US, despite being the 33rd-largest in terms of size. According to recently reported data, Pennsylvania has an estimated IQ score of 100.2.

22. Oregon

State IQ Score: 100.3

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region. It is one of the most geographically diverse states and it also ranks high among the states with the smallest gender pay gap in 2023. With an IQ score of 100.3, Oregon ranks 22nd on our list of smartest states with the highest average IQ.

21. Kansas

State IQ Score: 100.5

Kansas is a landlocked state in the Midwestern US. Named after the Kansas River, the state of Kansas is known for its rolling hills, vast prairies, and natural beauty. According to the most recently reported data, Kansas has an estimated IQ score of 100.5.

20. Idaho

State IQ Score: 100.5

Idaho is a northwestern US state that is known for its unspoiled, mountainous landscapes and wilderness. With an IQ score of 100.5, Idaho ranks among the top 20 smartest states with the highest average IQ. Idaho is also known for its potatoes, trout and precious stones, and it has been nicknamed the Gem State.

19. Indiana

State IQ Score: 100.6

Indiana is a state in the Midwestern region of the US that is known for its vast farmlands. Indiana is also known for its manufacturing industry and steel production. According to recently reported data, Indiana has an estimated IQ score of 100.6.

18. South Dakota

State IQ Score: 100.7

South Dakota is a state in the North Central region that is best known for Mount Rushmore and The Black Hills. It ranks among some of the least populated and least densely populated states in the US. With an IQ score of 100.7, South Dakota ranks 18th on our list of smartest states with the highest average IQ.

17. Maine

State IQ Score: 100.9

Maine is the Easternmost state in the New England region, and it is considered to be one of the most rural states in the US. Nicknamed “The Pine Tree State”, Maine is known for its national parks, beautiful coastlines, and attraction sites including lighthouses. Maine has an estimated IQ score of 100.9.

16. New Jersey

State IQ Score: 101

New Jersey is a northeastern US state that is known for its boardwalk beaches and Atlantic City casinos, which attract millions of tourists each year. While being one of the smallest states by area, New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the US. The state's estimated IQ score is 101.

15. Montana

State IQ Score: 101.1

Montana is a Western state that ranks among the top 15 on our list of smartest states with the highest average IQ. As one of the largest and least populated states in the US, Montana is defined by its diverse terrain ranging from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains. Montana has an estimated IQ score of 101.1.

14. Iowa

State IQ Score: 101.1

Iowa is a state in the upper Midwestern region of the US and it sits between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. It is known for its diverse agricultural production and is one of the biggest food-producing states in the US. According to recently reported data, Iowa has an estimated IQ score of 101.1.

13. Colorado

State IQ Score: 101.1

Colorado is a state in the Mountain West sub-region that is known for its magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers, and plains. The state of Colorado ranks high among the most educated states in America, and it has an IQ score of 101.1.

12. Wisconsin

State IQ Score: 101.2

Wisconsin is a state in the upper Midwestern US, and it ranks among the top 12 smartest states with the highest average IQ with an estimated IQ score of 101.2. Nicknamed America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin is known for its cheese and dairy products.

11. Connecticut

State IQ Score: 101.2

Connecticut is one of the smallest and most densely populated states in the US. Connecticut is known for its rolling hills, beautiful scenery, and autumn colors. Connecticut has an estimated IQ score of 101.2, and it is one of the most educated states in the US.

10. Nebraska

State IQ Score: 101.2

Nebraska is a midwestern US state that ranks among the top 10 smartest states with the highest average IQ. According to the most recently reported data, Nebraska has an IQ score of 101.2. Nicknamed “The Cornhusker State”, Nebraska is known for its vast prairies and spacious farmlands while also being a leading agricultural state.

9. Virginia

State IQ Score: 101.2

Virginia is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the US. Nicknamed the Mother of Presidents, Virginia has been home to as many as 8 different US presidents, including four of the country’s first five presidents. Virginia has an estimated IQ score of 101.2.

8. Utah

State IQ Score: 101.5

Utah is a landlocked state in the Mountain West sub-region of the Western US. Nicknamed the Beehive State, it is known for its stunning natural landscapes and incredible national parks. With an IQ score of 101.5, Utah ranks 8th on our list of smartest states with the highest average IQ.

7. Washington

State IQ Score: 101.5

Nicknamed “The Evergreen State”, the state of Washington is known for its mountainous landscapes and an abundance of evergreen forests. According to recently reported data, Washington state has an estimated IQ score of 101.5. Washington also ranks high among the states with the most job growth in 2023.

6. Wyoming

State IQ Score: 101.7

Wyoming is a state in the Mountain West sub-region of the Western US and with an estimated IQ score of 101.7, it ranks high among the smartest states with the highest average IQ. Known for its beautiful nature and stunning National Parks, Wyoming is the least populated state in the US.

Click to continue studying and see 5 Smartest States with the Highest Average IQ.

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Disclosure: None. 25 Smartest States with the Highest Average IQ is published on Insider Monkey.

Fri, 22 Dec 2023 05:11:00 -0600 es-US text/html
These Are the 7 Coolest EVs under $40,000 for 2024 No result found, try new keyword!In the sub-$40,000 trim, prospective Volvo EX30 buyers will get a projected 275 miles of range from a 69-kWh NMC battery producing 268 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. Tue, 26 Dec 2023 23:00:00 -0600 en-us text/html

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