JFrog and ServiceNow Join Forces for Improved Software Security Vulnerability Response Times

Software company JFrog Ltd, known for the JFrog DevOps Platform, has announced new functionalities for its application security SCA tool JFrog Xray. JFrog Xray has been updated with integrations with ServiceNow’s Lightstep Incident Response and Spoke, a suite of products for IT service management.

The JFrog-ServiceNow integration includes a comprehensive software composition analysis (SCA) tool that undertakes fast real-time monitoring of security vulnerabilities and compliance issues. It is designed to work across distributed teams and quickly alert teams to deal with issues in their early stages. This is in order to enable a quick and effective response from organizations, which may need to pull in team members remotely from various locations and departments. It works with ServiceNow’s Lightweight Incident Response, enhancing and broadening its functionality. When using ServiceNow’s Spoke with JFrog Xray, IT operations staff also have access to streamlined reporting, build scanning, and options for exceptions and custom items. It also automates certain workflows to automatically flag compliance issues when it comes to the use of open-source elements.

The main selling point of this integrated solution, dubbed ‘ServiceOps’ by the company, is that it offers an easy-to-use single-view platform that integrates with the workflows of the various roles that all have a part to play in addressing a security incident: IT sysadmins, security specialists, DevOps, site reliability engineers, and other relevant departments.

In this way, IT teams can pre-emptively address security issues before they become critical. JFrog CEO Shlomi Ben Haim claims that this kind of collaboration is necessary to effectively secure software supply chains “at the speed of business.” The end result should be a faster and more coordinated security process across the entire software supply chain and development cycle, making it more efficient and cost-effective for clients.

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On the Mend: Behind WhiteSource’s New Name and Direction

The Boston- and Tel Aviv-based company formerly known as WhiteSource has a new name and a new vision for its services. The company, now rebranded as Mend, is focusing on security in what CEO Rami Sass has labeled a “new journey” as a “bigger and different” organization that offers the “industry’s first automated remediation for custom code security issues.”

Whitesource, founded in 2011, first made its name as an open-source software composition analysis firm. Mend, by contrast, will offer a comprehensive integrated security platform intended to be broadly applicable to the variety of cyberattacks that can threaten modern companies.

Over the past year, Mend has raised a total of over $75 million in funding to fuel its evolution into a cutting-edge security firm, a process which included the acquisition of Croatia’s DefenseCode and Germany’s Xanitizer, both firms with proven track records in cybersecurity. Mend has also highlighted its intention to further develop its channel relationships, including with other reputable cybersecurity companies, such as GuidePoint Security and Defy Security.

Mend’s current financial figures are unknown, but the company claims an over 800 percent growth in revenue during the last three years. In the same period, it claims to have added over 350 new customers. Mend currently serves over 1,000 customers, about 25 percent of which are Fortune 100 entities according to the company’s latest statements.

In a recent press release, Mend described how cyber attackers increasingly target applications as the main vulnerability of large organizations, which puts a lot of pressure on the security industry to deliver more effective software at a faster rate. Mend’s services are intended to automatically reduce harm from attacks on the software side, secure the application, and buy developers time to deploy solutions.

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How To Choose The Best Software Development Company in 2022

In an increasingly digital world, good software, whether for customer-facing (online stores, web apps, etc.) or internal (CRM, logistics, etc.) purposes, is essential. That’s why many businesses choose to outsource their software development needs to specialist teams. Such specialists can be essential in creating custom software to help a company meet its customers’ needs or modernize its internal structure.

Many companies advertise their services in software development, with different specialties, years of experience, and prices. When considering a software development company to hire, there are many factors one should keep in mind. Choosing an incompetent or ill-suited partner for a contract could mean delays, wasted money, or a shoddy product. Therefore, one should carefully consider the following factors when making that choice.

Leverage References and Recommendations

If you’re not lucky enough to have a personal recommendation from a trusted colleague or peer, then check the software company’s website and social media mentions for endorsements by reputable and well-known companies.

Investigate the Company Culture

Get an impression of what the company is like to work with by comparing Glassdoor employee reviews and news stories about them as well as the company’s own promotions and social media.

Be Honest about Your Needs

Before hiring, you need to know your budget and time frame for the project. Then you will be able to assess if the company has the resources to complete the task well and on time.

Use Proper Documentation

Whenever your company engages in business with another, make sure that you have outlined responsibilities and obligations in proper legal documentation, reviewed by lawyers.

Don’t Just Get the Cheapest Option

Don’t be tempted to scrape the bottom of the barrel for offers. Hiring a ‘cheap’ option that wastes time and money in delays or errors does not work out to be the most economical option in the long run!

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Digital Transformation in Healthcare — What’s Coming in 2022?

Digital transformation is an ongoing topic in the healthcare industry that has really come to the forefront in 2022. Put simply, it means incorporating the use of emerging technologies to deliver the best performance for both patients and healthcare professionals. It’s not just a case of offering services via an app or website. Whether it’s virtual reality simulations for training surgeons, or using blockchain-based smart contracts for admin, the most cutting-edge technologies are proving their worth in healthcare.

One big factor in the healthcare industry going digital is the COVID-19 pandemic, which emerged in 2020 to put great strain on the healthcare industry, forcing it to adapt and adopt new technologies to handle the extra administration that came with the increased influx of patients and effectively care for patients through remote interaction where possible.

Another reason for increased digital adoption in the healthcare sector is to keep up with other industries, especially e-commerce. As consumers, patients are used to a digital, ‘on-demand’ model in many aspects of their lives, from entertainment to shopping to fitness to work collaborations, with greater options and convenience, all accessible via a smartphone app or web portal. To stay competitive in the digital economy, healthcare organizations need to keep up with the times and offer a similar level of digital accessibility.

Recent editions of the Annual Industry Pulse Survey offer valuable insights from 185 industry leaders on the role of technology in healthcare in recent years. The 2019 survey identifies changing consumer demand in the digital age, online patient access, digital records, and cybersecurity, whereas the 2020 edition highlights the role of IT infrastructure in providing value-based care and the benefits of AI and machine learning for healthcare.

Telehealth Services

Telehealth or telemedicine simply refers to access to medical services without the need to visit the doctor in person. This includes video call appointments via smartphones or other internet-capable devices. Remote access to medical services saves time and money for both patients and institutions by eliminating unnecessary contact hours, wait times, and paperwork from less in-person contact. Patients with mobility issues can also benefit greatly.

Telemedicine is best provided via patient portals, software platforms that allow patients to submit and access their data, track appointments and medication, and contact their provider. This provides a more engaging customer experience for patients and reduces the risk of miscommunication and mistakes. Because of the sensitive data handled, patient portals must be developed with robust cybersecurity measures.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to using machine learning to improve processes in healthcare that may have previously required manual input by humans, sometimes working at over 150x human speed. AI is used to speed up the process of diagnosis or scanning test results, suggest new pharmaceutical compositions, and prevent identity theft. This not only saves time and money, but minimizes the potential for human error and allocates in-person resources to where they are most needed.

Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality (VR) refers to immersive experiences within computer-generated environments, typically via a head-mounted display and handheld controllers. Augmented reality (AR) refers to computer graphics overlayed over the real world.

Both of these technologies enable the testing of new ideas and techniques in a realistic environment before putting them into practice in the real world. Examples of this in medicine include precise 3D models of the human body to test drugs or surgical techniques. Immersive simulations can also be used in therapy, psychological treatment, rehabilitation, and addiction treatment.

Blockchain

Although commonly associated with cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology has many advantages for the healthcare industry. Chiefly, blockchains store data on a ledger maintained by a peer-to-peer network. Such data is extremely difficult to tamper with without gaining control of the entire network and as such offers very secure data storage that ensures patient privacy and integrity of records. Furthermore, the implementation of smart contracts can cut down on bureaucracy and error when it comes to logistics and collaborations between healthcare entities.

IoMT and Wearable Tech

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) refers to a network of internet-connected devices for medical purposes, including remote-controlled wearable technology, like fitness trackers, monitors, and smartwatches that transmit health data to the healthcare organization’s software infrastructure. This allows accurate monitoring of important metrics, such as blood pressure, blood glucose levels, ECG, etc., without having to schedule in-person tests.

As a major partner of one of the most important pediatric hospitals in the US, AccelOne has years of expertise in the field of developing medical software.

To learn more about how our nearshore software development team can help you transform your healthcare org’s digital infrastructure, contact us online or call 1.800.863.6814.

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Will Apple Beat Meta in the Mixed-Reality Race?

It’s no secret that Apple Inc. has been working on its own mixed-reality headset for years now. But after a steady stream of patent leaks and Apple’s acquisitions of AR firms circulated among tech insiders, the rumors are finally confirmed.

Last week, a Bloomberg report revealed that Apple demonstrated a proprietary HMD (head-mounted display) with both AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) capabilities to its board of directors. According to the report, the device is slated to hit the consumer market sometime in 2023.

When Apple’s mixed-reality tech goes on sale, it is going to face some stiff competition in the formerly niche VR market, chiefly from fellow tech titan Meta (formerly Facebook), which currently controls 80% of the market thanks to its flagship Quest 2 hardware and metaverse hype. But Apple has a few advantages that could clinch it the win in the battle for VR dominance.

For a start, Apple has a proven track record in shifting high-end hardware for the consumer market, including wearable tech, such as the Apple Watch and Airpods. Consumers are finicky about wearable tech’s aesthetics, but Apple’s strong focus on design could make VR tech into a fashionable form that people would be proud to wear or have in their homes. Another notable factor is the Cupertino company’s use of custom-built chips, historically powerful enough to deliver premium performance in their trademark sleek and compact style.

Finally, Apple has already laid the groundwork for a mixed-reality ecosystem in its current products, including gesture controls, Memojis, AR games, live text in photos, and shared media on FaceTime. If Apple can position its upcoming HMD as an enhancement of what users already love about the company’s ecosystem and brand, then it can take the same premium position in the VR/AR market as it does with smartphones.

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How to Save Money on Offshore Software Development Talent

Technology is an indispensable part of any business in the modern global economy, but finding the specialized talent one needs to develop websites, apps, databases, etc., doesn’t always come cheap. Many organizations turn to offshore agencies, which offer ready-made teams of engineers or developers at a service cost. But the question remains, how best to employ offshore developers in the most cost-effective way? These are the things you should consider.

Identify the Size and Scope of the Project

The first step in budget planning is identifying all the objectives of your software project. A small-scale project has modest aims and requires little custom coding—as in, the developers will mainly integrate existing and easily available solutions.

On the other end of the scale, developing multiple apps or enterprise business platforms for different purposes that interact with each other and exchange sensitive customer data would require a larger team, the development of custom software, and strong security measures. Be realistic and clear about the scope of your project and the offshore agency will provide an accurate cost projection.

Ditch Unrealistic Goals

This stage involves analyzing your outlined goals and identifying the most cumbersome and costly aspects, such as what are the risks? Are they going to be worth it? Outside consultants may be brought in at this stage and help make cuts at the beginning that will stop the project from wasting time or running over budget in the future. This analysis should be done by a specialized team of UX/UI designers, QA engineers, and business analysts to create a clear scope definition for the engineering team.

Start QA (Quality Assurance) from the Get-Go

Hiring good software developers is of crucial importance, but businesses sometimes forget another equally important role in any development project: QA. From the beginning of any project, the offshore team should include QA staff that will be testing the product and giving feedback to developers and the client. Good quality control will save corrections, back-tracking, time, and money in the long term.

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Never Mind the Market: Blockchain Is Transforming the Tech Industry

When you hear the word ‘blockchain,’ there’s a good chance that your mind flits to cryptocurrency and the volatile speculative market that has been making headlines in recent years. But if you work in the tech industry, or tech-adjacent sector, you are likely aware of how blockchain has gradually been becoming an important part of technology that touches every aspect of life and business.

Beyond the bitcoin hype, blockchain is changing the world, creating new opportunities in the tech industry and strong demand for talented blockchain-savvy programmers.

Blockchain 101

A blockchain is a decentralized database that stores a ledger of transactions among a distributed nodes network. This makes it very secure and enables users to exchange information on a peer-to-peer basis without the need for middlemen. Even in the case of one or more nodes becoming unavailable, the distributed network guarantees the system to continue working and remain available. All activity on a blockchain is decentralized, permanent, and irreversible.

Blockchain in Business

Blockchain is being adopted across a wide range of industries. In healthcare, it is used to secure sensitive patient health data and manage supply chains of drugs and equipment. The finance world is also adopting the best aspects of cryptocurrency, speeding up transaction times, increasing security, reducing fees and cross-border friction, and allowing more transparency between parties.

Demand for Tech Talent

As mainstream adoption of blockchain technology continues, more employers are seeking talented employees with the knowledge to create and work within the blockchain ecosystem. In particular, software developers with Java and Python knowledge, AI experts, and data scientists. Workers such as analysts, marketers, and business reps who understand smart contracts and decentralized systems are also sought-after. Dedicated agencies with ready-made teams of experts in the blockchain space can be useful for any business looking to expand its talent pool for this purpose.

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Outsourcing Software Development to Latin America

Software development is a very competitive field, and many companies, organizations, and businesses seek to save money by outsourcing their IT needs by maintaining their software development teams in an overseas region where talent is more affordable but no less professional.

In recent years, Latin America, referred to as LatAm in business circles, has emerged as one of the top global regions for outsourcing. LatAm consists of around 30 different countries, including Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Brazil, and has several advantages over traditional Asian outsourcing hotspots, such as India and China.

The IT industry in particular has favored Latin America as the top outsourcing destination for software development and QA. North American companies prefer Latin American talent for software development, whose proximity has given rise to the term ‘nearshore’ (as opposed to offshore) outsourcing.

Why Outsource App Software Development to Latin America?

Geographic and Cultural Ties

For North American companies in the US and Canada, the biggest advantage of collaboration with Latin American developers is a closely aligned time zone. Using Chinese or Indian developers means dealing with a large time zone difference of over twelve hours, which can result in a significant disruption to communications. Conversely, the minimal time zone difference with nearshore outsourcing companies in Latin America is much more convenient to work with.

A nearshore development team in Latin America is much easier to communicate with, provides faster responses, and operates within your regular business hours. Any IT emergencies that occur can be resolved quickly without having to wait twelve hours or more! Face-to-face meetings are easier to arrange, and business trips are cheaper, with flights between major cities frequent across North, Central, and South America.

Much like the US and Canada, the Latin American countries have a shared history in their foundation as European colonial projects. This means that they share many cultural commonalities compared to say, a Chinese or Vietnamese offshore company. The business and consumer markets are more linked between all the nations of the Americas, leading to a greater level of understanding and cooperation.

English Language Proficiency

Most countries in Latin America share Spanish as a common first language, except for Brazil where Portuguese is dominant. But, thanks to closer ties to the US, Latin American countries can also boast high rates of English proficiency. The English language is a priority for the young and educated who have an eye on upward mobility, participating in the global economy, and potentially emigrating. Latin American governments have also invested money into English language education, which has resulted in the region becoming the location of choice for outsourcing IT professionals.

High Standard of Education and Expertise

Latin American countries have done much to elevate their educational infrastructure in the last decade or so, especially as they’ve aimed to transition from a traditional economy (agriculture and manufacturing) to a high-tech one (providing specialized services). The level of education provided at Latin American Universities is generally of a high standard. Young people seeking to better their lives are motivated to study computer science and programming and, as a result, Latin America contains many highly skilled IT professionals in web development, QA, blockchain, AI, and game asset development. Even large multinationals, such as Microsoft, have no issues satisfying their nearshore outsourcing IT needs in Latin American countries.

Lower Costs

The main advantage of hiring developers in Latin America is to save expenses. A qualified developer in the United States could command from around $80 to $150 per hour. In comparison, in Latin American developers cost $40 to $70 per hour. Thanks to the lower cost of living in Latin America, this is still a highly desirable rate for the developers, which keeps the industry competitive.

Potential Risks and How to Mitigate Them

There are two potential risks ones should consider when outsourcing to Latin America, but both can be easily managed if anticipated. The first is the difficulty in selecting candidates and vetting them thoroughly for expertise and professionalism. With tens of thousands of potential candidates in the region, it can be difficult to assess them from a distance. Secondly, the different countries in the region all have different tax systems and treaties, and a business needs clarity on how to interact with these systems (i.e. if they will be taxed as if they had a branch in the country, or pay indirect taxes).

The best way to easily manage these two issues is not to hire developers as individuals, but to hire a nearshore software development staffing agency, which employs personnel with a proven track record, and can sort out the bureaucratic procedure for you.

AccelOne is one such agency, with a nearshore software development team that has proven experience developing software solutions for industry-leading businesses. To learn more about how we can help you meet your IT and software development needs, contact us online or call 1.800.863.6814.

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How Latin America Became the Top Location for Tech Development Talent

Latin America, referred to as LatAm in business jargon, is a region consisting of every country on the continental landmass south of the United States. Although over 30 countries form the region, they share a common culture due to their history as former European colonies. The developing economies of Latin America share many cultural commonalities with the US, as well as a time zone, due to geographic proximity. In recent years, LatAm has become one of the most promising regions in the world to find top-quality tech talent at low cost—and its North American neighbors have just started to take note, reaching out to a region that had previously lay under the radar. What happened?

In the last few years, Latin America’s economies shifted from agriculture and manufacturing to the tech industry, with North American venture capitalists (VCs) pouring funding into promising startups. These VC investments made software development very attractive to the young, educated, and talented. Many of the over 1 million software engineers in Latin America have experience working remotely for US companies with the rise of nearshore outsourcing.

The region’s talent pool covers the full range of skills and programming languages that are sought after by multinationals, but due to lower costs of living, developers will often work for around 50% less than those with equivalent experience in the US. Such rates are still around double the average wage in their own countries and allow them and their families a high standard of living.

While firms looking for LatAm talent can headhunt developers individually, most find it more effective to contact software development agencies in countries such as Brazil and Argentina. These agencies field teams of experienced developers with a proven track record, manage the talent sourcing and administration, and provide good value on a range of projects.

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How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Digital Currencies

The ongoing discourse over digital currencies tends to focus on two groups—the retail traders who bet on the market and make it big, or the institutional investors who represent a legitimization of the once-fringe notion of cryptocurrency.notion of cryptocurrency. But there is one crucial sector of the US economy that is often overlooked in the digital currency debate—small businesses.

Small businesses deal with many issues. Most operate on razor-thin margins, with cash flow issues that leave employees and owners vulnerable to economic fluctuations. They also have less leverage with financial institutions than large companies—they pay higher merchant fees to credit card companies and are less likely to secure loans. All these issues could be significantly improved by faster, more cost-effective digital payment systems.

These businesses are unlikely to want to risk it all on the more volatile speculative cryptocurrencies. Instead, stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which have a fixed fiat value, can be used. Digital asset payment systems are fast and efficient compared to existing systems such as SWIFT, especially when it comes to cross-border payments. These can be critical to the kind of family-run business favored by immigrants, who may have suppliers in another country or send remittances abroad. These are a traditional way for minorities to achieve upward social mobility and inclusion and are a vital part of communities all over the country.

The recent pandemic and accompanying disruption of global payment and supply chains pressed small businesses the most, and communities realized just how vulnerable their cafes, dry cleaners, plumbers, etc., were in the face of payment delays. A stable digital currency, backed and guaranteed by the government, could greatly benefit small businesses the most in terms of lower costs and easier access to funds. They shouldn’t be left out of the discussion.

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