Business and Technology News from NUS

Month: December 2017

Top online courses that can benefit start-up professionals

To start out on your own as an entrepreneur has never been a cakewalk. No matter what your field of study has been in the university, you are going to need a practical and comprehensive understanding of the business operations that can only be achieved through experience. When you start operating, you will realize that there are skill areas that you never were exposed to, like social media marketing, people management, billing, negotiations etc. While it is not possible for any one person to be an expert on all the skills required for successful business operations, it may be a good idea for young entrepreneurs to possess at least a basic know-how of all important skills.

Thankfully, the advent of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) has ushered in an astonishing revolution in the field of education. If you are truly keen on learning something new, you only need an internet connection and your smartphone to join an online classroom. Right from technology courses to writing, there are thousands of courses that are offered free or at a nominal fee from some of the finest institutions in the world. These courses are not just meant for young adults, but for learning enthusiasts of any age group. In this myriad of choices, there are also courses that have been carefully designed to meet the needs of young entrepreneurs. The following is a list of top online courses that will benefit not just the entrepreneur but also people looking to build a career in start-ups.

  • Digital Marketing

It is no secret that businesses nowadays are generously allotting budget for digital marketing strategies. If you need a realistic marketing plan for your product or service, you must build one with significant digital strategies. Even if you have a brilliant marketing professional on your payroll, your involvement in the strategy is indispensable.  Therefore, take a course in digital marketing to understand the significance of terms like conversion, impressions, keyword, organic traffic etc.

  • Business Case writing

As an entrepreneur, you need to present business cases that are both persuasive and winning. Whether you must convince potential investors, analysts or partners or the bank, you want to present a case that presents details of your project and solutions from every practical angle. Lucky, courses for business case writing do not need prior qualification.

  • Artificial Intelligence

Be it any business, its future depends on integration with technology. As the tech world gets ready to employ artificial intelligence to influence the way we consume information and entertainment, entrepreneurs and start-up professionals must also familiarize themselves with the latest in this subject. In fact, it would be a worthy investment to even encourage your employees to study about AI.

  • Microsoft Excel

However elementary this suggestion may read; the truth is many people are not aware of the range of advanced mathematical functions offered on MS-Excel, like advanced graphs, macros, VBA, pivot tables etc. To present your data in a professional manner and save precious accounting manhours, take an advanced course in MS-Excel.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

The New Mining Industry: Malware

Bitcoin has finally become a household name. The value of the cryptocurrency has leapt thousands of dollars over the last few weeks. The last week of November saw the value of one Bitcoin surpass $10,000 USD. At the beginning of the year one was worth about $1,000. Although the figure has fallen again once more, it hardly comes as a surprise to learn some less than legitimate folk are seeking out ways to profit from the boom.

Bitcoins are mined using computer software and a mathematical formula designed by Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin. Nakamoto is anonymous. But the mining process works by using your computer’s processing power to solve certain data processes. The higher the number of processes your machine can solve, the more bitcoin you earn. Bitcoin gain their value as they’re exchanged for goods and services, like any other currency.

But, it takes a lot of computing power to mine digital currency. The electricity bill for just one of China’s bitcoin mining enterprises amounts to $39,000 a day. So how are hackers doing it?

Thanks to what started out as a clever twist designed to monetize web content and deal with the problem of unpopular advertising, the cryptojacking gold rush has arrived. Instead of bothering visitors with ads, borrow a limited amount of their CPU power to mine a cryptocurrency while they visit your web site. It ends up boosting each visitor’s electric bill, but only by a tiny amount.

It sounded like an innovative way to help tackle the prevalence of adblocking apps and services. But the software CoinHive has been repurposed by cybercriminals, and is now popping up on sites all over the internet, and turning up on the PC’s of users who access them. In many cases the software has been installed without the knowledge or permission of the website owners. The digital currency that is mined by CoinHive then ends up in the digital wallets of hackers. Individuals and businesses have no way of tracing their last cryptocurrency, essentially having to wear the costs themselves.

Just this year hosting provider Cloudflare shut down thousands of websites which had been infected by Coinhive botnets, removing all relevant domains infected by the miner, which was found hiding in the website’s code. This shows just how vital some form of website virus removal software or subscription service is to protect against these attacks.

Cybercriminals hijack extensions and add-ons for web browsing programs, which then inserts the malicious code. On a computer, the mining malware will run processors at close to 100% to mine as much cryptocurrency as possible. When the code is installed on a smartphone, the result is sluggish performance and rapid battery depletion as the miner exploits as much of the phone’s free processing power as possible.

According to Symantec, who monitor for mining tools on the computers of customers who use their software. They saw 33,000 new detections in November alone, and the increase means that malware and cryptojacking are shaping up to be major concerns for cybersecurity in 2018.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

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