Technology

How VR Could Change The Training Landscape

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Virtual reality, or VR, used to be a thing people talked about in the movies and dreamed about for the future. Well, folks, the future is here now, and we are living and breathing VR like it has always been around.

And we are pretty excited about the applications of virtual reality on the training industry and other business in general example such as stainless steel banding manufacturers who are already using Google Glass within the factory’s. With the ability to place ourselves in any location, any situation, any experience, we can learn and do things like never before. In considering that the VR space is only going to continue to expand, training institutions need to work fast to start incorporating VR into their curriculums and to start using it as a way to train students for the jobs of today and not tomorrow. Here’s how VR can change the training landscape across the globe.

Competition

First to market is not always the best in the market, but when it comes to being and staying competitive in the training industry, the best institutions are going to jump on the VR bandwagon sooner, rather than later. Imagine being able to train a dentist or doctor using virtual reality training simulators. Sporting clubs are already using such technologies and have been for years: think golf, baseball, and hockey. As VR continues to make its way deeper into the training world, institutions are going to have to start investing in these technologies because students are quickly going to come to expect to have some kind of virtual reality training component.

Training Options

VR is going to create an unlimited amount of training opportunities for students. Where students might have had to travel to work with some of the world’s best educators, virtual reality, coupled with online learning, is going to create an incredible opportunity to get hands on learning from people around the globe. While online learning is amazing and continues to be improved, the component that has been lacking has been the hands-on component that so many learners need to learn a concept or technique successfully. For example, you can take a class from a university process across the country, but you had to wait to take your labs in the summer when you could travel to the school and do them in person. Imagine if lab components could be completed through virtual reality classes! Students could get the full range of benefits from the instructors, as well as the hands-on components that are so important to lock in learning experiences.

Operating Budgets

From a training institutes perspective, making money is an essential part of staying operational. In order to provide the kind of education people need to get access to the best jobs, they need to charge a certain amount for their services. This amount differs depending on location and course offerings, but at the end of the day, money does make the education system go round, so let’s not start a debate about whether education for money is right or wrong; let’s talk about how training institutions could actually charge more money for courses that offer virtual reality components. Because this kind of equipment is not cheap, training organizations will need to be able to recoup the cost of implementing this kind of training opportunity, and should they choose to do so, make a little extra money as a result of offering VR learning. It will cost institutions more money to hire qualified instructors to run the VR labs and to keep the equipment operational.

Students Can Co-create Content

MOOCs (massive open online courses) hit the world by storm offering high-quality content for low prices, and the beauty of MOOCs was that the content was open-sourced, which means it was created by a number of people or people from different locations. Anyone can build and market a MOOC, and you’ll start to see the same thing happen with virtual reality courses. Students can have a hand in teaching other students from around the globe through VR courses. Everyone loves a good peer to peer relationship, but imagine how robust the training world will be when students are sharing experiences with each other instead of just getting information from instructors, professors, and trainers. The unlimited nature of VR is complicated to comprehend, but it is also amazing to imagine how people can start to impact the learning experience by sharing what they know through VR simulations. This will take Youtubers to a whole new level. Instead of demonstrating how to do something online, students will be able to walk VR users through simulations and ensure they are learning how to do a specific task. The level of engagement goes through the roof; instead of passively watching a video or reading a lesson, students will be able to learn as they do.

Virtual reality has hit the scene much faster than people anticipated. Much of the technology advances of the last 20 years have come much more quickly than people expected, actually. The human race is evolving so quickly that is seems hard to imagine that we have anything left to achieve. But VR shows us that really, we are just getting started. Soon, VR will be like it is in the movies, and while it seems like that stuff is just hokey pokey, just think back to when you were a kid and all the cool stuff you saw in the movies…it’s here now. The real and radical implications of virtual reality will be right at home in the training world, where innovation and change is imminent. The question remains then, just how quickly will training institutes pick up this new technology and how quickly will they be able to stay current with it. Many public training institutions have to abide by strict government regulations when it comes to education, and their hands are tied as to how quickly they can introduce new ways of teaching into the classroom. How will they stack up against the private training corporations who can change on a dime? It’s an interesting question to consider and one that will be interesting to watch play out in the industry. 

What is Ransomware & How To Protect Your Business

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Your business is something that you will want to make sure that you protect. Not only for the sake of your interests and money, but also for your valued customers too.

There has been plenty of news stories circulating around in the past few months about Ransomware, particularly a global attack in May which affected over 200,000 different organisations around the world, including the NHS which had many IT Support companies working 24/7 trying to secure these network and stop the attack from spreading.

Dubbed the WannaCry Ransomware, it seemed to prey on a flaw in the much used Microsoft Software, which allowed it to spread across networks with ease, locking away valuable files. It seems that despite there being security experts who managed to stop this attack, as well as some other subsequent attacks, the problems that they caused, not to mention the security concerns are still very much around.

What is Ransomware?

So, what exactly is Ransomware?

It appears that this software has been around since 2005, created in the US, before spreading across the rest of the world.

The idea behind this cyber security attacks is that you will be requested to make a payment in order to gain access to important files. The hackers see this as a quick and easy way to receive money, particularly as they know that the majority of the files that they have locked down are incredibly important.

Access to these files, as well as the computer system as a whole is blocked until the payment is made.

Ransomware is a malicious form of software and can be downloaded onto a computer, tablet or even a smartphone. However in order to gain access to a network, it needs to be downloaded onto the network, this is usually done by the hacker getting the victim to click on a link, or perhaps download something.

They usually disguise it within an email attachment, such as documents, music or photographs. The victim will not know that this link contains Ransomware, and once the link is clicked or downloaded the hackers will be able to attack the files on the network via the software. This is a gradual process and the files are encrypted one after another.

How to protect yourself against Ransomware

Concerned that your business is not properly protected against any Ransomware attacks? If you are, then you will be pleased to know that there are steps that you can take in order to protect your company and customers data.

One of the first things you should do is make sure that your important files are backed up on a separate system. This may seem like an added expense, but if you find yourself as part of a Ransomware attack then you will know that the hackers don’t have the only copy of your files. However, of course they will still have this information.

It can be tricky to protect and prevent a determined Ransomware attack, particularly if you are part of a large company with plenty of potential targets. The best thing to do is to exercise caution, and remind your employees to do the same thing. After all, the hackers can gain access to your network simply by requesting someone downloads something onto a single computer or mobile phone.

As the most common way of gaining access to the network is through a compromised email or download from a website, this should be something that you and your employees do with caution. You should never download or even open an email or website that you think could be a phishing email. Even if it looks like it could be from a reputable source, such as a bank or even an employee within the company.

It is good practice to check the senders email, making sure that it is correct and that it hasn’t come from an outside source. If you are ever in any doubt, never open the link or download the attachment. You could always call the source to see if they are who they say they are. For a bank or other source, search for their contact number on Google rather than calling any numbers that are included within the email.

Another way to prevent an attack is to use an antivirus programme that is able to scan files before they are downloaded, and also block any installations that may contain malware. Particularly those that are hidden, and that you didn’t even know were being downloaded.

Should you pay the ransom request?

Ransomware hackers will request a payment, usually in bitcoins in order to release the files that they have control of. Bitcoins are a digital currency, which is used to make payments across the cyber world with minimum tracking and no fees.

As a victim of a Ransomware attack, you may feel tempted to pay the amount requested by the hackers. Particularly if the files that have been shut down are important to your business or contain your personal information.

However, it is important that you do not pay the amount that they are requesting. Not only does this encourage the attackers to make further attacks, but there is also no guarantee that you will receive the files back that they have been able to access.

Rather than making a payment, the best thing to do is try to restore the affected files from a back up. If you do not have a back up, or it does not appear to be working, then there are a number of tools out there that you can use to try and decrypt the hacked files and recover them.

Ransomware attacks can be concerning, but you should remember that you can protect yourself, and make sure that your files are properly protected. This is a relatively easy process, and with some common sense and careful consideration with regards to what you download, you can make sure that the hackers are less likely to attack your business files and data.