Pence urges China to respect Hong Kong laws amid protest

Reuters | August 19, 2019

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged China on Monday to respect the integrity of Hong Kong’s laws and repeated President Donald Trump’s warning that it would be harder for Washington to make a trade deal with Beijing if there was violence in the former British territory. “For the United States to make a deal with China, Beijing needs to honor its commitments - beginning with the commitment China made in 1984 to respect the integrity of Hong Kong’s laws through the Sino-British Joint Declaration,” Pence said in an address at the Detroit Economic Club.

Spotlight

For business leaders concerned about the threat of criminal hackers breaching their networks, FBI cyber division chief Joseph Demarest has a blunt message: “You’re going to be hacked. Have a plan.” October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Demarest’s frank warning was delivered to members of the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) at an October 20 event focused on how the private sector and law enforcement could work together to combat hacking threats. Cybersecurity has emerged as a top challenge for both the private and public sectors. While news accounts abound of consumer retailers and financial services firms being targeted for cyberattacks, the reality is that virtually any connected entity is vulnerable to criminal hackers.

Spotlight

For business leaders concerned about the threat of criminal hackers breaching their networks, FBI cyber division chief Joseph Demarest has a blunt message: “You’re going to be hacked. Have a plan.” October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Demarest’s frank warning was delivered to members of the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) at an October 20 event focused on how the private sector and law enforcement could work together to combat hacking threats. Cybersecurity has emerged as a top challenge for both the private and public sectors. While news accounts abound of consumer retailers and financial services firms being targeted for cyberattacks, the reality is that virtually any connected entity is vulnerable to criminal hackers.

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CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Department of Defense Awards Accrete Multi-Million Dollar AI Production OT Software Licensing Contract

Accrete | November 18, 2022

Accrete has secured a five-year multi-million dollar Production Operational Technology (OT) software licensing contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for Argus™, Accrete's highly configurable, dual-use open-source threat detection AI software solution, worth tens of millions of dollars. The exact contract value and deal terms cannot be disclosed per government guidelines. Argus continuously analyzes the open-source web to predict anomalous and nefarious behavior hidden in plain sight. Argus performs work that would otherwise require thousands of intelligence analysts at an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in areas critical to national security such as supply chain risk management, vulnerability research, intellectual property theft, social media intelligence, insider threat detection, and anti-money laundering. Argus reads, understands, and learns from an exploding universe of dynamic, unstructured data, including news, blogs, think tank publications, strategy papers, social media chatter, financial filings, microprocessor manuals, and binaries in multiple languages. The AI software automatically extracts, normalizes, and maps relationships between entities, models influence, and surfaces behavioral anomalies indicative of potentially illicit activity that are too complex for humans to identify. "We are at the dawn of an entirely new type of conflict, driven by rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Whereas nuclear proliferation threatened entire populations, AI proliferation individualizes warfare by manipulating targeted groups through digital means. Using AI, bad actors can propagate disinformation to exploit ignorance and weaken civil society causing billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy, As a prime defense contractor licensing configurable dual-use AI software directly to the DoD, Accrete is in a unique position to scale its business with the Defense, Intelligence, and Special Operations communities, as well as other government and enterprise customers, and bolster national security as well as intelligence competitiveness in previously unimaginable ways." -Prashant Bhuyan, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Accrete, Inc. In 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter established in collaboration with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to strengthen U.S. national security by accelerating DoD adoption of commercial technology, awarded Accrete with an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Prototype contract after Accrete outperformed 65 other companies in a competitive review. The DoD accepted the Argus prototype within 15 months, and Accrete worked closely with the DIU and the DoD to transition the OTA Prototype contract into a first-of-its-kind multi-year Production OT AI software licensing deal. William Wall, who leads Accrete’s federal sales subsidiary, Accrete AI Government, and formerly served as a U.S. Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), said, "We are extremely excited to announce this award, especially as this is the first production OTA that our DoD customer has ever awarded. There are very few start-up technology companies that successfully navigate the extremely challenging OTA process through prototype acceptance and transition into a multi-year production OT software licensing agreement. Our success is a testament to the efficacy, scalability, and configurability of our AI technology and, more importantly, to our employees' relentless focus on providing solutions that are tightly aligned with end-user requirements. As we continue to scale, Accrete looks forward to providing its growing customer base with powerful dual-use AI solutions that not only drive efficiency through the automation of analytical work but also produce mission-critical insights beyond human capacity.” Zachary Smith, Accrete AI Government’s Program Manager and retired special agent who spent most of his 23-year Air Force career focused on countering human, technical, and cyber-based threats, observed, "Based on Argus' blazing speed and scale, in seconds, analysts will be able to research and visualize complex relationships that would have taken at least a month of steady research and annotation. Within the framework of the DoD's acquisition risk review process, Argus will enable supply chain risk analysis to be more efficient and effective while delivering enhanced value at a lower cost per insight." Accrete's continuously learning AI technology enables the templatization of analytical workflows. Templates such as Argus for Threat Detection learn from sparse data and are configurable for use cases including supply chain influence, social media intelligence, reverse engineering, and logistics disruption for both government and commercial customers. In addition to helping the DoD predict bad actors that may be intentionally obscuring identities to influence the supply chain, Argus has also been enabling the U.S. Air Force to reverse engineer binaries from microprocessor manuals to detect vulnerabilities in firmware. Accrete’s dual-use AI solutions have also been proven in industry, including media and entertainment companies automating talent scouting to predict emerging talent from social chatter; insurance brokers automating lead generation to find the shortest path to the hottest lead; private equity and venture firms automating pitch deck review through smart table extraction; and automobile dealerships automating the writing of marketing content. About Accrete: Accrete's mission is to create AI so powerful that it amplifies human reasoning and enables government entities and commercial enterprises to grow in previously unimaginable ways. Accrete, founded in 2017, delivers configurable dual-use AI solutions that automate complex analytical work for both government and enterprise customers with a focus on defense, intelligence, and cybersecurity. Accrete has 128 employees globally and is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Alexandria, Va. and Wellesley, Mass.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Vidcruiter’s G-Cloud 13 Framework open for Public Sector with UK Govt. Contract

VidCruiter | January 10, 2023

VidCruiter, the leading SaaS provider of recruiting software vendor for the government, recently announced that the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has selected it as a pre-qualified cloud software vendor. UK central government departments and public sector organizations can now use the cloud-based hiring tools by VidCruiter. The agreement is possible through G-Cloud 13, a procurement gateway operated by Crown Commercial Service (CCS) that lets UK central government departments and public sector organizations purchase cloud-based software products. VidCruiter provides point hiring and interviewing solutions, such as: Video interviewing Structured interviewing Applicant tracking, skills assessments Reference checking VidCruiter is dedicated to assisting central government agencies and public sector organizations in the United Kingdom to improve hiring efficiencies, reduce time and scale while retaining complete compliance. VidCruiter has worked with government agencies around the globe to update and automate their employment processes for greater efficiency and consistency with internal guidelines and procedures. About VidCruiter VidCruiter's online hiring solutions are trusted by recruiters worldwide. It has been empowering companies and job seekers to find the ideal match for over a decade. The platform interacts seamlessly at all stages of the hiring experience with industry-leading HR technologies to streamline existing operations. The innovative method taken by VidCruiter stems from four guiding principles: recruitment process modelling; recruitment accessibility; a foundation in scientific research; and continuous process improvement.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Symplicity joins the UK Government's G-Cloud framework for its 13th iteration

Symplicity | November 21, 2022

Symplicity® Corporation the global leader of student employability, wellbeing and success, is proud to announce it has joined the UK Crown Commercial Services as a certified supplier on the Government's G-Cloud 13 procurement framework. This acceptance brings a powerful, and affordable, student support services platform to higher education institutions across the United Kingdom. The approval means that any higher education institution can now engage with Symplicity without the need for prolonged and extended procurement, bringing a wide range of functionality and services within easy reach. This includes support for employability, skills and graduate outcomes, wellbeing and disability support, a unified student experience and employer engagement, to name a few. Part of the Government's Digital Marketplace, the G-Cloud framework is designed to ensure the public sector has access to proven and cost-effective cloud software and services via an online platform. "Achieving G-Cloud 13 certification enables Symplicity to continue offering higher education institutions the tools to improve student engagement and outcomes, With this sought-after certification, Symplicity can support more institutions, staff and students with a holistic and whole university support structure." -Thomas Jepsen, President of International at Symplicity. About Crown Commercial Service (CCS): Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is an Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office, supporting the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. CCS supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2021/22, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £2.8 billion - supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers. About Symplicity: Symplicity® Corporation is a global leader in student employability and engagement software solutions to more than 2,500 colleges and universities across 37 countries. Symplicity's SaaS platform supports the full student Iife, including early talent recruiting, accessibility, wellbeing and behavioural intervention. These solutions empower higher education clients to enhance a student's ability to stay in school, graduate and secure a first job.

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