Author: Editor - Technology News

Centrify gives states a deal on identity management software to secure midterm elections

To secure U.S. election systems from the very real threat of targeted cyberattacks, states might need to reframe their security practices to look more like they would in a tightly controlled corporate environment. To that end, Centrify, an enterprise cloud-based identity management company, is extending its security offerings to help states cover their bases as part of a “Secure the Vote” initiative. The company is encouraging state and local election boards to employ its services for basic security measures like multi-factor authentication and user privilege management — two easy steps that could thwart potential attacks. To coordinate with states, Centrify is working with the Department of Homeland Security on the budget and procurement processes as states begin to work more closely with the agency on the challenge of election security. In a conversation with TechCrunch, Centrify CEO Tom Kemp emphasized that states could bolster election security considerably by even undertaking the most basic safety measures. “There’s some low-hanging fruit that can be done relatively quickly,” Kemp told TechCrunch, noting that this level of precaution would only take “a couple weeks of implementation work.” As Kemp notes, the hackers targeting state election systems generally try to compromise admin-level accounts with broad system access. Multi-factor authentication requires an external confirmation of user identity in order to log into a system and is widely considered one of the more basic and most...

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Square acquires corporate catering startup Zesty

Square has acquired elements of corporate catering startup Zesty . Square, which already owns on-demand food delivery service Caviar, plans to use Zesty’s assets to strengthen Caviar’s corporate ordering business, Caviar for Teams. Neither company disclosed financial terms of the deal, but the plan is for Caviar and Zesty to operate independently in the short term. “Restaurants turn to Caviar to reach more diners and grow their businesses,” Square Caviar Lead Gokul Rajaram said in a press release. “Expanding our corporate catering product with Zesty enables us to offer our restaurant partners another way to boost sales through higher-margin, large-format catering orders,” said Rajaram, Caviar Lead at Square. “Caviar is thriving, and we’re excited to supercharge its success with Zesty and double down on an area with great opportunity to drive more growth for our business.” Since its acquisition of Caviar in 2014, Square has acquired OrderAhead’s pickup business to launch Caviar Pickup and Entrees On-Trays to expand its footprint in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. Zesty currently partners with about 150 restaurants in San Francisco, which is the only city in which it operates. Some of Zesty’s customers include Snap, Splunk and TechCrunch. Zesty, which first launched in 2013 under a different name, had previously raised $20.7 million in venture funding. “Adding Zesty’s offerings, like sophisticated menu-planning tools and algorithms, white-glove catering services, and nutrition and allergen customization, will...

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Announcing how startups can exhibit for free at Disrupt SF with Top Picks

TechCrunch’s top goal at Disrupt SF (September 5-7) is to help early-stage founders get lots of attention, which is why every year we introduce more and better ways to make that happen. This year we’re adding TC Top Picks, a new program that will provide 60 top founders the opportunity to exhibit free of charge for one day in Startup Alley and three free Founder Passes for all three days of the show, including access to CrunchMatch, TechCrunch’s founder-investor matching service. Here is how founders can win a top spot in TC Top Picks. To qualify, the startup must fit in one of the categories listed below, which reflect the major tracks at Disrupt SF. The editors will pick five TC Top Picks startups for each category and they get the exhibition space with special “TC Top Picks” signage, three free Founder Passes plus a three-minute interview on our Showcase Stage. Click here to fill out the application, which should take about five minutes. (Note we have also launched an updated application app, which allows founders to create a single application and use it across all of TechCrunch’s programs — including Startup Battlefield. TechCrunch will notify the winners by July 20, but applications close June 29 — so don’t lose any time, apply today. Here are the categories we’re featuring at Disrupt SF: Artificial intelligence (AI) “What’s your AI strategy?” supplanted “What’s you mobile...

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Do you need a blockchain?

Blockchain technology is set to have a profound impact on a wide variety of industries, ranging from capital markets to the music business. While some use cases may seem obvious, the technology is still surrounded by its fair share of hype and uncertainty. As a manager, how should you approach the subject, and when should you put your money where your mouth is and actively aim to implement blockchain technology? According to Juniper Research, six of 10 large corporations are either actively considering or in the process of deploying blockchain technology. Amongst companies that have reached the Proof of Concept stage, two-thirds (66 percent) expected blockchain to be integrated into their systems by the end of 2018.  The research claimed that those companies that would benefit most from blockchain include those with the need for (1) transparency in transactions, (2) current dependence legacy storage systems and (3) a high volume of transmitted information. Looking at the reasons for implementing blockchain, there is an inherent risk that managers eager to explore new technologies jump to conclusions without exploring alternative options. According to the research, systemic change rather than technological may provide both better and cheaper solutions to the issue at hand. For many corporations, the go-to approach to investigate potential use cases for blockchain is to look for inefficiencies in current processes.This approach is guaranteed to provide some results, but often the solution is to truly re-design legacy...

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