Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Black Duck Software Reports Record Revenues and Growth

Black Duck, the leader in automated solutions for securing and managing open source software, today reported record revenue and record revenue growth for the first half of 2017.

The company said new and add-on revenue from subscriptions to Black Duck Hub, its flagship open source security solution, grew by 77 per cent in the first half of 2017 and subscription renewal rates for Hub were in the mid-90-per cent range.

Black Duck had a 64 per cent increase in new customers during 2016, and the company said it nearly matched the 2016 new-customer total in the first half of 2017. Notable customers added to the portfolio since January include HPE, Carbon Black, Exact Group BV, and Copper Leaf.

CEO Lou Shipley said the company expects overall revenue growth for 2017 will exceed 30 per cent in 2017, up 50 per cent from 2016.

“We’re encouraged by our first-half performance and we’re on track for an equally strong second half of 2017,” said Shipley.

"Open source software dominates application development today and organisations are increasingly recognising the need for more effective open source security and management throughout their software development lifecycle. This drives demand for Hub because it helps reduce risk by addressing difficult open source security and management challenges without slowing development," Shipley said.

Black Duck highlighted other significant areas of momentum during the first half of 2017:
In February, Forrester Research published a report punctuating the importance of Software Composition Analysis (SCA) in helping enterprises “know” what’s in their code. The report offered insights into the strategies and solutions available to gain visibility into open source software use and identified the vendors best positioned to help reduce security, management and IP risk. Black Duck was alone in Forrester’s leader category.
“Building world-class partnerships is a major corporate goal for 2017,” said Shipley, “and we’re encouraged by the strategic partnerships we developed in the first half of this year.”

He said that as the software development and delivery process becomes increasingly complex – spanning AppDev, DevOps, SecDevOps, Containers, the Cloud and IoT – a strong ecosystem partnerships and technology integrations is vital. Black Duck has announced integrations or partnerships with Google, Red Hat, Microsoft, Atlassian, and Pivotal.
Black Duck’s global headcount has increased 25 per cent from 281 to 350 employees worldwide since January. The company expanded the footprint of its Burlington, MA, headquarters in 2016 and Shipley said, “we’ve already outgrown the expansion space and we’ll add more in the coming months.”
The company introduced Hub in the first quarter of 2015 and Shipley said that significant investments in engineering, in research and in innovation over the last two years “have helped us deliver the product capabilities and functionality that have established us as a category leader. We’ll continue to invest heavily to maintain that leadership.”

In late 2016, the company established the Black Duck Center for Open Source Research and Innovation (COSRI) and two new groups in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Vancouver, Canada, are conducting cutting-edge research in open source security vulnerability management, in data mining and in machine learning to drive product innovation.

In April, COSRI released its landmark 2017 Open Source Security and Risk Analysis (OSSRA) detailing audit of more than 1,000 applications that showed significant cross-industry risks related to open source vulnerabilities and license-compliance challenges.

The COSRI report found high levels of open source usage – 96 per cent of the audited applications contained open source – and significant risk to open source security vulnerabilities. More than 60 per cent of the applications contained open source security vulnerabilities.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Chas Moloney sees “huge opportunities for Irish businesses to connect with, and learn about, their audience

A new study from technology specialist Ricoh Ireland has highlighted generational differences in customer service expectations. Older age groups are revealed as being less forgiving of brands, while younger customers expect far more information at the consideration stage, along with deep post-sales interaction to build lasting brand relationships. The survey of 3,600 consumers was conducted by Censuswide across Europe and included more than 250 Irish respondents.

The research found that added services, such as the inclusion of third-party reviews and recommendations, are vastly more important to younger consumers than older generations. Some 43% of 16 to 24-year-olds rated this as the factor that impresses them most when choosing to buy from a brand, compared to only 20% of over 55s.

Customers also seek streamlined user experiences, with the research finding that 62% of over 55s would walk away from brands with laborious sales processes, compared to 43% of 16 to 24-year-olds. Of all age groups, 55% of customers would abandon a purchase if they found the process difficult.

Older customers were also revealed as being less interested in loyalty programmes and incentives for frequent purchases. Only 19% felt this was an impressive factor in brand selection, compared to 38% of 16 to 24-year-olds.

Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland and UK, said: “Our research highlights a core challenge facing brands today – how they can navigate a varied set of preferences from customers across generations. Understanding why young people build affinity with a brand is a crucial factor in ensuring future success, while continued attention to other age groups’ needs is integral to customer satisfaction and retention. For those that get it right the rewards are there for the taking, shown by the fact that 57% of customers spend more with brands that make them feel valued.”

Ricoh’s research also found that customers are increasingly going to great lengths to access information pre-purchase. Younger consumers are more frustrated by not being able to interact with a brand via social media, with 50% of 16 to 24-year-olds saying it irritates them, compared to 26% of over 55s.

Moloney continued: “Brands cannot shirk the responsibility of providing lines of communication for their customers. This is now taken for granted by young consumers, leading to frustration in its absence. It’s paramount that Irish businesses are on social media and fully aware of their consumers’ behaviour. Significant numbers of Irish consumers are using social media to interact with brands prior to purchase. This provides huge opportunities for Irish businesses to connect with, and learn about, their audience.”

Find out more at

Monday, 7 August 2017

Irish business up cyber security after Wannacry

DataSolutions, the specialist IT solutions distributor, announces the results of a survey, which found that 73% of companies have made changes to their IT security as a direct result of the WannaCry ransomware incident. The research also found that one-fifth of senior IT decision-makers in Ireland would pay a ransom if under attack from cybercriminals.

In May 2017, approximately 200,000 computers in 150 countries, including Ireland, were infected by the unprecedented WannaCry ransomware attack. Despite widespread upgrades to security systems since the attack, DataSolutions found that a significant 30% of respondents still don’t think that their organisation is capable of protecting itself against emerging threats. The complete survey results will be revealed at DataSolutions’ Secure Computing Forum in the Aviva Stadium on 21st September.

As companies remain ill-equipped to tackle cyber threats, the survey results indicate that ransomware remains an issue for Irish and Northern Irish organisations. When asked if they had been held to ransom in the past 12 months, 19% of survey respondents stated that they had.

If held to ransom, 19% of businesses would pay up to £45,000 to recover their data from cybercriminals. This is a substantial increase from a similar survey carried out by DataSolutions 17 months ago, when just 7% said that they would pay a ransom.

David Keating, security specialist, DataSolutions, said: “The results of this year’s survey highlight that ransomware remains an effective weapon for cybercriminals seeking to extract money from businesses. Ransomware attacks are a very disruptive form of cybercrime , and, as the recent WannaCry and Petya outbreaks made clear, they pose a huge threat to organisations of all types and sizes. Companies need to take steps to implement tried and tested security systems to secure their interests, or risk facing further attacks.

“Considering the numbers stating that they have been held to ransom in the past 12 months, we can infer that that a significant number of organisations that fall victim to cybercrime are paying out to cybercriminals.”

When it comes to the factors that are leaving companies vulnerable to exposure, a failure to frequently update IT equipment could be playing a part. Almost half (46%) of those surveyed said that the platforms that they work with on a daily basis are outdated. Employees were also singled out as a critical vulnerability, with 77% saying that a lack of security savvy among employees put their organisation at risk of a data breach.

Despite these vulnerabilities, 67% of those surveyed claimed not to have experienced a data breach in the past year, with one-third stating that they had experienced breaches.

David Keating, continued: “The fact that almost 70% of respondents claim not to have experienced a cyber-breach in the past 12 months displays a fundamental misunderstanding as to what constitutes a data breach. The term does not solely refer to the instance of a ransomware attack and, with this in mind, it is likely that far more of these companies may have experienced some form of security compromise.

“Cybercriminals have access to incredible resources and extremely sophisticated technologies, but many businesses are continuing to implement technologies that focus on detecting attacks, rather than preventing them. This fragmented approach focuses on fix after the damage has been done. Companies need to change tack and apply new approaches that are focused on prevention to ward off future attacks.

“We will be presenting the results of the survey at this year’s DataSolutions Secure Computing Forum which will take a look at the advanced technologies and strategies that companies can embrace to safeguard their interests. By turning to preventative measures, businesses can protect against the unexpected and secure their futures.”

More information about this year’s Secure Computing Forum can be found at