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LINE app complements Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch

There are few things better than your all-time favorite app coupled with your new favorite gadget.

LINE has announced that an optimized version of its free call and messaging app “LINE” will come pre-installed on Samsung’s smartwatch “Galaxy Gear,” which goes on sale in October 2013.

The Galaxy Gear version of LINE will let users receive free phone calls, view their chat logs, send stickers, and toggle notifications for incoming messages from their smartwatch device*.

The application is currently being designed with users of Samsung’s smartphones in mind, with plans to offer compatibility with other makers’ devices in the future.

More details concerning the app and its functions will be announced when the Galaxy Gear goes on sale.

The LINE app has achieved status as a global messaging service with over 230 million users worldwide. With its expansion onto smartwatches, LINE Corporation hopes to make its app a widely used multi-device service.

*Customers will be unable to make outgoing phone calls or send text messages with the Galaxy Gear version of LINE.

**In order to link the smartphone and smartwatch versions of LINE, customers will be required to download the LINE WATCH MANAGER (tentative name). Customers will not be able to register a new LINE account with the smartwatch version.

• Safe Shopping

Retail shops are frequent targets of cyber theft but a secured buying experience is attainable with the right planning and technology

Globally, the retail industry is among the top three industries to be targeted by cyber criminals. Due to the sheer number of merchants accepting payment cards, the relatively low level of security and the many attack vectors available, the number of breaches is large and continuously growing. The increasing use of mobile devices combined with the introduction of Near Field Communication (NFC) wireless technology and applications such as augmented reality only serve to exacerbate the problem.

Some of the most highly reported examples of cyber theft in the retail sector come from the US and include TJX, Subway and Barnes & Noble.

The breaching of these merchants’ in-store wireless networks, point-of-sale (POS) systems and credit card readers resulted in tens of millions of credit cards being compromised and the loss of personally identifiable information, in addition to financial losses for those merchants.

These large-scale incidents of cyber theft highlight the need for retailers to better secure their operations.

Modern Retail Security

Traditionally, retailers have been securing their stores by using either store-based routers with basic security functionality, or an overlay point security solution plugged into the store network, or a private WAN to bring all traffic back to the data centre for inspection.

Each of these methods have their drawbacks, either for lack of functionality, inability to scale or excessive costs.

Instead, retailers should take a closer look at each of the four primary building blocks of a secured distributed environment, and take steps to address the particular issues faced by their organization at each of these levels.

1. Access – As stores extend access to employees and consumers using mobile devices, ensuring secure access is critical. Secure access control through rogue access point detection, authentication, guest WiFi services, rate limiting and load balancing is important.

2. Store – The individual store level requires security and connectivity for a wide variety of functions including WiFi, voice and traditional network connectivity. With the addition of consumer connectivity, each store must also be able to provide security functions, such as anti-malware and application control.

3. Aggregation – This level is the destination for all data. Typically this is the retail headquarters. Core security functions such as firewall, application control and VPN termination take place here.

4. Management – Given the widely distributed nature of modern retail establishments, the ability to centrally manage and quickly modify the various security appliances guarding the organization is essential. Having a security platform across the enterprise will allow this to be done effectively.

In order to remain competitive in today’s changing world, retailers will need to find innovative solutions to create value, fiercely reduce operating costs and mitigate risks throughout the business. For retailers with many geographically dispersed shops, secure network connectivity linking all sites to head office is critical to business operating processes.