Major Data breach – new Windows malware.

September 28th, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Usernames and passwords of billions of users have been exposed online after the digital risk protection company DarkBeam left an online database unprotected.

Unfortunately over 3.8 billion user records were accessible to anyone during the period in which the database was exposed. The leaked email addresses and passwords contained on the database actually came from previous data breaches. Ionically DarkBeam had collected this information to alert its customers in regards to future data breaches, though it’s highly likely that this leak will affect non-customers as well.

Any such leak contains usernames and passwords from both reported and unreported data breaches, and there is a chance that your login credentials could be compromised, even though you had never heard of DarkBeam. it’s likely that hackers downloaded it to use in future attacks. For instance, they could use exposed email addresses in targeted phishing attacks. It’s more likely that  cybercriminals with this data will try and use the usernames and passwords at a number of different sites to see if any of the victims reused the same passwords. Password reuse is a big problem and when you use the same password and username for multiple accounts, hackers use stolen credentials to login to your other accounts. Create strong, complex , unique for all of your accounts. 

If that is not bad enough there is also a new open-source Windows malware Exela Stealer uses Discord to send stolen data back to hackers. Besides stealing login credentials, personal data and financial information, the malware can also steal session details from popular apps and online services including social media and gaming platforms. Once downloaded on a computer, Exela’s builder will run when there is a compatible version of Python (version 3.10.0 or 3.11.0) is installed on the machine and  the builder can create a.exe file.

When the malware’s builder batch file inside the Exela setup folder is executed, a Discord webhook URL is required, and when a victim doesn’t provide this URL, an error message is displayed until they do. The Exela Stealer uses this Discord webhook URL to act as a remote server for the hackers who deployed the malware. to send all of a victim’s stolen data back to the hackers.

After installation on a victim’s PC, Exela Stealer persists by copying itself into a new directory in the local app data folder. It adds a startup entry in Windows Registry so that the malware continues to run even after the infected PC is rebooted.

Exela Stealer then targets any Chromium-based web browsers like Chrome, Edge, Brave, Opera or Vivaldi that are installed on a victim’s computer. Besides credentials, the malware can also steal credit card information, cookies and other browser data while logging keypresses and taking screenshots of the system. Exela Stealer can steal l info from social media platforms including Instagram, X, TikTok and Reddit along with data from both Steam and Roblox.Stolen data is sent back to the hackers behind Exela Stealer who can use it to commit fraud or identity theft.

You risk a bad malware infection should you try to download games or software illegally.. The Exela Stealer is distributed through phishing pages and websites offering free software downloads. However, given the malware’s capabilities, cybercriminals could devise new distribution method so be ever more vigilant about phishing emails, strong passwords, multi factor authentication, ant virus updates etc. Whenever there is  a big data leak like this one, check whether your own credentials are compromised. T Cybernews has its own personal data leak checker, or  use Troy Hunt’s popular HaveIBeenPwned ,or Mozilla’s Firefox Monitor.

Power Automate plugin for ChatGPT – ask Synergy Software Systems

September 27th, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI-powered chatbots captured the world’s imagination because these enable users to gain knowledge, understand nuances around complex topics, and be creative using a simple chat interface.

This experience aligns directly with Power Automate’s goal for everyone to benefit from the power of automation.

We now have a preview of a dedicated plugin for ChatGPT that lets users leverage the automation capabilities of Power Automate, directly from the ChatGPT experience!

Power Automate plugin for ChatGPT

Power Automate plugin for ChatGPT enables users to create, list and run flows from ChatGPT.

It leverages Power Automate’s natural language to flow authoring experience to help users create flows directly from ChatGPT.

The brand new “Skills Connector” and “Run a flow from Copilot trigger” helps you to discover and to invoke flows from the ChatGPT interface.

The plugin always ensures that you can either review the created flow, or which flow was selected to be run before it is executed. This human-in-the-loop oversight is critical to help users benefit from the power of generative AI responsibly.

Enabl3 makers to author no-code skills for ChatGPT

The new Copilot trigger, makers can create custom flows to be invoked directly from within ChatGPT, to increase ChatGPT’s capabilities without writing any code.

A maker can write flows that use the power of 1000+ connectors, together with desktop automation, and AI-based intelligent automation, and invoke those from the familiar ChatGPT experience. Or they can combine this plugin with other plugins to build transformative experiences.

ChatGPT is the first chat-based Large Language Model (LLM) experience that uses this new integration.

Getting Started with the Power Automate plugin for ChatGPT

The Power Automate plugin for ChatGPT is available for all ChatGPT Plus users. Once you have a Power Automate account and a ChatGPT Plus account, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your ChatGPT account and go to the Plugins section
  2. Find and install the Power Automate plugin
  3. Log in to your Power Automate account and authorize the plugin

To start conversing with ChatGPT, use a prompt such as “Create a flow to post a notification to a Teams channel when a new file is added to a SharePoint folder”.

Use prompts such as “Show my flows” or “What are all my flows” to see a list of flows ChatGPT knows about. Only flows that use the new trigger are exposed to ChatGPT.

Create and run your first Flow from ChatGPT

Use Power Automate Plugin for ChatGPT to run flows. Any flow that has the “Run a flow from Copilot” trigger can be invoked from within ChatGPT. – these Flows are called “Skills”. Follow the steps below to author your first Flow-based skill:

  1. Login to the Power Automate portal, and use the Default environment
  2. Select Create on the left side menu
  3. Choose “Instant cloud flow
  4. Choose “Run a flow from Copilot” as the trigger
  5. Add any inputs to the trigger that you want to collect as part of the run. For example, if your flow will perform an approval, what’s the Title, Description, etc.
  6. Add any actions to the flow, based on what you want the flow to do. All the power of Power Automate is at your disposal! For example, to just create an approval, just add that action to the flow
  7. Save the flow with a name that signifies what the flow does Ex: “Create an approval”
  8. Test the flow to ensure it does what you’ve intended using the Test or Run Flow option

Run this flow from ChatGPT with prompts relevant to the title and description of your flows, for example “Create an approval” or “Start an approval”. ChatGPT will reply with a link to run the flow where you enter and review any inputs to the flow before submitting the flow run.

Flow run experience from ChatGPT

 

Co-Pilot for Process Mining – ask Synergy Software System

September 27th, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Last month Microsoft  announced the general availability of Microsoft Power Automate Process Mining. .

Customers are able to unlock recommendations for automations and solutions to address inefficiencies. 

This month they announced the availability of new Copilot capabilities in Power Automate Process Mining (in limited preview—US only). You can try it for free with a Power Automate trial license.

How Copilot is democratizing process mining

Identifying opportunities for automation or adoption of transformative technology, like generative AI, needs understanding your process or and a clear way to prioritize investments.

Power Automate Process Mining enables organizations to identify inefficiencies and to accelerate digital transformation of their processes.

Use Copilot in Power Automate Process Mining, to arrive at such insights and empower everyone in your organization to make data-driven decisions.

Copilot in Power Automate Process Mining helps you discover processes from your event logs and to then map attributes to the required data schema. Uncover your top insights with a quick exchange with Copilot, which iteratively works with you to answer questions on your data, and then surfaces automatization or optimization recommendations. Copilot even surfaces one-click suggestions of other Copilots, passing along context of your process goals to get to automations and solutions faster.

Generative AI is transformational, and with Power Automate Process Mining, organizations can quickly pinpoint where to apply it first, second, and subsequently for maximum ROI.

 Use Copilot in Power Automate Process Mining to reduce ‘time to value’ to achieve process excellence in the organization. It can help to identify the process and subsequently with data ingestion, to uncover the key process insights into inefficiencies and provide one-click suggestions of other Copilot-assisted automations and solutions. 

The entire flow is powered by low-code and AI to drastically reduce both time and skills needed to tackle complex processes in your organization.

  • Copilot in Power Automate Process Mining uses large language models to recognize attributes and data in your event log to aid with process identification and automapping to the required data schema. In our example, a procure-to-pay (P2P) process is identified directly from the event log stored in Azure Data Lake. Copilot then guides in mapping these attributes for analysis. Web portal for Process Mining, file selection highlighted with Copilot card describing the process as “Process discovered! The most likely process mining business process given the file headers and data is the Procure-to-Pay (P2P) process. Once the process is analyzed, Copilot can accelerate your journey by providing top insights on the bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the process. Without having to analyze the visual process map or variants, and without digging deep into the root cause analysis, you can identify process bottlenecks and the most important facts about your current process. Traditionally, it could take process analysts weeks or months to define a process, depict it, and then identify opportunities for automation. In our P2P process example, not only did Copilot identify that the longest variant of the process is a week longer than the second-longest variant, indicating that it is a high ROI area for optimization, but Copilot also flagged a compliance issue of purchase orders being created without purchase requisitions in place.
Desktop application representing a process map with activities and sequence lines of those activities. Copilot has summarized the top statistics for the process following the “Provide the top insights” prompt given to Copilot.
  • Copilot then identifies other Copilot experiences in your enterprise that can help deploy solutions and automations to achieve process excellence. In our P2P process example, Copilot has offered two suggestions to solve the bottleneck of purchase orders being created with purchase requisitions and causing churn for the business:
    • A Power Automate cloud flow that will send a Microsoft Teams alert any time this compliance issue arises which can be implemented by using Copilot in Power Automate.
    • An update to an existing Microsoft Power Apps app, created by using the P2P enterprise application template, to include a list of at-risk purchase orders that can be implemented using Copilot in Power Apps.
Desktop application representing a process map with activities and sequence lines of those activities. Copilot has surfaced recommendations for addressing bottleneck through a Power Automate “create a flow” card and an Power App “update your app” card

With the native integration of Power Automate Process Mining with Microsoft Power BI, users track through custom Power BI reports and dashboards how implementation of optimizations impact process efficiency and other essential business metrics. Integrate these key performance indicators as Goals in Power BI scorecards. Unlock other powerful AI features like Power BI Q&A via natural language capability in Power BI to enable business users across the organization to quickly get answers from their data .

Get started with Copilot

The preview of Power Automate Process Mining Copilot is available in the US and will roll out to other countries over the next several weeks.

If you already have a Power Automate license, then to check out Copilot in Power Automate Process Mining preview by logging into the Power Automate portal.

Or try Power Automate Process Mining for free with the Power Automate trial license.

Power Automate Process Mining is available for sale via all channels and in all regions where Microsoft Power Platform is currently sold. Please contact Synergy Software Systems 0097143365589

For licensing information, please visit Overview of process mining and task mining in Power Automate.

UAE e-commerce Emirate specific VAT reporting

August 18th, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has stressed the need for taxpayers to abide by accurate, emirate-specific Value Added Tax (VAT) reporting requirements in relation to e-Commerce.

The Authority noted that recent updates to the VAT legislation in the UAE, specifically around the reporting of e-Commerce supplies result in additional obligations for a number of persons when preparing their VAT returns.

The FTA emphasized that businesses must carefully assess whether they fall under the new reporting obligations, noting that failure to comply or compliance with the updated reporting when not required may result in mistakes and expose companies to potential penalties.

Starting from 1 July 2023 and in the VAT return for the first tax period starting on or after that date, “qualifying registrants” are required to:

  • report supplies made through e-commerce in box 1 of their VAT Return, based on the Emirate in which the supply of goods or services is received by the customer.
  • They are also required to retain the relevant supporting evidence.
  • If a taxpayer is not a qualifying registrant or if a supply is not an e-commerce supply, then the taxable business must report its supplies in the Emirate where its fixed establishment related to the supplies made is located.

The FTA of UAE has recently issued certain user manuals on

The FTA explained that starting from 1 July 2023, and in the VAT return for the first tax period starting on or after that date, “qualifying registrants” are required to report supplies made through e-commerce in box 1 of their VAT Return, based on the Emirate in which the supply of goods or services is received by the customer. They are also required to retain the relevant supporting evidence. If a taxpayer is not a qualifying registrant or if a supply is not an e-commerce supply, then, generally, the taxable business must report its supplies in the Emirate where its fixed establishment related to the supplies made is located.

The Authority called upon the taxpayers to review the relevant legislation and the clarifications provided by the FTA prior to their next VAT return submission process, to determine if:

 They have made e-commerce supplies in the calendar year ending on 31 December 2022

  • The value of these e-commerce supplies made in the previous calendar year exceeded AED100 million.

 The Federal Tax Authority noted that in order to assist taxpayers in preparing a correct VAT return, the FTA’s Tax administrations system (“EmaraTax”) will request taxpayers to respond to a set of 2 questions to confirm if they are indeed qualifying registrants with respect to the new e-commerce supplies reporting requirement. This double-check will aid taxpayers to submit a correct VAT reporting, avoiding any later corrections or penalties.

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is coming … ask Synergy Software Systems

August 18th, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Microsoft will retire the product name Dynamics 365 Marketing and rebrand most of its current capabilities as part of Dynamics 365 Customer Insight.

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, is an AI driven solution which will revolutionize customers experiences. For the two elements, of Data, and Journeys. “Customer Insights – Data” will be the name of the existing Customer Insights solution for a customer data platform that provides an organization with a 360-degree view of their customers. D365 Marketing will be known as “Customer Insights – Journeys”. the new offering will be available for purchase starting on September 1.

Combining both marketing and customer data under one brand aligns with Microsoft’s product vision, for Customers to run campaigns based on customer entities stored in Dataverse or based on profiles stored in Customer Insights from other sources. 

For existing D365 Marketing customers, the transition from outbound to real-time marketing will continue as part of the product change. Starting this month, new customers will only have access to real-time marketing capabilities. Existing customers can continue to use outbound marketing, but Microsoft will not be adding any enhancements.

(Microsoft’s 2023 Release Wave 2 plans still includes a section for D365 Marketing separate from Customer Insights.)

Microsoft to end new Dynamics GP sales and will move BC to subscription only licenses.

August 6th, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Microsoft recently alerted partners of plans to end the sale of Dynamics GP to new customers over the next three years. Microsoft will stop selling new perpetual licenses for new customers Dynamics GP in October 2025, and the sale of new Dynamics GP subscription licenses for new customers will end in October 2026. The change effectively sets an end date for new customer sales of GP.

These decisions do not impact the ability of existing customers of GP and BC on-prem to run their systems, to add users, or to license capabilities.

This change doesn’t impact Microsoft’s plans for providing necessary regulatory/security/usability updates for Dynamics GP beyond this date. New customers seeking an on-premises ERP solution consider Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises or Dynamics 365 for Operations on-premises, Enterprise Edition. 

Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises solutions will move to subscription-based licensing only, ending the perpetual license option.

Copilot capabilities for Dynamics 365 Project Operations – ask Synergy Software Systems

June 23rd, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Dramatically reduce the time spent on project status reports, task planning, and risk assessments.

With Copilot, project managers can rapidly create new project plans for new engagements in minutes, instead of hours, simply by describing details of the project using natural language. Copilot will generate a project plan that can be further refined by the project manager.

Once the project is underway, the project manager can use Copilot to create a project status report, which Copilot will help generate in moments—reducing the hours often spent manually researching and writing. To ensure project success, Copilot then can be used to identify risks and suggest mitigation plans on a continuous basis. For example, the project manager can prompt Copilot to search across all open projects to identify common project risks that can derail a project, such as significant delays or budget overruns.

With Copilot, project managers can improve efficiency, reduce risks, and focus on more strategic and value-added activities.

The Copilot June 23 preview feature has four capabilities:

  • Task plan generation
  • Risk assessments
  • Project status reports
  • Interactive, chat-like experience

CoPilot and Power Bi ask Synergy Software Systems

June 23rd, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Businesses have been collecting and storing massive amounts of data from apps, services, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and other sources for decades. Every year, the volume of data collected grows at staggering rates.

Extracting value from this wealth of data is challenging.. Siloed data is often out of sync. Inconsistent data leads to high integration costs. Poor data quality sabotages new AI models. Out-of-date reports cause misinterpreted insights. Such factors stifles the ability to unlock the full value of data, and hinders innovation and AI experiences.

Microsoft 365 Copilot is an artificial intelligence assistant feature for Microsoft 365 applications and services.

 Copilot was announced by Microsoft on March 16, 2023 and in the last 3 months has made a huge impact. The tool builds on  advanced GPT-4 large language models (LLMs) and incorporates Microsoft Graph  to convert user text input into content in Microsoft 365 apps.

Copilot is available for early adopters with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams.with a focus on productivity.  Microsoft announced during the Build 2023 conference that it is adding the AI assistant Copilot to Windows 11. The Windows Copilot service is directly integrated with Windows 11 and users can access it through the taskbar. 

What is perhaps more exciting is that it is also available with enterprise solutions such as Business central. Take your analytics to the next level with Copilot and Power Bi  

 Fabric, now in preview, is an end-to-end, human-centered analytics product that brings together all an organization’s data and analytics in one place. It also brings together the best of Microsoft Power BI, Azure Synapse, and Azure Data Factory into one unified software as a service (SaaS) platform. Data engineers, data warehousing professionals, data scientists, data analysts, and business users can seamlessly collaborate within Fabric.

Copilot in Power BI, now in private preview, combines advanced, generative AI with your data to help everyone uncover and share insights faster. Describe the insights you need or ask a question about your data, and Copilot will analyze and pull the right data into a stunning report— to instantly turn data into actionable insights instantly.

Looking ahead Microsoft is also developing Data Activator to set up a system of detection that automatically alerts the team with the right context to instantly take action to changes in their data.

The integration of Copilot with Power BI is set to make a powerful impression. This strategic partnership helps level the playing field, allowing data enthusiasts of all skill levels to engage in intricate model creation. Power BI’s Copilot allows you to create compelling narrative summaries using simple, conversational language.

Copilot will get rid of complexity and make the difficult, doable, and the technical, accessible. The future of financial modelling is a whole lot brighter, and this change will revolutionize how finance professionals handle their data.

Use Copilot in Power BI to analyze data, create complete reports, generate charts and graphs based on your data, and access actionable insights almost instantly. Describe the visuals and insights you’re after in natural language. Copilot works its magic in the background, to  save you the trouble to do it all manually.

Ask Copilot something like, “Help me build a cash flow statement report for last quarter, summarizing our key metrics and trends.” It will create your draft report and then  help you refine it. Strengthen your data’s impact by effortlessly tailoring the tone, scope, and style of your report narratives.

Copilot can generate and edit Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) calculations for you in Power B and Excel to save you time to focus on providing strategic advice and insights to take business decisions.

Copilot leverages AI algorithms to automatically identify trends, patterns, and anomalies within the data, allowing users to uncover hidden insights and make data-driven decisions. The AI-powered insights provide valuable suggestions, highlight potential outliers, and recommend visualizations, saving time and effort in the analysis process.

 Copilot can automatically detect and correct data inconsistencies, handle missing values, and suggest appropriate data transformations. Additionally, it provides intelligent recommendations for data modeling, optimizing the data structure for improved analysis and reporting.

Whether it’s cloud-based services, on-premises databases, or popular data platforms, Copilot provides extensive connectivity options, ensuring that users can access and analyze their data from diverse sources within a unified environment. This flexibility empowers users to leverage their existing data infrastructure and extract insights from multiple data streams.

Whether you’re working with a cross-functional team or collaborating with clients, Power BI Copilot provides a unified platform for enhanced teamwork, leading to more efficient data analysis and decision-making processes.

Subscription billing replaces revenue recognition in Dynamics 365 Finance

June 21st, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Subscription billing enables organizations to manage subscription revenue opportunities and recurring billing through billing schedules.

Complex pricing and billing models and revenue allocation are easily managed, and are billed and recognized at the line level.

Multi-element revenue allocation enables allocation of revenue to comply with International Accounting Standards (International Financial Reporting Standard 15 [IFRS 15]) and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP) standards (Accounting Standards Codification Topic 606 [ASC 606]).

The solution has three modules that can be used independently. Alternatively, all three modules can be used together.

  • Recurring contract billing – This module enables recurring billing and price management to provide control over pricing and billing parameters, contract renewal, and consolidated invoicing.
  • Revenue and expense deferrals – This module eliminates manual processes and dependency on external systems by managing revenue and enabling real-time insight into monthly recurring revenue.
  • Multiple element revenue allocation – This module helps with revenue compliance by handling pricing and revenue allocation across multiple items.

Note the current revenue recognition module will be deprecated in October 2023, and since April 2023 is receiving no code updates/fixes.

UAE Corporate tax – its important to use official sources of information

June 13th, 2023 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The Ministry of Finance has called on the public to rely only on official publications and posts issued by MoF and the Federal Tax Authority regarding the Federal Decree Law 47 of 2022 on the Corporate Tax Law and the associated Cabinet and Ministerial Decisions.

A number of posts circulating on social media and other platforms are being published by independent parties, and those may contain inaccurate and unreliable interpretations and analysis of Corporate Tax

.