Comcast Launches Digital Security Service to Protect WiFi Connected Devices in the Home
Available to 15 Million Homes, Xfinity xFi Advanced Security Monitors, Blocks and Informs Customers of Online Threats and Provides Seamless Protection
By SAVANNAH ISNER
PHILADELPHIA (January 8, 2019)— Comcast today announced the national launch of Xfinity xFi Advanced Security, a new artificial-intelligence-powered service that monitors, blocks and informs customers of online threats to connected devices, and provides seamless digital protection for those devices when connected to their home network.
By 2022, Cicso estimates that there will be more than 13 connected devices per person in North America, and many consumers don’t have access to the expertise or the tools to keep those devices secure, especially when many of these technologies don’t have keyboards or screens. In addition, Symantec reported that the number of attacks against Internet-of-things devices is growing exponentially, increasing 600 percent between 2016 and 2017, alone, creating new concerns for connected home users.
xFi Advanced Security was developed to protect devices in this new hyper-connected reality. It uses AI and machine learning technology to monitor and analyze WiFi traffic in the home, and will automatically block identified suspicious activity in real time. Using a simple, intuitive user interface, the technology informs customers of blocked threats, and when necessary, provides instructions on how to further secure affected devices.
“As the digital world gets more complex, we wanted to make it simple and easy for our customers to protect their home networks. That’s why we developed xFi Advanced Security,” said Fraser Stirling, Senior Vice President of Digital Home, Devices and AI, Comcast Cable. “We want to give customers digital peace of mind for the devices they already own and the confidence to expand and evolve their connected homes knowing that every new camera, voice-assisted speaker or smart thermostat they add will be protected.”
The xFi Advanced Security service protects all of the devices in a customer’s home that are connected to the Xfinity Advanced Gateway with no set-up required, other than turning the device on. There’s nothing for the customer to install or configure, and once the device is turned on, the xFi Advanced Security service starts working immediately. Protection is automatically extended to any device that is connected to the home network wirelessly or by ethernet. Customers can review a list of digital security-related actions that were taken each day right from the xFi dashboard—accessible from the mobile app or online. This seamless experience is possible because the technology behind xFi Advanced Security is fully integrated into xFi Gateways.
While traditional security products are effective at protecting individual devices like laptops and tablets, there’s a growing need for technologies that can protect all the devices on a network at once. xFi Advanced Security bridges that gap, automatically protecting any device that connects to an xFi gateway.
xFi Advanced Security is the latest addition to Comcast’s Xfinity xFi platform, which gives customers a simple, digital dashboard to set up and manage their home WiFi networks and allows users to see what devices are connected to the network, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls, get notifications about activities on the home network, and even pause WiFi access to certain devices during dinner or bedtime. xFi users can also ensure whole-home WiFi coverage by adding xFi Pods, small, easy to install devices that plug into any electrical outlet and extend connectivity to hard to reach areas of their home.
Xfinity xFi Advanced Security is available to Comcast customers who rent an xFi Gateway. The service is available for $5.99 per month, and is also available as part of a package in some markets. Customers can add it directly from the xFi app.
xFi Advanced Security is powered in part by an advanced AI platform developed by AI security leader Cujo AI.
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Prince George’s County Health Department Receives $12 Million CDC Cooperative Agreement to Improve Chronic Disease Health Care in Southern Maryland
Five-year cooperative agreement funds clinical and public health interventions to help over a million residents in underserved areas prevent or manage diabetes, heart disease and stroke
By PRESS OFFICER
Prince George’s County MD
LARGO, MD (Jan 8, 2019)—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the Prince George’s County Health Department a $12 million, five-year cooperative agreement to improve access to chronic disease care for an estimated 1.2 million residents in Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. The cooperative agreement will fund strategies that establish or strengthen the integration of clinical practice with evidence-based public health programs to improve treatment resources, prevention programs and overall health outcomes for patients at high-risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
“This is a tremendous step in the right direction to help our residents become healthier and live more productive lives,” said County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks. “Access to high-quality, affordable health care services for everyone in Prince George’s County is one of my top priorities. I’m extremely proud of our Health Department for securing a grant that will build a stronger bridge connecting patients to the world-class care they need.”
These chronic diseases continue to be among the leading causes of death statewide. Heart disease caused over 2,000 deaths in 2017 in the four-county area; stroke and diabetes caused over 850 deaths. Unmanaged chronic disease contributes substantially to health care costs; approximately 10% of people living with chronic disease in this region of southern Maryland are responsible for 80% of the region’s chronic disease health care costs. Some of the common barriers to care for patients in this region include transportation, health literacy, lack of finances or health insurance coverage, and lack of emotional or social support.
“Working with nearly two dozen leading public and private health care and medical organizations across the state, the Prince George’s County Health Department will harness this opportunity from the CDC and lead an ambitious effort to boost the health care infrastructure for underserved patients who need more help fighting or avoiding these debilitating and deadly diseases,” said Prince George’s County Acting Health Officer Ernest L. Carter, MD, PhD. “We plan to prioritize patients who are high-utilizers of health systems due to frequent hospitalizations and who live in more rural areas where access to care is limited compared to other areas of the state.” Some of the strategies include innovative uses of technology, such as establishing a bi-directional patient referral system between health care systems and CDC-recognized public health programs, and adopting telehealth programs to tackle barriers to participation and retention in these programs. The project also involves implementing tailored messaging to reach underserved communities with the goal of increasing awareness of chronic diseases and the benefits of lifestyle change programs.
• Calvert County Health Department
• Charles County Health Department
• Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients
• Community Care Coordination Team
• Existing CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Programs
• Health Quality Innovators HealthCare Dynamics International Institute for Public Health Innovation
• Maryland Department of Health Maryland Rural Health Association
• P3 Pharmacist Network (University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Maryland Pharmacists Association, Maryland General Assembly, Maryland Department of Health) Prince George’s County
• Healthcare Alliance, Inc.
• St. Mary’s AccessHealth
• St. Mary’s County Health Department
• Totally Linked Care, LLC (CalvertHealth Memorial Hospital, University of Maryland Capital Region North, Doctors Community Hospital, Fort Washington Medical Center, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, Area Agencies on Aging, Maryland State Medical Society and Primary Care Providers, Prince George’s County Health Department, Calvert County Health Department)
• University of Maryland, School of Arts and Humanities, Department of Communication University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health University of Maryland, School of Public Health, Horowitz Center for Health Literacy
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Council Convenes Final Day of Annual Retreat
Final Day Focuses on Health Care, Countywide Map Amendment and Teambuilding
By ANGELA ROUSON
Prince George’s County Council
Upper Marlboro, MD (January 8, 2019)—The Prince George’s County Council convened the final day of its Annual Retreat today, January 8, with discussions on the Council’s role as the Board of Health, the University of Maryland Capital Health and the Countywide Map Amendment. The two-day meeting was held in the Terrapin Room, at The Hotel at the University of Maryland, in College Park.
Council Members opened the day’s session with a University of Maryland Capital Region Health update provided by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Wright; President, Dr. Sherry Perkins; and Senior Vice President Tiffany Sullivan. Presentations focused on the University of Maryland Medical system, and University of Maryland Capital Region Health campus development.
Montgomery County Council At-Large Member, Hans Reimer, joined the retreat during the mid-day session to participate in an At-Large Jurisdiction case-study and dialogue, followed by a question and answer session with former Prince George’s County Council Members Camille Exum and Jim Esteep, both of whom also served as Council Chair.
Council Chair Todd M. Turner (D)—District 4, said the retreat offered an important opportunity for Council Members to set the tone for a successful Legislative Year.
“Taking time to come together, explore the work ahead, and share our ideas and priorities was very important for this new 11-member body. ‘Service. Community. Progress,’ is the theme for this Legislative Year, and served as the focus for our Council Retreat. We will continue to build on this in our continued service to County residents.”
The retreat concluded with a Countywide Map Amendment presentation, teambuilding exercises and communications overview.
For retreat presentations, visit https://pgccouncil.us/468/Council-Retreat
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