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04-04-2020
Browser makers cite coronavirus, restore support for obsolete TLS 1.0 and 1.1 encryption

Google, Microsoft and Mozilla have each issued reprieves to Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1, aged encryption protocols that were to be bounced from browser support in March, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.By common agreement, Google's Chrome, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge, and Mozilla's Firefox were to disable support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 early in 2020. They, along with Apple - which produces Safari - announced the move a year and a half ago, noting then that the protocols had been made obsolete by TLS 1.2 and 1.3.To read this article in full, please click here

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04-04-2020
How COVID-19 should change laptop and browser priorities

Disclosure:  Most of the vendors mentioned are clients of the author.This last week was surprisingly busy, given that most of us are locked in our homes, trying to recall what normal is like. Microsoft announced significant changes with its Chromium Edge browser that significantly addressed the problems we focused on before the pandemic, and both Intel and AMD drove laptop refreshes.Still, those designs originated from conditions that existed before the Pandemic, not the world that now exists. So let’s talk about where I think the next security focus for browsers will be and what laptops post COVID-19 may begin to look like this week.To read this article in full, please click here

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04-04-2020
Zoom pauses new feature development to focus on privacy, security

Zoom has decided to cease development of new product features so it can focus on fixing various privacy and security issues.The company has seen a surge in the use of its platform in recent weeks, as self isolation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic ramps up the demand for video software. As its popularity has boomed - both for business and personal use - and the company’s stock price rocketed, underlying vulnerabilities in the platform have become apparent. [ Related: 7 Zoom tips for working from home ] “Zoom-bombing,” where intruders have been able to access video meetings that were not password protected, has led to serious privacy concerns, with uninvited attendees harassing online A.A. meetings and church meetings, for example. The FBI this week warned of unauthorized access to virtual classrooms and recommended that users change security settings to protect meetings. To read this article in full, please click here

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03-04-2020
Pandemic leads to surge in video conferencing app downloads

Business communication apps saw record levels of growth in March, according to statistics from mobile market data provider App Annie.With a growing portion of the global population now living under some kind of government lockdown, many organizations have had to shift business processes – and their employees are having to embrace a work-from-home culture on a scale never before attempted.Not surprisingly, the demand for video conferencing apps has surged in recent weeks, with enterprise-focused mobile app downloads reaching 62 million during the week March 14-21 – the highest number ever seen.According to a report by App Annie, that figure was up 45% from the week before and up 90% from the pre-Covid-19 weekly download average. Business application downloads represent the highest growth in any category in both the iOS and Google Play stores.To read this article in full, please click here

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03-04-2020
Amazon and Apple TV deal shows how to solve business conflicts

I didn’t see this as an enterprise-focused story at first, but a recent compromise between Amazon and Apple shows how communication can help even opposing businesses solve problems and grow value.Amazon and Apple make a deal Amazon this week suddenly began permitting Prime subscribers to access and purchase content from Prime using the iOS app.To the vexation of many users, this wasn’t possible before. You had to visit Amazon’s site on a computer, purchase the item you wanted, and only then could this be accessed using an iOS device, including Apple TV.The process was annoying, and was purely driven by the two billionaire multinationals arguing over who would get to keep a share of the purchase price.To read this article in full, please click here

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03-04-2020
Flashback Friday: Now he’s a believer

This sysadmin pilot fish doesn’t put much credence in the stories he hears about the IT manager at his new job — too far-fetched.“He was known for putting the staff in impossible situations,” says fish. “He would attend planning meetings and agree to criteria that simply couldn’t be met, then tell everyone to just make it happen. Of course, the consequences were our fault as well.”Then one day fish and his team go to the IT manager to explain the need for more file server capacity. They have the data showing current capacity, growth over time and the expected date when they’ll hit the wall.IT manager's only response: “No.”So the team goes looking for other options, and identifies files on users’ home drives that can be removed to increase capacity without impacting the business. They bring the new proposal to the IT manager.To read this article in full, please click here

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03-04-2020
Windows by the numbers: Windows 7 holds fast as pandemic upends everything

Windows 10's share remained flat in March, though users had an excuse for pausing migrations: the raging COVID-19 pandemic.According to metrics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 accounted for 57.3% of global OS share last month and represented 64.3% of the various flavors of Windows powering PCs. Although the former was near a tie with the month prior, the latter - a better indication of Windows 10's success in convincing users to upgrade - was significantly lower than February's 65.1%.Windows 10's percentage of only Windows PCs was larger than the percentage of all personal computers because Windows did not power every system. In March, Windows was the OS of 89.2% of the world's personal computers - an increase of a full point. Of the rest, all but a tiny fraction ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS, in decreasing order.To read this article in full, please click here

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03-04-2020
I've finally figured out why foldable phones actually exist

Ever since the first foldable phones were foisted upon us, I've been struggling to understand their purpose.They're cool, sure — and technologically speaking, they're incredibly impressive. But from a practical, ten-fingered human perspective, what benefit do they actually provide? I've yet to hear a single unambiguous answer. And that's to say nothing of all the significant downsides and compromises they require.At first, I assumed the foldable phone fad was similar to other questionable-benefit smartphone trends of the moment — counterproductive elements like "waterfall displays," cutouts in the active viewing areas of screens in exchange for smaller borders around said panels, and heck, even 5G — in that it was ultimately conceived as a way to make appliance-like devices seem new, exciting, and meaningfully different from their predecessors (and thus suddenly worth buying at a time when most of us are content to stick with our current phones for increasingly long periods).To read this article in full, please click here

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02-04-2020
Slack to integrate more features with Microsoft Teams

Slack has added a voice-calling app for Microsoft Teams, alongside integrations with other voice over IP (VoIP) vendors. With the Teams Calls app, available now in beta, users will be able to launch a call directly from Slack.Slack said it has seen almost 350% growth in the volume of calls made or received in the past month as demand for collaboration and communication tools booms amid a major shift to remote work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.There are also new integrations with Zoom Phone, Cisco Jabber, RingCentral and Dialpad. The voice integrations let users make calls with actual phone numbers by clicking on the “lightning” button added in the recent refresh of Slack’s user interface.To read this article in full, please click here

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02-04-2020
Prep for an AWS Solutions Architect Associate cert for just $13

The annual salary for an AWS Solutions Architect certification holder is well into the six-figure range. If you’re a current IT professional who wants to expand your knowledge base ― and income at the same time ― then the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Course, discounted by over 90 percent, represents a way of training that minimizes risk.Amazon Web Services has cemented itself as the go-to solution for corporate-level cloud-based infrastructure. In fact, some of the most popular companies in the world have long since adopted it, with more signing up every year. But there aren’t enough skilled professionals to go around, which is why salaries have increased as dramatically as they have to this point.To read this article in full, please click here

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02-04-2020
Top web browsers 2020: Firefox sheds share, falls behind Edge

Firefox last month continued a march toward ruin, falling twice its average loss over the past year and losing its place as the world's second-most-used browser.According to data posted today by analytics company Net Applications, Firefox's share in March slumped to 7.2%, down four-tenths of a percentage point. It was the fifth month in the last six in which the browser shed users - and much more importantly - a record low since Firefox climbed out of obscurity to threaten Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) 15 years ago.This record was the second in a row for Firefox, after February's debut below the 2016 slump that previously marked the browser's trough. Two do not a dataset make, but if a legitimate trend develops with, say, another month or two of declines, Mozilla will be, to say the least, in deep trouble.To read this article in full, please click here

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01-04-2020
Apple’s AR plans are becoming a little easier to see

Apple’s take on augmented reality will leverage its existing solutions to deliver personalized experiences, with a particular focus on health, location and entertainment.Why do I think this? Yesterday I broke the news that Apple is working with a company called Dent Reality on indoor mapping technologies.The smaller company has been working with ARKit since the system made its debut. Now it uses Apple’s Indoor Maps ecosystem to provide highly accurate indoor mapping solutions it claims are highly accurate and don’t require beacons.To read this article in full, please click here

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01-04-2020
Get the March Windows and Office patches installed, but watch out for known bugs

It’s been another Keystone Kops month, with a reasonably stable Patch Tuesday, followed by a hasty Patch Thursday to cover a security hole Microsoft accidentally blabbed, then the usual buggy “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patch, finishing with a fix for yet another bug introduced by earlier patches.To read this article in full, please click here

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01-04-2020
BrandPost: Avoid security breaches: How to protect your data

Data security breaches at major corporations seem to be perpetually in the news. The hacks range in size and scope, but it’s no secret that firms hit by hackers often suffer serious consequences.What can you do to help prevent your organization from becoming tomorrow’s cyber-breach news headline? Here are 18 pointers: Educate all employees on the importance of protecting data. Explain the need to avoid risky behavior such as downloading music or videos from rogue websites. Once employees understand that criminals want the data with which the employees work, their thinking changes in ways that can make the organization’s data much safer than before. Understand what data you have and classify it. You cannot secure information if you do not know that it exists, where it is stored, how it is used, how it is backed up, and how it is decommissioned. Make sure you know those things about all of your sensitive information. Because not all data is equally sensitive, make sure to classify data according to its level of importance. Do not give every employee access to every system and piece of data. Create policies governing who has physical and/or electronic access to which computer systems and data, and implement procedures, policies, and technical controls to enforce such a scheme. Authorize people to access the data that they need in order to do their jobs but do not provide them with access to other sensitive data. Consider moving sensitive information and systems to a cloud provider. Unless you have an adequate information security team, the odds are pretty good that a major cloud provider will do a better job than you at securing your system and information against various risks. Enable remote wipe. All portable electronic devices on which sensitive information will ever be stored should have remote wipe capabilities enabled. Give everyone his or her own access credentials. Ensure that each person accessing a system housing sensitive information has his or her own login credentials. Ensure that everyone uses proper passwords to access such systems. People like to use easy-to-remember passwords; without policies and technology to enforce the selection of proper passwords, organizations are at risk of having passwords such as “1234” being the only line of defense against unauthorized access to sensitive information. So, craft proper policies and implement technology to ensure that the policies are properly enforced. Go multi-factor. For accessing systems with especially sensitive information, consider implementing some form of strong, multi-factor authentication. Deal with BYOD. Make sure that you have policies and technology in place to address the many risks created by employees, contractors, and guests bringing personal devices into your facilities and connecting to corporate networks. All access to the Internet from personal devices or devices belonging to other businesses should be achieved via a separate network than is used for company computers. Encrypt sensitive data when storing it or transmitting it. There are many commercial and free tools available to do this – some operating systems even have encryption capabilities built in. As you probably suspect, if you are not sure if something should be encrypted, encrypt it. Backup. Backup. Most people and businesses do not backup frequently enough, and many (if not most) will not realize the danger of their mistake until it is too late. Keep your backups separate from production networks. If ransomware gets onto one of your production networks, it could corrupt any backups attached to that network. Maintain offsite backups in addition to onsite backups. Create appropriate social media policies and enforce them with technology. As so many organizations have learned the hard way, policies alone do not ensure that employees do not leak sensitive information or make otherwise inappropriate social media posts; implement technology to help with this task. Remember, many serious breaches begin with criminals crafting spear-phishing emails based on overshared information on social media. Comply with all information security regulations and industry standards. Consider such regulations a baseline – but not rules that if adhered to will offer adequate protection. GDPR, for example, is a regulation for which many businesses still need to prepare. Use appropriate security technology. Do not just buy the latest and greatest. Acquire and utilize what you actually need by defining functional and security requirements and selecting security controls accordingly. On that note: All computers and mobile devices that handle sensitive information or ever connect to a network to which devices that house sensitive information connect need have security software installed. Ensure that technology is kept up to date. Besides keeping security software current, make sure to install patches to server and client-side operating systems and software. Many major vendors have automatic update services – take advantage of these features. Keep IoT devices off of production networks. Treat Internet of Things devices as if they were a special class of risky BYOD devices – and keep them on their own networks. Only purchase IoT devices that have proper security capabilities such as the ability to be patched and to have default passwords changed upon installation and activation. Hire an expert to help you. There is a reason that businesspeople go to doctors when they are ill and don’t try to perform surgery on themselves, or utilize the services of lawyers if they are being sued or accused of a crime. You need experts on your side. Remember, the criminals who are targeting your data have experts working for them – make sure that you are also adequately prepared. While there are no guarantees when it comes to information security – even the most security-conscious organizations still face some level of risk – by following these 18 tips, you can greatly improve your odds of fending off hackers who seek to steal your organization’s confidential information.To read this article in full, please click here

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01-04-2020
BrandPost: Protect your data to protect your business

The most important thing your business provides isn’t a service or a product. It’s trust. And it comes from letting your customers and employees know that you’re protecting your business—and their data—against cyberattacks.Building a foundation for trust isn’t easy. Cyberthreats continue to grow in number and complexity as businesses shift more of their operations online and enable anytime/anywhere access to information to support an increasingly remote workforce. This ongoing digital transformation exposes more systems and data to potential attacks – increasing risk for your organization.Addressing this challenge requires a new approach to protecting business information. “The assumption that everything’s on-premises and protected behind a firewall has largely disappeared,” says Robert Crane, principal at CIAOPS, a technology consultancy that specializes in helping businesses improve their productivity by using technology and smart business practices. “But some businesses are still locked into that old-world thinking.”To read this article in full, please click here

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CyberLink Vol.138 Mar 2020

Cyberport launches FinTech Training Programme to better equip financial practitioners

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CyberLink Vol.137 Feb 2020

MAD Gaze raises US$18M to ramp up product R&D and 5G applications

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CyberLink Vol.136 Jan 2020

Cyberport spotlights digital trade finance and virtual banking at AFF 2020

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