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Cisco, Apple Join Group Providing Cyber-Security Services

Today’s topics include Cisco, Apple, Aon and Allianz partnering on cyber-risk management; Microsoft expanding its Azure cloud budgeting toolset; Layered Insight entering the container security market; and Lumileds using LEDs to light up Super Bowl LII. Cisco along with partners Apple, Aon and Allianz announced a new cyber-risk partnership on Feb. 5 that will bring cyber-security services and insurance to organizations. The effort includes a cyber-risk assessment service from Aon to help organizations understand and evaluate security posture, and Cisco’s security technologies to help enforce and protect against threats, specifically ransomware attacks. By combining Aon’s assessment with Cisco technology and hardware from Apple, insurance provider Allianz will provide organizations with cyber-insurance coverage policy options. David Ulevitch, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s security business unit, said, “We really want to help customers think a lot more holistically about security. We want to make sure that once companies have a more secure cyber-security posture that they are able to mitigate risk through cyber-insurance. Microsoft is adding more transparency to the process of calculating and managing cloud costs for large Azure customers. A recent study from Densify found that 75 percent of organizations can’t precisely tally their cloud expenses or are spending more than their budgets allow. In response, Microsoft has updated its Azure Budgets API to add more granularity to the platform’s cost- and usage-reporting capabilities. Supported use...

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Macau’s Cybersecurity Law: Less About Security, More About Surveillance (And Censorship)

Macau, a former Portuguese colony and a special administrative region on the south coast of China, has begun public consultations on a proposed Cybersecurity Law. The Macau government is proposing the legislation in an effort to ensure the “security of network communications.” The law would establish a local cybersecurity standing committee and a cybersecurity center which would monitor online information flows in binary code to keep track of and investigate future cyber attacks. The center would coordinate with government departments to supervise and implement protection procedures for companies in 11 crucial sectors, including internet operators, media organizations, water and energy suppliers, financial and banking companies, gambling companies and medical institutions, among others. The law would also obligate telecommunication operators and internet service providers (ISPs) to implement a real-name registration system, in which all users would be required to be fully identified in all their online activities. The law would require ISPs to keep users’ online activity logs for at least one year. Various critics say the proposed law will provide a legal framework for mass surveillance, much more so than improve network security. To look into the rationality behind the legislation, the Chinese Q&A news team interviewed a senior information security analyst who works in one of the 11 crucial sectors listed in the consultation document, to get an insider’s perspective. Q: Have any hacking incidents taken place in Macau in the past few...

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Dimension Data Adopts Cisco Umbrella In Its Cyber Security Strategy

Dimension Data, the USD 8 bn global technology integrator and managed services provider, announced that it has extended the company’s protection from ransomware, phishing attacks, bot networks, and all types of malicious software, with Cisco® Umbrella, the industry’s first Secure Internet Gateway (SIG) in the cloud.  The decision to incorporate Cisco Umbrella follows the company’s firsthand experience protecting its own 28,000 employees and addresses its clients’ requirement to support an increasingly mobile workforce. Cisco Umbrella is a cloud security platform that provides the first line of defense against threats on the internet. “In today’s expanding threat landscape, it is critical to have powerful security tools that effectively support mobility and cloud. With Cisco® Umbrella, we are able to proactively stop threats on any mobile device before they happen with a secure solution that is easily integrated with existing infrastructure.” said Chris Panzeca, Senior Director, Global Strategic Partner Sales, Cisco.  “Today, the average user utilises four devices per day, and this is predicted to increase to five connected devices in the next four years,” said Darren O’Loughlin, Dimension Data’s Group Chief Security Officer.  “As more enterprises look to harness the benefits of a mobile workforce that leverages cloud platforms, there’s a greater need to implement appropriate measures to secure data, infrastructures, applications and users, regardless of where they connect to the internet, and even if they’re off the VPN.  That’s why we...

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COMMENT: Business leaders who recently convened in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum fretted over the various catastrophes that could hit the globe hard and – given the recent spate of cyberattacks – cybersecurity was high up on the agenda. The end result was the launch of a Global Centre for Cybersecurity(GCC) with a clear mission to “prevent a digital dark age”. It claims to be the first platform for cybersecurity coordination on a global scale, bringing together governments, business and law enforcement agencies. The importance of cybersecurity is growing not only for traditional computer networks but also for “artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, self-driving cars and the Internet of Things”. Cyberattacks are like any other crime, except that the origins and reach can be global. Put simply, a cyber criminal in one country can reach out to target victims at the other end of the world. Likewise, a gang of cyber criminals could organise themselves across several countries to target their victims. It’s the unfortunate reality of the connected world we live in, where the internet doesn’t only provide connectivity but also anonymity and transient access, all of which serve to enable such attacks. On top of that, parallel structures over the internet – known as the dark web – have emerged to facilitate cyber attacks of all kinds, allowing a black economy to thrive and be marketised. This year’s Global Risk Report places cyberattacks...

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Alphabet Introduces Chronicle, a Dedicated Cybersecurity Unit

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the parent company of Google, recently established a new cybersecurity subsidiary called Chronicle. Chronicle was initially formed in 2016 inside X, the company’s experimental unit, which also develops driverless cars, drones, Internet connectivity solutions, and augmented reality products. Former Symantec chief operating officer Stephen Gillett, who led the unit since its inception, will become Chronicle’s CEO. Chronicle stated that it would leverage Alphabet’s cloud infrastructure and machine learning technologies to counter cyber threats, and that it was testing an early version of its services with some unnamed Fortune 500 companies. In a blog post, Gillett stated that Chronicle’s services would “help organizations see their full security picture in much higher fidelity than they currently can.” Gillett didn’t reveal any additional details about Chronicle’s business model or upcoming products, but its establishment as a full subsidiary — instead of an X “moonshot” — indicates that it’s ready to generate meaningful revenue for its parent company. Why is Alphabet launching Chronicle? Alphabet isn’t the only tech giant with an in-house cybersecurity unit. IBM‘s (NYSE:IBM) Security business, which offers various enterprise security solutions, is one of the five “strategic imperatives” (cloud, analytics, security, mobile, and social) which gave Big Blue its first year-over-year revenue growth in six years last quarter. Cisco‘s (NASDAQ:CSCO) Security business, which was expanded with big investments and a long list of acquisitions over the past few years, bundles security solutions with its networking hardware and software....

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