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  1. After Beijing announced an additional $75 billion tariffs on the US, Trump demanded US Businesses find alternatives. We Don't Need China Trade and currency wars took another huge leap forward just one day after another oft-repeated message that a deal with China is coming. The Wall Street Journal reports Trump Orders U.S. Businesses to Find Alternative to China. President Trump said U.S. companies were “hereby ordered” to start looking for alternatives to doing business in China after Beijing said it would impose tariffs on $75 billion worth of additional U.S. products. “Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years,” Mr. Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them.” Mr. Trump’s comments came in response to China’s plan, laid out Friday, to impose tariffs of 5% and 10% on almost all the remaining U.S. imports on which it has yet to impose punitive taxes, including vehicles and car parts, in retaliation against U.S. moves to slap punitive tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods. The president demanded that U.S. companies “immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” Items China plans to impose tariffs on include agricultural products, apparel, chemicals and textiles. Some major car companies will be hit hard by the increase in tariffs, particularly Tesla Inc.and Ford Motor Co., as well as Germany’s BMW AG and Daimler AG ’s Mercedes-Benz. These companies build a significant number of vehicles in the U.S. for export to China—mostly premium models—and a higher tariff could force them to raise prices. Soon after President Trump announced his plans for fresh tariffs set for Sept. 1, Beijing responded by officially announcing the freezing of purchases of U.S. agricultural products and letting its currency drop to its lowest level in a decade. A weaker yuan makes Chinese exports cheaper. China Tweetstorm Wow Bond yields are tumbling, the DOW is down 500 points, The Yuan is hitting new lows and gold is up $30. Source
  2. A new WinMagic study has found that organisations are largely unprepared for when support of older versions of Microsoft’s Windows OS will be withdrawn in January 2020. When questioned about their lack of readiness for the obligatory migration to Windows 10, respondents cited IT security and fears of being exposed to a cyber security vulnerability as two areas of concern. The study was carried out at IP Expo in London in October 2018. One hundred and fifty visitors were asked a series of questions to determine their awareness of the need to migrate to Windows 10, and to understand any concerns they might have regarding their organisation’s own migration plans. Key highlights Nearly a quarter of organisations (23 percent) are not ready to migrate to Windows 10 30 percent are not aware that support for older versions of Windows OS will cease Around one third (29 percent) are fairly or very concerned about the migration process Nearly two thirds (68 percent) fear exposure to a cyber security vulnerability during the migration process One third (33 percent) do not know if they have the right tools in place to deliver a secure migration. Lack of preparedness The study found overwhelmingly that not only are nearly a quarter of businesses yet to start preparations for the migration to Windows 10 (23 percent), 17 percent were ignorant to the topic all together and had no idea if preparations within their organisation are even in place. Furthermore, nearly one third of those questioned (30 percent) did not know that support for these older versions of Windows OS would stop in less than 18 months’ time. Respondents to the survey expressed varying levels of concern about the migration, with 29 percent being fairly or very concerned. Only around one third of respondents (34 percent) had no concerns about migrating to Windows 10. Of those who are worried about the migration, security and user data loss were amongst the biggest concerns (28 percent), and 68 percent of respondents feared the migration process could expose their organisation to a security vulnerability. Other concerns included one quarter (25 percent) who cited application management, software & hardware compatibility and around one fifth (18 percent) who stated user disruption or loss of productivity. Migration process When it came to the actual migration process, 36 percent had not considered migration technology as an option. Over one quarter (28 percent) did not know if their organisation was considering migration technology. And around one third (33 percent) did not know if they had the right tools in place to deliver a secure migration. Luke Brown, VP EMEA at WinMagic, said: “The clock is ticking and if organisations don’t move fast they could find themselves scrabbling last minute to deliver a seamless and secure migration to Windows 10. The results of our survey show that there is still limited knowledge around what will be a very significant IT transition for many organisations. IT teams need to act now. If they don’t, come January 2020 they could find themselves experiencing the worst ever New Year hangover.” Source
  3. Approximately 57% of businesses around the world are currently using multi-factor authentication (MFA), with a 12% gain over the stats from last year according to research from LastPass based on data from 47,000 orgs. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) a method of authentication designed to add an extra layer of protection on top of the users' credentials. When MFA is enabled for an online service, the user will also be prompted to enter an authentication code from their MFA solution (hardware or software-based) after logging in using their usernames and password. "Securing employee access has never been more important and unfortunately, we see businesses ignore password security altogether, or only half-heartedly attempt to address it," said LogMeIn Chief Information Security Officer, Gerald Beuchelt. "This report further highlights the importance of using the identity and access management tools available to information security managers in addition to maintaining focus on employee training to improve password habits." 95% use software-based MFA authentication "The increase in businesses using multifactor authentication (MFA) is one of the biggest takeaways from this year’s report, with significant gains in usage compared to our findings in 2018," says the report. Out of all the employees utilizing MFA, 95% use a software-based multi-factor authentication tool like a mobile app, while only 4% of the total have a hardware-based MFA solution and roughly 1% use biometrics. "Given the scalability and lower cost of software-based choices, it’s unsurprising that they’re currently the most popular," adds the report. A previous study from Spiceworks shows that 62 percent of organizations around the globe currently use biometric authentication tech, with an additional 24 percent of them planning to switch to it within the next two years. "Fingerprint and face scanners are the most common types of biometric authentication used on corporate devices and services," said Spiceworks. "The results show 57 percent of organizations are using fingerprint scanning technology, while 14 percent are using face recognition technology." Data from 47,000 organizations of all sizes This year's LastPass Global Password Security Report on the state of password usage by businesses all over the world is based on aggregated and anonymized data collected from roughly 47,000 organizations that use LastPass, including info related to MFA, SSO, and mobile password management. "Though the data set represents LastPass users, given the breadth and depth of the data set, conclusions are broad enough to be applied to the business community at large," says LastPass. The highlights of the report are as follows: • Worldwide: More than half of businesses globally have employees using multi-factor authentication • Progress: IT admins take advantage of policies and integrations to increase security and streamline management, but more IT admins could be mandating the use of multi-factor authentication • Leading: The Netherlands emerges as a leader in security this year, with high usage of multi-factor authentication and the top Security Score • Mobility: The ability to access passwords on mobile significantly improves the experience – and employee adoption • Risk: Password reuse is still widespread, and contributes to lower Security Scores • Initiatives: Internationally, increased regulations appear to be a driving factor in password security awareness, especially in EMEA and APAC • Accountability: IT organizations must take responsibility for ongoing training and take proactive measures to eliminate risky password behaviors and improve company-wide Security Scores The most concerning of all the study's findings is that password reuse and sharing is still a very common practice in most organizations, with their employees reusing a password an average of 13 times. Out of all businesses that took part in this year's study, the employees of smaller orgs with fewer than 1,000 agents reused 10-14 passwords compared to only about four reused passwords in the case of larger businesses. Hardware-based MFA is the way to go To put things into perspective when talking about MFA, Director of Identity Security at Microsoft Alex Weinert said in an Azure Active Directory Identity Blog post that "your password doesn’t matter, but MFA does! Based on our studies, your account is more than 99.9% less likely to be compromised if you use MFA." This month, Weinert also added that "use of anything beyond the password significantly increases the costs for attackers, which is why the rate of compromise of accounts using any type of MFA is less than 0.1% of the general population." While Google also said in May that "simply adding a recovery phone number to your Google Account can block up to 100% of automated bots, 99% of bulk phishing attacks, and 66% of targeted attacks," the fact that "zero users that exclusively use security keys fell victim to targeted phishing during our investigation" shows just how much more effective hardware-based MFA actually is when compared to the SMS-based version for instance. Microsoft and Google also provide easy to follow procedures on how to secure your accounts, with Microsoft having a support page on the five steps to secure your identity and Google having published a blog post about the five things to do to stay safe online. Source
  4. Has collective amnesia about stance on end-to-end encryption The British government wants your bright ideas for improving the nation's cybersecurity because it wants to "understand the apparent lack of strong commercial rationale for investment" in locking down your shizz. As part of its fond hope of making the UK a bit more secure than the rest of the world, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) wants you to tell it what it could be doing better. The Cyber Security Incentives and Regulation Review is intended to tell UK.gov which of its security-enhancing initiatives do and don't work. Many of those are routed to the great unwashed via the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). In its detailed consultation document, accessible here, DCMS claimed that "only around 60 per cent of organisations took actions to identify cyber security risks", citing a survey it carried out earlier this year. Back in April, NCSC tech director Ian Levy said: "I think we're still seeing very common things happen that were happening 15 years ago. We've got to find some way of changing it. It's obvious the way we've been trying to get people to change this hasn't been working." Perhaps perceptively, the department opined that part of the problem with getting smaller businesses to take cybersecurity seriously was the problem that security is "viewed as an IT-specific issue and an objective in itself, rather than an enabler of business continuity and operational resilience". Digital minister Matt Warman, the one-time technology editor of the Daily Telegraph, pleaded: "I hope this review will encourage the industry to think about what government could do to help and what incentives might encourage firms and businesses to manage their cyber risk." DCMS also published a postal feedback address, presumably for the use of people who write in green ink and think all of the internet is hopelessly insecure. Separately, defence ministers published their latest response to Parliament's Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, in which the word "cyber" was mentioned just six times across 17 pages. The Ministry of Defence is spending £40m on its "cyber security operations capability", bunging £12m on the Defence Cyber School for training uniformed infosec bods, and a total of £265m on securing existing military hardware against cyber threats. Source
  5. A new report shows that businesses continue to use older operating systems such as Windows 7, and even Windows Vista, even though they are no longer supported and less secure compared to Windows 10. The data analysts firm NetMarketShare revealed that Windows 10 has seen a significant uptake in users and it's close to 50% of market share, but a new report from Kaspersky Security Network suggests that many users are still actively using outdated operating systems like Windows 7 and Vista. According to new research from Kaspersky, many of its customers are still using Windows 7 and that’s primarily due to its huge number of enterprise users. The research shows that 41% of surveyed customers still use Windows 7. Even worse, some are still using Windows XP and Windows Vista, which are no longer supported and therefore do not receive security updates. At least 40% of surveyed customers are very small businesses and 48% are SMBs. Perhaps more worryingly, 38% of customers and VSBs use Windows 7 operating system on small office and home office PCs. Of these surveyed businesses, 47% of SMBs and enterprises are still on Windows 7. "More than a third (38%) of consumers and VSBs, and 47% of SMBs and enterprises, still run this OS. For small, medium-sized and enterprise business segments, the share of Windows 7 and the newest version Windows 10 (47% of workstations work on this OS) is the same," the report reads. "The widespread use of Windows 7 is concerning as there is less than six months to go until this version becomes unsupported," said Alexey Pankratov, enterprise solutions manager at Kaspersky. There are less than six months to go until Windows 7 becomes unsupported. According to Microsoft, Windows 7 will officially stop receiving the monthly security updates on 14 January 2020. In its report, Kaspersky said that an old unpatched OS is a cybersecurity risk and it is highly recommended that users upgrade to the latest version of Windows. Source
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