Creeping ransomware high threat level
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Ransomware has become a global pandemic type of cybersecurity, spanning all sectors of industry from meat packaging to mass transit in the last few days.
A wave of high-profile ransomware attacks began last month, when hackers extracted more than $ 4 million after targeting the Colonial pipeline that connects Texas to the northeastern United States.
This week, the systems of JBS, the Brazilian meat processing company with extensive operations in the United States, were also infected with ransomware, forcing slaughterhouses to cancel shifts.
A Massachusetts the ferry service has been interrupted by a ransomware attack on Wednesday and Japanese medical device supplier Fujifilm said it had also been forced to close parts of its global network after being targeted.
This led to the Biden administration pressuring US companies to step up their cyber defenses. “We urge you to take ransomware-related crimes seriously and ensure that your company’s cyber defenses match the threat. . . the threats are serious and they are increasing, ”Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, wrote on Thursday in a note to business leaders.
Insurers are also issuing warnings about the rising costs of coverage for such attacks and that companies need to increase their controls if they want insurance protection. From early April to mid-May, premiums jumped 27% from last year’s levels, according to insurance broker Aon.
Ransomware’s pandemic proportions mean some insurers argue governments will need to step in and provide financial support.
“There is a need to find a way to cover the risk, which is too important for the insurance industry itself,” said Isabelle Santenac, global insurance leader at consulting firm EY. “We will have to find public-private partnerships to ensure that the risk is covered [and] to also work on how to limit the risk and prevent the risk.
The Internet of (five) things
1. Google follows Apple in tightening privacy
Google is strengthening privacy protections to counter Apple’s image as a better steward of personal data. In the changes that will come as yet another blow to the digital advertising industry of nearly $ 400 billion a year, Google will introduce additional safeguards for Android users who refuse to share their “advertising ID” – an ID device that allows marketers to track them. when they switch from one application to another.
2. Palantir helps Babylon market
American big data firm Palantir has taken a strategic stake in British healthcare firm Babylon, in a $ 4.2 billion blank check deal to bring the public start-up to the United States. Babylon, which offers a range of healthcare services to 24 million patients via a mobile app, has agreed to merge with the specialist Nasdaq-listed acquisition company, Alkuri Global.
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3. The ant recoils
Chinese regulators have approved Jack Ma’s Ant Group to begin operating a new consumer finance company, the first concrete sign of easing tensions with Beijing after Ant agreed to a “rectify” deal in April. The newly licensed unit is called Chongqing Ant Consumer Finance and can issue consumer loans, borrow from banks, and issue bonds.
4. Elliott downloads interest from Dropbox
Elliott Management has amassed a more than 10 percent stake in Dropbox, making the activist hedge fund the largest institutional shareholder in the cloud storage group. Lex says he could try to get the company to sell to a giant hungry for users like Oracle or Dell.
5. DeFi definitely the latest crypto VC crush
The fastest growing cryptocurrency start-ups in the past year were the ones that aimed to abolish financial intermediaries, reports Miles Kruppa of Silicon Valley. Decentralized Finance, or “DeFi” projects aim to replicate basic financial services such as lending and trading using software called blockchains, removing traditional middlemen.
Forwarded from Sifted – European start-up week
Taavet Hinrikus, first Skype employee and co-founder of fintech Wise (formerly TransferWise), supports a new investment platform called Lightyear which allows users to trade stocks commission-free and with lower exchange fees. The platform, which raised a $ 1.5 million pre-seed round this week, will attempt to apply the core Wise principle of reducing foreign exchange fees to make it cheaper to buy international stocks, in the hope of disrupting existing trading applications that often make a good margin on clients who buy stocks in different currencies. Hinrikus is now one of the Europe’s most active angel investors. He says he has supported over 100 start-ups over the past 13 years, with an average ticket of £ 250,000.
Elsewhere in European start-ups this week, Sifted took a look at which fintech companies offer the best – and worst – employee equity agreements; while funding news, Europe’s best-funded scooter company Tier raised $ 60 million from Goldman Sachs and Edinburgh-based asset management company Baillie Gifford supported Berlin freight forwarder Sennder in an $ 80 million Series D round.
Technical Tools – Updated Firefox
Firefox is probably not your browser of choice, it comes third for me behind Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge, but it can be a useful alternative when cookies start to cause problems and there are a brand new version has been released this week. The improvements are almost exclusively visual. Features include a new icon set, typography, and spacing. The toolbar and menus have been streamlined, and the tabs have been given a makeover “so that they are now slightly curved and float above the toolbar”. Everything looks fresh, so maybe it’s worth taking a look at again by you, the user.