Mobile payments and security — money walks, money talks

Once upon a time a mobile phone was something we used for talking. Today making a call ranks sixth on the list of most common uses for a mobile phone. Now there’s a new kid on the block that, in time, will push making a call even lower down the list. Mobile payment, or m-payment, is taking off. Early adopters like Starbucks already attribute significant revenue gains to their investment in mobile. Although overall mobile payments adoption and usage rates are still a fraction of standard credit/debit card transactions industry watchers expect this to change very quickly.

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The national economic protection strategy in Germany and real life

When it comes to security, public authorities in any country also want to represent their interests, some more intensively than others. Germany is not lacking in initiatives and organizations that want to help companies in terms of digital security. Unfortunately, the wheels of public administration can turn very slowly, such as the recently unveiled national economic protection strategy shows. In addition to the key associations BDI and DIHK, different security agencies in Germany are involved in the initiative, including the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Federal Criminal Police and the Federal Office for Information Security. Announced in August 2013, it took nearly three years until a significant concept was presented this week. On the whole, the national economic protection strategy is not much more than brochures and explanatory films that are intended to raise awareness of security threats among SMEs – not just in the field of IT. Practical measures such as financial support for companies to hire certified security consultants or implement security projects are lacking. Raising awareness of security threats whether physical or virtual through cyberspace is never a bad thing.

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Internet of Things raises fresh security challenges for industry

For many years industries like oil and gas, electricity, agriculture and utilities have relied on operational communications infrastructure outside the main corporate network to collect data and provide supervisory control. Known as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems the data they collect leads to efficient allocation of resources, monitors safety conditions and improves operational decision-making. But now, with the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, industrial organizations are eager to deploy new wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) devices to collect even more data from field assets in remote, geographically dispersed locations. The number of sensors and data points in industrial networks looks set to multiply exponentially overnight. As a consequence, there will be more access points than ever before. Security, therefore, will be an important factor in determining the overall success of IoT deployment.

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SSL: Still Secure When Configured Correctly

The Secure Socket Layer (SSL ) protocol is under attack: in recent months, a succession of vulnerabilities and successful breaches have raised questions about the effectiveness of this ubiquitous security standard. The emergence of DROWN (Decrypting RSA with Obsolete and Weakened Encryption) in early March 2016 may have finally forced IT admins to take action.

The fact that so many attacks are now focused on SSL is more important than you might think.

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Web of Spies

Ever since Edward Snowden revealed the extent of state-sponsored espionage over the Internet in 2013 businesses have been acutely aware of just how vulnerable data communications are to being intercepted. It is no coincidence that in the same period cybercriminals have also stepped up their attempts to spy on organisations. For example, the use of Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) malware and ransomware to try to capture valuable financial or customer data for financial gain has risen dramatically. While no defense method is ever 100% impregnable the risk of snooping and theft of sensitive data can be significantly reduced by encrypting it using VPNs.

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Cloud Security Pitfalls to Avoid

Cloud computing technology is fast becoming an attractive alternative to maintaining IT systems and applications on premise. In-house management and maintenance of IT is costly and resource-hungry. Small and medium-sized businesses in particular benefit from the way cloud services give them access to greater processing power and IT expertise than they could ever aspire to with the modest budgets and resources of their own. Cloud computing also provides an opportunity for large organizations to enjoy economies of scale for the high data volumes produced by the many and various devices, operating systems and applications they use.

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Staying Safe at Wi-Fi Hotspots

Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, hotels, railway stations and airports have become a welcome resource for any business traveler, providing them with a convenient means to carry on working while on the move. Employers, in turn, are increasingly happy to embrace the accompanying productivity benefits. Over 80% of enterprises now allow employees to use personal devices to connect to corporate networks.

Yet public Wi-Fi has a dubious security reputation. Even with password protection, public hotspots are an open invitation for anyone with illicit intentions to snoop and intercept data communications to their heart’s content.

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