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Google, Yahoo and Facebook Ask the NSA for Transparency

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With the issues related to NSA a hot topic, the top Internet companies Google, Yahoo and Facebook have now requested permission to publish the number of requests made for user data concerning national security. The request was officially made to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. As of now, it is still under review and I, for one, am not holding my breath waiting for approval. The search engine giant Google went a step further and requested that there be a public hearing of the case so that it can be debated in the open.


Based on the U.S. Government rule to not disclose specific number of requests and user data associated with it, the three companies now have a dilemma. Internet users are increasingly distrusting companies that sell their personal information for profit and share it with their partners. After all, it is the consumer who ultimately pays the costs to keep these firms alive and profitable. The NSA, A US taxpayer funded agency, prohibits users from knowing what data they are collecting. The three major companies published only the number of user data requests received and entertained but specifics were withheld for security purposes.

Major publications have claimed that the NSA had direct access to Google user data, which Google has denied. In the wake of the revelations about the NSA by Edwin Snowden, the company wants to reveal the total number of national security related requests made and the number of users or accounts associated with it.

Throughout the NSA controversies, Google has maintained that the requests made by the government and intelligence community for access to its data have been affecting its business. Their solution is transparency. In Google’s court motion, it asserts that transparency will respond to public criticism and approach the issue in a democratic manner.

All three companies, Facebook, Yahoo and Google have come to a mutually agreement that demands the government amended motions to be filed. They urge U.S. to be a mentor for the world in terms of human rights, civil liberties and transparency with data.

People around the globe need to know if their personal information is safe or not. The situation is a concern even if we assume the best intentions of these programs. It is important to know if the data being shared intelligence agencies is being protected by the agencies themselves with appropriate security and control. It was recently learned, for example, that NSA employees were conducting searches for data on their ex-girlfriends and ex-wives.

There have been numerous incidents of government data being hacked into and compromised. The most significant instance was last year when the revenue agency of the State of South Carolina was hacked and the personal information of 4 million taxpayers was stolen. Clearly, the track record of government entities in protecting personal data is spotty,

The public deserves to know what is happening with their personal information we can have an informed debate. Fortunately, that is exactly what Google, Yahoo and Facebook are arguing in court.

Source: https://blog.comodo.com/it-security/nsl-transparency-requested-by-google-yahoo-and-facebook/

Cyber Security

Airgain unveils extended portfolio of 5G OMNIMAX Dipole series antennas for M2M and IoT apps

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Airgain announced the release of its OMNIMAX Next Dipole antennas, the latest addition to Airgain’s 5G product portfolio designed to deliver ultra-wideband connectivity for 5G NR sub-6GHz IoT and M2M applications.

The OMNIMAX Next Dipole series includes 5G NR sub-6GHz products for low profile and shock resistant outdoor applications, including “salt shaker” style antennas, indoor dipole “paddle” antennas, and outdoor “candlestick” dipole antennas.

Each product is designed to blend into the environment, with flexible mounting options while providing ultra-wideband connectivity for virtually any indoor or outdoor cellular module, modem, or gateway. The 5G ready OMNIMAX Next Dipole series provides future-proof performance, with backward compatibility from 5G to 4G and 3G global frequency bands.

“Supporting sub-6GHz 5G, particularly the lower bands approaching 600MHz, is challenging for the form factors of these products,” said Kevin Thill, Airgain’s Senior Vice President of Engineering.

“These antennas achieve excellent broadband performance without compromising the form factor, while outperforming competing solutions that we have seen in the market today. These antennas feature a unique and patent pending Coplanar Waveguide feed, which is key to enabling the ultra-wideband performance in the given form factors.

“We are excited to offer the expansion of our product portfolio of 5G ready antennas designed to accommodate wider bandwidth requirements demanded by 5G. The OMNIMAX Next Dipole series provides a cost-effective solution while delivering dependable quality.”

Building on Airgain’s antenna design expertise of CENTURION Next, the industry’s first 9-in-1 5G and Wi-Fi 6 fleet antenna, the OMNIMAX Next Dipole series includes 617 MHz to 6 GHz wideband cellular 5G support. OMNIMAX Indoor Dipole Next, OMNIMAX Outdoor Dipole Next, and M2M SN Next are available through our trusted channel partners or direct at 1-855-AIRGAIN.

Source: https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2020/07/09/airgain-omnimax-next-dipole-antennas/

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Cyber Security

You Are The Weakest Link

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Tom Finan on human imperfection and cyber security culture




A craftsman never blames their tools. It is not the systems  that ultimately fail cyber security professionals- it’s the people. Insider threats do abound but more often than malfeasance, misfeasance is the key to a breach. It wasn’t the firewall that failed Capitol One, it was a misconfiguration. Tom Finan dives in on culure vs. strategy quoting both Peter Drucker and…Barbara Streisand.  

Episode Overview

Covid 19 has changed 2020 in unprecedented ways in how we work, live our lives, and measure Cyber Risk. Listen to Episode #141 of Task Force 7 Radio as the Cyber Growth Leader from Willis Towers Watson, Tom Finan and Co-Host Andy Bonillo dive into how the “Cyber Security Superheroes” are working together to manage the human element during the pandemic. As claims data shows, effective Cyber Risk prevention and mitigation is largely a people problem. In response, companies need to assess and analyze the elements of their cultures that shape both positive and negative cyber attitudes and behaviors that makes the human element one of the largest risks to a company.

Listen Now

Source: https://www.cshub.com/executive-decisions/articles/you-are-the-weakest-link

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Cyber Security

Axio360 platform to provide holistic view and identify financial impact of risk for Archer’s clients

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Axio announced a strategic partnership with cybersecurity consulting firm Archer. This partnership will merge Archer’s expertise in critical infrastructure protection with the Axio360 platform and allow clients to measure cyber risk exposure in financial terms and manage their cybersecurity program from a holistic point of view.

The Axio360 platform will assist Archer’s clients in identifying cyber risks across business units and threat vectors that may not have previously been considered. The platform estimates all-in costs of exposure and evaluates how specific controls and mitigations will reduce risk.

“The Axio platform was built to fundamentally redefine how organizations solve cybersecurity problems. Our intention is to enable business-centric decision-making by putting the risk in financial terms,” said Brendan T. Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President of Channels & Partnerships for Axio.

“Our operating system aligns all key constituents and delivers clarity in real-time. This partnership with Archer allows our software to make critical infrastructure safer and more secure.”

“This partnership allows our asset owners to receive tailored recommendations from Axio and our dedicated team. For the first time, our clients will be able to measure their cybersecurity program and benchmark it across their industry peers,” stated Patrick C. Miller, Managing Partner for Archer.

“This collaboration will help the overall assessment and understanding of cybersecurity risk for critical infrastructure.”

Axio360’s methodology and software empowers organizations to continuously answer the four most critical questions for cyber risk:

  • What’s my exposure in financial terms?
  • How should I manage my cyber program?
  • Do I have the financial ability to recover?
  • Where should I invest?

Source: https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2020/07/09/axio-archer/

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