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We need more broadband internet than ever, but how much bandwidth is enough?

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In Before Times, you may have wanted faster internet, but you probably didn’t need faster internet. How things change. One pandemic later, and many of us are still  working from home,  our children are going to school virtually, and we try to keep ourselves amused with streaming media and online games. 

The pandemic has transformed our lives, including our appetite for internet bandwidth.

So, how much bandwidth do we need? According to John Horrigan, a senior fellow at the Technology Policy Institute, and former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) research director, it’s not a hard number. After all, “not all online activities require the same speeds: For a group video call, 2.5 Mbps speeds suffice, while streaming videos may require 25 Mbps for high-definition quality. How much speed you need, and how you experience that speed, relies on multiple factors, including the applications and the number of people online.”

It’s those last two factors that are making life hard these days. Horrigan said, “Take a common example as the nation responds to the pandemic: If two parents are conducting video meetings while two kids are logged in to online classrooms or trying to watch streaming video at the same time, some may experience slower or interrupted connections, even if they’ve signed up for the fastest home internet service.” 

Then throw in more advanced streaming technologies such as virtual reality (VR) applications, which libraries and schools are increasingly using, which require at least 50 Mbps to work and we’re heading straight into a bandwidth shortage with a gigabit connection. 

As technology journalist Rob Pegoraro reported in Fast Company, “We’re streaming video for work, we’re streaming video for school, and we’re streaming video for entertainment,” said Avi Greengart, Techsponential‘s president and lead analyst. “If you have multiple people in your household, these activities get multiplied.” Add in updates and patches for your computers, devices, and games and you’re talking big data.

OpenVault‘s OpenVault Broadband Insights Report found that the median broadband usage, a leading indicator of usage growth, rose sharply. Median usage was 233.6 GB, a 60% increase from 146.0 GB during the first quarter of 2019 and up 22% from 190.7 GB at the end of 2019. Importantly, the rate of increase in media growth accelerated to 122% during the first quarter of 2020.

OpenVault also discovered power users, subscribers who use 1 TB or more of data a month, and extreme power users, those who use 2 TB or more, numbers jumped. Power users reached 10% of all users during the first quarter, a 138% increase over the 4.2% who were power users in the year-ago quarter. Extreme power uses were 1.2% of all users last quarter, a 215% increase over the 0.38% who reached that level during the first quarter of last year. 

Take an ordinary household of four. They each own a smartphone, a PC, and a smart speaker. Next, everyone in the house shares two tablets, two gaming consoles, and a pair of 4K TVs. These days, it’s a safe bet everyone’s using these devices a lot. By Broadband’s Now Bandwidth Calculator‘s reckoning you should have at least a 180 Mbps connection. Good luck getting that in many places. 

The FCC official broadband definition is only 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. That’s pathetic. Soon to be out of office FCC chairman Ajit Pai wanted to reduce that number to 10 Mbps in 2018

Making matters worse, few of us have any real choice in ISPs. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance in its latest Profiles of Monopoly: Big Cable and Telecom report found United States’ largest ISPs: Comcast, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier, and Windstream have divided up the country so that  “83.3 million Americans can only access broadband through a single provider.” 

Adding insult to injury, these same providers, with the support of Pai’s FCC, have successfully lobbied 22 state legislatures to outlaw community government ISPs. It’s no wonder that Starlink satellite internet is so eagerly awaited by millions of users. 

if you live out in the country, BroadbandNow Research using the FCC’s data found 42 million don’t even have broadband access at its inadequate standard. 

On top of that, The New America centrist think tank found in its 2020 Cost of Connectivity survey, which was completed before Covid-19 really hit hard, that ISP prices have continued to spiral upward. HowMuch.net has determined that the average US Internet cost is $66.20 per month.

Cable.co.uk noted that, thanks to a “lack of competition in the marketplace … Americans pay far more than they should compared to much of the rest of the world.”  It’s no surprise that Pew Research worked out that half of those who don’t have broadband say it’s because it is too expensive. Prices have only shot up since then. 

Now, things are getting even worse. Data-cap programs for fixed ISPs are now becoming commonplace. Comcast, for instance, will now put a 1.2Terabyte monthly data cap on all its customers in early 2021. 

That may sound like a lot, but let’s look at our family home with four people. With an eight hour day, they’ll use an average of 648 Gigabytes a day, or 1.9 TB a month. Ow. You can pay $10 for every additional 50GB block to a maximum of $100 each month. Our hypothetical family will hit that mark every month. They’d be smarter to avoid the overage charges by spending an extra $30 a month for an unlimited data plan.

Comcast isn’t the only one. AT&T’s millions of DSL subscribers also now must deal with monthly data caps. AT&T intends to kill off its legacy DSL business. This will leave millions of rural users with no broadband at all. Charter/Spectrum is denying that it’ll ask for data caps, but the company has asked the FCC to let it place caps starting in May 2021. Currently, Charter as part of its Time Warner Cable acquisition isn’t allowed to place data caps. 

What can we do? Tom Wheeler, former FCC chairman and visiting fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, thinks we need to finally recognize that the “internet is no longer ‘nice to have,’ it is critical.

Therefore, Wheeler continued, “The solution to universal broadband in America is not to patch the old program, but to throw it out.” It will cost tens of billions of dollars, but Wheeler wants to see fiber optic everywhere it can be laid. Such projects already exist. The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) gave $4 billion directly to broadband construction of 233 projects across the nation and these projects revitalized dying towns. 

If the major ISPs won’t step up to do the job, Wheeler said, turn to any company or state or local government willing to lay the fiber cable. “The FCC,” he added, “should be their ally, not their opponent.” With this foundation, it will be easier and cheaper to bring broadband to almost every household in the country. 

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Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/we-need-more-broadband-internet-than-ever-with-covid-keeping-us-at-home/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

ZDNET

Microsoft: Zero Trust security just hit the mainstream

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Zero Trust, the borderless security strategy being pushed by vendors, has fully caught on in the enterprise, according to Microsoft’s latest survey of cybersecurity defenders. 

Microsoft, IBM, Google, AWS, Cisco and others in the cybersecurity industry have been banging the ‘zero trust’ drum for the past few years. 

The case for zero trust was made clearer after this year’s software supply chain attacks on US tech firms, which came amid a mass shift to remote work that demonstrated the need to protect information inside and beyond a trusted environment in a world that spans BYOD, home networks, VPNs, cloud services and more.

As Microsoft has argued, part of zero trust is assuming the corporate network has already been breached, either by hackers targeting that network through phishing or malware, or via an employee’s compromised home device connecting to the network.

The message has gotten through to organizations. Microsoft’s survey of 1,200 security decision makers over the past year found that 96% of consider Zero Trust to be critical to their organization. 

Zero trust will also soon be compulsory for federal agencies, helping standardize the concept in the broader market. US president Joe Biden’s cybersecurity executive order in May mandated agencies move to zero-trust as-a-service architectures and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) within 180 days. 

The Commerce Department’s NIST followed up last week by calling on 18 of the US’s biggest cybersecurity vendors to demonstrate how they would implement a zero trust architecture.    

Microsoft found that 76 percent or organizations are in the process of implementing a Zero Trust architecture — up six percent from last year.

“The shift to hybrid work, accelerated by COVID-19, is also driving the move towards broader adoption of Zero Trust with 81 percent of organizations having already begun the move toward a hybrid workplace,” writes Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft corporate vice president of security, compliance and identity.

“Zero Trust will be critical to help maintain security amid the IT complexity that comes with hybrid work.”

The top reasons for adopting Zero Trust included increased security and compliance agility, speed of threat detection and remediation, and simplicity and availability of security analytics, according to Jakkal. 

It’s all about confirming everything is secure, across identity, endpoints, the network, and other resources using signals and data.

Biden this week highlighted the real-world stakes at play with recent ransomware and supply chain attacks on critical infrastructure, telling the US intelligence community that a major hack would likely be the reason the US enters “a real shooting war with a major power”. The US president yesterday signed a memorandum addressing cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, ordering CISA and NIST to create benchmarks for organizations managing critical infrastructure.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-zero-trust-security-just-hit-the-mainstream/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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ZDNET

Microsoft: Zero Trust security just hit the mainstream

Published

on

Zero Trust, the borderless security strategy being pushed by vendors, has fully caught on in the enterprise, according to Microsoft’s latest survey of cybersecurity defenders. 

Microsoft, IBM, Google, AWS, Cisco and others in the cybersecurity industry have been banging the ‘zero trust’ drum for the past few years. 

The case for zero trust was made clearer after this year’s software supply chain attacks on US tech firms, which came amid a mass shift to remote work that demonstrated the need to protect information inside and beyond a trusted environment in a world that spans BYOD, home networks, VPNs, cloud services and more.

As Microsoft has argued, part of zero trust is assuming the corporate network has already been breached, either by hackers targeting that network through phishing or malware, or via an employee’s compromised home device connecting to the network.

The message has gotten through to organizations. Microsoft’s survey of 1,200 security decision makers over the past year found that 96% of consider Zero Trust to be critical to their organization. 

Zero trust will also soon be compulsory for federal agencies, helping standardize the concept in the broader market. US president Joe Biden’s cybersecurity executive order in May mandated agencies move to zero-trust as-a-service architectures and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) within 180 days. 

The Commerce Department’s NIST followed up last week by calling on 18 of the US’s biggest cybersecurity vendors to demonstrate how they would implement a zero trust architecture.    

Microsoft found that 76 percent or organizations are in the process of implementing a Zero Trust architecture — up six percent from last year.

“The shift to hybrid work, accelerated by COVID-19, is also driving the move towards broader adoption of Zero Trust with 81 percent of organizations having already begun the move toward a hybrid workplace,” writes Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft corporate vice president of security, compliance and identity.

“Zero Trust will be critical to help maintain security amid the IT complexity that comes with hybrid work.”

The top reasons for adopting Zero Trust included increased security and compliance agility, speed of threat detection and remediation, and simplicity and availability of security analytics, according to Jakkal. 

It’s all about confirming everything is secure, across identity, endpoints, the network, and other resources using signals and data.

Biden this week highlighted the real-world stakes at play with recent ransomware and supply chain attacks on critical infrastructure, telling the US intelligence community that a major hack would likely be the reason the US enters “a real shooting war with a major power”. The US president yesterday signed a memorandum addressing cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, ordering CISA and NIST to create benchmarks for organizations managing critical infrastructure.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-zero-trust-security-just-hit-the-mainstream/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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ZDNET

Microsoft: Zero Trust security just hit the mainstream

Published

on

Zero Trust, the borderless security strategy being pushed by vendors, has fully caught on in the enterprise, according to Microsoft’s latest survey of cybersecurity defenders. 

Microsoft, IBM, Google, AWS, Cisco and others in the cybersecurity industry have been banging the ‘zero trust’ drum for the past few years. 

The case for zero trust was made clearer after this year’s software supply chain attacks on US tech firms, which came amid a mass shift to remote work that demonstrated the need to protect information inside and beyond a trusted environment in a world that spans BYOD, home networks, VPNs, cloud services and more.

As Microsoft has argued, part of zero trust is assuming the corporate network has already been breached, either by hackers targeting that network through phishing or malware, or via an employee’s compromised home device connecting to the network.

The message has gotten through to organizations. Microsoft’s survey of 1,200 security decision makers over the past year found that 96% of consider Zero Trust to be critical to their organization. 

Zero trust will also soon be compulsory for federal agencies, helping standardize the concept in the broader market. US president Joe Biden’s cybersecurity executive order in May mandated agencies move to zero-trust as-a-service architectures and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) within 180 days. 

The Commerce Department’s NIST followed up last week by calling on 18 of the US’s biggest cybersecurity vendors to demonstrate how they would implement a zero trust architecture.    

Microsoft found that 76 percent or organizations are in the process of implementing a Zero Trust architecture — up six percent from last year.

“The shift to hybrid work, accelerated by COVID-19, is also driving the move towards broader adoption of Zero Trust with 81 percent of organizations having already begun the move toward a hybrid workplace,” writes Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft corporate vice president of security, compliance and identity.

“Zero Trust will be critical to help maintain security amid the IT complexity that comes with hybrid work.”

The top reasons for adopting Zero Trust included increased security and compliance agility, speed of threat detection and remediation, and simplicity and availability of security analytics, according to Jakkal. 

It’s all about confirming everything is secure, across identity, endpoints, the network, and other resources using signals and data.

Biden this week highlighted the real-world stakes at play with recent ransomware and supply chain attacks on critical infrastructure, telling the US intelligence community that a major hack would likely be the reason the US enters “a real shooting war with a major power”. The US president yesterday signed a memorandum addressing cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, ordering CISA and NIST to create benchmarks for organizations managing critical infrastructure.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-zero-trust-security-just-hit-the-mainstream/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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ZDNET

Apple broke bad news to iPhone fans

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We’ve known this was a problem.

I expected that if there was any time when Apple top brass would mention it, it would be during the earnings call.

And that’s when it happened.

Apple, like most other tech firms, is feeling the pinch due to component shortages.

A word that came up a lot during the call was “constraints.” It was up to Apple CFO Luca Maestri to break the bad news.

“… we expect supply constraints during the September quarter to be greater than what we experienced during the June quarter. The constraints will primarily impact iPhone and iPad.”

Must read: Don’t buy these Apple products: July 2021 edition

Normally, I’d put this down to scarcity marketing — “get in there quick with your iPhone orders, because otherwise you’ll miss out and the cool kids will laugh at you” sort of thing — but these supply constraints are real and is affecting almost every company that is involved in making things.

CEO Tim Cook went on to fill in some more details about the constraints.

“The majority of constraints we’re seeing are of the variety that I think others are saying that are I would classify as industry shortage. We do have some shortages, in addition to that, that are where the demand has been so great and so beyond our own expectation that it’s difficult to get the entire set of parts within the lead times that we try to get those. So it’s a little bit of that as well.”

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

On the whole, Apple does like to underpromise and overdeliver, especially where Wall Street is concerned, so it doesn’t surprise me that there’s this air of caution.

It makes sense.

The landscape is changing rapidly.

But I think that it’s interesting and somewhat telling that Apple was willing to make such a statement, a statement that caused stocks to fall as a result.

This statement was not made lightly.

If you’re someone who likes getting a new iPhone as soon as they’re out, you might have to work a little harder this year.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-broke-bad-news-to-iphone-fans/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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