source:  technewsworld.com

 

United States government agencies and cloud technology providers are heading toward a reset in how they cooperate on cybersecurity challenges. The expected growth of cloud use will create a more complex federal security landscape, according to a recent report from Thales Group.

Federal agencies actually have moved ahead of businesses in cloud adoption, with 54 percent of agency data already embedded in the cloud, the report notes. Furthermore, cloud technology is central to a broader “digital transformation” goal in the federal government, recently highlighted by ramping up remote workplace sites in response to the COVID-19 virus.

“Data security requirements will only continue to be more stringent as more and more data and services are migrated to the cloud,” said Brent Hansen, federal chief technology officer at Thales.

“This year registers the first year where more federal data is stored in the cloud versus on premises. This is a huge turning point and the trajectory will only continue to favor cloud,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Continue reading “‘NEW NORMAL’ SECURITY ERA BEGINS FOR US AGENCIES, CLOUD PROVIDERS”

source: cnet.com

App developers are creating tools to monitor people when they shop and work, despite lacking proof that it works or has safeguards to protect your data.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways we interact and has everyone thinking more about our health and well-being. But that shift in mindset means that daily activities like going grocery shopping or simple things like standing in an elevator will come with even more surveillance strings attached. 

The response by governments and the tech industry to the coronavirus outbreak has already raised many concerns about privacy from contact tracing apps, mobile location data tracking and police surveillance drones. The outbreak has also brought new privacy issues, as companies beef up surveillance with tech like thermal cameras and facial recognition in preparation for when people return to their everyday lives. 

 

Surveillance technology has slowly integrated into our daily lives, with facial recognition getting added as a “convenience” feature for casinos and ordering food. The coronavirus has sped up that process, in the name of public health. Shopping centers have long used Bluetooth trackers to determine crowd sizes and whereabouts, and the pandemic has shifted its use to enable contact tracing

Vantiq, a software company that builds a platform for developers and businesses to roll out their apps, has been repurposing its tools to focus on technology tied to tracing COVID-19. Since March, the company has built tools to enable the tracking of COVID-19 through facial recognition and thermal cameras being used by private companies. Its tools have been used in social distancing programs like an app to reserve a spot at a food market. 

Continue reading “COVID-19 COULD SET A NEW NORM FOR SURVEILLANCE AND PRIVACY”

source: fastcompany.com

We’re four weeks into the massive time-out forced on us by coronavirus. Many of us have spent much of that time trying to get used to the radical lifestyle change the virus has brought. But we’re also beginning to think about the end of the crisis, and what the world will look like afterward.

So it’s a good time to round up some opinions about how the pandemic might change how we think about various aspects of life and work. We asked some executives, venture capitalists, and analysts for thoughts on the specific changes they expected to see in their worlds.

Naturally, many of them tended to see the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis in optimistic terms, at least when it comes to their own products, ideas, and causes. And at least some of them are probably right. But the general themes in their comments add up to preview of what might be ahead for tech companies and consumers once the virus is no longer the biggest news story in the world.

The responses below have been edited for publication.

WORKING FROM HOME BECOMES THE NEW NORMAL

Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare
The pandemic has resulted in what is effectively the largest “work from home” experiment ever conducted in human history . . . We’re seeing the effect on the internet, in terms of traffic patterns that are shifting. People are accessing more educational resources online for their kids; finding unconventional ways to connect with coworkers, friends, and family; and employers are being more flexible in how they respond to employee needs through more dynamic, cloud-based technology. I think we’ll see these shifts last well beyond the immediate fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365
This time will go down as a turning point for the way people work and learn. We have a time machine as China navigates its return back to work—and we’re not seeing usage of Microsoft Teams dip. People are carrying what they learned and experienced from remote work back to their “new normal.” We’re learning so much about sustained remote work during this time.

REMOTE HIRING OF TECHNICAL TALENT WILL BECOME THE NORM.”

VIVEK RAVISANKAR, HACKERRANK

Jeff Richards, partner at the venture capital firm GGV Capital
I travel over 200,000 miles per year for work. Now that doing board meetings, interviews, and other mission-critical meetings via video chat has been normalized, will I reduce my travel? I don’t know, but I definitely think it’s a behavior shift that will stick. In the past, if you joined via video, you were thought of as “mailing it in.” Now it’s become an accepted form of participation. Net/net, I still think we’ll see corporate travel [come back], as nothing is better than an in-person meeting with a customer or exec hire candidate. But for routine meetings, I think we are going to see a lot more video. I also think Zoom has crossed the rubicon from “corporate” to “consumer” as everyone in my family age 5-75 now knows how to use it. That’s a game-changer.

Tim Bajarin, principal analyst at Creative Strategies
We talked to CIOs recently, and they told us that they are becoming more comfortable with at least some of their staff working from home. Two CIOs even quantified it by saying they might consider letting as much as 25% of their staff work from home. That would mean less people in the office, and in turn, possibly less demand for office space. I believe that this could signal the death of open space work environments. The experience with COVID-19 will for years make people more aware of working in shoulder-to-shoulder open offices where it is easy for viruses to spread.

Continue reading “ALL THE THINGS COVID-19 WILL CHANGE FOREVER…”

source: defenseone.com

New guidance recommends immediate contract modifications to allow some contractors to remain at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligenceissued guidance this week directing the intelligence community to allow some contractor personnel to remain home in a “ready state” during the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

The guidance calls for “immediate implementation” of Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the $2 trillion stimulus package President Trump signedin late March.

Section 3610 authorizes federal agencies to modify contracts when contractors are unable to access authorized work sites or unable to work remotely due to COVID-19.

ODNI strongly encourages IC agencies to make full use of the flexibility provided by this act, and in other existing contracting tools, to enable contract personnel to stay home in a ‘ready state’ during the national effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ODNIsaid in a statement Thursday.

The guidance followscalls from lawmakers for the Trump administration to address concerns over how coronavirus spread affects national security contractors. These contractors face unique challenges due to the sensitivity of their missions, and many are unable to work.

In the guidance, ODNI said it will “support agency decisions” to slip acquisition and development milestones as agencies limit staffing during pandemic mitigation. In addition, the guidance addresses how contractors should submit requests for equitable readjustment, and sets reimbursement levels at 40 hours per week per employee.

source: securityweek.com

The hovering drone emits a mechanical buzz reminiscent of a wasp and shouts down instructions in a tinny voice.

“Attention! You are in a prohibited area. Get out immediately,” commands the drone, about the size of a loaf of bread.

A heat sensor takes the offender’s temperature and sends the information to a drone operator, who stares at a thermal map on his hand-held screen — shining orange and purple blobs.

“Violations of the regulations result in administrative and criminal penalties,” the drone says.

Italy’s coronavirus epicentre in the northern province of Bergamo, in Lombardy region, has had enough of people spreading COVID-19.

Continue reading “DRONES TAKE ITALIANS’ TEMPERATURE AND ISSUE FINES”

source: threatpost.com

The DarkHotel group could have been looking for information on tests, vaccines or trial cures.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has attracted the notice of cybercriminals as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues to play out, with a doubling of attacks recently, according to officials there. Problematically, evidence has also now apparently surfaced that the DarkHotel APT group has tried to infiltrate its networks to steal information.

Alexander Urbelis, cybersecurity researcher/attorney at Blackstone Law Group, told Reuters that he personally observed a malicious site being set up on March 13 that mimicked the WHO’s internal email system. Its purpose was to steal passwords from multiple agency staffers, and Urbelis noted that he realized “quite quickly that this was a live attack on the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic.”

The attack appeared to be aimed at achieving a foothold at the agency rather than being an end unto itself: “The targeting infrastructure seems to focus on certain types of healthcare and humanitarian organizations that are uncommon for cybercriminals,” Costin Raiu, researcher at Kaspersky, told Threatpost. “This could suggest the actor behind the attacks are more interested in gathering intelligence, rather than being financially motivated.”

As for the “why” of the attack, which was thwarted, Raiu said that information about remediation for coronavirus – such as cures, tests or vaccines – would be invaluable to any nation-state’s intelligence officials.

Continue reading “WHO Targeted in Espionage Attempt, COVID-19 Cyberattacks Spike”

source:  various

 

As we all do our best to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Artemus Central has amassed a number of media snippets that we’re calling “grinnables”.  We hope that they do just as we intended them to do: put a grin on your face!

Stay safe, smile when you can, and know that we’ll get through this mess together.   

 

And finally…(Turn up your volume!)

source: biocentury.com (courtesy of FAN, Jim Gossler)

A U.S. defense agency that specializes in turning science fantasies into realities jump-started technologies and nurtured companies that are now at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Defense Research Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) has taken risks where others wouldn’t. Its pursuit of high-risk, high-reward technologies, combined with its mission-driven approach to managing projects is promising to pay off in the fight against COVID-19.

DARPA was behind the creation of DNA and RNA vaccines, funding early R&D by Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) at a time when the technologies were considered speculative by many scientists and investors.

The military R&D agency believed nucleic acid-base vaccines could be developed much faster than conventional technologies. Its funding, project management and vote of confidence helped de-risk the science and attract investments and partnerships.

NIH selected Moderna as its partner for COVID-19 vaccine development. This week, an RNA vaccine produced by Moderna became the first COVID-19 candidate vaccine to be administered in a Phase I trial.

Inovio is on track to start a Phase I trial of an DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine in early summer.

Continue reading “DARPA’s Gambles Might Have Created The Best Hopes For Stopping COVID-19”