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A Chromebook can increase the protection of air gapped computers

I used to think that the best way to protect a computer hosting sensitive data was by not connecting it to any network, a process known as air gapping. Ah, the good old days.

WikiLeaks recently revealed that when the computer with the sensitive data is running Windows, even air gapped protection is insufficient. The CIA, using a software system codenamed Brutal Kangaroo, first infects a Windows computer connected to the Internet, then infects any USB flash drive (a.k.a. thumb drive) plugged into that computer, in the hope that the flash drive will eventually be plugged into the air-gap protected machines.

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Why Apple’s future’s up on ransomware

This week’s big security story is the so-called ‘Petya’ ransomware attack. It is not the first such attack, won’t be the last, and its success will prompt cybercriminals to attack again, and again, and again. In this new threat environment, there are zero excuses for any enterprise, public or private, to be running Windows XP, or any other insecure platform.

Even the cops

Chronic underfunding and a conservative government ideologically committed to cuts mean key UK public services remain under threat of cyberattack. In recent weeks, the National Health Service saw its computing systems fail because they relied too much on unprotected Windows systems. This morning we learned that the UK’s Metropolitan Police force still uses over 18,000 computers running Windows XP. The key police force of the UK’s biggest city is therefore currently vulnerable to cyber-attack.

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The price of security: surprisingly affordable

Sysadmin pilot fish works for a company that manufactures steel products that go up -- everything from cell towers and guyed masts to utility poles.

"One day a message came into the help desk," says fish. "A user was concerned that we were going to get audited by the American Institute of Steel Construction, and he wanted to make sure we had all our procedural documentation in order and current.

"His problem was that our web filter was blocking his ability to download the AISC standards documents."

Fish has a little spare time and he's very fluent in the use of the web filter, so he picks up the trouble ticket to deal with.

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Microsoft, please stop doing things for our own good

For over 20 years, Microsoft stomped on its competitors and then defended itself against the resulting antitrust lawsuits. But with desktop Windows waning in importance and its desktop software rivals largely gone, Microsoft seemed to have turned a new leaf. Or had it?

In the one software sphere left where it still has rivals — antivirus and security software — Microsoft is up to its old anti-competitive tricks. Late last year, Eugene Kaspersky, founder of the eponymous antivirus company, said, “When you upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft automatically and without any warning deactivates all ‘incompatible’ security software and in its place installs… you guessed it — its own Defender antivirus. But what did it expect when independent developers were given all of one week before the release of the new version of the OS to make their software compatible?”

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With Cisco, Apple weaves itself into enterprise infrastructure

Apple is on course to become the most secure platform provider in the modern enterprise, and Cisco is helping this happen.

You heard that right

“If your enterprise and company is using Cisco and Apple the combination should make the [cybersecurity] insurance cost significantly less for you than it would if you were using some other personal network side and the other operating system in the mobile area,” Apple CEO, Tim Cook, told Cisco Live.

This is a big deal and Cook’s appearance at the show confirms the growing bond between the two firms – and confirms (all over again) that Apple is resolute in its determination to transform enterprise IT infrastructure. Cook even cited the “deeper partnership” with Cisco.

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8 reasons why you should strengthen your iOS passcode today

Every enterprise IT manager knows the ghastly truth: the biggest security weaknesses in any system are the humans using it. So, if you are one of the nearly one-in-ten iOS users (or even the one-in-three Android users) who don’t use a passcode, if you happen to be one of the many who use the same passcode for everything, or even one of the 15 percent of users who still insist on using any of these ten passcodes, then this article is for you. It’s time to toughen up. Here’s why:

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