Industrial Espionage on Demand

When it comes to data security not only hackers and other criminals are potential threats for companies. The United States run an agency where national companies can request espionage of foreign companies when competing for public project for example. This so called Advocacy Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce serves as an interface between US-American intelligence services and companies. Its purpose is to improve the competitive situation for domestic industries internationally. While this can be seen as a positive approach for American companies it poses a threat for all foreign competing industries and calls for better protection of corporate communication and data.

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Is e-mail dead?

In an era of social networks, instant messengers and cloud-based file sharing platforms the demise and a farewell to email is often debated in the media. However is email really dead?

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1.2 billion user accounts stolen by hackers

Russian hackers have been able to steal around 1.2 billion passwords with the corresponding usernames. With currently an estimated 2 to 2.5 billion people using the Internet worldwide it can be assumed that a dramatically high percentage of them are affected by this recent attack. Most likely not only privately used services like facebook, dropbox and the like are threatened, but also commercial systems for exchanging messages and files that are secured by user accounts. If encrypted data are centrally saved on a server that is working with static usernames and passwords, only one compromised account is necessary to make a vast amount of sensible data accessible from the outside.

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Automatized analysis of mails by the provider poses a risk for companies

Mail providers like Google search the content of sent mails for certain keywords or content. Officially this is meant to create certain values for the customer and society. One example would be that due to the analyzed content customized and therefore more relevant advertisements can be placed. This option however holds an actual danger – especially for companies: If a company sends an offer to a customer and the content is analyzed and used for customized advertising, the customer could be prompted to look at and buy products from competing companies.

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Why using USB sticks for file exchange is a bad idea.

Security experts have identified why USB security is broken and USB devices should not be used to move data from A to B.

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Economic damages due to industrial espionage can be avoided

Not only private persons are victims of espionage by foreign agencies. Especially successful industries are coveted targets for thieves from all around the world as well as from their own country. According to a recent study concerning the German and Austrian economy especially SME, aviation, shipbuilding and engineering companies in general are the primary targets. An often-underestimated security loophole is the electronic communication via email. Around 41% of the interviewed companies registered or suspected attacks on their electronic communication. This so far neglected security gap however can easily be closed.

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Is S/MIME or PGP the right way to secure e-mail communication?

Despite increasing awareness of the issue in the media, the rate of e-mails sent encrypted is dropping. Is S/MIME and PGP the right approach to protect electronic communication?

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Juncker‘s plans for digital politics: Europe has understood

Aachen 04. July 2014 – The Bundesverband IT-Mittelstand e.V. (BITMi) welcomes the designated EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s announcement to focus his presidency on digital economy.

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The German DsiN study shows that digitization increases – while security consciousness decreases.

Three out of four e-mails with highly sensitive contracts and agreements are transmitted unsecured.

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Cyber crime costs global economy $445 billion a year

According to a report from the CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies) sponsored by McAfee, cybercrime costs businesses more than $400 billion worldwide.

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