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LW ROUNDTABLE: Will the U.S. Senate keep citizens safe, vote to force China to divest TikTok?

By Byron V. Acohido

Congressional bi-partisanship these day seems nigh impossible.

Related: Rising tensions spell need for tighter cybersecurity

Yet by a resounding vote of 352-65, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would ban TikTok unless its China-based owner, ByteDance Ltd., relinquishes its stake.

President Biden has said he will sign the bill into law, so its fate is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate.

I fervently hope the U.S. Senate does not torpedo this long overdue proactive step to protect its citizens and start shoring up America’s global stature.

Weaponizing social media

How did we get here? A big part of the problem is a poorly informed general populace. Mainstream news media gravitates to chasing the political antics of the moment. This tends to diffuse sober analysis of the countless examples of Russia, in particular, weaponizing social media to spread falsehoods, interfere in elections, target infrastructure and even radicalize youth.

GUEST ESSAY: A DIY guide to recognizing – and derailing – Generative AI voice scams

By Alexander Konovalov

Americans lost a record $10 billion to scams last year — and scams are getting more sophisticated.

Related: Google battles AI fakers

Recently used to impersonate Joe Biden and Taylor Swift, AI voice cloning scams are gaining momentum — and one in three adults confess they aren’t confident they’d identify the cloned voice from the real thing.

Google searches for ‘AI voice scams’ soared by more than 200 percent in the course of a few months. Here are a few tips  how to not fall prey to voice cloning scams.

•Laugh. AI has a hard time recognizing laughter, so crack a joke and gauge the person’s reaction. If their laugh sounds authentic, chances are there’s a human on the other end of the line, at least.

News alert: Badge expands availability of ‘Enroll Once and Authenticate on Any Device’ software

San Francisco, Calif., Mar. 7, 2024 — Badge Inc., the award-winning privacy company enabling Identity without Secrets™, today launched a new Partner Program and welcomed Identity Data Management and Analytics provider Radiant Logic as its newest partner.

Radiant Logic joins Badge’s partner network alongside marquee identity partners, Okta and Ping Identity. The new Badge Partner Program further accelerates the adoption and integration of Badge’s privacy-preserving authentication, enabling even more users to benefit from seamless MFA experiences across any device or application without storing user secrets or private keys.

“We are thrilled to be working with Badge, enabling a best-in-class authentication solution that builds on top of our market-leading identity data management and identity analytics capabilities to provide greater privacy and security to our customers,” said Wade Ellery, Field CTO, Radiant Logic.

The integration of Badge brings downstream value to Radiant Logic customers, allowing employees to enroll once and log into any application via RadiantOne using their preferred biometrics and factors of choice for a safe and holistic user experience across any device. By eliminating passwords and stored secrets, Badge bolsters Radiant Logic’s extensible identity data platform to accelerate strategic initiatives such as digital transformation, Zero Trust, automated compliance, and data-driven governance.

GUEST ESSAY: Essential cyber hygiene practices all charities must embrace to protect their donors

By Zac Amos

Charities and nonprofits are particularly vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, primarily because they maintain personal and financial data, which are highly valuable to criminals.

Related: Hackers target UK charities

Here are six tips for establishing robust nonprofit cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive donor information and build a resilient organization.

•Assess risks. Creating a solid cybersecurity foundation begins with understanding the organization’s risks. Many nonprofits are exposed to potential daily threats and don’t even know it. A recent study found only 27% of charities undertook risk assessments in 2023 and only 11% said they reviewed risks posed by suppliers. These worrying statistics underscore the need to be more proactive in preventing security breaches.

•Keep software updated. Outdated software and operating systems are known risk factors in cybersecurity. Keeping these systems up to date and installing the latest security patches can help minimize the frequency and severity of data breaches among organizations. Investing in top-notch firewalls is also essential, as they serve as the first line of defense against external threats.

News alert: ThreatHunter.ai stops hundreds of ransomware attacks, nation-state threats in 48 hours

Brea, Calif. Feb. 27, 2024 — The current large surge in cyber threats has left many organizations grappling for security so ThreatHunter.ai is taking decisive action.

Recognizing the critical juncture at which the digital world stands, ThreatHunter.ai is now offering their cutting-edge cybersecurity services free of charge to all organizations for 30 days, irrespective of their current cybersecurity measures.

James McMurry, Founder of ThreatHunter.ai, reflects on the urgency of the situation, “In the past 48 hours alone, we have stopped hundreds of actual attacks and performed mitigations for our customers. Yet, the frequency and sophistication of these attacks are escalating at an alarming rate. Our mission is clear: to extend our protective reach to every organization in need, ensuring that the digital frontier is safe for all.”

Drawing on recent events and the resilient nature of cyber threats, as highlighted in an insightful piece on the LockBit ransomware saga, it’s evident that the cybersecurity landscape is more volatile than ever. The LockBit group’s audacity in bouncing back after a significant takedown operation underlines the persistent and evolving threat posed by cybercriminals.

SHARED INTEL: Poll shows companies pursuing ‘Digital Trust’ reap benefits as laggards fall behind

By Byron V. Acohido

Achieving “digital trust” is not going terribly well globally.

Related: How decentralized IoT boosts decarbonization

Yet, more so than ever, infusing trustworthiness into modern-day digital services has become mission critical for most businesses. Now comes survey findings that could perhaps help to move things in the right direction.

According to DigiCert’s 2024 State of Digital Trust Survey results, released today, companies proactively pursuing digital trust are seeing boosts in revenue, innovation and productivity. Conversely, organizations lagging may be flirting with disaster.

“The gap between the leaders and the laggards is growing,” says Brian Trzupek, DigiCert’s senior vice president of product. “If you factor in where we are in the world today with things like IoT, quantum computing and generative AI, we could be heading for a huge trust crisis.”

DigiCert polled some 300 IT, cybersecurity and DevOps professionals across North America, Europe and APAC. I sat down with Trzupek and Mike Nelson, DigiCert’s Global Vice President of Digital Trust, to discuss the wider implications of the survey findings. My takeaways:

GUEST ESSAY: Everything you should know about the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of AI chatbots

By Zac Amos

AI chatbots are computer programs that talk like humans, gaining popularity for quick responses. They boost customer service, efficiency and user experience by offering constant help, handling routine tasks, and providing prompt and personalized interactions.

Related: The security case for AR, VR

AI chatbots use natural language processing, which enables them to understand and respond to human language and machine learning algorithms. This helps them improve their performance over time by gaining data from interactions.

In 2022, 88% of users relied on chatbots when interacting with businesses. These tools saved 2.5 billion work hours in 2023 and helped raise customer satisfaction to 69% for $0.50 to $0.70 per interaction. Forty-eight percent of consumers favor their efficiency prioritization.