Cybersecurity trends from across the globe, with an eye on the future of security and privacy, as chosen by our consultants.

Works hard for the money: funding concerns for EU data protection regulators 

Are Europe’s data protection authorities sufficiently well funded to defend themselves in court against the technology industry’s heavy hitters? A report by Brave into regulators’ budgets and skills found that only five of Europe’s 28 national GDPR enforcers have over 10 technical specialists.

The privacy-focused browser company also uncovered that half of EU GDPR enforcers have small budgets of less than €5 million. This deprives them of the financial firepower to defend decisions that go to appeal, Brave claimed.  “If the GDPR is at risk of failing, the fault lies with national governments, not with the data protection authorities,” said Brave’s chief policy officer Dr Johnny Ryan. The New York Times’ extensive writeup noted how Europe’s challenges could undermine efforts to create tougher privacy rules elsewhere.

How to detect and prevent ransomware infections

Criminals spreading ransomware ramped up activity during the Coronavirus crisis, hoping to profit from the panic. A Microsoft report on major ransomware groups found that critical services in particular came in for close attention during April. They weren’t alone, and the company warned others to be vigilant.

Its in-depth analysis of many ransomware campaigns highlights weak points in unmonitored internet-facing systems. It also includes advice on stopping active attacks and tips to build security hygiene for defending networks against human-operated ransomware. Separately, the Shade ransomware group, which had been active for over five years, shut down and said sorry. Better still, it released 750,000 decryption keys on GitHub, giving victims a chance to get their data back.

Brian Honan judges EUvsVirus hackathon

Brian Honan was chosen by the European Commission as one of the judges for entries to its EUvsVirus hackathon. The three-day event held in late April gathered participants from across Europe in civil society and EU partners, aimed at developing innovative solutions to Coronavirus in the areas of health and life, business continuity, remote working and education, digital finance and many other challenges. 

“This initiative is a great example of how experts from all over Europe were able to stand together and to share their skills, expertise, and time to tackle a common challenge,” Brian said. Winning teams will gain access to financing and resources to develop their ideas further. An event set for late May will match them with public authorities and hospitals in most need.

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Links we liked

France’s Data Protection Authority (CNIL) has endorsed the ISO 27701 standard. MORE

The ultimate list of free security cheat sheets, courtesy of SANS Institute. MORE

Here’s a very different take on a much-criticised app: in defence of Zoom. MORE

Considering long-term implications of Covid-19 for fundamental rights and freedoms. MORE

Underpinning the security of software: the role of the EU’s certification framework. MORE

This platform has free training materials for anyone working in cybersecurity. MORE

Cybersecurity’s leadership challenge: moving from talking to getting things done. MORE

Instructions to enable two-factor authentication for GitHub to combat phishing. MORE

Solving a 20-year mystery: the Love Bug virus and its creator. MORE

The UK NCSC now uses ‘allow list’ and ‘deny list’ in place of ‘whitelist’ and ‘blacklist’. MORE


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