Band H Lock Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:24:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Band H Lock 32 32 Reasons why the healthcare sector is the biggest target of cyberattacks Thu, 18 Aug 2022 16:24:31 +0000

Recent times have shown the increasing implementation of technology in many industries and sectors. The healthcare industry has graciously embraced this advent of technological advancement. The adoption of advanced technologies, including AI, aims to improve treatment and patient care through better diagnosis. But has the sector only benefited from this technological progress? NOPE!

Just as coins have two sides, technological progress, regardless of sector or industry, also has the repercussions of its implementation. In the health sector, it is the vulnerability of health data.

Every day there is an increased risk to health data security due to the revolutionary implementation of digitization in the healthcare industry. According to recent statistics, in 2021, an average of 1.95 health data breaches of 500 or more records were reported daily.

Why is the healthcare sector the main target of cyberattacks?

The statistics above clearly show that healthcare data is under constant threat. But what is it about health care information that is so appealing? Let’s find out.

Digitization of health information

Recently, we have moved from collecting physical data to digital records to keep them secure, accurate, up-to-date and easily shareable and make them imperishable. That’s the silver lining, and we’ve benefited immensely from it until we hit data breaches.

In terms of security, we have created a big trap by making data easily accessible to hackers. This is where it all started, and the added reason helps make the healthcare industry the biggest target for hackers.

High value of patient information on the black market

The most valuable thing is the most stolen!

In this age of digitization, data is most valuable. Every hospital, big or small, has the hidden treasure of patient data. The financial incentives for hackers to sell this information on the black market are sometimes unimaginable. The reason for this incentive is that the information includes not only the patient’s medical history, but also their bank and credit card details, social security numbers, and more. This is the main reason that led hackers to target the healthcare sector.

Legacy technology is to blame

This nation’s critical infrastructure is not even technologically up-to-date to protect against these advanced entities. Although medical technology has been advanced, the healthcare industry has struggled to keep pace. This evidence can be found in legacy systems used by facilities.

It’s when the Health app development company come play. These companies provide them with software and systems with advanced security features.

Having a secure system is not the end of the story; as long as the system is in use, it would require updates to remain secure despite technological advances. In this way, the healthcare infrastructure can take a step closer to data security.

Medical devices are very prone to attack

Why? Because they are the easiest entry points for the hacker to enter the system. There are a large number of medical devices used for various purposes like ECG monitors, defibrillators, x-ray machines, etc. Unlike computers, their medical devices are not facilitated by advanced security settings. This makes them the entry points for hackers to target the login server from where they can access the confidential data they seek.

Moreover, the hacker, once entering the system, can even cause more havoc by shutting down these medical devices or worse, taking control of them. The consequences of which would be interrupted treatments which can often be life-threatening.

Unprepared health personnel

The nation’s critical infrastructure soldiers are the healthcare personnel. Time, budget, and resource constraints are the barriers to familiarizing staff with best practices in cybersecurity and risk mitigation. The military can only protect territory when they are aware of the existence of potential threats.

Raise staff awareness of What is cloud security, identifying risks and best practices to eliminate data breach risks. Healthcare institutions can organize various training sessions for their staff to make them aware of the repercussions of the data breach.

Institutions should ask their healthcare application development company to add additional layers of security. It can be further enhanced with cybersecurity solutions such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO).

In a word, the health sector is in danger. It is high time to allocate a special budget to invest in cybersecurity solutions. This way, your business can protect patient data from cybercriminals. Each company with this implementation can strengthen the cybersecurity of your country’s healthcare infrastructure as a whole.

Rising star Dean Sandonato details his rise in the industry and the biggest challenges facing the education sector: Risk and insurance Thu, 18 Aug 2022 09:16:26 +0000 Power Broker and Rising Star Dean Sandonato brings a passion for education to his role helping higher education clients overcome the barriers posed by COVID-19.

Come see the stars! As part of our ongoing coverage of the best brokers in the business of commercial insurance, Risk & Insurance®with the sponsorship of Philadelphia Insuranceexpands its coverage of Rising Stars — those brokers who represent the next wave of talent in insurance brokerage.

Look for these extended profiles on the Risk & Insurance website and in your social media feeds now and through 2023.

Here’s a look at Dean Sandonato, vice president of global risk for Gallagher, and an education broker and 2022 rising star.

Risk & Insurance: What initially attracted you to a career in insurance?

Dean Sandonato: When I was at Bentley University, I took a course in insurance and risk management and it stuck with me. Then, as I was preparing to graduate, I heard about an account manager opportunity at Liberty Mutual that included an intensive 3-month sales training program. I took the opportunity to take sales training with such a great company and then started my sales career with them.

R&I: What excites you about the education sector? What challenges have you helped overcome?

DS: I enjoy helping colleges and universities manage their global risk insurance programs and ensure their travelers have the support they need. We are always facing new challenges and I really enjoy finding creative solutions for our clients.

International travel was the first higher education sector to be hit hard by COVID-19. Our customers had to cancel and interrupt trips and bring all their travelers back to the United States

Unfortunately, the threat or fear of a pandemic was not a trigger covered by their current general insurance policies. COVID-19 has created a major gap in insurance coverage. We immediately responded to this and launched a Cancel for Any Reason/Interruption for Any Reason (CFAR/IFAR) product that closed this coverage gap for future travel.

When travel finally resumed in the spring of 2021, we were faced with a new challenge that we had never seen before. Travelers were required to test for COVID-19 when entering and leaving foreign countries, then quarantined if they tested positive.

None of our clients had quarantine coverage in their policy. We have worked with our insurance partners to add a quarantine benefit. We have seen many quarantine requests since we added the benefit and our customers are relieved to have insurance to cover these unforeseen costs for things like hotel, meal delivery and change fees flight.

R&I: Who have been your mentors in your career? What is the standout advice they gave you?

DS: Teresa Koster, my former boss, who founded Koster Insurance Agency – which was later sold to Gallagher and became Gallagher Koster and is now known as Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk. In my opinion, and I’m sure many others in the industry do, Teresa is the most knowledgeable and respected broker in the history of student health and special risk insurance. I had the privilege of learning everything I know about risk management in higher education from her.

“Do what you say you are going to do” is something Teresa has always said and as simple as it sounds, it has helped me build great relationships with my clients over the 11 and a half years that I’ve been to Gallagher. .

R&I: How would you describe your brokerage philosophy? What are the factors that allowed you to succeed in the industry?

I live “The Gallagher Way” every day, which are the guiding principles of our culture and the way we work: Gallagher Principle #20 is my favorite principle and the one that I believe has allowed me to succeed in the ‘industry. “We run towards problems – not away from them.”

R&I: How can the industry attract and retain new talent?

I think attracting new talent starts at the college/university level. There needs to be more insurance courses offered and more schools offering risk management majors. When I was at Bentley University in 2009, I took the one and only insurance course they offered.

Retaining new talent begins with an intensive internship/training program. We need to give these talented new people the knowledge and tools they need to succeed before launching them into real-world sales opportunities. &

Courtney DuChene is Associate Editor at Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

Payday loans versus installment loans: which is better? Wed, 17 Aug 2022 17:50:55 +0000

If you need money quickly, you can turn to loans. You can get a variety of loans: personal, payday, installment or same day loans. These loans can be used for large purchases and unforeseen circumstances, such as funerals, medical emergencies, or home repairs.

What are the differences between these loans? In particular, we will be looking at payday loans versus installment loans in this article. Let’s start.

Payday loans versus installment loans

Installment loans are a broad category that includes mortgages, auto loans, and other personal loans. They are usually longer and subject to credit checks. Payday loans are usually paid in a lump sum within two weeks or the next payday and have higher interest rates. To avoid the stigma associated with payday loans, the industry has adopted the term “short-term installment loan”.

What is a payday loan?

Payday loans are much smaller, usually under $1,000, and need to be paid off on your next payday (hence the name). When applying for the loan, you may need to write a post-dated check or provide your bank details.

The downside of payday loans is that they can be difficult to repay. However, lenders allow you to roll over the loan and pay the additional interest on the next payday. Typically, they will also include late fees.

You can read some of the benefits of payday loans below.

Benefits of Payday Loans

They are easily accessible.

For many borrowers, the ease with which payday loans can be obtained is the most important benefit. Unlike traditional loan products, you can apply online in minutes and have the funds transferred to your bank account usually the same day.

They are less stringent than other types of loans.

Payday loans appeal to many borrowers because the acceptance criteria are often less stringent than other types of loans. As a result, lenders frequently approve borrowers with poor credit histories and low incomes, even if they do not meet the essential eligibility criteria of banks and other top-tier institutions.

You can be approved even if you have bad credit.

As stated earlier, you don’t need a perfect credit history to be approved for a payday loan. Even borrowers with bad credit can still apply and may even be approved.

It is an unsecured loan.

Following this, you do not necessarily need collateral for a personal loan. They have high interest rates for this reason – to offset the costs if borrowers default.

Now let’s look at installment loans.

What is an installment loan?

An installment loan can include mortgages, car loans, boat loans, etc. Installment loans similar to payday loans are generally referred to as “personal loans”.

As with any installment loan, you benefit from a lump sum of money in the front. You will then make a fixed monthly payment for the duration of the loan. For example, a car loan can last for three years, while a mortgage loan can last for thirty years. Personal installment loans generally last 12 months.

Here are some advantages of installment loans:

The benefits of installment loans

They have high loan limits.

Installment loans allow you to borrow up to $50,000 or more if you meet all of the lender‘s requirements.

They can help you build your credit.

If you have a below average credit score, you can get an installment loan to help you rebuild it, as long as you make timely payments. You can even get better rates if you have good credit.

The reimbursement is fixed.

Installment loans have a fixed amount and repayment schedule for their entire term. Lenders can’t change your monthly payment unless you want a loan restructuring.

Early repayment is an option.

If you can afford to pay off your loan early, you can do so with installment loans without incurring additional costs. However, consult your lender before making any prepayments.

Conclusion—Which is better?

If you qualify for an installment loan, it may be preferable to a payday loan. Payday loans have higher interest rates, and since you can defer them to the next payday, you could potentially continue to defer payment and find yourself in a cycle of debt.

However, payday loans might be more beneficial if you have bad credit, need money urgently, or can repay the loan on time. In the end, it depends on your situation and your financial capacity.

An alternative option to consider: cash advance applications

These look like payday loans and are sometimes called “payday advance apps”, but there are a few key differences. There is no physical storefront and no interest is charged. Instead, they ask for a “tip”. They make small loans that are paid off with your next paycheck.

Authors biography :

Harrison has been a freelance financial journalist for 6 years. He knows the major trends in the financial world. Jones’ experience and helpful tips help people manage their budgets wisely.

Struggling luxury e-commerce platform Secoo denies desertion reports Wed, 17 Aug 2022 10:17:24 +0000

Beijing Business News reported on Aug. 17 that the headquarters of Secoo, a luxury e-commerce platform based in the center of Beijing’s business district and once filled with luxury goods, is now empty. Additionally, some security personnel said people started moving goods out six months ago and floors one through four were now empty, leaving only the fifth floor occupied by employees. In addition, Secoo’s logistics warehouse center, YH Global in Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone, was also released.

As for the concerns, Secoo told national media today that this information is not true. The company said: “Our office occupies only one floor of the building, which is the fifth floor. At present, the office area has not been reduced and several hundred people are working normally. Media reports that the first floor has been emptied. In fact, it used to be the company’s luxury goods showroom and warehouse. At present, we have moved all luxury products to a professional warehouse for storage and delivery. »

Consumers have repeatedly denounced Secoo recently. According to data from Black Cat, a consumer services platform in China, more than 17,000 online complaints have been filed against Secoo, most with keywords such as “no delivery” and “no refund”. . However, users can still place orders on the Secoo app normally, and various preferential activities are still available.

Secoo was established in April 2009 with a registered capital of 10 million yuan ($1.48 million). In September 2017, it went public in the United States. Secoo focuses on luxury goods including bags, watches, clothes, jewelry and other items.

However, its 2021 report showed annual revenue of 3.132 billion yuan, down 48% from 6.02 billion yuan in 2020. Meanwhile, net losses reached 566 million yuan, that’s six times more than in 2020. As of August 17, Secoo’s market value was just $17.64 million, having shrunk nearly 98% from $770 million at its peak.

Additionally, Secoo has filed for bankruptcy twice in a year and has been embroiled in hundreds of sales contract disputes so far in 2021 – in most cases it was the defendant. On July 27, PRADA Fashion Commerce (Shanghai) Company Limited requested the freezing of the ownership of more than 11 million yuan and the corresponding value under Shanghai Secoo E-Commerce Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Secoo . The application has been set up and will last for one year.

In March 2022, Secoo announced that it had signed a $175 million refinancing agreement with Great World Lux ​​Pte. However, according to Beijing Business Today, Shen Meng, chief strategist of Guangke Management Consulting (Guangzhou) Co., said the refinancing was just to restructure existing loans under new terms to some extent. For Secoo, it can delay the debt repayment pressure, but it cannot fundamentally reduce the debt burden. Secoo’s outlook now looks bleak and it is difficult for investors to change their expectations.

SEE ALSO: Global SaaS E-Commerce Company Dianxiaomi Secures $110M in Round-D Funding

Gallagher and King urge Biden admin to improve health care network security from cyber threats Mon, 15 Aug 2022 17:03:46 +0000

WASHINGTON DC- Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Senator Angus King (I-ME), co-chairs of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), urge the Biden administration to better protect the public health sector (HPH) from cyber threats . In letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Becerra, King and Gallagher highlight rapid rise in number of cyberattacks targeting healthcare, call for stronger collaborative action to address threat increasing and require an urgent briefing from the administration on their current situation. posture.

In part, lawmakers wrote, “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed systemic challenges facing the healthcare and public health (HPH) sector…For those of us working on national cyber-resilience issues, COVID- 19 was accompanied by another epidemic – that of ransomware. Ransomware attacks against the HPS industry have skyrocketed over the past two years as opportunistic criminals have recognized that hospitals can pay quickly to fix problems and protect patient safety… So, we’re asking your office a briefing on the status of efforts to strengthen the department’s capacity as the sector’s risk management agency and to operationalize collaboration with organizations across the sector.

The CSC co-chairs are asking the administration to urgently brief them on several key details of the healthcare cyberposture, including:

  • The current organizational structure and roles and responsibilities that HHS employs to support HPH cybersecurity;
  • The current HHS authorities need to improve the cybersecurity of the HPH sector as well as the shortcomings of these authorities;
  • The resources—including staff and budget—that HHS needs to serve as an effective industry risk management agency;
  • Interagency coordination structures, successes, and challenges used to support HHS efforts and HPH cybersecurity efforts.

As co-chairs of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), Senator King and Representative Gallagher are recognized as two of Congress’ leading cyber defense experts and are strong advocates of forward-thinking cyber strategy that emphasizes on multi-level cyber deterrence. Since he officially launched in April 2019, dozens of CSC recommendations have been enacted into lawincluding the creation of a National Cyber ​​Director.

You can read the full letter HERE and below:

Dear Secretary Becerra,

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed systemic challenges faced by health and public health sector (HPH). Early shortages of personal protective equipment highlighted the challenges of supply chains dependent on opposing foreign nations. The demands placed on healthcare workers have exacerbated workforce challenges, especially in underserved and rural communities. For those of us working on national cyber-resilience issues, COVID-19 has brought with it another epidemic – that of ransomware.

Ransomware attacks against the HPS industry have exploded over the past two years as opportunistic criminals recognize that hospitals can pay quickly to fix problems and protect patient safety. Meanwhile, troves of personally identifiable information and personal health information make industry organizations valuable targets for criminal and domestic hackers.

In this context, we were encouraged to see the White House hosting an executive forum on healthcare cybersecurity and the recognition by your department and other participants of the importance of improving the cybersecurity of this vital sector of critical infrastructure. . We also appreciate the FDA’s focus on medical device cybersecurity and the growing ability of the Department’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Division and the Healthcare Industry Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) to explain cyber threats. through a sectoral perspective.

We remain concerned, however, about the lack of robust and timely sharing of actionable threat intelligence with industry partners and the need to significantly increase the Department’s capabilities and resources. With the exponential growth of cyber threats, we must prioritize addressing cybersecurity gaps in the HPS sector.

As former Co-Chairs of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and authors of the Sector Risk Management Agency (SRMA) legislation currently in effect, we recognize the important partnership between the executive and legislative branches to properly organize and fund the public-private collaboration to protect against cyber threats. Thus, we seek a briefing from your office on the status of efforts to build the department’s capacity as an SRMA and to operationalize collaboration with organizations across the sector.

As part of this briefing, we would appreciate an assessment of:

  • the current organizational structure and roles and responsibilities that HHS employs to support HPH’s cybersecurity and serve as the SRMA for all of HPH. including intra-departmental coordination (for example, how the Strategic Preparedness and Response Administration serves as SRMA coordinates with the Chief Information Officer who leads HC3);
  • current HHS authorities need to improve the cybersecurity of the HPH sector as well as gaps in those authorities and what might be needed to ensure that HHS has the authorities it needs;
  • the resources – including staff and budget – that HHS needs to serve as an effective sector risk management agency;
  • interagency coordination structures, successes and challenges used to support HHS efforts and HPH cybersecurity efforts.

We and our colleagues can only perform effective monitoring if we understand the challenges that your department and the HPS sector are facing. As such, as part of the briefing, I would welcome an unclassified threat briefing from your office on cybersecurity risks to this most vital critical infrastructure sector.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue. I look forward to working with you to improve the cybersecurity of the health and public health sector and, by extension, to make our nation more resilient in cyberspace.


Prosper Insurance – The Virginia Pilot Mon, 15 Aug 2022 10:15:26 +0000

Medium-sized companies, ranked #8

At Prosper Insurance Co., “everyone deserves to prosper.”

This principle and commitment to its customers and employees has helped Virginia Beach Independent Insurance Company rank among the best places to work in Hampton Roads for the past five years.

Growth and earnings remain stable at Prosper despite the effects of post-COVID challenges.

“Things are still going well,” said Morgan Pecora, the company‘s vice president of human resources. “Being in the insurance business, we haven’t suffered as much during COVID because everyone still needs insurance.”

Post-COVID realities, however, have caused Prosper to alter some of its marketing strategies and the work schedules of its employees, Pecora noted. “We are doing a digital pivot, focusing more on technology for leads and marketing strategies instead of relying totally on our organic model of realtors and loan officers.”

In terms of working hours, the company has a rotating hybrid model where 50% of employees work from the office and 50% telecommute, Jessica Fitzgibbons, vice president of corporate growth, said via email. mail. The company returned to a mostly remote schedule after surveying employees.

In February 2019, Prosper made the ambitious decision to vacate its 6,000 square foot location near Mount Trashmore and move into a 17,396 square foot facility near Lynnhaven Mall. The company’s growth was so robust that another move was planned in a few years.

In March 2020, then Governor. Ralph Northam has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses and personnel statewide in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Prosper doesn’t regret the move, Pecora said, but for now the company is staying at its current location.

Founded in 2010 by Drew Monroe and childhood friend Rohan Shetty, Prosper has also been named to Inside Business’ annual “20 Fastest Growing Companies” list, in addition to other regional trade publications.

One of the company’s longstanding core values ​​is “work hard, play hard,” Pecora said. Since COVID, many of the company’s annual fun events for employees and families have been changed to virtual activities to maintain its family business culture. This effort remains a priority in 2022.

“We were as good as ever,” Pecora said. “We have a lot of parameters to keep our hard game aspect in place. We recently hired a full-time employee engagement coordinator to make sure our culture stays where it is – to maintain our fun culture and our various initiatives, like our volunteer and wellness programs.

“We are firmly committed to our core value of giving back,” Fitzgibbons said. “We do this by volunteering with local organizations quarterly. Recently, we worked with Cheeriodicals to set up care packages for patients with CHKD. Our team participated in the annual Virginia Beach Polar Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics. Clean the Bay Day is another favorite of ours. We always seek to support organizations or groups that are close to our employees’ hearts.

While creative endeavors and commitments to employee morale continue to pay off for Prosper, an ever-changing job market may require additional innovation.

“We have seen a bit of turnover. It hasn’t been great, but more than we’ve seen in the past,” Pecora said.

“So much has changed in the past two years and (we) will change, adapt and thrive,” Fitzgibbons added. “Prosper will continue to listen to our team and evolve with the times.”


Address: 2929 Saber Street, Suite 200, Virginia Beach

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Call: 757-248-5973


Senior leaders: Drew Monroe, President; Adam Howarth, vice president of operations; Jessica Fitzgibbons, vice president of business growth; Morgan Pecora, Vice President of Human Resources

Employees: 125

Benefits include: Health, dental, vision, disability and life insurance; education and development; competitive compensation, paid holidays; generous maternity and paternity leave and adoption assistance; gym membership; 401(k) retirement plan with matching contribution

Fun factor: Pleasure is not lacking at Prosper. Some recent favorite company events: magic shows, field day, corporate 5K and wine tastings.

Public Service: Prosper volunteers with local organizations quarterly. Recently, they worked with Cheeriodicals to set up care packages for CHKD patients and participated in the annual Virginia Beach Polar Plunge to benefit the Special Olympics. Another firm favorite is Clean the Bay Day. They regularly survey employees and allow them to suggest ways the company can get involved in the community.

States should not give gifts beyond their fiscal capacity: Ex-NITI Aayog VC Sun, 14 Aug 2022 13:01:00 +0000

According to former Niti Aayog vice president, Rajiv Kumar, state governments should not distribute “unmeritorious gifts” such as gifts and consumer durables beyond their fiscal capacities.

Kumar noted that there is a difference between merit-based transfer payments and non-merit gifts, especially those made beyond the fiscal capacity of any government.

“Non-meritorious gifts that are of a gift-giving nature, consumer durables…these should be carefully considered and should not be undertaken by governments under budget constraints,” he said. told PTI in an interview.

Noting that in a democracy, transfer payments through the state through the instrument of taxation and distribution are always necessary, he said, “any transfer payment whose social rate of return is higher at any private rate of return, i.e. which has positive externalities, is worth doing.”

On some politicians comparing Sri Lanka’s current economic situation to that of India, Kumar said, “Such a comparison is simply unwarranted and malicious on different levels.”

Sri Lanka is in the grip of a severe economic crisis and India has been at the forefront of extending economic aid to Sri Lanka.

According to Kumar, in the Nordic countries, the tax to GDP ratio is almost 50% because they spend a lot of public money to provide public goods and services to the common person.

“I think it’s not something we should be discussing or debating.

“It is important to increase the quality and access to public goods and services for the ordinary person, especially for those at the bottom of the pyramid,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in recent days denounced the competitive populism of extending “rewaris” (free) which is not only a waste of taxpayers’ money but also an economic disaster that could hamper the will of the India to become atmanirbhar (autonomous).

His comments were seen directed against parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which, ahead of parliamentary elections in states like Punjab and more recently Gujarat, have promised, among other things, electricity and electricity. free water.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court suggested the creation of a specialized body to examine “irrational gifts” offered to voters during elections.

The Center told the Supreme Court that the ‘culture of free’ has been elevated to the level of ‘art’ to fight against elections and will lead to ‘disaster’ if some political parties understand that it is the only means of providing measures of public welfare.

Asked to react to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s recent statement in which he said NITI Aayog was a useless institution, Kumar said Rao was entitled to his views.

Telangana’s chief minister had boycotted the seventh board meeting of NITI Aayog earlier this month.

“The fact that almost all the CMs came for the Governing Council meeting and spent the whole day there (…) clearly demonstrates that what the Chief Minister of Telangana said is not shared by the rest CMs,” Kumar said.

On India’s current macroeconomic situation, he said there was no fear that India would slip into recession anytime soon.

He pointed out that a recession is technically defined when a country experiences two successive quarters of negative growth.

“And I don’t see that happening at all. And therefore, I’m absolutely clear in my mind that India will not face recessionary pressures,” Kumar observed.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Consumer groups write to TNERC to accept LTCT consumer meters Sat, 13 Aug 2022 16:51:37 +0000

CHENNAI: Coimbatore Consumer Cause, a consumer rights organization, has written to the Electricity Regulatory Commission of Tamil Nadu regarding the delay in installing meters for new LTCT service connections and replacement of faulty meters. Tangedco also refuses to accept meters purchased by consumers in violation of the TNERC order.

“We have received complaints that a large number of consumers cannot get their connection to the LTCT service due to lack of meters. A large number of consumers have been waiting for months together. Even defective meters have not been replaced for months. All the problems are simply due to non-availability of meters at the licensee,” said K Kathirmathiyon, Secretary, Coimbatore Consumer Cause, in a letter to TNERC.

After spending thousands of rupees on service connections, he said consumers had to wait for supply due to lack of meters by the licensee. “Similarly, the licensee also suffers a loss of income as they could not earn any income after spending huge sums on building infrastructure. In this regard, we would like to point out that when there was a huge delay in carrying out the service connections due to lack of meters and we requested compensation which the Commission acceded to,” he said.

Referring to the suo motto case by the commission initiated on the motion filed by it, he said that at that time the holder had undertaken to the commission that instructions would be issued to allow consumers to buy their own meter in case of inability on the part of the concessionaire to make the connection to the service due to lack of a meter. Tangedco being unable to provide continuous meter supply or allow consumers to purchase the meters, he urged the commission to order the dealer to immediately accept consumers’ meters and provide the connections in first instance and only if the consumer is unable to purchase, the license must provide the meter (in accordance with the regulations). He also asked for compensation according to distribution performance standards.

The 5 Best Hardware Security Keys for Online Protection Sat, 13 Aug 2022 10:15:00 +0000

The authentication method we are most familiar with involves a username and password. But passwords pose several problems, even if you follow good password hygiene practices.

For starters, we’re not good at remembering passwords and even worse at creating strong ones. Second, most users tend to reuse the same password for multiple accounts. So if one account is compromised, the other accounts are also at risk.

To counter these risks, we suggest that you use a hardware security key. But with so many security keys available, choosing the right one can be tricky. So here are the best security keys we could find on the market.

1. YubiKey Series

Yubico is the industry leader in hardware security keys. The company offers security keys that cater to a wide range of users, from individual users and developers to enterprises and large enterprises. Some popular versions of YubiKey include:

  • YubiKey 5 NFC key

    The YubiKey 5 NFC is a compact, lightweight and durable key and is compatible with many services including Facebook, Google Chrome, Dropbox, LastPass, etc. The YubiKey 5 NFC also supports numerous security protocols, including OpenPGP, FIDO U2P, OTP, and Smart Card.

  • YubiKey C Bio

    The YubiKey C Bio is one of the few keys with biometric authentication. The key stores your biometric information in a separate secure element using a three-chip architecture. You can configure a PIN and use it when biometrics is not supported. The drive is available in USB-A and USB-C formats and supports U2F and FIDO2. Unfortunately, the Series Bio does not work with LastPass, which may be a dealbreaker for some users.

  • YubiKey 5 Nano

    If you are looking for a compact hardware security key, this should be the one. The YubiKey 5 Nano is available in USB-A and USB-C form factors and supports various security protocols including OTP, FIDO U2F, OpenPGP, OATH-TOTP, and -HOTP. The small size, however, comes at a cost. Unlike other YubiKeys, the Nano Key is not crush resistant and does not work with mobile devices.

2. VeriMark from Kensington

The Kensington VeriMark fingerprint key uses biometric technology with 360-degree readability and anti-spoofing protection. It supports up to 10 fingerprints so multiple users can log into the same device.

The compact scanner with a dongle form factor is designed with portability in mind. It’s only 1.2 inches in length, so you can attach it to a keychain without feeling its weight. You can even leave it connected to your laptop while you slip it into a bag during a commute.

The Kensington key supports many protocols and works well with cloud-based accounts such as Dropbox, GitHub, Facebook, Google, etc. On the other hand, it lacks NFC support and compatibility with macOS and Chrome OS.

3. Google’s Titan Security Key

The Titan Key is Google’s version of a physical security key for newcomers who want to protect their accounts with multi-factor authentication. It offers USB-C and NFC support, so you can be sure it’ll work with just about any device.

Although the key does not read fingerprints, you can press the center to confirm when connecting to sites. It supports the FIDO U2F protocol, which is an older protocol and puts the Titan key at a disadvantage compared to other hardware security keys.

The Google Titan Key does not support biometrics, unlike the Kensington VeriMark Key or YubiKeys. But thanks to this, the Titan does not need any configuration. To redeem the key, all you have to do is navigate to a site that supports hardware keys, add the Titan Key to your account, follow the instructions, and you’re good to go.

4. CryptoTrust OnlyKey

The CryptoTrust OnlyKey has unique features that its competitors lack. Starting with the design, OnlyKey offers a built-in keyboard designed to bypass keyloggers. Since you enter your password characters from the key itself, your accounts are safe even if the device or website is compromised.

You can even protect your passwords with an additional PIN, making OnlyKey a suitable multi-factor authentication device. It also includes a password manager and other features like self-destruct and encrypted backup. The self-destruct feature protects you from brute force attacks as it erases your device after many incorrect attempts.

The CryptoTrust OnlyKey is a bit bulkier than its competitors and has a clumsier interface. While not a major dealbreaker, it may turn some users off.

5. Apple Keys

Passkeys is Apple’s version of the security key to ensure a fast and secure method of authentication. This new authentication technology uses Touch ID and Face ID to authenticate users without having to enter a password. Although this feature does not involve a USB drive, it relies on your device to authenticate. Here’s how Apple Passkeys work:

Once you’ve enabled the feature for a website or app, the password will be stored on the computer or phone you used to set it up. You can sync it across all your devices using iCloud Keychain. And when you want to sign in to a non-Apple device or a computer you don’t even own, you can scan a QR code with your iPhone to complete the authentication process.

Apple’s Passkeys login method will be available from iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura. It will protect users against phishing attacks by eliminating the use of passwords.

Since this technology is still in its infancy, websites and apps are unlikely to require users to use security keys immediately. They will initially be used with passwords, but they are destined to become more widespread in the future.

Are hardware security keys worth it?

Hardware security keys aren’t perfect. Not all sites support them, and they can be tricky to set up. They are also not ideal for users who tend to lose things.

But security keys are still more secure than traditional MFA methods. SMS-based recovery codes are prone to SIM jacking attacks, while authentication apps have their own issues. Hardware security keys are much easier to use and offer better security in comparison.

We recommend that you use at least two physical security keys; one for daily use and a spare key that you can use in case you lose your everyday key.

Five Chinese state-owned companies under US scrutiny will pull out of the New York Stock Exchange Fri, 12 Aug 2022 18:31:00 +0000

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG/NEW YORK, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Five U.S.-listed Chinese state-owned companies whose audits are being scrutinized by the U.S. securities regulator said on Friday they would voluntarily withdraw from the New York stock exchange.

Oil giant Sinopec (600028.SS) and China Life Insurance (601628.SS), Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) (601600.SS), PetroChina (601857.SS) and a separate Sinopec entity, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co (600688 .ss), each said they would file for delisting of their U.S. depository shares this month. They will retain their listings in Hong Kong and mainland China.

In May, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported that the five companies and many others failed to meet U.S. auditing standards. The companies did not mention the dispute in their announcements, which come as tensions rose after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.

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Beijing and Washington are in talks to resolve a long-running audit dispute that could see Chinese companies banned from U.S. stock exchanges if China doesn’t comply with Washington’s demand for full access to Chinese companies’ books listed in the United States.

Beijing bans foreign inspection of local accounting firms’ audit documents, citing national security concerns.

“These companies have strictly complied with the rules and regulatory requirements of the US capital market since their listing in the United States and have made the choice to delist for their own business considerations,” said the China Securities Regulatory Commission. (CSRC) in a press release.

He added that he would maintain “open communication with relevant foreign regulatory agencies”.

The oversight wrangling, which has been simmering for more than a decade, came to a head in December when the SEC finalized rules to potentially ban trading by Chinese companies under the Foreign Corporate Liability Act. He said 273 businesses were at risk.

Some of China’s biggest companies including Alibaba Group Holdings, Inc (9618.HK) and Baidu Inc are among them. New York-listed Alibaba announced last week that it would convert its secondary listing in Hong Kong to a dual primary listing, which analysts say could facilitate the change of primary listing location for the Chinese commerce giant. electronics in the future. Read more

U.S.-listed shares of China Life Insurance and oil giant Sinopec fell 3.06% and 3.22% respectively on Friday. Aluminum Corporation of China fell 3.03%, while PetroChina lost 2.80%. Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co lost 3.29%.

Spokespeople for the NYSE and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the SEC-supervised audit watchdog, declined to comment.


It was unclear what the possible implications of the write-offs were on the negotiations of the audit agreement. Last month, Reuters reported that delisting sensitive companies would not bring China into compliance with US rules because the PCAOB must be able to conduct retrospective inspections. The agency’s position has not changed, a person with knowledge of the matter said Friday. Read more

Some market watchers said the write-offs were a bad sign.

“China is sending the message that its patience is running out,” said Kai Zhan, senior counsel at Chinese law firm Yuanda, which specializes in U.S. capital markets.

The companies said their volume of shares traded in the United States was low compared to that of their other major listing places. Still, volume in U.S.-listed stocks for all five companies on Friday was well above their 10-day average.

PetroChina said it has never raised follow-on capital from its U.S. listing and that its bases in Hong Kong and Shanghai “can meet the company’s fundraising requirements.”

Global fund managers with U.S.-listed Chinese stocks are gradually turning to their Hong Kong-listed counterparts, though they still hope the audit dispute will eventually be resolved. Read more

“These companies are very thinly traded with a very small U.S. market cap, so it’s not a loss for U.S. capital markets,” wrote Brendan Ahern, CIO of KraneShares, which owns a New York-listed fund focused on Chinese technology, in an e-mail.

He and some analysts said they believe the write-offs could still help pave the way for an audit deal.

“We view this as a positive sign. This aligns with our view that China will decide which companies would be allowed to list in the United States and therefore subject to SEC audit investigations,” Jefferies analysts wrote. .

China Life and Chalco said they would file for delisting on Aug. 22, with the delisting taking effect 10 days later. Sinopec, whose full name is China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, and PetroChina said their applications would be filed on August 29.

China Telecom (0728.HK), China Mobile (0941.HK) and China Unicom (0762.HK) were delisted from the US in 2021 after a Trump-era decision to restrict business investment Chinese technologies. That decision was left unchanged by the Biden administration amid ongoing tensions.

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Reporting by Samuel Shen in Shanghai, Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong and Medha Singh in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Michelle Price, Echo Wang and Chuck Mikolajczak Editing by David Goodman, Alexander Smith, Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.