Here are a few of the stories that caught our attention this week as we navigated the microclimates here at SHIFT SF:

Black hats hit Sin City

Security folks descended on Las Vegas this week for Black Hat 2019, a security conference for researchers, consultants and vendors to market their wares, discuss the latest in threat detection and unveil research. This year’s focus was largely around risk and compliance, securing the cloud, and network and endpoint security.

In his keynote to kick off the conference, Black Hat founder Jeff Moss marveled at the attitudinal changes toward cybersecurity over the past few years. Where previously security pros had to fight for the attention of business executives and government officials, today “not only have we got the attention, we’re struggling with what we do with it – how we communicate,” Moss said, according to a report in DarkReading. He called for security professionals to rethink how they present challenges and solutions to their organizations in order to enact positive changes in security practices.

For more coverage from Black Hat 2019, click here.

Russian hackers target corporate IoT

Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center announced this week that hackers associated with the Russian government have breached thousands of corporate networks through printers, video decoders and other workplace IoT devices. As reported by Ars Technica, the researchers uncovered the attacks in April, “when a voice-over-IP phone, an office printer and a video decoder in multiple customer locations were communicating with servers belonging to ‘Strontium,’ a Russian government hacking group better known as Fancy Bear.” It’s unclear what the organization’s intent was in gaining access to the corporate networks.

Microsoft alerted the makers of the affected devices in the event they can add stronger security measures and has provided IP addresses and methods corporate IT teams can use to determine whether their networks and devices have been infected. The Microsoft report provided a good reminder that network security – whether at work or home – is only as strong as its weakest link.

FCC fund to expand rural broadband

This week, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission established the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, a proposal that pledges up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband Internet access in unserved and underserved rural areas. According to a Telecompetitor report, during an event at the White House FCC Chairman Agita Paid said the fund could extend broadband to up to four million homes and small businesses across the country.

According to FCC data, approximately 19 million people in the United States – 6 percent of the overall population – do not have access to fixed broadband. In rural areas, this balloons to 14.5 million people – roughly one in four people – lack access to broadband.

Related pro tip

Have a client heading to an industry conference or trade show? Check out this post from the SHIFT blog on making the most of an event and increasing the ROI of conference attendance.

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