Covid boost for cybersecurity agreements

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Remote work security risks and raging ransomware attacks have not been short of work during the pandemic for tech companies offering cyber defenses.

The coronavirus has also led the largest service providers to increase their arsenals for clients through increased mergers and acquisitions activity. Microsoft is the latest to announce an acquisition – network monitoring company RiskIQ worked closely with them when vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange server software were exploited by ransomware hackers earlier this year and were bought for over $ 500. million dollars, according to Bloomberg.

In June, Microsoft bought out ReFirm Labs, which detects security vulnerabilities in software embedded in devices at the edge of networks. A year earlier, he had acquired CyberX, which also focuses on securing Internet of Things devices. Microsoft says it now has 3,500 employees who help protect customers “from chip to cloud,” which Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said today is important to banks.

As Fortune reports, Cisco recently bought Kenna Security, Amazon’s cloud unit announced it will buy Wickr, which specializes in encrypted messaging tools, and the consulting firms are also on a buying spree. of security. Accenture acquires Sentor, a small cybersecurity company based in Sweden, and Deloitte acquires Terbium Labs, which helps companies spot fraudulent social media accounts and identify stolen data sold on the dark web.

New report from research firm Forrester shows how the trend took off in 2020, as cybersecurity became a higher priority in the business and companies saw buying opportunities and an increase in their own valuations . Of 120 cybersecurity deals last year, only 11% were private equity buyouts, with 89% being strategic acquisitions. although PE had two of the biggest deals with Insight Partners paying $ 5 billion for Swiss company Veeam and Thoma Bravo buying Sophos for $ 3.9 billion

Accenture and Deloitte each made two other acquisitions in 2020 and the French Atos made three. The latter company is in difficulty and in restructuring, explains Lex, the cloud and security being priorities to revive the growth.

The continued growth of cybersecurity mergers and acquisitions appears assured, according to Forrester, who cites strong corporate demand “and the large and expanding universe of cybersecurity start-ups available for purchase; globally, it’s more than 1,500 (cybersecurity companies that have received venture capital funds since 2017) ”.

The Internet of (five) things

1. Iranian hackers seek information on the Middle East
Hackers suspected of carrying out intelligence activities on behalf of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have impersonated academics at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. They were running an online spy campaign targeting experts in the Middle East, according to cybersecurity firm Proofpoint.

2. Google fined 500 million euros in France
France’s competition watchdog fined Google € 500 million after the search giant failed to reach an agreement with media publishers across the country on payment for their content. Google must now offer publishers a new remuneration offer and could incur a recurring fine of € 900,000 per day.

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3. Didi’s rivals gang up, Tencent’s Sogou coup
Rival apps from Didi Chuxing are rushing to lure drivers and users as they seek to capitalize on a crackdown on China’s rideshare market leader following its successful New York listing. Didi accounts for 90 percent of all car bookings in China, but the country’s roughly 230 ridesharing apps are trying to narrow its lead, our Beijing team reports. Tencent taking US-listed Chinese private search engine Sogou makes sense in today’s climate, Lex says.

4. Nokia rollover panels
Nokia plans to raise its financial forecast for this year at the end of the month as the Finnish telecoms supplier continues to recover from its initial difficulties with 5G networks. The group’s shares rose 6% on Tuesday morning to reach their highest level in two years after saying they experienced “continued strength” in the second quarter.

5. Electric car landmark, Musk’s solar flare
EU emissions rules due in 2025 are expected to make gasoline-powered cars less profitable than electric models, marking a historic moment for the auto industry, according to one of Volkswagen’s top executives. Elsewhere, a combative Elon Musk has defended Tesla’s takeover of SolarCity and scammed a lawyer representing shareholders suing the deal.

Technical tools – TAG Heuer’s Super Mario smartwatch

If you missed the winning bid for a pristine 1996 Super Mario 64 game cartridge auctioned for a record $ 1.5 million, maybe this limited edition £ 1,800 smartwatch of TAG Heuer will bring you some consolation. The dial of his connected watch becomes more alive and more animated as the wearer is active. Mario greets users with a welcome greeting in the morning, and as their step count increases, rewards are unlocked at each stage of a daily goal, with different animation. The Connected watch faces have also been reinterpreted, with four faces that include special details associated with Super Mario. There will only be 2,000 watches available from July 15.

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