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Tag Archives: united-kingdom

F-Secure to buy MWR InfoSecurity for ~$106M+ to offer better threat hunting

The ongoing shift of emphasis in the cyber security industry from defensive, reactive actions towards pro-active detection and response has fueled veteran Finnish security company F-Secure’s acquisition of MWR InfoSecurity, announced today . F-Secure is paying £80 million (€91,6M) in cash to purchase all outstanding shares in MWR InfoSecurity, funding the transaction with its own cash reserves and a five-year bank loan. In addition, the terms include an earn-out of a maximum of £25M (€28,6M) in cash to be paid after 18 months of the completion subject to the achievement of agreed business targets for the period from 1 July, 2018, until 31 December, 2019. F-Secure says the acquisition will enable it to offer its customers access to the more offensive skillsets needed to combat targeted attacks — specialist capabilities that most companies are not likely to have in-house. It points to detection and response solutions (EDR) and managed detection and response services (MDR) as one of the fastest growing market segments in the security space. And says the acquisition makes it the largest European single source of cyber security services and detection and response solutions, positioning it to cater to both mid-market companies and large enterprises globally. “The acquisition brings MWR InfoSecurity’s industry-renowned technologies to F-Secure making our detection and response offering unrivaled,” said F-Secure CEO Samu Konttinen in a statement. “Their threat hunting platform ( Countercept ) is one of the most advanced in the market and is an excellent complement to our existing technologies.” As well as having experts in-house skilled in offensive techniques, MWR InfoSecurity — a UK company that was founded in 2002 — is well known for its technical expertise and research. And F-Secure says it expects learnings from major incident investigations and targeted attack simulations to provide insights that can be fed directly back into product creation, as well as be used to upgrade its offerings to reflect the latest security threats. For years, MWR has been a company with world-class technical research. Just take a look at some of the @MWRLabs publications: https://t.co/ntfBHqSFgd — Mikko Hypponen (@mikko) June 18, 2018 MWR InfoSecurity also has a suite of managed phishing protection services (phishd) which F-Secure also says will also enhance its offering.

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Celebrity funds from Jay Z, Will Smith and Robert Downey Jr. are backing a life insurance startup

Ethos , the company that bills itself as making life insurance accessible, affordable and simple, has officially come out of stealth with an $11.5 million investment led by one of the world’s top venture firms, Sequoia Capital, and additional participation from the family offices of Hollywood’s biggest stars and an NBA all-star. Jay Z’s Roc Nation, and the family funds of Kevin Durant, Robert Downey Jr. and Will Smith, all participated in the new round for Ethos, and Sequoia Partner Roelof Botha is taking a seat on the company’s board. Because nothing says star power like a life insurance startup. The life insurance market is one that’s been attracting interest from venture investors for a little over a year now. Companies like England’s Anorak, HealthIQ, Ladder, Mira Financial, and France’s Alan, which is backed by Partech Investments (among others), Fabric and Quilt, are all pitching life insurance products as well. Ethos is licensed in 49 states, which is pretty comparable to the offering from providers like Haven Life, the Mass Mutual-backed life insurance product. What has made the life insurance market interesting for investors is the fact that consumers’ interest in it continues to decline. Whether it’s because no one trusts insurers to actually pay out, or because Americans are putting their faith in the anti-aging technologies from funds like the Longevity Fund , folks just aren’t buying insurance products the way they used to. So when investors see the numbers of users of a formerly ubiquitous product decline from 77 percent in 1989 to below 60 percent in 2018, the assumption is that there’s room for new companies to come in and provide better service. Scads of investors have taken the same bet, which makes Ethos a marketing play as much as anything else. In the company’s press release it touts the fast, easy and inexpensive process for getting a quote.

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Deliveroo fattens its market presence by opening to restaurants that do deliveries

Restaurant food delivery startup Deliveroo is taking the next logical step to expand its business by opening up to restaurants that have their own delivery fleets — thereby also expanding the food choices it can offer its couch-loving users. Next month the company will launch the new service, called Marketplace+, in seven of its markets — onboarding restaurants that do their own food deliveries to its platform, and offering them the ability to tap into Deliveroo’s network of riders to extend their delivery services and support faster delivery times if they choose (it says restaurants will be able to “ choose for themselves how best to offer delivery” but the impact on, for example, existing delivery fleet staff employed by larger food chains remains to be seen). Commenting on the launch in a statement, Deliveroo CEO and co-founder Will Shu said: “Today we are unveiling the next big step in our plan to offer customers an even greater choice of restaurants, at a greater range of prices while continually improving service. That’s why we introduced delivery-only kitchens, bringing new, exciting restaurants to new areas. It’s why we invested in new restaurant brands to boost innovation, and it’s why today we are giving restaurants with their own fleets of riders the chance to be on our platform and to use our rider network whenever they need it. “This is a major development for the company that will mean thousands of new restaurants delivering new orders to new customers and it’s part of our mission to become the definitive food company.” The Marketplace+ service is being rolled out  globally across all Devliveroo’s markets this year, but will launch first in July in Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Hong Kong and the UK and Ireland. The company says it’s expecting Marketplace+ to bring more than 5,000 additional restaurants into its UK app by the end of the year — which would be a 50% increased on the 10,000 current available. The move will also expand where it’s able to offer a service in the market, saying it will add 50 new towns and cities in the UK by the end of the year. It also expects that, within a year, it will be able to reach an additional 6 million UK customers. (It says it’s already profitable in the whole of the UK market, and notes that its core service achieved growth of 650% globally in 2017.) Explaining why it’s able to onboard thousands more restaurants via the expansion to its marketplace, Deliveroo says this is as a consequence of building up what it dubs “ its own extensive delivery network of 35,000 riders worldwide and 15,000 riders in the UK”. Albeit, none of those riders are considered employees by the company. Rather, like many gig economy platforms, Deliveroo classes the riders who deliver its product as self-employed contractors

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Dixons Carphone discloses data breach affecting 5.9M payment cards, 105k of which were compromised

European electronics and telecoms retailer Dixons Carphone has revealed a hack of its systems in which the intruder/s attempted to compromise 5.9 million payment cards. In a statement  put out today it says a review of its systems and data unearthed the data breach. It also confirms it has informed the UK’s data watchdog the ICO, financial conduct regulator the FCA, and the police. According to the company, the vast majority of the cards (5.8M) were protected by chip-and-PIN technology — and it says the data accessed in respect of these cards contains “neither pin codes, card verification values (CVV) nor any authentication data enabling cardholder identification or a purchase to be made”. However around 105,000 of the accessed cards were non-EU issued, and lacked chip-and-PIN, and it says those cards have been compromised. “As a precaution we immediately notified the relevant card companies via our payment provider about all these cards so that they could take the appropriate measures to protect customers. We have no evidence of any fraud on these cards as a result of this incident,” it writes. In addition to payment cards, the intruders also accessed 1.2M records containing non-financial personal data — such as name, address or email address. “We have no evidence that this information has left our systems or has resulted in any fraud at this stage. We are contacting those whose non-financial personal data was accessed to inform them, to apologise, and to give them advice on any protective steps they should take,” the company adds. In a statement about the breach, Dixons Carphone chief executive, Alex Baldock, said: “We are extremely disappointed and sorry for any upset this may cause. The protection of our data has to be at the heart of our business, and we’ve fallen short here. We’ve taken action to close off this unauthorised access and though we have currently no evidence of fraud as a result of these incidents, we are taking this extremely seriously. “We are determined to put this right and are taking steps to do so; we promptly launched an investigation, engaged leading cyber security experts, added extra security measures to our systems and will be communicating directly with those affected

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