Daily Archives: August 5, 2021

EU cybersecurity agency says hackers target supplier’s code

Europe Online/KG – Mapping on emerging supply chain attacks, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity warned on July 29 that 66% of attacks focus on the supplier’s code.

Supply chain attacks have been a concern for cybersecurity experts for many years because the chain reaction triggered by one attack on a single supplier can compromise a network of providers. Malware is the attack technique that attackers resort to in 62% of attacks.

According to the new ENISA report – Threat Landscape for Supply Chain Attacks, which analyzed 24 recent attacks, strong security protection is no longer enough for organizations when attackers have already shifted their attention to suppliers.

This is evidenced by the increasing impact of these attacks such as downtime of systems, monetary loss and reputational damage.

“Due to the cascading effect of supply chain attacks, threat actors can cause widespread damage affecting businesses and their customers all at once,” EU Agency for Cybersecurity Executive Director Juhan Lepassaar said. “With good practices and coordinated actions at (the) EU level, (the) Member States will be able to reach a similar level of capabilities raising the common level of cybersecurity in the EU,” he added.

Supply chain attacks are now expected to multiply by 4 in 2021, compared to last year. This new trend stresses the need for policymakers and the cybersecurity community to act now. This is why novel protective measures to prevent and respond to potential supply chain attacks in the future while mitigating their impact need to be introduced urgently. more>

Updates from Chicago Booth

Why craft beer’s rise is a warning flag for all sorts of big brands
Research suggests a supply-driven explanation for millennials’ taste for craft beer
By Brian Wallheimer – Over the past 20 years, the largest consumer packaged goods companies have seen their sales erode while smaller companies selling artisanal and locally sourced products have grown. These changes, many believe, occurred as millennials came of age and used their buying power to disrupt established brands with significantly different preferences from those of their forebears.

Those who buy into this demand-side explanation can point to countless surveys in which millennials—born after 1980—profess a desire to support companies that align with their values, offer more sustainably produced or nutritious foods, or take part in social causes.

But Tilburg University’s Bart J. Bronnenberg, Chicago Booth’s Jean-Pierre Dubé, and University of Texas at Dallas’s Joonhwi Joo  analyze the recent surge in sales of craft beers and reject the demand-side explanation in favor of an alternative supply-side one. Millennials often have a wider selection of craft beers to choose from than past generations did, as artisanal products have disrupted a century-old market structure dominated by a small number of big players, and they developed preferences on the basis of that experience, the researchers argue. It’s important to understand the mechanisms, the researchers note, because the same dynamics could erode the dominance of major brands in other categories, or alter how they maintain control. more>


Updates from Ciena

A new age of IP/Optical network visibility and automation applications
Heightened performance demands on IP and optical networks are ushering in a new age of network management, visibility and automation. Omdia’s Ian Redpath describes the foundational capabilities that enable data-driven automated operations, such as those offered by Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) Applications.
By Ian Redpath – It is no secret there are increasing performance demands on IP/Optical networks. Two immediate drivers are cloud services and 5G. The impacts to network operations go beyond scaling capacity – Communications Service Providers (CSPs) need a generational upgrade in network management, visibility, and automation.

Cloud services have gained mainstream enterprise acceptance and have strong potential for additional growth including more cloud service endpoints and additional bandwidth per service. Cloud services are being accessed from anywhere – home office, enterprise site, or on the go. By shifting mission critical services to a cloud model, the performance requirements of the bandwidth underlay have been raised. Now, CSPs require enhanced visibility of service and network performance to be able to adhere to more stringent latency requirements.

5G is also catalyzing the network visibility need. It is driving the need for a huge volume of high bandwidth IP/Optical endpoints. Stringent latency specifications and enhanced network visibility are sharpened in the 5G era. 5G necessitates multi-layer 0-3 visibility to the cell site. more>


Why Investors Shouldn’t Worry About Slowing Growth

Despite talk of a “growth scare,” the U.S. economy and markets may be poised for steadier gains ahead.
By Lisa Shalett – These days, we are seeing some of the classic indicators of a transition into the middle phase of an economic cycle: Year-over-year comparisons of growth measures and corporate earnings are cresting. So, too, are economic surprises, or the rate at which data is beating forecasts.

As economic growth moderates, uncertainty has risen and a “growth scare” narrative has begun to take hold among some investors. The market’s rotation toward defensive and secular technology stocks indicates that investors’ outlook on economic growth is dimming. There also seems to be worry that the Federal Reserve might start to taper its stimulative asset purchases earlier than expected, a concern seen in the U.S. Treasury market as the gap between short- and long-term yields narrows. Some pundits are even warning of a return to 1970s-style stagflation, a difficult period of high inflation and slow growth.

These may be popular market sentiments, but we remain convinced that a growth scare is overblown. Here are three reasons why:

  • Although economic growth is slowing from the extreme comparisons of last year’s trough, it remains solid. Recently, preliminary estimates for second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth came in at 6.5%. And Ellen Zentner, Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. economist, forecasts third-quarter annualized GDP growth at 6.1%, expecting that supply-chain pressures will continue to resolve and fiscal spending prospects will turn up. Strong fundamentals also underpin this forecast: Recent data updates saw U.S. manufacturing activity grow, housing prices rebound and durable goods orders advance.
  • Second-quarter corporate earnings have been excellent so far. As of July 30, with 59% of S&P 500 companies having reported results, 88% of them have reported earnings that came in above analysts’ expectations, and 88% have reported a positive revenue surprise. Looking ahead, analysts are projecting double-digit earnings growth for the remaining two quarters of 2021.
  • The consumer remains strong. U.S. consumer confidence as measured by the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index inched up slightly in July, to 129.1, the highest since February 2020. Stable confidence and rising wages, together with growing household wealth and ample savings, should keep consumer spending strong.