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COMET News: May 2014

By: Jesse Cryderman

Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report

Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report was made available to journalists on April, 22. The bad news: cyber-criminals are winning by collaborating and constantly evolving their attack strategies. Cyber-espionage incidents, for example, have risen more than 300 percent since the 2013 report.

“After analyzing 10 years of data, we realize most organizations cannot keep up with cybercrime – and the bad guys are winning,” said Wade Baker, principal author of the report, in a press release. “But by applying big data analytics to security risk management, we can begin to bend the curve and combat cybercrime more effectively and strategically. Organizations need to realize no one is immune from a data breach. Compounding this issue is the fact that it is taking longer to identify compromises within an organization – often weeks or months, while penetrating an organization can take minutes or hours,” Baker continued.

The good news: For the first time, the report included incidents that didn’t result in breaches, and provided actionable guidance for specific industries. Additionally, the quality of the data was enriched by greater participation than ever before, with 50 contributors versus 18 the year before.

According to the report, two out of three breaches are the result of compromised credentials. Perhaps one helpful tool in the future will be Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). This technology leverages quantum mechanics to guarantee encryption, and BT is already testing QKD over a live fiber network.

Orange Money crosses 10 million customer mark

Orange Money, the innovative mobile payment offering from Orange, crossed the 10 million customer mark in early April. The company took the occasion to celebrate by gifting its 10 millionth customer with a smartphone loaded up with credit.

“Orange Money is a revolution in terms of customer experience, and the appeal of this service is the best proof that we made the right choice when we decided to offer mobile payment services in 2008," said StĂ©phane Richard, CEO of Orange. "I am very proud to be in Dakar today to meet our 10 millionth Orange Money customer. While making a strong contribution to economic and social development, mobile financial services also represent a major growth engine in Africa and the Middle East as well as in Europe for Orange."

Since its launch, Orange Money has grown rapidly, and is now available in 13 countries: Botswana, Cameroon, CĂ´te d’Ivoire, Egypt (under the name Mobicash), Guinea, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal and Uganda. Last year Orange Money accounted for more than 2.2 billion euros in transactions.

Orange Money has succeeded, in part, because it effectively meets customers' needs in the Middle East and Africa--many inhabitants of these regions lack a bank account and need a safe way to transfer and protect their money. The service only requires a basic feature phone, not a smartphone, nor an NFC-enabled device. Orange Money competes with Vodafone's M-Pesa service in Kenya.



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