Cyber Connections News Roundup: March 22

Get the latest cybersecurity news from leading companies, news outlets and blogs.

Cyber Connections News Roundup is a bi-weekly brief of online links to news stories and commentary of interest to the cybersecurity community, delivered on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Articles are selected for their newsworthiness, timeliness, potential impact, and reach.

March 22

Lawmakers Fear Cryptocurrency Will Offer Russia

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are worried that cryptocurrency will serve as a way for Russia to evade sanctions, according to a recent report on http://rollcall.com. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could undermine the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, the lawmakers say, but other tech experts believe that cryptocurrency provides greater transparency for law enforcement. To date, U.S. government agencies have reported little indication of such evasion from Russian oligarchs and other sanctioned individuals or organizations. Read more.

Gender Diversity in Cybersecurity Starts with Early Education and Overcoming Biases

Historically, women’s path to STEM-related careers has been challenging, whether through unconscious bias, lack of early education and mentoring, or work-life balance hurdles. According to the latest research by the non-profit cybersecurity certification group (ISC)2, men continue to dramatically outnumber women in the field—only 24 percent of cybersecurity professionals are female—and pay disparity persists. What is the most effective way to close the gender gap in cybersecurity? Loyce Pailen, Valorie King, and Tamie Santiago, members of the University of Maryland Global Campus School of Cybersecurity & Information Technology faculty, share their opinions on the ways we can close the gender gap in cybersecurity. Read more.

Cybersecurity in the Wake of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

A recent article on www.bloomberg.com examines the prospect of an increase in Russian cyberattacks as sanctions pile up and cripple Russia’s economy. The article speculates that as Russia transforms into an isolated rogue state, cybercrime syndicates may emerge from the Kremlin to generate revenue by using ransomware, financial malware and cryptocurrency theft. According to the article, this move would clarify what security analysts believe to be an unofficial relationship between the government and hacking gangs that has existed for years. Read more.

Google Fortifies Cloud Security with Purchase of Mandiant

According to a recent article on www.nytimes.com, in one of its largest acquisitions Google purchased cybersecurity firm Mandiant for roughly $5.4 billion. In adding more cybersecurity services, Google aims to differentiate its cloud computing business from that of Amazon and Microsoft. The acquisition of Mandiant, which is based in Virginia and has more than 2,300 employees, is Google’s second-largest deal ever, trailing only the company’s $12.5 billion acquisition of the phone company Motorola in 2011. Read more.

Chip Shortage Could Anticipate National Security Concerns

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee earlier this month, National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone said that China’s increasing progress toward producing enough semiconductor chips domestically to avoid relying on foreign trade is of great concern, according to a recent report on www.cyberscoop.com. China’s increasing progression toward so-called chip independence would give the Chinese more leverage to act as they please without fear of sanctions, according to Nakasone. Nakasone also suggested that China could supply chips to Russia, helping Vladimir Putin’s government evade crippling economic sanctions. Read more.