Department of Homeland Security Goes After Kaspersky Security Software

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a Binding Operational Directive (BOD) mandating all departments and agencies spend the next 30 days identifying security software in their systems from Kaspersky Lab. During the next 60 days, they must plans to discontinue current and future use and, unless told otherwise by the agency, implement those plans 30 days after that.

    The BOD from Acting Secretary Elaine Duke is direct:

    The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks. The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security.

    The DOB says that it is providing Kaspersky an opportunity to address the issues and “mitigate those concerns.”

    Koreans Test Urban 5G

    Most of the early goals of 5G revolve around fixed wireless, which is usually a rural endeavor. It’s easier to get started in less densely populated regions and demand is great, which means that revenue will flow more quickly than if the wireless ecosystem waited for 5G mobility.

    South Korea, however, has the tendency to push the envelope on wireless development. Operator LG U+ and vendor Huawei say that they completed the first phase of an urban 5G test, which was conducted in the Sangam area of Seoul. It was an end-to-end test using next-generation core network technology and a 5G eNobeB new radio (NR), according to RCR Wireless.

    The trial went well; it reached 2.5 Gigabit per second (Gbps) download speeds at a distance of 1 kilometer. The peak single user rate reached 18.5 Gbps.

    Two Hurricanes in a Month Mean It Is Time to Revisit Disaster Recovery Planning

    The double dose of devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey during the past few weeks is a good reason to look back at disaster recovery programs. Geary Sikich, the principal at Logical Management Systems, provides a good overview at Continuity Central. The piece builds off an earlier feature at Information Management that listed seven disaster recovery steps. Sikich listed them and provided commentary.

    The steps suggested in the earlier article: Communicate the disaster recovery plan; forward all calls and emails to mobile phones; form a texting chain; open the office to advisory employees and family members; back up all client data; make the IDs of clients’ employees available and inform clients and colleagues of free services.

    Sikich likes some of those ideas more than others and provides clear rationales for his views. The bottom line is that the storms are growing more severe. Even the best prepared organization will be surprised. There is no such thing as total preparation. The best strategy is to take the steps that are most likely to increase safety and preserve personal and business assets in the highest number of cases.

    Century Looks to FTTH for Rebound

    Frontier Chief Financial Officer Perley McBride told investors at the Goldman Sachs Communiacopia 2017 conference that the company will provide fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services to between 50,000 and 100,000 premises during the next two years.

    This was “just one of several moves it has planned following a series of subscriber declines in recent quarters,” according to FierceTelecom’s report. The primary target is new builds in which the company can work with builders before the homes are completed. Frontier is also looking at Gfast and VDSL2 as ways of speeding services. The service provider lost 100,000 broadband subscribers during the second quarter.

    Virtual Reality Standards Effort Gets Rolling

    History has shown that an industry has a much higher chance of thriving if there is agreement on standards. Without such rules of the road, the industry bogs down as competing approaches seek to become de facto standards and thereby bolster their own brand.

    The Virtual Reality Industry Forum (VRIF) was set to show the first draft of its guidelines at the IBC show in Amsterdam. Lightreading says that the VRIF worked with MPEG, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on the standards.

    Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk is a long-time IT and telecom journalist. His coverage areas include the IoT, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing LTE and 5G, SDN, NFV, net neutrality, municipal broadband, unified communications and business continuity/disaster recovery. Weinschenk has written about wireless and phone companies, cable operators and their vendor ecosystems. He also has written about alternative energy and runs a website, The Daily Music Break, as a hobby.

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