Saturday, May 6, 2017

S&P 500, Nasdaq at record levels; Global cyber security spend to hit $1trn; Super yachts face cyber crime threat

1 S&P 500, Nasdaq at record levels (Straits Times) The S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished at fresh records on Friday following a bounce in oil prices and a solid US jobs report for April. The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.4 per cent to end the week at 2,399.29 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.4 per cent to 6,100.76. Both were records.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to close at 21,005.09. After a slow March, when hiring likely was held down by a winter storm, the US economic engine added an estimated 211,000 net new positions in April while the jobless rate fell a tenth to 4.4 per cent, the lowest since May 2007, the Labour Department reported.

Analysts said the report further strengthens prospects the Federal Reserve will stick to a planned course of two more interest rate hikes in 2017.

2 Global cyber security spend to hit $1 trillion (Muzaffar Rizvi in Khaleej Times) The global cybersecurity market is expected to hit the $1 trillion mark in the next three to five years due to increasing cybercrime activities in the corporate world, say experts and industry specialists.

Growing cyberattacks have become a matter of concern for corporates as it caused widespread disruption and losses in productivity and growth. Experts urge extra caution to avert cyberattacks in the wake of an increasing number of gadgets that might reach the 20 billion mark by 2020 from an estimated 7 billion today.

The annual cost of cybersecurity, which currently stands at $600 billion, is a matter of concern for businesses across the globe. Approximately 868,000 new malwares each day take an average of only 82 seconds to claim their first victim. Cybercriminals mostly attack large companies since they are lucrative victims given the multiple attack vectors.

Nick Lazaridis, HP president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said cybercrime is growing and everything is "scary" in today's connected world. "We live in a hyper-connected world where $445 billion [in 2015] is lost to cybercrimes annually. Over 160 large data breaches happened in 2016. Lazaridis said.

3 Super yachts face cyber crime threat (Rupert Neate in The Guardian) The seaborne cybercrime threat is real: one billionaire had more than £100,000 stolen when criminals hacked his bank account. Others have been blackmailed with compromising photos, and some have already been forced to pay a ransom to unlock their vessel’s navigation systems.

The cybercrime session was one of the most popular at the Superyacht Investor London conference, where the industry was celebrating the best annual sales since the 2008 financial crisis.

Over lunch, superyacht builders and financiers discussed the best ways to win over new customers in growing but underexploited markets such as China and the Middle East. James Bond-style accessories were showcased, such as exploration submarines and snow rooms designed to mimic winter conditions in case it gets too hot up on deck. Some clients have also demanded dealing rooms with Bloomberg terminals, or operating theatres, so that ultra-rich owners could receive immediate treatment in case of injury or illness onboard.

Oliver Blanchet, head of yacht financing for the French bank BNP Paribas, said his bank had calculated that there were more than 100,000 people in the world who could afford a superyacht, but only 5-7% of them had bought one – so there was plenty to play for.

By comparison, the private jet industry, he said, has had much more success selling jets as a business tool: at least 20% of people who had the money had purchased one. He said the industry needed to do more to promote yachts as a way for the rich to save time. “Time is a new currency,” he said. “A yacht is an amazing tool for saving time and a platform for new experiences.”

Hacking might not even be necessary if the yacht crew post photos on social media. Once the location of the ship is known, long-lens photographers can be dispatched to try and take compromising photos of the rich and their often well-known guests. To combat the threat, many superyacht owners have banned their crew from using Facebook or Instagram.

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