Blogs

Report gives U.S. low marks on health and wellness

first_imgAccording to the World Economic Forum’s first Human Capital Report, the U.S. ranked 43rd among 112 countries in the Health and Wellness category, which measured a country’s ability to develop and deploy a healthy workforce. It received particularly low scores in obesity, the impact on business of noncommunicable diseases, and stress. The report was co-authored by David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography at Harvard School of Public Health.The report evaluated countries based on three other categories: Education,Workforce and Employment, and Enabling Environment (infrastructure, legal framework, and social mobility). Overall, the United States placed 16th, with Switzerland receiving the highest overall marks.The report was issued October 1, 2013.The report drew from publicly available data produced by international organizations such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the International Labour Organization, in addition to survey data from the World Economic Forum and Gallup. Read Full Storylast_img read more

SBE Inc to hold ceremonial groundbreaking in Barre Town

first_imgSBE Inc. (dba SB Electronics), will officially break ground on its new high-volume manufacturing facility on Saturday, April 17.  The groundbreaking ceremony is slated to begin at 10 am in the Wilson Industrial Park in Barre, Vermont.  Event speakers include Governor Jim Douglas, Lt Governor Brian Dubie, Representative Peter Welch, the US Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi and Sam Matthews, Executive Vice President of the Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation. Earlier in the year, SBE Inc. won a matching grant of $9.1 million as the major piece of funding for an $18 million project under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electrical Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative, part of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to expand its electric car technology manufacturing.  SBE’s new manufacturing plant facility will be dedicated to the transportation market and will have capacity to produce Power Ring capacitors for over 100,000 plug-in hybrid and electric drive vehicles within 3 years.The 52,800ft2 building will be a modern, controlled environment, state of the art manufacturing facility.  By strategically planning the production floor layout to mirror the production process, SBE can reduce both wasted time and materials, and maximize efficiency.  Integrating private offices, work stations, conference rooms and a large lunch /training room, the 13,000 ft2 office space has been designed with one core value in mind: “creating an enjoyable workspace for employees”.   SBE expects to begin moving into the new facility in December 2010. SBE Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of film capacitor solutions that provide a much higher degree of reliability, higher power density, and simpler cooling infrastructure, in demanding applications, particularly for automotive/transportation, alternative energy, utilities, power supplies/laser and military/aerospace.  Originally a Sprague Electric Plant, SBE has been manufacturing capacitors for over 50 years producing over a billion capacitors, including the renowned Orange Drop®. The Company’s headquarters, engineering and product development center, and manufacturing operation are located in Barre, Vermont.  For more information on the company’s products, technologies and markets, visit its website at: www.sbelectronics.com(link is external).  Inquires and requests for further information, should be directed to Stephani Cook, marketing assistant, SBE Inc. at [email protected](link sends e-mail) or 8024764146.Source: SBE. 4.16.2010last_img read more

How to outsmart ransomware

first_imgHave $175? Then it doesn’t matter if you utterly lack technical skills, you can become a cybercriminal. That’s because a malware strain called Karmen – potent ransomware – has been on sale on the dark web for $175.  That’s how bad this has gotten and it very well may cost your credit union money.In mid-May a ransomware attack infected thousands of organization in 70+ countries.  It all happened in the space of a few days. Some 200,000 are said to have been victimized.  Ransomware now is just about the fastest spreading malware out there.  The tools that spread it are slick and, as Karmen shows, they are also cheap.Little to no technical skill is needed to unleash ransomware via phishing emails on an unwary public and, increasingly, the targets of choice are businesses – especially American businesses – and that’s because businesses often are willing to pay up to rid themselves of malware. Symantec, in fact says the average ransomware payout in 2016 was $1077, up from $294 in 2015.Symantec also said that the payout rate in the US reached 64%, compared to 34% globally.  That means about two in three US victims pay up.Data from NTT Security also said that the US is by far the most common victim of ransomware.  The news gets worse.  Symantec said ransomware attacks were up 36% year over year.  Probably there will be still more this year.Ransomware is bad. There are various flavors but a common format is that the criminal mass mails out links that, when clicked on, download apps that lock files, preventing the user’s access. The files could be just about anything, from email to the entire computer.Know this: There are steps you need to take to protect yourself against being a ransomware victim. A key secret: the best self-defense is assuming you will be a victim and preparing accordingly. How? Read on.Also know: credit unions have already fallen victim to ransomware. How many? Nobody knows. Victims – especially ones likely to feel exceptional embarrassment and that includes financial institutions – do not advertise that they fell into a trap.  But credit union security experts talk of “at least several dozen” credit unions that have fallen victim to ransomware, paid ransoms, and sometimes regained access to their data.Small and medium sized credit unions are believed to be especially vulnerable because – unlike the mega credit unions – they typically lack sophisticated malware detection tools that stop malware from penetrating the organization.Probably more credit unions will fall victim. That’s because savvy criminals now are doubling down on attacks on businesses. Said Symantec: “a small number of groups have begun to specifically target businesses with ransomware attacks designed to infect multiple computers on a single network and encrypt valuable data.”Won’t a small payment result in the files being unlocked – so maybe this isn’t such a big deal? Not necessarily. Cyber crooks are crooks and that means they may not always live up to their word. Just because a ransom is paid does not mean full access to data is restored.  Said Symantec: “Paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee decryption of the victim’s files. According to the Norton Cyber Security Insight team, only 47 percent of victims who paid the ransom reported getting their files back.”Symantec also – worryingly – reported that smart criminals are beginning to try to attach ransoms that take into account the value of the data that has been locked. It pointed to a $70,000 ransom paid by San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency which had seen its light rail system disrupted.A credit union’s files might well be perceived as highly valuable.What can a credit union do to protect itself? Several things and it starts by training employees not to click on links in phishing emails – and retraining them frequently.But probably the single biggest step a credit union can take is to make sure its data are backed up and can be easily retrieved and put to use. Do just that – assume you will be victimized and prepare your defenses now – and you put yourself on safe ground.Savvy smartphone users generally aren’t ready ransomware victims because an iPhone user often has most of his/her data backed up to iCloud. An Android user also often will have lots of data automatically backed up in Gmail, etc.  When the data is on hand, it’s easy to tell the criminal to buzz off.The very same idea works for a credit union. Backup all critical data and that’s the antidote to ransomware.Accept this: very probably your institution will be assaulted this year by ransomware criminals.  How you fare is up to you.Take a few steps, now, and very probably you will do well indeed. 43SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Robert McGarvey A blogger and speaker, Robert McGarvey is a longtime journalist who has covered credit unions extensively, notably for Credit Union Times as well as the New York Times and TheStreet, … Web: www.mcgarvey.net Detailslast_img read more

Badgers face struggling Boilermakers, rolling Illini

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s tennis team (7-11 overall, 1-6 conference) heads into the backstretch of the Big Ten schedule this weekend facing No. 75 Purdue (3-12, 0-6) and No. 2 Illinois (16-3, 6-0). The Badgers dominated No. 57 Minnesota last Friday 7-0, notching their first conference win of the season before falling to No. 30 Rice 2-4 on Saturday.Senior Captain Alex Kasarov led Wisconsin by winning both of his singles matches and joining his brother Lachezar in winning his doubles matches against Minnesota.“The last couple of matches, [Alex] is playing at a level where he is a top-20 player in the country,” head coach Pat Klingelhoets said. “Unfortunately it is going to be very hard for him to make the NCAA right now just because he took some losses earlier in the year that are going to hurt him, but he is at a level with any of the best players in the country right now.”Kasarov feels confident as he heads down the final weeks of the schedule and his career.“I know how good I can play; I’m confident,” Kasarov said. “I just got to go out there and get everything together, and if I do that, there are very few people that can beat me in the country.”The elder Kasarov is not the only Badger feeling more confident after sweeping Minnesota for their first conference win this season.“[Beating Minnesota] helped the guys a lot,” Klingelhoets said. “I think it kind of took the pressure off. The nice thing was that everybody played well. It wasn’t like we only had four or five guys play well; everybody played well. I think it helped everybody, gave everybody some confidence.”Wisconsin hopes to continue their Big Ten success against two very difficult opponents in Purdue and Illinois this weekend.“I expect two very tough matches against Purdue and Illinois,” Kasarov said. “But I think we have a chance in both matches.”Against Purdue, Wisconsin is facing a team that has struggled finding its first victory in conference play. The winner of this contest will also get a leg up on the other for seeding in the conference tournament.“We certainly feel we can win that match with Purdue,” Klingelhoets said. “They have been struggling a little bit lately too. It’s going to be a tough match, but we definitely feel we can get that match. If we get that match it is going to help our seeding a lot for the Big Ten Tournament, so obviously it is a big match for us.”The road gets much tougher after Purdue as Wisconsin faces Illinois, the owners of a 45-game conference winning streak.“We just go in against [Illinois] with nothing to lose and play our butts off,” Klingelhoets said. “But if we get the win against Purdue, it helps a lot. Then we can go in there feeling like, ‘hey, just give it our best shot.’”last_img read more