15 Billion Reasons to take CyberSecurity Seriously

A study from Digital Shadows finds there are more than 15 billion credentials in circulation in cybercriminal marketplaces, many on the dark web.

That’s the equivalent of more than two for every person on the planet!

Cybersecurity will only become more important as the world shifts from physical to cyber, from office buildings to remote setups, from paper to digital.

The proof is in the hacking. The number of stolen and exposed credentials has risen 300 percent from 2018 as the result of more than 100,000 separate breaches.

Press for time? Here’s a 60-second summary of the article:

@DavidSecurity Technology Tuesday Update in less the 60 seconds!

One Effective CyberSecurity Tip to Protect Yourself Online

Now that we know that cybercriminals have an almost unlimited supply of stolen credentials it’s up to us to take action.

The challenge is that “cybersecurity” means a lot of different things for different people. For example:

  • For individuals, cybersecurity may mean preventing identity theft.
  • For small business owners, cybersecurity may focus on data security.
  • For large business cybersecurity is more layered and focus protecting servers and cybersecurity awareness.

While there are no magic wands to address all the cyber threats experts agree that using two- or multi-factor authentication on all services is one of the best ways to protect yourself online.  

Cybersecurity experts consider authenticator apps more secure than texting  it’s more difficult for a hacker to gain physical access to your phone and generate a code without you knowing about it.

Here’s how it works: you scan a QR code associated with your account, and it is saved in the app. The next time you log in to your service or app, it will ask for a numerical code; just open up the authenticator app to find the randomly generated code required to get past security.

That’s your technology update.  Stay safe and remember that cyber security is in your hands!


3 Lessons from the Queen’s COVID-19 Speech that we can ALL learn from today…

On Sunday, April 5th Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II addressed the nation in a rare televised speech and called for unity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

What she said was EMPOWERING!

After reviewing her speech I was able to pull out 3 Lessons that we can all benefit from during these challenging times.

Lesson#1- Think BIG Picture!

Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” the Queen said. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.”

Speaking in a pre-recorded video shot at Windsor Castle, the Queen took on a forward-thinking tone. As we deal with this unprecedented crisis many of us are looking for the “light at the end of the tunnel” and when the Queen stated “in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride…” she enabled her audience to look past the current situation and consider the BIG picture.

Big picture thinking enables people to let go of their current fears and consider that no matter how bad things are now this too…shall pass.

“If you think small, your world will be small. If you think big, your world will be big.” — Paulo Coelho

Lesson #2-TEAM Work makes things work!

“The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit; and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children,” she said.”

Everyone agrees that teamwork is essential to success yet it is seldom practiced in corporation and governments. When the Queen highlighted the amazing work of her nation’s essential workers she motivated them and Maslow’s hierarchy shows us that recognition is the KEY to organizational success.

Lesson #3- Authenticity is EMPOWERING!

This “challenging” time…”It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety,” the Queen said, adding “today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones.”

By sharing a personal story about a challenging time in her life, the Queen was able to create an “authentic moment”. Authentic leaders share stories to connect with their audience.

In this case the Queen talked about a time of great uncertainty (WWII) and how she was able to positively contribute in her own small way. This story is very powerful on many levels. Most importantly it makes her appear “human”…a viewer could easily think “oh ….wow…the Queen was once a child and she went through World War II…” This realization leads to a connection that cultivates courage in the sense of “if she can do it so can I!”.

@DavidSecurity Take

Security professionals can take a lot from the Queen speech because we’re often in a position to advise, empower and lead others.

By thinking BIG we can liberate ourselves from the current “crisis” and think long term. Teamwork is something we can never have too much of because security is all about collaboration. Lastly, the only way that people and organizations will listen to us in challenging moments is if we’re authentic.

Let’s all learn to apply the Queen’s lessons and use her story as fuel to get past this challenging time.

Stay Safe…Live Healthy!

COVID-19 IMPACT: Major Damage to Tunisian Economy

Tunisia Security Update

Your #1 Source for Travel & Security News IMPACTING Tunisia.


Article Analysis:

Coronavirus may cause 400,000 travel-related job losses in Tunisia”-Published date: 15 April 2020 

Tunisia forecasts $1.4bn-loss in revenue in tourism sector over Coronavirus pandemic

3-Quick Key INSIGHTS:

  • Estimates project Tunisian economy will lose $1.4bn tourism revenue.

  • Tunisia has recorded a total of 747 cases of the virus and 34.

  • To mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic, Tunisia is seeking to secure a loan up to $877m (Source:  North African Post)

  • Visit Tunisia Security Update Facebook Page for more UPDATES.


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What’s going ON?

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated Tunisia’s tourism industry, with the vital sector expected to see 400,000 people lose their jobs this year and $1.4bn in lost revenue.

Like many countries across the globe, Tunisia has been under lockdown for weeks, with most residents only leaving their homes for exercise, grocery shopping and pharmacy runs.

 

Economic Challenges Ahead…

But as the second-biggest contributor to the country’s economy after agriculture, the tourism industry has almost completely shut down. Restaurants have closed, as have hotels and land borders, and international flights have been banned.

Tourist arrivals fell from over 7 million in 2010 to 5 million by 2015. But the number of visitors rose to 8.3 million in 2018, a 17 percent increase from 2017

Tourist arrivals fell from over 7 million in 2010 to 5 million by 2015. But the number of visitors rose to 8.3 million in 2018, a 17 percent increase from 2017

Now, under the pandemic, that number is expected to plummet.

Tunisia has recorded a total of 747 cases of the virus and 34 coronavirus-related deaths. So far, 43 people have recovered from the infection.

Tunisia’s number of cases falls well below neighbouring Algeria, which has reported 2,160 cases and 336 deaths, highlighting the need to ban tourism in order to slow the spread, as tourists from Algeria, Russia and the EU make up a large portion of the country’s yearly visitors.

Security Bottom Line

In a report released on Wednesday, the IMF said in general, economies across the Middle East and North Africa are expected to shrink by 3.3 percent during 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic could not have come at a worse time for Tunisia.  Having just completed a complicated election cycle, the country was looking forward to a much needed successful tourism season.

At the time of this writing both the U.S. and UK embassies advises against all but essential international travel.


Security Support

If you’re operating in Tunisia find out how you can have access to reliable security information & support.

 

U.S. offering $15 Million for the arrest of Venezuelan President…

The U.S. indicted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for drug trafficking on Thursday, offering a $15 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Why you may ask??

Well…according to US Attorney General William Barr: “The Maduro regime is awash in corruption and criminality…while the Venezuelan people suffer, this cabal lines their pockets with drug money and the proceeds of corruption.”

The indictment against Maduro, who [IMPORTANT DETAIL TO FOLLOW..] isn’t recognized by the U.S. and dozens of other nations, marks the first against a sitting head of state since the U.S. issued charges against former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega..[and we all saw how that turned out].

Specific Charges

The US is building a strong case against the infamous South American president. The charges allege that he is directly involve in a conspiracy involving the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The Attorney General further stated that:

We estimate that somewhere between 200 and 250 metric tons of cocaine are shipped out of Venezuela by these routes,” Barr said, adding that the shipments were equivalent to 30 million lethal doses of drugs.

What’s Next…

$15,000,000 during a global pandemic/ economic meltdown can get people to take risky ACTION. Venezula is entering their seventh straight year of economic hardship. Additionally, local doctors warn that “this once-wealthy country has few defenses against the global coronavirus pandemic.”

These 2 factors plus the current oil price war that’s taking place don’t add well for Nicolas Maduro.

Stay Safe & Be Healthy….@DavidSecurity is OUT!

Sources:

Maduro wanted: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/26/821933849/u-s-unseals-drug-trafficking-charges-against-venezuelas-president-maduro

Venezuela Coronavirus: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/26/americas/venezuela-coronavirus-fears-intl/index.html

Awareness is the Key!

After all the clashes in the Middle East the State Department issued a statement advising all Americans to: “Maintain ‘Situational Awareness’ in the region.

Well…I disagree with this statement.  Americans and all travelers for that matter should ALWAYS maintain situational awareness (SA).

state_department_map

While the formal definition may sound complicated:  “Situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status.”

Situational Awareness is EASY.  Essentially, what SA means is paying attention to your environment with regard to your safety.

Check out my video on Situational Awareness! 

Of course we all know that Iran and Iraq are NOT destinations for tourists, but the reactionary headlines were all SCREAMING the same thing:  “Exercise caution when traveling to other countries in the Middle East!”

My point is that we should ALWAYS exercise caution.  Situational Awareness is NOT something we should activate after a major incident; rather it should be a habit we practice regularly.

Safe TRAVELS! 

TS Update-(New Site Subscribe Today)

Greetings Expats,

Since my return to Tunis on Friday I’ve been amazed at the amount of information coming our way here at the Tunisia Security Update blog.  On that note I would like to say thank you to all the expats and Tunisians that support us with insightful information.  

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Blog Update  

We’ve updated the blog and moved it to a self hosted site.  It’s the same domain (www.tunisiasecurityupdate.com) but we weren’t able to transfer all of our subscribers (over 2k!).    

If you would like to receive these updates directly into your email inbox please visit the new website and click on the subscribe button.  Simply enter your email and presto you will receive free security updates which you can view on any electronic device.  

Click here to visit new site

Challenges & Opportunities 

Since 2011 the purpose of the this blog was to empower expats with practical & relevant security information.  The security situation in Tunisia remains challenging but with the right setup and network we will continue to thrive in this beautiful country.

Please check out the blog homepage, subscribe and let me know what you think.

TS Update-(Summer Challenges & Beyond)

Greetings Expats,

As we stated in our previous postings, the threat level in Tunisia has increased and the month of Ramadan is proving to be very challenging for Tunisians.  This is a great time for us to review what happened and look beyond.

What’s going on? 

At least 14 Tunisian soldiers were killed when gunmen with rocket-propelled grenade attacked two checkpoints in the Chaambi mountain range.

Tunisian government stated that the attackers are tied to Al-Qaeda’s North Africa wing, known as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Minster of Interior Mr. Ben Jeddou stated that since the start of Ramadan they’ve foiled six terrorist operations in  Tunisia.

Short Term=Tourism hit

Mount Chaambi is a war zone so it is very likely that similar incidents will take place.  On a broader level, the last couple of days have been a public relations nightmare for Tunisian tourism.  The Brits took the lead by warning its citizens of a “high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping.”

Specifically, the FCO advises against:  “all but essential travel to areas south of, and including, the towns of Nefta, Douz, Medenine and Zarzisj, and to within 30km of the border with Algeria from south of the town of Ghardinaou.”

To put it bluntly, this really sucks for Tunisia especially since the number of British visitors to Tunisia reached a new record last year with more than 400,000 visitors.

Long Term=Great Security Challenge 

Here are my top 3 reasons why I think we (Tunisians & Expat Community) have great security challenges ahead:

  1. Parliamentary elections (currently) scheduled to take place on October 26th & Presidential elections on November 23rd
  2. Current situation in Libya
  3. Social-Economic challenges in Tunisia

And as if these weren’t challenging enough we also have to look at even more alarming developments such as “reports indicating the return of Libyan jihadists and others from Tunisia to their countries to create branches of ISIS in North Africa.”

Expat Deep Breath 

Since 2011 we’ve seen how resilient, peaceful, and kind Tunisians are.  We certainly hope for the best for Tunisia but as expats we have to focus on ensuring that our personal security matches or exceeds the threat level.

With the right setup, mindset, and network we can continue to live & thrive in beautiful Tunisia.  This is true for both tourists & expats.

Let’s stay connected…

 

Tunisia Crime & Safety 2014

Greetings Expats, 

The Overseas Security Advisory Council (O.S.A.C.) was “created in 1985 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to promote security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State.”

Each year OSAC publishes a Crime & Safety Report covering a variety of security & safety topics.  I find the report very helpful especially for newly arrived expats.   

Below is a brief presentation highlighting the key aspects of the report.  I hope you find the information helpful and let’s continue to share practical security information.

TS Update-(31st crafts exhibition in Le Kram)

Greetings Expats,

The 31st crafts exhibition will be held in Le Kram from 25 April to 4 May this year. At the event it is reported that 580 exhibitors will show their best stuff from a vast range of crafts, interior decorating, clothing, and much more.  Over 130,000 visitors are expected to attend and the National Handicrafts Office (ONA) has high hopes for the event.  

Situational Awareness

images

Each year many expats attend this event and usually walk away with great gifts and a pleasurable experience.  On the flip side, these events are a good time to review practical personal security tips.    

3-Effective Tips to Stay Aware

1.  Setup:  Avoid parking near isolated areas and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

2.  Focus:  It’s OK to explore but have a sense of purpose.

3.  Empower:  Remember most crimes in Tunisia are “Crimes of Opportunity“…don’t present the opportunity.  Walking while talking on your cell phone=opportunity, Leaving your hand bag unattended=opportunity, taking out large amounts of cash to pay for something=opportunity.

Feedback

Please feel free to share you’re experience if you attend this event.  Perhaps other expats will benefit from your feedback & tips.  

Share your feedback in the comment section below.  

 

 

 

 

 

TS Update-(Ramadan Awareness)

Expats living in Muslim countries “know the deal”…We know that during the month of Ramadan things change. We know that whether we like it or not we have to adjust our daily activities.  Ramadan offers us a great opportunity to both feel the experience of living abroad and evaluate our daily flow.

From a security perspective, the moth of Ramadan is an ideal time to take a step back and evaluate your routines, driving routes, walks, runs, neighborhood, etc.

Ramadan Awareness

There is a confirmed report that two shops located in the main Carrefour food court area were closed yesterday by the police.  According to one report the officers closed the shops for the “protection of the store attendants”.  It is no secret that a small number of conservative Muslims have been going around town trying to persuade cafe owners to close their stores during the day.

Nevertheless, there are many cafes and restaurants open during the fasting hours.  A contact on twitter reported that in the “Lac 2 there are a lot of restaurants doing very good lunch business.”  Additionally, it is good to know that we live in a mostly tolerant and friendly Muslim country and most people understand that not everyone is fasting.  Conversely we should respect local customs and “when in Rome…”

 

Ramadan Resources

Empower yourself with solid information and enjoy Ramadan…

Tunisia Live Ramadan Survival Guide

Gulf News Ramadan Guide for Expatriates

Tunisia.com Ramadan Forum