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Why should all SMBs start using a VPN

Guest Post | Dec 1, 2022

Pixabay Danny144 VPN - Why should all SMBs start using a VPN

Image: Pixabay/Danny144

We all spend more and more time online, yet staying safe is still an afterthought for many. We are accustomed to locking our homes or cars and checking if nobody’s peeking when using the ATM. But what about securing our files and passwords while making sure that the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or any third party cannot see what you do on the web?

Ignoring online risks can be costly, especially compared to the investment you’d make to mitigate them. This applies not only to individuals but to small and big companies as well. And while the latter might have enough reserve to take the blow, one ransomware attack can spell the end of your startup. Here’s where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for SMBs can help you out.

What is a VPN?

This online security and privacy tool enhances your safety by encrypting your internet traffic with a NASA-grade cipher. What’s more, it effectively hides your real IP address, meaning there’s no way to identify or attack your device directly. At the same time, your location stays hidden because you can connect to VPN servers from all over the world.

Most importantly, it allows a safe connection to your office’s resources, which is vital in times of remote work. After all, you probably wouldn’t want to open your sensitive business data while connected to a public Wi-Fi network in some cafe you’ve never been to before. What’s more, a reliable VPN for SMBs can protect not only your work computer but your smartphone and other devices as well.

Difference between consumer, SMB, and corporate VPNs

Just like most online services, VPNs have their target audiences and facilitate their unique needs accordingly. So when choosing a VPN, pick the one that fits your company most.

Corporate VPN is the oldest type of all three. It was created to establish connections between remote institutions, often involving hundreds of workers. Usually, that means there’s dedicated staff for managing all the accounts, even though using such a VPN for the employee is pretty straightforward – most of the complex stuff happens in the IT department.

Consumer VPN is an entirely different beast. You download the app, i.e., NordVPN, and install it on your devices, though there’s usually a limit for simultaneous connections. These VPNs are not only for safety, offering geo-blocked streaming services, lag-free gaming, and secure torrenting.

Lastly, a VPN for SMBs, such as NordLayer, is the latest type, sitting between consumer and corporate options. It might still be good for unlocking Netflix for personal use while having centralized account management. They also have more features than most enterprise-level VPNs, making them easily customizable.

4 reasons to get a VPN for your business

We’ve already mentioned some reasons why SMBs should use a reputable VPN, but here’s the a definite list with examples and explanations.

1. Secure remote access

Even after COVID-19, many companies still rely on remote work, which can create various issues. For instance, you may want to use your office printer or share files with colleagues. Unfortunately, your internal network will block any outside attempts to connect.

A VPN for SMBs lets you access the company’s resources from anywhere. And because the connection is encrypted, there’s virtually no way for a third party to intercept and decipher your traffic, which may include passwords and other sensitive data. Finally, reputable VPN providers have strict no-logs policies, meaning there’s no personally identifiable information on their servers.

2. Enhanced security and privacy

We’ve already mentioned the benefits of encryption, but a VPN for SMBs can do more than that. Some of them have ad and malware blockers to protect you and your co-workers. They can also block access to known phishing sites and even check if any of your company’s emails have leaked.

A VPN client often has a handy feature that allows connecting to a public Wi-Fi only if the VPN connection is on. As banal as it sounds, forgetting to turn on the VPN might be even more dangerous than knowing you don’t have one.

3. Controlled access

Chances are you need a keycard to access your office. But what about your internal network? A VPN with centralized control can see which users logged in and out and what they accessed. Also, it offers advanced user authentication, such as 2FA, meaning there’s not much chance that someone actually took control of your co-worker’s account.

See:  Office of the Privacy Commissioner Announces Digital ID Ecosystem Resolution to Ensure Transparency and Privacy

At the same time, a VPN lets you choose access levels for each user. That’s why a new employee or intern you don’t fully trust yet won’t be able to wreak havoc on all systems.

4. Low-cost investment

Finally, getting a VPN for your business won’t cost an arm and a leg. While corporate-level services will give you a quote, SMB owners can easily compare their options by checking the price per user and available features. The long-term VPN deal can cost $9/month or less, depending on the pricing plan.

As you can see, you won’t go bankrupt for trying a VPN for SMBs. Furthermore, the top providers have a great price-to-value ratio, meaning that enhancing your security and privacy is not something only Fortune 500 companies can afford.

Conclusion

Getting a VPN for your business is a good idea. Not only it protects your data and allows safe remote access, it also lets you monitor the workforce and control access to company resources. Furthermore, most VPNs have great compatibility, offering apps for computers, smartphones, and other devices.

To conclude, make sure you know your needs. If it’s a startup, maybe personal VPNs for everyone is enough. If it’s more than a dozen, look at the VPNs for SMBs with centralized control. And if you’re a CEO of the multi-national corporation, let your IT department do its job.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Why should all SMBs start using a VPNThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Incubella Publishes Research on the 2022 Canadian Web3 Landscape

Incubella | Nov 30, 2022

Canadian Web3 landscape 2022 - Incubella Publishes Research on the 2022 Canadian Web3 Landscape

Image: Incubella

Every year, Canadian Web3 companies continue to attract private investment, mostly from post-seed funding as the brightest ideas charge towards Unicorn status. Of the total $4 Billion CAD invested to-date in Canadian Web3 companies, the largest single private investment was Dapper Labs’ $305M USD Series C.

There are currently 5 Canadian Web3 Unicorns, Axelar, Blockstream, Dapper Labs, Figment, & LayerZero Labs. The fastest to achieve Unicorn status is LayerZero Labs, founded in early 2021 and crossed the $1 billion USD valuation mark just over one year later after raising $135 million USD in March of 2022.

See:  McKinsey: Beyond the Hype of Web3. Potential and Challenges

Who is incubella?  As proven leaders in the Canadian web3 and blockchain space, Incubella is a startup incubator specialised in marketing, growing and developing projects built on blockchain in the Web3 ecosystem. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Incubella’s creatives have extensive experience building and executing growth marketing strategies for promising NFT, DeFi, Metaverse, and P2E (Play to Earn) gaming startups.

Incubella’s complete report of the Canadian Web3 ecosystem is available to read here.

View the original release --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Incubella Publishes Research on the 2022 Canadian Web3 LandscapeThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Audio Interviews (post-bankruptcy) with Sam Bankman-Fried on FTX Collapse

Coindesk | Sam Kessler, Nelson Wang | Nov 29, 2022

Phone interviews with SBF post bankruptcy - Audio Interviews (post-bankruptcy) with Sam Bankman-Fried on FTX Collapse

Image: youtube

Among the more unprecedented elements of the FTX saga has been the fact that Bankman-Fried, who was raised by two lawyers, can’t seem to keep his mouth shut despite mounting legal threats.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire blew up in spectacular fashion at the beginning of this month, and questions continue to swirl around the motives and mechanics that caused crypto exchange FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, to collapse.

See:  CB Insights: FTX ‘Bagholders’ — Investments and M&A Portfolio Map

After cryptic tweet threads and a viral DM exchange with a Vox reporter in which he said “f**k regulators” and admitted that his philanthropic identity was largely manufactured for PR reasons, Bankman-Fried’s actual voice is being heard for the first time post-FTX collapse with newly released audio from Tiffany Fong – a crypto investor-turned-whistleblower who initially gained attention for leaking audio that showed Celsius Network, the now-bankrupt crypto lending platform, planned to use a cynical “crypto-based solution” to repay users of its Earn Lending platform.

First audio interviews with SBF post-bankruptcy

First interview with Tiffany Fong

In this phone call interview, Sam Bankman-Fried or SBF, former CEO and founder of FTX, chats with me about filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the alleged backdoor, the use of FTT as collateral, ties to the Democratic Party, laundering Ukraine money, the solvency / insolvency of FTX US, lawyers, and the jurisdictional battle ahead as well as his next steps forward.

See:  CFTC Says Bitcoin is the Only Commodity | ECB Criticizes Digital Asset Sector for Facilitating Illegal Activity

Second interview with Tiffany Fong

SBF Talks FTX user funds on Alameda, $8 billion hole illiquidity, CZ, the run on the bank. Sam Bankman-Fried shows remorse

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Audio Interviews (post-bankruptcy) with Sam Bankman-Fried on FTX CollapseThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Coinsquare Announces Data Security Breach to Customers

Finance Magnates | Arnab Shome  | Nov 28, 2022

Data breach hack - Coinsquare Announces Data Security Breach to CustomersCoinsquare has become the latest victim of a security breach that has resulted in compromised users' personal details, the platform confirmed last weekend by sending an email to its customers.

  • Data Breach: The exchange detailed that the breach exposed "customer names, email addresses, residential addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, device IDs, public wallet addresses, transaction history, and account balances."
    • However, the crypto exchange reported some "unusual activity on our platform" on November 19 and underwent unscheduled maintenance. Then, the exchange did not detail if it was a security breach. It also restored full service on Friday ahead of sending emails to costumes about the security breach.
    • Risk: A breach of personal information can also result in more severe individual account targeting. These generally make identity theft and fraud much more accessible. A similar data breach of Australian telecom service provider Optus earlier this year prompted the country's financial market watchdog to warn financial brokers of the rising risks of identity theft.

See:  Suspected Sanctions Breach? The UK Forces Crypto Exchanges to Immediately Report

  • Coinsquare's response: "No passwords were exposed. We have no evidence any of this information was viewed by the bad actor," the email stated, adding: "We note that your assets have always been, and remain, secure in cold storage and are not at risk."
    • The Canadian exchange cautioned the users to change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to ensure safety
    • Coinsquare touts itself to be "Canada's trusted platform to securely buy, sell and trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more" and received registration from the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) a month before.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Coinsquare Announces Data Security Breach to CustomersThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Big 6 Banks’ say ‘Hole in Financial System’ | Role in Freeland’s Convoy Plan

Canada Today | Naomi Oliver | Nov 25, 2022

Pexels Mohamed Almari hole in system - Big 6 Banks’ say 'Hole in Financial System' | Role in Freeland’s Convoy Plan

Image: Pexels/Mohamed Almari

When Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called the chief executive officers of Canada’s Big Six banks on Sunday in February before their government invoked the Emergencies Act, the CEOs stressed that the resources at their disposal were to support that to choke off the money pouring in from the convoy protests were limited.

  • Accounts of at least three calls Ms Freeland made with bank CEOs over an eight-day period are contained in summaries dubbed “readouts” and in Ms Freeland’s handwritten notes from the meetings, which took place Thursday at the Investigating the Use of the Emergency Law.
  • At that moment, banks needed court orders to freeze funds, CEOs said, which are slow to grant. To give banks the ability to freeze funds faster, the government needed to sanction protesters under the same financial crime laws it applies to terrorists, three [bank] CEOs said. They also called on the government to close loopholes in systems to monitor transactions by bringing a wider range of payment providers under stricter regulations.
  • Ms Freeland’s first assignment was an attempt to involve the banks in ending the convoy protests and get the bankers’ help in assessing the severity of the damage to Canada’s economy. Subsequent calls focused on working out the complex mechanisms to stop the flow of money to the protesters.
    • What the CEOs weren’t told on the first call on February 13 was that the government was preparing to use the emergency law to expand banks’ powers to freeze accounts.

See:  NCFA Response to FINTRAC’s ‘Knee Jerk’ Regulations Requiring Donation Crowdfunding Platforms to Register and Comply with AML/ATF Legislation

  • Bank CEOs:
    • TD’s Mr. Masrani stressed that “Canada’s reputation is at risk,” and was echoed minutes later by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CEO Victor Dodig
    • BMO’s Mr White reportedly called the blockades “a national crisis”, urged Ms Freeland to “act immediately” and quoted a US investor who told him: “I will not invest another red cent in your banana republic in Canada”
  • Banks urge government: Prior to the Feb. 13 conference call, TD TD-T, CIBC CM-T and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS-T had privately encouraged the government to bring non-bank payment providers “more clearly” under existing anti-money laundering laws.
    • That day, Mr Masrani told Ms Freeland the “big hole” in the system was those payment providers, including crowdfunding platforms, and CIBC’s Mr Dodig was also pushing for measures that would cover “the entire financial system,” according to an ad. Another CEO added, “Let’s be clear, they will all eventually move to crypto.”

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Big 6 Banks’ say 'Hole in Financial System' | Role in Freeland’s Convoy PlanThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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CFTC Says Bitcoin is the Only Commodity | ECB Criticizes Digital Asset Sector for Facilitating Illegal Activity

Cointelegraph | Prashant Jha | Dec 1, 2022

Unsplash André François McKenzie Bitcoin - CFTC Says Bitcoin is the Only Commodity | ECB Criticizes Digital Asset Sector for Facilitating Illegal Activity

Image: Unsplash/André François McKenzie

CFTC has faced a lot of scrutiny in the wake of FTX collapse due to its ties with the crypto exchange and SBF’s efforts to put the committee as the key oversight body for crypto.

  • The chief of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Rostin Behnam, claimed Bitcoin is the only crypto asset that can be viewed as a commodity during an invite-only crypto event at Princeton University, reported Fortune.
    • Behnam’s comments are quite a contrast to his early statements in October, where he claimed Ether could also be viewed as a commodity.

See:  New U.S. Bill Gives Crypto Oversight to the CFTC

  • The CFTC chief’s backtracking of his comments on ETH comes in the wake of heavy scrutiny of U.S regulators and accusations of corruption, with Republican lawmakers accusing the SEC chair of coordinating with FTX “to obtain regulatory monopoly.”
  • Behnam said the committee has limited oversight powers and blamed the “matrix of regulators” as an imperfect system. However, he called for better collaboration among the long list of regulatory bodies to come up with formidable regulations.

Continue to the full article --> here


The Guardian | Alex Hern | Nov 30, 2022

ECB European Bank criticises digital currency sector for facilitating illegal activity

  • The European Central Bank says bitcoin is on an “artificially induced last gasp before the road to irrelevance”, in a scathing intervention arguing against giving regulatory legitimacy to the cryptocurrency.
  • In a strongly worded blogpost, senior European Central Bank (ECB) staffers Ulrich Bindseil and Jürgen Schaaf criticised bitcoin for being a hotbed of illegal transactions that brings reputational risk for any bank that gets involved with the sector.

See:  ECB Publishes Macroprudential Bulletin on Stablecoins, Climate Risk, and DeFi

  • German newspaper Handelsblatt, Bindseil and Schaaf argue: “the risks of crypto assets are undisputed among regulators”.

Since bitcoin appears to be neither suitable as a payment system nor as a form of investment, it should be treated as neither in regulatory terms and thus should not be legitimised

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - CFTC Says Bitcoin is the Only Commodity | ECB Criticizes Digital Asset Sector for Facilitating Illegal ActivityThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Ontario Appoints Kevan Cowan as the New Chair of the OSC

OSC | Nov 30, 2022

Kevan Cowan - Ontario Appoints Kevan Cowan as the New Chair of the OSC

Image: Linkedin

TORONTO — Today, Ontario’s Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released the following statement on the appointment of a new Chair for the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).  “I am pleased to announce that Kevan Cowan will be appointed the new Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission, pending review by the Standing Committee on Government Agencies.

  • Mr. Cowan has been a valuable member of the Board of Directors for the OSC and was key in providing recommendations to our government on capital markets as a member of the Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce Expert Advisory Group.
    • With over 30 years of experience in the capital markets industry, Mr. Cowan will play a critical role in supporting our government’s vision to make the OSC a 21st century capital markets regulator.

See:  Final Report: Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Committee Recommendations

  • To move our vision forward, our government is implementing many of the recommendations made by the Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce.
    • We have expanded the mandate of the OSC to include capital formation and competition in capital markets.
    • We also separated the combined OSC Chair and Chief Executive Officer position into two distinct positions and established a new Capital Markets Tribunal within the OSC.
    • Our government is moving ahead with modernizing how public companies communicate with investors and the markets to reduce regulatory burden and support digitization of the economy.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Ontario Appoints Kevan Cowan as the New Chair of the OSCThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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