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Security

Eurobites: Telefónica beefs up cybersecurity offer with Nozomi investment

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: eSIM company claims 5G first; Swisscom tops eco-rankings; Openreach spreads fiber across Edinburgh.

  • Telefónica is deepening its commitment to cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT) with an investment in US-based Nozomi Networks. Nozomi specializes in protecting operational technology and IoT infrastructure in industrial sectors, such as energy, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, and its systems support more than 3.6 million devices in more than 2,400 installations. The investment, which is being made through Telefónica's corporate venture capital vehicle, TIV, cements the partnership agreement made earlier this year between ElevenPaths, Telefónica's own cybersecurity arm, and Nozomi. The size of the latest investment has not been disclosed. (See Eurobites: Telefónica Bolsters Security Offer and Eurobites: Telefónica and Google combine on security analytics.)

  • A UK-based mobile virtual network operator, eSIM.net Group, has launched what it claims is the world's first 5G eSIM service. The company's prepaid eSIM plan, which can be downloaded from its website to run on a device's embedded SIM (as opposed to an actual SIM card), can now operate over the 5G network in nine countries – Finland, Germany and Switzerland among them. The service is only compatible with 5G-supported devices that support eSIM technology.

  • Swisscom has been voted the world's "most sustainable telecommunications company" – by World Finance magazine, at least. The awards jury was particularly impressed by Swisscom's "Work Smart Initiative," the launch of its IoT service in 2016 and the creation of its own IoT Climate Award. Swissom reckons it has been able to reduce its carbon footprint by around 75% over the past 20 years thanks to its various environmentally aware initiatives.

  • Openreach, BT's semi-autonomous network access division, is in broadband ballyhoo mode again, saying that 80,000 homes and businesses in Edinburgh can now access its FTTP service. Nationally, Openreach now plans to make FTTP technology available to 4.5 million homes and businesses across the UK by the end of March 2021. (See Eurobites: Openreach Talks Up the Fiber Effect and Eurobites: Openreach Finally Puts 'Fibre First'.)

  • In other Scottish news, business connectivity specialist HighNet has managed to keep the wheels turning while its staff were in COVID-19 lockdown with the help of funding from Shawbrook Bank. The funding allowed HighNet to replicate their IT set-up, including multiple monitors on every workstation, for their home-based staff.

  • Of course, working from home more has now become a worldwide phenomenon as the coronavirus continues to wreak its havoc. But a new study from Instant Offices has found that Germany is more switched on than most when it comes to the whole homeworking thing, with 80% of workplaces having a flexible work policy in place, compared to 68% in the UK and 61% in Spain. The German government is also planning to present a bill granting all workers the "right to work from home" by law.

  • Eurofins Digital Testing, which provides testing tools and services to businesses, has bolstered its cybersecurity credentials though its acquisition of UK-based Commissum. Martin Finch, managing director and founder of Commissum, will remain in place and will report to Johan Craeybeckx, Eurofins' business line director. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

  • Telefónica UK (O2) has launched a £10 million (US$12.4 million) staff incentive scheme for its 6,700 employees, rewarding those who hit their growth targets with a bonus of £1,500 ($1,873). Employees of O2's Giffgaff MVNO are also eligible for the scheme.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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