At a glance.
- UK puts the brakes on takeover of British design company by China’s Super Orange.
- TikTok asks US House to revoke cybersecurity advisory.
- How Nigeria’s new cyber regulations will impact the financial sector.
UK puts the brakes on takeover of British design company by China’s Super Orange.
As the British government continues to make efforts to curb Chinese influence in British technology, BBC News reports that the UK has blocked the takeover of Bristol-based electronic design company Pulsic by Hong Kong firm Super Orange HK. Using the National Security and Investment Act as justification, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the buyout was a threat to a national security, as the software developed by Pulsic could be used "to facilitate the building of cutting-edge integrated circuits that could be used in a civilian or military supply chain.” The law, which came into effect in January, gives the government the power to impede business transactions in order to mitigate risks to national security. The Chinese embassy in the UK said of the act, “Any abuse of national security review will only damage the UK's investment environment and long-term interests.” This is not the first time the British government has blocked a business deal in the name of national security; two years ago Chinese mobile provider Huawei was banned from the UK's 5G infrastructure.
TikTok asks US House to revoke cybersecurity advisory.
Last week Catherine Szpindor, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the US House of Representatives, released a memo urging lawmakers to avoid using TikTok, labeling the leading video-sharing service as “high-risk” because it collects user info including biometric data. The two-page letter read, “TikTok is a Chinese-owned company, and any use of this platform should be done with that in mind. The ‘TikTok’ mobile application has been deemed by the CAO Office of CyberSecurity to be a high-risk to users due to its lack of transparency in how it protects customer data, its requirement of excessive permissions, and the potential security risks involved with its use.”
Now, the Record by Recorded Future reports, TikTok is asking the House to retract the letter, stating it contained “factual inaccuracies.” TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas Michael Beckerman penned a response letter explaining that the company stores all US user data in company-run data centers in the US and Singapore and routes all US user traffic to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. He also refuted claims that TikTok uses facial recognition technology and stated the app does not not collect a user’s precise GPS location, but merely collects “information about a user’s approximate location based, for example, on a user’s SIM card and IP address,” much like similar apps. Beckerman has requested a sit-down with the CAO to discuss the matter further; it’s unclear whether she will agree to meet with him.
How Nigeria’s new cyber regulations will impact the financial sector.
In an effort to better protect the financial sector from cyberaggression, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently released a set of cybersecurity guidelines for Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) like microfinance, and development banks. Scheduled to come into force in 2023, the regulations can be broken down into six main areas: governance and oversight; risk management systems; cyber resilience assessment; operational resilience; cyber-threat intelligence and metrics; and monitoring and reporting. The Nigerian Lawyer offers an overview of what to expect, comparing the new guidelines to the Bank of Ghana’s Cyber and Information Security Directive and the Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) Cyber Security Guidelines for Payment Service Providers. Like the CBK, the CBN’s cybersecurity regulations will mandate regular reporting on new potential threats, and both the CBK and the Bank of Ghana require the appointment of a cyber and information security officer who will direct future policies.