Immigration Reform vs Business

Obama: Immigration reform can help trade with Mexico

Achieving immigration reform will help facilitate the growing economic relationship the U.S. has with Mexico, President Obama said Thursday in Mexico City.

It is unwise “for us to get constantly bogged down on these border issues,” Mr. Obama said in a press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, “instead of… making sure legal immigration and legal trade and commerce is facilitated.”

Mr. Obama said he’s “optimistic” immigration reform will be passed in the United States. “If we’re going to get that done, now is the time to do it,” he said.

The U.S. president stressed, however, that his three-day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica this week focuses on the critical economic ties between the two countries. The two leaders today confirmed their commitment to concluding negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. They also established ways in which they can broaden the bilateral economic partnership between the U.S. and Mexico.

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Additionally, the two leaders announced the formation of a bilateral formation on higher education, innovation and research. They also made commitments on energy security and international relations.

“As Mexico works to become more competitive, you’ve got a strong partner in the United States because our success is shared,” Mr. Obama said, noting that annual trade between the two countries has surpassed $500 billion. Mexico is the second-largest market for U.S. exports, and the U.S. is Mexico’s largest customer.

The U.S. has an opportunity to boost Mexico’s role on the world stage — which would, in turn, benefit the U.S. — and Mr. Obama commended Pena Nieto for pursuing reforms in areas like energy and labor law.

“What I have been impressed with is the president’s boldness in his reform agenda,” he said. “He’s tackling big issues, and that’s what the times demand. We live in a world that’s changing rapidly… We can’t be flat-footed as the world advances.”

Mr. Obama also said that when it comes to criminal and drug-related security issues in Mexico, he supports Pena Nieto’s focus on reducing violence. Mr. Obama promised “strong cooperation” from the U.S. as Mexico pursues that goal and said the U.S. will work to “meet our responsibilities to reduce the demand for illegal drugs and reduce the Southbound flow of guns and cash.”

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Obama: We must “look before we leap” on Syria

The U.S. president also addressed comments made Thursday by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who said the U.S. is considering arming opposition forces in Syria in the wake of evidence that the Syrian regime may have used chemical weapons on its people.

Mr. Obama said that Hagel’s remarks were “what I’ve been saying now for months.”

“We are continually evaluating the situation on the ground, working with our international partners,” he said, in an effort to end Syrian President Bashar Assad’s rule.

“We’ve made enormous investments not just in humanitarian aid but in helping the opposition organizing itself,” he said. “As we’ve seen evidence of further bloodshed, potential use of chemical weapons inside of Syria, we’re going to look at all options… We want to make sure we look before we leap and what we’re doing is actually helpful.”

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Saturday, May 4th, 2013 Get Educated!, Get Motivated!, Self Employment Ideas Comments Off

Cybercrime vs Small Business

Cybercrime’s easiest prey: Small businesses

small business cyber crimes

Small businesses are the ‘most victimized’

Cybercriminals have picked their easiest prey: Small businesses.

A data breach investigations report from Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500), released Tuesday, showed that small businesses continue to be the most victimized of all companies.

Of the 621 confirmed data breach incidents Verizon recorded in 2012, close to half occurred at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, including 193 incidents at entities with fewer than 100 workers.

A separate report from cybersecurity firm Symantec (SYMC, Fortune 500) confirmed that trend. It found cyberattacks on small businesses with fewer than 250 employees represented 31% of all attacks in 2012, up from 18% in the prior year.

It’s a pattern that Kevin Thompson, senior analyst with Verizon’s RISK team, says he has noticed for the past six years.

Larger corporations have upped the ante against cybercrime recently, investing heavily in sophisticated security strategies. That’s forced cybercriminals to look for other ways in.

“A typical small business doesn’t have a 50-person IT department and every computer protected,” said Andrew Singer, director of Symantec’s small business group. “They don’t have the money for it.”

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Increasingly, cybercriminals are using smaller businesses as a stepping stone. Smaller suppliers or partners of large companies often “offer the path of least resistance” into a major corporation’s network, noted Singer.

Another tactic some more patient cybercriminals are using is targeting small companies in growth industries, such as health care or manufacturing. The bad guys hope that their targets could be acquired by a larger corporation in a year or two. Meanwhile, they lie in wait — if and when the company merges or is acquired, they gain access to breach the system of the larger parent company.

Despite the statistics, too many small businesses think they’re invulnerable. Some believe their small business would be a boring target for hackers.

That’s a mistake, said Vikram Thakur, Symantec’s principal security response manager. Small businesses can’t afford to remain complacent or ignorant about the risk of being a cyberattack target.

“Small businesses retain very valuable information for hackers, like customers’ credit card numbers, intellectual property, and money in the bank,” he said. “Small companies are lucrative victims, too. That’s making the target on their back even bigger.”

The most common tactics cyberattackers use against small businesses include “ransomware” scams that lock computers and demand a ransom fee. Attackers also use malicious software designed to steal information from employees’ mobile devices and malware that uses a small businesses’ website as bait to gain access to a larger company’s database.

As cyberattacks proliferate against them, Verizon’s Thompson said the most important lessons for small businesses are the most basic: Use good passwords, update your antivirus software and don’t expose your essential business services to the Internet. To top of page

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Thursday, April 25th, 2013 Get Educated!, Get Motivated!, Self Employment Ideas Comments Off

Immigration Plan

White House: Leaked immigration plan is only partial draft

(CBS News) WASHINGTON — Over the weekend, a partial White House plan for immigration reform leaked to the press and caused an uproar.

White House officials tell CBS News that what was leaked is real — it’s a partial draft of half a bill. What we know is the administration’s current thinking about what to do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States right now.

The administration wants a temporary four-year visa to provide legal status — meaning no more deportations — that could be renewed. After eight years, they can apply for what’s known as permanent legal residency, or, more commonly, a Green Card.

(At left, watch White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough discuss the leaked immigration plan on “Face the Nation.”)

There’s also administration thinking on border security and an unspecified increase in border security, subject to negotiations with Congress. For workers who try to find jobs in the future and who might not have documents, the plan includes an E-Verify system to make sure undocumented workers aren’t given jobs.

GOP: Leaked WH immigration plan “counterproductive”
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What’s missing is a section dealing with all future legal immigration issues: high-skilled workers, seasonal farm workers and workers who work in hotels or restaurants. Without that, this plan doesn’t have much of a chance.

The plan is not likely to get through Congress without the section dealing with legal immigration. That’s why Republicans were so critical this weekend.

Last year, Republicans criticized the president for being missing in action and failing to draft a bill. Now that he admits he is, Republicans say he’s contaminating that process; they argue that if you don’t have a comprehensive bill — one that can pass Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate — this is a futile effort.

The White House says Republicans are going to be dared to vote up or down eventually, and that they better get used to that.

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Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 Career Advice, Employment Opportunities Comments Off