June 27, 2022
Photo: Suriyapong Thongsawang via Getty Images
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: why ransomware and nation-state hackers aren’t the biggest problem in cybersecurity, the U.S. is about to get its first new silicon-wafer production facility in 20 years and last week’s enterprise tech funding rounds.
Following a wave of high-profile cyberattacks in recent years, cybersecurity budgets have swelled at many businesses. But the same can’t be said for many operators of the critical infrastructure that underpins all businesses (and all of society).
The disparity has been a topic of discussion lately in the cybersecurity community, including by Robert M. Lee, CEO and co-founder of Dragos, which secures industrial controls systems.
A frightening hack of a Florida water treatment plant in early 2021 underscored the risk: The attacker reportedly increased sodium hydroxide, aka lye, to 100X the normal level. (It was immediately caught by an operator.)
Boosting funding to critical infrastructure operators for cybersecurity will be key, of course. But that alone won't fix the issue.
Businesses should also consider sharing their cybersecurity talent, some suggest.
Hybrid work success looks different depending on who you ask. Your company is made up of a cast of players, each with a role critical to a competitive and thriving business, and with an eye on their North Star: employee happiness. How do you appease all those stakeholders?
Politicians around the country have been talking about reviving U.S. chip manufacturing for a couple of years now. The chip giants themselves have trumpeted their contribution to the effort with factory expansion plans that are measured in the tens of billions of dollars. But it’s pretty hard to print a chip without a wafer, and the U.S. doesn’t make a lot of them anymore.
That’s why GlobalWafers’ announcement Monday about building a new wafer factory in Sherman, Texas, caught our attention. Taiwan-based GlobalWafers said the new $5 billion plant will produce 1.2 million wafers a month, and begin shipping products in 2025. The factory would be the first new wafer production facility built in the U.S. in 20 years, and would have enough capacity to cover all of the planned new fabrication facilities announced by the likes of TSMC, Intel and Samsung.
At the moment, 90% of the world’s 300mm wafers — the ones used for the most advanced chips — are made by five companies scattered around Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Germany. And much like the rest of the chip industry, there is a shortage of silicon wafers that is costly and time-consuming to correct, according to the trade publication Semiconductor Engineering. Wafer supplies are expected to be tight through at least 2024.
It’s rough out there right now, even for enterprise startups: Venture capital funding dropped to its lowest level since 2020 during the second quarter of this year, according to CB Insights.
Legalforce raised a $101 million series D round from SoftBank to expand its AI-powered document-scanning technology and help lawyers prevent mistakes.
Ataccama raised $150 million from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities for its data governance and data-management software.— Tom Krazit (email | twitter)
Former President Trump’s Truth Social network got off to a rocky start in part because it relied on two smaller, regional cloud providers after deciding not to use AWS for optical reasons, according to a Reuters investigation.Hitachi launched a “sovereign cloud” computing service based on VMware that allows customers in Japan to know their data is being stored within the country.
Rightsizing, where each meeting space is outfitted for a specific purpose, is top of mind for facilities pros. Reconfiguring rooms to support new hybrid work schedules enables personalization and a safe return to the office. Understanding how employees will use spaces as they come back will be critical for success.
Thanks for reading — see you tomorrow!