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IT SECURITY UPDATES ISSUE 9

Hi again Jon and welcome to our latest ‘Essential IT Security Updates’ newsletter : essential reading for IT security and data protection leaders like you wanting to stay ahead of developments and news in this ever-changing sector. Feel free to use this content in your marketing or simply to keep abreast for yourself and your team. This issue features news […]

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Fatal Security Flaws Discovered in Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands have released a paper highlighting several security flaws that they’ve discovered in SSDs which mean that data from a flash disk can recovered in more than one way, even if it’s supposedly self-encrypted. What Is An SSD? An SSD is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit […]

Easyjet – Electric Planes By 2030

Easyjet is reported to have backed plans to develop and introduce commercial passenger aircraft powered by electric batteries on its short-haul routes, possibly by 2030. Prototype A prototype battery-powered, electric aircraft with a range of 335 miles is already being built by one-year-old US company Wright Electric, the same company that Europe’s no.2 low-cost airline […]

New Qualifications To Improve Digital Skills of Adults in England

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has begun a consultation about the introduction of new BDSQs [Basic Digital Skills Qualifications] that are designed to improve the digital skills of adults across England. What’s the Problem? Research by UK domain name company Nominet, for example, has shown that less than half of adults have […]

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EU’s Web Copyright Directive Could Spell Trouble

A vote in January on contentious new EU copyright laws could negatively impact tech platforms and all online publishers, create risky legal grey areas for many businesses, stifle freedom of expression, and lead to more surveillance and control. What Copyright Law? There will be a final vote in January 2019 on an EU Directive on […]

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Adult Site Visits on Work Computer Lead to Network Infection

The extensive online porn-accessing habit of an employee of a US government department known as the US Geological Survey (USGS) is being blamed for a government computer network becoming infected with malware. 9,000 Pages In an investigation, highlighted in a paper (published online) by the US Office of the Inspector General, it was discovered that […]

IT security updates 8

Hi again and welcome to our latest ‘Essential IT Security Updates’ newsletter : essential reading for IT security and data protection leaders like you wanting to stay ahead of developments and news in this ever-changing sector. Feel free to use this content in your marketing or simply to keep abreast for yourself and your team. The latest news from […]

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Businesses Looking Forward to 5G

UK businesses are looking for a boost in the speed and scope of communications in the form of 5G, but how soon will having a 5G phone that delivers all the 5G benefits become a reality, and what will it take to make it happen? What Is 5G? 5G is the fifth generation of cellular […]

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Facial Recognition For Buyers Of Alcohol & Cigarettes

A pilot scheme involving NCR, the US self check-out machine maker for Asda, Tesco and other UK supermarkets, and Yoti’s digital identity app will use an integrated camera linked to facial recognition software to help improve, simplify and speed up age approval at self check-outs. Speed & Frustration Reduction The system is intended to tackle […]

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Microsoft Education For Dyslexics

In partnering with charity ‘Made by Dyslexia’, and in signing the Made by Dyslexia pledge, Microsoft has announced that it is the first company to sign a global pledge to help people with dyslexia. Dyslexia Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that is not related to intelligence. Those with the condition experience difficulty with reading, spelling, […]

Businesses Turning To Zero-Trust Security Model

As a widening attack surface and evolving threats mean that organisations continue to breached despite a large security spend, many businesses are now turning to the ‘zero-trust’ security model. What Is The Zero-Trust Security Model? The Zero Trust security model, introduced by analyst firm Forrester Research, is an alternative architecture for IT security that doesn’t […]

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New Facebook Rules For Political Ad Transparency In The UK

After the US and Brazil, the UK has become the next country to be subject to Facebook’s new rules that require those who wish to place a political advert on the social media platform to verify their identity and say who is funding the advert. Verification The new rule in the UK means that anyone […]

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New Tech Laws For AI Bots & Better Passwords

It may be no surprise to hear that California, home of Silicon Valley, has become the first state to pass laws to make AI bots ‘introduce themselves’ (i.e. identify themselves as bots), and to ban weak default passwords. Other states and countries (including the UK) may follow. Bot Law With more organisations turning to bots […]

Windows 10 October Rollout Suspended Due To File Deleting Fault

The October rollout of the update to Windows 10 as part of the SaaS model has been suspended due to reports that some customers have experienced mass file deletions. Eating Files It has been reported that the rollout of version 1809 October 2018 update for Windows 10 has been temporarily halted after users reported that […]

How Business Emails Are Vulnerable

Research by digital risk management and threat intelligence firm Digital Shadows has revealed that company credentials and emails that can be easily accessed on the web are making it easier for cyber-criminals to target businesses with attacks. What’s Are The Problems? According to the research, businesses may be suffering targeted attacks because several key problems […]

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Facebook Hack Keeps Getting Worse

As if the recent Facebook hack of 50 million user accounts that was discovered on 25th September wasn’t bad enough, it became apparent that it could also affect “Facebook Login” service, which allows other apps to use people’s Facebook account to login. What Happened? On Tuesday 25 September, Facebook engineers discovered that hackers had used […]

IT SECURITY UPDATES ISSUE 7

Hi again Jon and welcome to our latest ‘Essential IT Security Updates’ newsletter : essential reading for IT security and data protection leaders like you wanting to stay ahead of developments and news in this ever-changing sector. Feel free to use this content in your marketing or simply to keep abreast for yourself and your […]

Mobile Working Causes Absenteeism

Research by B2M Solutions has concluded that instead of saving costs, mobile working could be costing UK businesses £1.18 billion per year, as 40% of mobile workers attribute time taken off work to stress and anxiety caused mainly by reliability issues with mobile devices. The Research The B2M Solutions ‘Mobile Impact Survey’ gathered the opinions […]

Microsoft Slows Updates

Microsoft has listened to corporate SaaS Windows 10 clients and slowed down the rate of patches and updates that it is sending out, thereby giving company admins more time to catch up. What’s The Problem? For many enterprise / corporate customers, two feature upgrades for Windows 10 a year is proving too much to keep […]

New Chrome 69 Creates Better Passwords, Among Other Features

Chrome 69, the latest version of the Google browser which is now 10 years old, has a number of value-adding new features, including the ability to automatically generate strong passwords. Improved Password Manager This latest version of Chrome has an improved password manager that is perhaps more fitting of the browser that is favoured by […]

ICO Highlights Prevalence of GDPR Myths

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has reported taking 500+ calls per week reporting GDPR data breaches, but one-third of the calls appear to be based on myths and misunderstandings or over-reporting about GDPR matters. Update After Freedom of Information Request The update by the ICO about how things appear to be going just three months […]

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Microsoft Launches ‘AccountGuard’ Email Service For Election Candidates

A new kind of pilot secure email service called ‘AccountGuard’ has been launched by Microsoft, specifically for use by election candidates, and as one answer to the kind of interference that took place during the last US presidential election campaign. Ready For The Midterm Elections The new, free email service (which people must useOffice 365 […]

IT Security Updates Issue 6

The latest news from the sector sees the British Airways become the latest hacking data breach victim, the CBI held its annual Cyber Security conference which was headlined by the head of the National Cyber Security Centre among other sector alumni, and more… In Case You’ve been Living Under a Rock … Hackers Caused A […]

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BA Security Fallout

A discovery of the file containing the code used in the recent hack of the British Airways website and app that affected 380,000 transactions has revealed that it only took 22 lines of JavaScript to cause the massive data breach. Skimming The hack that took place on 21st August and caused disruption into September is […]

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Businesses Set For Augmented Reality

A report based on research by IT Consultancy Group Capgemini has predicted a big shift towards the use of virtual reality and augmented reality by businesses over the next 3 years. Mainstream Soon The results of a survey of 700 business executives across multiple sectors show that 46% think that VR and AR technologies will […]

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Microsoft Introduces AI Automated Audio and Video File Transcription

Microsoft’s new AI tool in OneDrive and SharePoint automatically transcribes the contents of video, audio, and image files, thereby making it much faster and easier to find specific topics and references made in those files. No More Lengthy Transcribing The growth of digital content, particularly in rich file types such as image, video, and audio […]

Uber Moves Into Bikes & Scooters

Ride-hailing service Uber, which has until recently been associated with cars, has announced a shift in focus towards bikes and scooters in order to drive growth and keep people using the platform. The Challenges Uber has faced a number of challenges in recent times, some of which have been of its own making. These challenges […]

Are You On The Wrong Side Of An Algorithm?

Research carried out in Australia by US data experts have highlighted the possible dangers of a future where, by default, many of us could fall foul of unchecked big-data and automated algorithmic decision-making. Travels Yield Insights After travelling around Australia studying the potential risks posed by algorithmic decisions affecting more parts of our lives, Dr […]

IT Security Updates Issue 5

Western Australia’s Government has found the perfect password management approach, that Air Canada’s hack could impact customers by increasing the risk of ID fraud, Deloitte publish cloud strategies to improve cyber security processes and more … Western Australian Government’s Internet Security Audit highlights major cyber-security flaw in basic password management approaches The Auditor General of […]

Apple iPad Battery Gas Leak – Shop Evacuated

The leaking of vapours from a damaged iPad battery led to an Amsterdam shop being evacuated and 3 staff being treated for breathing problems caused by the released gas. Fire Brigade Called Although the fire brigade was called and attended, there were no reports of any actual flames / fire coming from the affected iPad. […]

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Superdrug Customers Informed of Hack

Superdrug is reported to have advised online customers to change their passwords after it was targeted by hackers who claim to have stolen the details of approximately 20,000 Superdrug customers. Hundreds Compromised – Could Be More To date, Superdrug has confirmed that 386 customer accounts are known to have been compromised, but that it is […]

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Facebook Uses Scoring System To Manage Misinformation

It has been reported that Facebook allocates a trustworthiness score to some members to help it manage misinformation issues such as some members continually flagging / reporting stories as fake if they don’t agree with the content. Score? It is not publicly known exactly how the score is arrived at, but it has been reported […]

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New Australian Law Gets The Thumbs-Down From Tech Firms

In Australia, a new draft bill proposing ways for tech firms, software developers and others to assist security agencies and police has been given the thumbs-down by a major industry group over its ambiguity, and the potential security risks it could create. What Bill? The new “Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill […]

Superfast Broadband Boosts Business and Jobs

Among the findings of a recent government report about superfast broadband in the UK are claims that superfast broadband rollout so far has led to job creation and a £12.28 benefit for firms for every £1 invested by central and local authorities. Measurable Benefits The Evaluation of the Economic Impact and Public Value of the […]

IT Security Updates Issue 4

The ICO are investigating a 10 million user data breach at Dixons Carphone, the ICO have also hired a new director as a nod to a changing security landscape, Butlins have announced a major phishing attack resulting in 35,000 customer records being exposed and more… As Britain faces new cyber threats, ICO appoints new executive […]

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IBM Makes Test Version of New Stealth AI Malware ‘DeepLocker’

IBM has announced that it has created its own stealth, ultra-evasive AI malware called ‘DeepLocker’ that can evade all traditional cyber-security protection, hide in normal applications, and only strike when it is sure it has reached its intended target. Why? Cyber-criminals are becoming ever-more sophisticated in their methods, and the resources available to them have […]

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Social Mapper Can Trace Your Face

Trustwave’s SpiderLabs has created a new penetration testing tool that uses facial recognition to trace your face through all your social media profiles, link your name to it, and identify which organisation you work for. Why? According to its (ethical) creators, Trustwave’s SpiderLabs, Social Mapper has been designed to help penetration testers (those tasked with […]

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Amazon Pays Less Tax In UK While Profits Rise

The latest figures show that even though Amazon’s profits trebled last year, their UK tax bill has significantly reduced. How Much? Amazon’s reported pre-tax profits have jumped from £24.3m to £72.3m with the company making £1.98bn in sales revenue. Where their tax bill and contributions are concerned however, the bill is down from £7.4m a […]

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Half of Us Will Activate Our New GDPR Rights Within A Year

The results of a new survey by analytics, business intelligence and data management firm SAS indicate that more than half of UK consumers look likely to exercise their new GDPR rights within the first year of GDPR’s introduction. GDPR The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that applies to those who collect, store and process […]

IT Security Updates Issue 3

The ICO has fined the UK Government’s historic sexual abuse inquiry after a “very distressing” data breach, CISCO promotes a new way of tackling cryptomining hacks, UK Government to launch consultation on changing the UK cyber security sector in order to make it fit for purpose and more… ICO fine Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry £200,000 […]

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10 Million Affected by Dixons Carphone Data Breach

Dixons Carphone has announced that, after a review following a hack of its customers’ data, 10 million customers rather than the original estimate of 1.2 million have actually been affected. What Happened? Back in June, Dixons Carphone announced that a hacking attempt, which had actually taken place in July 2017, had been made on one […]

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Departing CEOs Steal Intellectual Property Says Report

A new report by Code42 that surveying 1,634 senior company employees in the UK, US and Germany, has found that most CEOs take what they regard to be their Intellectual property (IP) with them when they leave a company. It Belongs To Me The Code42’s 2018 Data Exposure Report appears to show what amounts to […]

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AI, ML & ‘Robot’ Business Spending Will Hit $232bn by 2025 Says Report

A recent KPMG reports claims that whereas business spending on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning(ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) technologies is $12.4bn this year, it will increase to $232bn in 2025. Ready, Set, Fail? The report, entitled “Ready, set, fail? Avoiding setbacks in the intelligent automation race” highlights how the potential of AI technology […]

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Google Chrome’s New ‘Site Location’ Security Feature Activated

The new ‘Site Isolation’ security feature for Google’s Chrome browser has been switched on, and could protect users from log-in credentials theft. Decade-Long History The newly switched-on feature actually has a decade-long history in the making. It has been reported that Google invested those engineer-years, mostly in the last 6 years, and a lot of […]

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‘SiliconX’ Next-Generation Battery Material Discovered

Norwegian scientists at IFE claim to have discovered a new wonder-material for future battery production that they have dubbed ‘SiliconX’. Years Of Research The new material, discovered by scientists at Norway’s Department of Energy Technology (IFE) reportedly offers a way to stabilise silicon anodes for Li-ion batteries. This is an aim that years of targeted […]

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NHS … Still Reliant On Fax Machines

A Poll by the Royal College of Surgeons using freedom of information requests has revealed that 8,946 fax machines are still in use in NHS Trusts in England. World’s Largest Purchaser of Fax Machines The poll was carried out after a report last year by DeepMind Health revealed that the NHS was the world’s largest […]

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Microsoft Launches Free Version of Collaborative Chat App ‘Teams’

Microsoft has announced the launch of a free version of its collaborative chat app ‘Teams’ which doesn’t require an Office 365 subscription. What Is Teams? Introduced back in November 2016, ‘Teams’ (as the name suggests) is a platform designed to help collaborative working, and combines features such as workplace chat, meetings, notes, and attachments. Described […]

IT Security Updates Issue 2

Major tech giants aren’t “respecting” the GDPR, the ICO is offering grant funding for ‘innovative’ research into data privacy, Ticketmaster subject to ICO investigation after major breach and more… BEUC argues tech giants’ privacy policies fail to “respect GDPR” The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) along with a team of researchers from the European University Institute, […]

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£500,000 Fine For Facebook Data Breaches

Sixteen months after the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) began its investigation into the Facebook’s sharing the personal details of users with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, the ICO has announced that Facebook will be fined £500,000 for data breaches. Maximum The amount of the fine is the maximum that can be imposed under GDPR. Although […]

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New System Detects & Warns Of Mobile Phone Use in Cars

Norfolk-based company Westcotec is piloting new technology that can detect whether a handheld mobile phone is in use in a passing vehicle, and then warn the occupants of the vehicle. How? In a UK first, the pilot scheme, which is taking place in four locations in Norfolk, uses a directional antenna, with a detector that […]

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NHS Booking App and Doc Bot

In the NHS’s 70th year, and as part of the push for digitisation, the introduction of an appointment-booking app has been praised, while a GP chatbot has been given the thumbs-down by The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Book Appointments With A Free NHS App A free app, due to be launched at the […]

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Tech Giant GDPR Privacy Settings ‘Unethical’ Says Council

The ‘Deceived By Design’ report by the government-funded Norwegian Consumer Council has accused tech giants Microsoft, Facebook and Google of being unethical by leading users into selecting settings that do not benefit their privacy. Illusion of Control The report alleges that, far from actually giving users more control over their personal data (as laid out […]

IT Security Updates Issue 1

The ICO have fined BT for a 5 million customer email ‘spam’ campaign that was found not to have ‘customers’ consent’, the ICO have also fined Gloucestershire Police an eye-watering £80,000 after an horrendous email error resulted in abuse victims’ identities being circulated in an open email, Google Home’s latest flaw highlights the worrying reality […]

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Domain Names & GDPR

A recent ruling by a German court about GDPR also applies to personal information held in the worldwide whois service, could mean that domain name admin and tech contact details may no longer be needed because of the GDPR ‘data minimisation principle’. Up Until Now Laws up until now have required ICANN, the Internet Corporation […]

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Facebook Losing the Battle For Teenage Attention

A study by Pew in the US has found that Facebook is now lagging behind YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, as a platform where teenagers spend their time. Down To 4th Place The study, which involved 750 teens in one month earlier this year, found that Facebook has experienced a 20% point drop since 2015 in […]

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834% Rise in TSB Customer Attacks

Following the IT ‘meltdown’ at TSB last month which led to chaos for customers who were locked out of their own accounts, research has found that the number of phishing attacks targeting TSB customers leapt by 843% in May compared with April. Fraudsters Taking Advantage The statistics, reported recently in Computer Weekly, appear to indicate […]

Fruit Robots

Tests are being completed of ‘robot’ fruit-picking machines that can pick strawberries as carefully and quickly as humans, and can help growers solve the labour shortage challenge next growing season. Belgian Prototype Very Promising European strawberry growers in Spain, Belgium and the UK are welcoming tests of robotic prototypes that can harvest soft fruit mechanically. […]

Smart Solar Power Savings From Google

Google, in partnership with energy supplier Eon, with help from German software firm Tetraeder, has released an online tool called ‘Project Sunroof’ that uses Google’s Earth and Maps apps to estimate how much money homeowners could by switching to solar power. How? Smart ‘machine learning’ is at the heart of the tool, and it is […]

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Instant GDPR Complaints For Web Giants

In an almost inevitable turn of events, the social media and tech giants Facebook, Google, Instagram and WhatsApp faced a barrage of accusations that they were not compliant within hours of GDPR being introduced on May 25th. What’s Wrong? The complaints, spearheaded by Privacy group noyb.eu led by Max Schrems centred around the idea that […]

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Data Breach Fine For UK University

The Information Commissioner (ICO) has imposed a fine of £120,000 on the University of Greenwich for a data breach that left the personal details of thousands of students exposed online. What Happened? The breach was discovered back in February 2016, but actually dates back to 2004 and concerns a microsite that was made for a […]

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TalkTalk Super Router Security Fears Persist

An advisory notice from software and VR Company IndigoFuzz has highlighted the continued potential security risk posed by a vulnerability in the WPS feature in TalkTalk’s Super Router. What Vulnerability? According to IndigoFuzz, the WPS connection is insecure and the WPS pairing option is always turned on i.e. the WPS feature in the router is […]

GDPR: Don’t Get Caught Out By Your Logfiles

With all the focus on the more visible elements of GDPR compliance ahead of the Regulation’s introduction of May 25th, one EU Working group is warning businesses not to forget what’s stored in the logfiles of their Internet-facing servers. What Are Logfiles and Why Should We Care? Logfiles record either events that occur in an […]

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GMA win Trusted Advisor of the Year Award

  GMA are delighted to be selected by intY as the winner of “Trusted Advisor of the Year 2017” Thanks for our colleagues at intY for giving GMA this award at their ceremony in London at “The Brewery”, near the Barbican centre, on 27th Sept 2017. We hope to continue the partnership to offer all […]

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GMA Celebrates 25 Years!

  It is quite hard to imagine our world without GMA in it, but 25 years ago GMA didn’t exist. In the IT world of 1992 the market was just blossoming. The most dominant introduction around this time was the World Wide Web. Around this time it’s estimated there were just 10,000 websites, today there […]