Tech and Hosting News Round-Up

Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this week.

Man U defence thwart cybercriminals

One attack Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s back four didn’t need to take care of was the recent cyberattack on Manchester United’s IT systems. The club said it took swift action to contain what it described as a sophisticated attack as soon as it had been identified. It had extensive protocols and procedures in place that shut down affected systems, contained the damage and kept data safe.

According to the club, it is not aware of any breach of personal data belonging to customers and fans, its critical systems remain secure and its website, app and media channels continue to be operational. The club has informed the ICO and is carrying out forensic tracing to establish more information about the attack.

UK cops launch CyberAlarm for businesses

British police have developed a cybercrime monitoring tool that will be free to use for businesses in England and Wales. Called Police CyberAlarm, it will monitor a company’s internet traffic, using metadata to detect vulnerabilities and possible malicious activity. Following a successful pilot scheme earlier this year, the tool will be rolled out to businesses nationally by the end of January.

Funded by the Home Office and developed in partnership with private enterprise, CyberAlarm will be available, free, to every business or organisation with a computer network. The police are keen to sign up as many businesses as possible across England and Wales, not just because it helps protect more businesses but because the more data it can collect, the better intelligence it will have about current and emerging threats.

Those who use the tool will be provided with regular reports about the findings of the data which should help them better understand the steps needed to improve their own security. For more information visit cyberalarm.police.uk.

French distillers make cloud move

French distillery, Rémy Cointreau, maker of Rémy Martin cognac and Cointreau liquor, has migrated its resource planning platform and supply chain planning tool to the cloud. The company said that one of the key benefits of cloud deployment is the ability to analyse live data. Previously it had to wait 24-hours before it could be analysed, but now, with real-time analysis, it can help bring significant improvements to production-management.

The firm is also using cloud technology to connect its system with software-as-a-service apps, including its eCommerce and customer relationship management platforms, enabling it to collect data from a range of sources and analyse it in days rather than months.

Cloud’s scalability has also allowed the company to make easier, swifter and cost-efficient adjustments to its technical operating environment, providing resources on-demand for carrying out processing-heavy workloads.  

Cybercrime affects consumer confidence

According to a recent survey by OpSec, data breaches, identity theft and credit card fraud have affected 86% of consumers since the start of the pandemic – a rise of 6% on 2019. Despite significant growth in online shopping because of lockdown and fear of catching COVID-19 in shops, consumers are less confident about buying through apps, online marketplaces and social media ads and are increasingly sticking to buying from websites. Their main concerns are cybercriminals accessing personal data and being scammed for cash. Phishing is another concern, with 51% of consumers experiencing an increase in phishing attempts.  

Companies are being warned about the impact these negative experiences could have on the perception of their brand and the importance of doing more to reassure consumers that safeguards are in place to protect them from threats. Indeed, the survey revealed that 54% of shoppers prefer to buy from a reputable brand name, using social proof for evidence, while 46% will only buy from websites with an SSL certificate.

USAF’ unleashes battleground robodogs

The US Air Force is the latest organisation to make use of the so-called ‘robodogs’ which we’ve previously written about being used to herd sheep in New Zealand and maintain social distancing in Singapore. In their latest deployment, the specially adapted four-legged robots were in the Mojave Desert on military manoeuvres, leaving a plane in advance of the troops to scout for threats.

The deployment is part of the USAF’s high-tech Advanced Battle Management System, which uses AI and rapid data analytics to detect and counter threats to the US military. According to the USAF, the technology is needed to equip soldiers for the battlefields of the future where they will need to assess significant amounts of information very quickly to fight effectively. Data will be an essential resource on the battlefield. Robotic dogs, being fitted with an array of sensors and communications technology and able to operate in any terrain or environment will be instrumental in the safe gathering of data on the ground.

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