The Week In Review : 10th March

Any fellow procrastinators out there? Any at all? Put your hands up, don’t be shy

What’s your worst procrastination story? Mine is buying a book all about procrastination and then never getting around to actually reading it, but I will, at some point. Other things just seem to have taken priority or distracted me.

I’m sure all of us have suffered from some greater or lesser degree with procrastination. Waiting, hoping that the problem at hand will somehow magically disappear of its own accord and leave us to concentrate our efforts on more relaxing tasks. It never does though and as the self-imposed clock continues to tick the stress levels build and then we somehow make a deal with ourselves that it’s now or never and the task gets done, usually without the necessary attention to detail that it truly deserved.

Sound familiar?

If you are procrastinating about cyber security, with all of its risks, threats and cataclysmic business ramifications I’m here to give you a small piece of comfort that you are not alone. Fortune magazine published an interesting piece about how many, many companies are still procrastinating when it comes to addressing cyber security issues.

They liken the continuing inaction on cyber to how people who smoke cigarettes and “eat bad food” despite knowing that these habits can be dangerous. When would a junk food addict who likes to smoke address those issues? Usually after a significant life altering event. Similarly, this article suggests that the procrastinators strategy of choice is to wait for an attack and then clean up the mess as oppose to stopping it before it occurs – not good, not good at all.

One group who is the polar opposite of a cyber procrastinator, is the cyber criminal. They sniff out and take action on any new opportunity to capitalise on lax security.

A story run by Bloomberg this week explained how at least a dozen U.S. progressive groups have faced extortion attempts since the U.S. presidential election.

It is suggested that the groups behind the attacks are Russian hackers, who may have close links to the Russian Intelligence Agencies, and are scouring the targeted organisations’ emails for embarrassing details and attempting to extract hush money.

Bloomberg said that “The hackers’ targeting of left-leaning groups — and the sifting of emails for sensitive or discrediting information — has set off alarms that the attacks could constitute a fresh wave of Russian government meddling in the U.S. political system”.

Procrastination is not a strategy that is going to delay the enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new legislation comes into force in May 2018 and significantly strengthens data protection regulation. Those found in breach of this legislation could be facing fines of up to 4% of their global turnover! That, you would think, would get even the most hardened procrastinator taking some action. However, Computer Business Review, published a story that explained how a staggering 82% of companies surveyed have either not heard of GDPR or don’t understand its importance.

The survey, conducted by Close Brothers also said that also only 4% of British small to medium sized companies (SME) understand the impact of GDPR and the remaining 14% are seeking further advice on how it will impact their workflows.

In order to break this malaise they went on to give four steps on how to prepare for the GDPR and they are well worth reviewing. Of course, you could just bookmark the page, or add it to your reading list and come back to it at a later time. That’s what I’ll do.

For links to all these stories and more, or to contribute with some comments join us by searching for the National Cyber Skills Centre on our social channels of FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter, or just click the relevant links from our website.

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