The Week In Review : 31st March

I’m sure many of you can remember when the choice of TV channels in the UK was, how do I say this, limited!

For years, it felt that the hundreds of channels that our trans-Atlantic cousins enjoyed may never find their way to the shores of our little island.

Then it changed. After the initial ‘wow’ I like many fell into the same feeling of slight despondency, that many channels were just stuffed with endless repeats of TV shows that I’d seen many times before. Same old stuff, irrespective of how good it was, just on an endless loop. Sound familiar?

That’s how this week’s cyber stories have appeared to me. Same old stuff, just being repeated. CBR online kicked this off for me when they detailed a survey commissioned by the Institute of Directors (IoD). This survey found that even in these highly aware cyber times and with the increasingly fast approach of GDPR that just 57% of UK businesses have implemented a formal cyber security strategy.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it went on to say that just 49% of businesses have provided awareness training for staff. I’m not sure how this would equate to a pass mark at GCSE, but I fear the feedback would be ‘can do better’! Stories of UK businesses being unprepared for cyber-attacks do seem to be on an endless loop in the IT press.

Another story that keeps appearing too is the security issues surrounding Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Again, CBR Online illustrated that so many of the devices on the market are lacking in security, as it seems that it is being left out in order to keep costs down.

Customers are buying insecure products, but are not ‘worried’ about security, only price. Then when they get hacked want answers form the manufacturer. It seems that the customer needs to have more awareness of security in order to have a more informed buying decision, but how many customers really care about DDoS attacks when buying an internet connected doorbell? So if they are not informed then the manufacturer is not compelled to provide, so the price is more affordable, which attracts more customers etc..etc…

It will go around and around and around, and I’m sure will be back in the headlines in a few week’s time when another tranche of cameras, kettles, or lighting systems have been attacked by a botnet and caused another wave of mild consumer panic.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is rarely out of the IT news at the moment, as they prepare for the implementation and enforcement of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is a little over a year away. An article on the website The Register, explained how the ICO is baring its teeth a little more as it has been handing out fines to companies such as Flybe, and Honda for violations against existing Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR).

The fines, in the case of Flybe, were levied for 3.3 million emails that were sent to people who had told them they didn’t want to receive marketing emails from the firm. Honda sent just under 290,000 similar emails to customer without their consent.

I’ve got a feeling that this story, like the others, is one that we are going to see repeated again and again in the coming months.

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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