Security researchers say that cyber-thieves are adopting ransomware in ‘alarming’ numbers. There are now 120 separate families of ransomware. Researchers have seen a 3,500% increase in the criminal use of net infrastructure that helps run ransomware campaigns.
The rise is driven by the money thieves make with ransomware and the increase in kits that help them snare victims. Ransomware is a malicious software that scrambles the data on a victim’s PC and then asks for payment before restoring the data to its original state. The costs of unlocking data vary, with individuals paying between a few hundred pounds and businesses a few thousands.
www.bbc.co.uk (7th June 2016)
If you have any concerns about your business being affected in this way, please call us for a chat about the measures you can take to prevent such problems occurring.
Waterstones has announced it is to stop selling digital books. The company will instead divert its e-book customers to digital book specialist Kobo. The decision comes after Waterstones stopped selling Kindle e-readers last October. Waterstones boss James Daunt said Kobo provided ‘an excellence of service we ourselves are unable to match’.
The company has focused on improving its experience for customers, including more specialist staff and in-store cafes. The business made a profit of £5.4m last year as a result of cutting costs and a 1% growth in sales to £378m.
www.bbc.co.uk (24th May 2016)
It is with a heavy heart that we bring you the sad news that Fred Noble, the founder of ADECS Ltd, passed away yesterday.
As well as still being a non exec chairman of ADECS, Fred was the Chair of the UK IT Association (UKITA), and had been a founder member since 2000.
Fred joined IBM as a Service Engineer in 1960 and worked in Hardware Support, Software Support, HR and the Software Product Development. In 1990 Fred left IBM to set up his own business – ADECS Ltd – with the aim of providing technical support, products and guidance to small businesses. Amrik Bhabra, Chief Executive of ADECS, will always be grateful for the amazing opportunities based on trust and instinct that Fred gave him. That ethos of ADECS giving people a chance to shine and show what they are capable of, still runs true today.
Fred always knew how to tackle any issue from all aspects and angles, He always had wise advice to give and won respect from people around him. He also had a knack of motivating people and was always supportive. He considered himself to be a ‘Jack of all Trades’.
In recent years Fred dedicated his time and energy to looking after his wife Pat. Never one to complain, he got on with whatever life threw at him. We send Pat and the family our deepest sympathies at this tough time. Fred will be dearly missed and we draw comfort from the fact that in ADECS his legacy will live on.
Business Leaders across Coventry and Warwickshire are backing the Chamber’s Go For Growth campaign. The idea for the campaign follows the Chamber’s final Quarterly Economic Survey of 2015 which suggested businesses in the region were at their most positive at the turn of any year for over a decade,
However, the Chamber believes that there are obstacles to growth that could hold back companies from growing. These barriers have been split into six categories and the Chamber will be engaging with local authorities, MPs, ministers, business groups and other key bodies to help tackle them. The six categories are listed as skills, infrastructure, property & land, identity, international trade and finance.
C&W in Business Issue 51 February/March 2016
Over the past five years, the UK government has spent £1 billion in a bid to help the country’s overall levels of cyber-security. However, according to the Director of Cyber Security and Resilience at CESG, Alex Dewedney, the measures have proven to be rather ineffective. ‘I think the best way to sum up the challenge we face is that, while we’ve done a lot over the past five years and spent quite a lot of money as a government, particularly in those years of austerity we’ve been through, the bottom line is it hasn’t worked,’ he said.
CESG is part of GCHQ – the people who advise organisations on how to defend against threats. The GCHQ is apparently concentrating on improving communication and making sure businesses are informed about the latest threats. Instead, Dewedney argues, the government needs to spend money on fixing legacy IT issues which stand as gaping holes ready to be exploited. He feels that these are the basic measures that are being ignored, and that they need to be sorted out before moving on to more sophisticated defensive measures.
It is thought that reported security breaches are the tip of the iceberg, with the major issues going unreported. That is, of course because the affected business fears the damage that will be done to its reputation.
World of Tech 8th March 2016
It’s a question most parents dread – ‘Can I have a mobile phone?’ Children borrow your phone to play games, to conduct searches, but there comes a time when they believe they are ready and want to have a phone of their own. There is no minimum age limit for mobile phones – it’s a personal decision.
Many parents succumb to buying a mobile when the children go off to secondary school – for ‘keeping in touch’, letting you know when they reach school, etc. It is not long after, however, when they are asking for the ability to download games and apps, and want to join Instagram and Facebook.
We marvel at technology, yet for the younger generation it is the norm – something they have always known. For the first time children are studying a subject that their parents haven’t. Computing lessons include learning all about programming (coding) and digital safety, as well as lessons in algorithms and digital literacy to help solve problems with logic and creativity. Under the new curriculum, children will get an insight into the underlying principles of computing and the digital world. School leavers and university graduates will thus be better prepared for the workplace – the chances are that understanding computing will be important in most cases.
Parents have to embrace the fact that their children will be very much involved in the use of technology. It is even more important for us to realise the dangers of the internet – and discuss these with our children. The internet has been found to exaggerate feelings of insecurity, fragility and the need for approval – especially in children. Evidence suggests that offline and online resilience are linked, meaning that confident children, who are able to deal with risk offline, also tend to be less vulnerable to harm online.
Importantly, the research also tells us that one of the most important factors for online resilience is unconditional support from parents and carers. The best way to help your child avoid harm online is to do the same things you do offline – stay alert to what’s going on and letting them know you are there by their side if anything goes wrong. Explain that the phone needs to be looked after – its valuable not only in term of cost, but also because of the personal information stored on it.
Depending on the age of your child, establishing rules about when they can use their phone, which apps and websites they can access, is a sensible idea. Communication is essentially the key for both parties to know where they stand and what the limits are. Keep safe and keep happy!
Digital Parenting Issue 4