European Move to Increase Liability of Online Platforms

Proposed new European regulations seek to place an unprecedented onus on online platforms to detect copyright infringements.

The move comes as part of wider consultations on the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy.

What is being proposed?

Article 13 of the proposed directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market addresses the use of protected content by online services. Should the regulations go ahead, online service providers, which host and make large amounts of user-uploaded work available, will have greater responsibility for monitoring and filtering this content. This would affect ISPs, social media sites, and other hosting and sharing platforms.

Tackling the Man in the Middle Attack

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has announced an industry-wide action plan to tackle push payment scams.

Push payment scams are the second biggest cause of payment fraud in the UK, claiming £100m from 19,000 people between January and June this year alone. The consequences can be devastating for individuals and businesses alike. So far, financial organisations, including banks, PayPal, and WorldPay, have returned just £25m to victims of these scams.

Are passwords the weakest link to your data security?

Removing the Barriers to Two-Factor Authentication

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that passwords are the weakest security for authentication. Organisations cannot afford to rely on passwords alone as their primary method for verifying user access to their crucial systems and data.

In the quest for greater protection from ever-increasing threats, digital security hasn’t always been centred around the needs and convenience of the individual user. It is often a hindrance for users to remember complex passwords that conform to specific conditions, or to change their password every three months.

Why is patching a problem for so many organisations?

The root cause of most digital security breaches is unpatched software with known vulnerabilities.

A vulnerability is like a back door in which hackers and cyber-criminals can access your systems. Once inside, your data is in their hands.

The WannaCry ransomware attack, is a recent example of a known vulnerability being exploited to great effect. This attack locked affected users out of their information, demanding payment to return access to their files. As with most ransomware attacks, paying the ransom is not a guarantee the files will be unlocked.

Encryption: What Does It Mean to BYOE?

The cloud has opened up incredible opportunities and efficiencies for businesses. However, with these opportunities there is also an increase in security risks. How can you be sure your data is safe in the cloud?

Traditional ways of protecting data, such as passwords, firewalls, and other defensive strategies are no longer enough. For greater protection, encryption protects your data from being accessed by anyone without the corresponding key. Data that is encrypted with a key, can only be deciphered by the same key.

What are the benefits of Managed Security Services for your organisation?

Managed cloud services remove the need for organisations to perform many specialist functions in-house, providing access to essential digital services in a way that is cost-effective and convenient.

The downside is these services can leave a company’s data vulnerable to theft, tampering, or even seizure by government authorities and law enforcement agencies. As a data owner, you could then be subject to large fines, negative publicity and possible business collapse.

Encryption is the only way to protect your data. Data that has been encrypted is unreadable to those who are not authorised to access it. It also allows monitoring and reporting on who, or what, is accessing the data and when.

Third-Parties. What are the risks to your Data?

Over 600GB of unsecured customer data was discovered on an Amazon cloud database last month. The records belonged to approximately 4 million US Time Warner Cable (TWC) customers. The data, which had been set to allow public access, rather than limit access to administrators or authorised users, was discovered accidentally by a digital security company while investigating an unrelated breach.

According to a report published after the discovery, Broadsoft Inc, a third-party communications company engaged by TWC, are to blame for the breach.

Caught in a Trap? Beware Auto-Renewing Contracts

In the UK there are laws to protect consumers from unfair contract terms. However, commercial parties have less protection and are generally free to bind themselves to whatever terms without fear of court intervention.

As businesses outsource an increasing number of activities, it is important to fully understand what you are committing to when you sign a contract with a third party.

This is especially true for automatically renewable contracts. For some, they are convenient, ensuring services continue uninterrupted. For instance, if you forget to renew your web hosting and haven’t agreed to automatically renew or made other provisions, your website will likely go down when the contract expires. This could have a detrimental effect on your business. 

GDPR: A Cloud with a Silver Lining

Are there four letters presently capable of generating greater fear and anxiety for organisations around the world than GDPR?

The majority of conversations surrounding its imminent arrival strike a tone similar to the way citizens were prepared for nuclear Armageddon during the Cold War. With so much attention focused on potential doomsday scenarios, are we ignoring the positive aspects?

Reducing the cost of storing data

Before the digital era, organisations had a finite capacity for data storage. When the filing cabinet looked fit to burst, it was time to purge the documents that were no longer relevant or useful. As businesses transitioned from hard copies to digital copies, that element of housekeeping was often left behind, perhaps proving there’s truth to the saying, out of sight, out of mind.

The Usual Suspects? Nation State Cyber Attacks

Nation state sponsored cyber-attacks are growing in frequency, reach, and sophistication.

Within the previous year alone, a successful attack targeted the World Anti-Doping Agency, releasing the medical records of Olympic athletes from around the world. State sponsored hacking is also assumed to have played a role in the outcome of the US 2016 election, leading the US government to release a report detailing indicators of Russian involvement.

While countries have been conducting stealth attacks against each other for centuries, the digital era means these attacks can now be achieved remotely with technology.