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. Read more

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.  Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

Data Protection and Outsourcing

Outsourcing tasks and responsibilities is commonplace for many businesses today. Everything from administration and HR, to bookkeeping and IT can be outsourced to a third party, allowing you to focus fully on the core competencies of your business.

While this usually brings about benefits in terms of efficiency and cost, it can also cause serious problems and risks if the issue of data access is not properly considered. Read more

Data: When is it personal?

Data protection is not fundamentally a data issue, but a human rights issue. As such, data protection legislations always relate to processing personal information.

To understand your legal data protection obligations, it is necessary to understand what is considered personal data. This is an area that can cause confusion. An individual’s name? That’s certainly personal information. But what about an email address? Or a photograph? Or an ID number that, when combined with other information you hold, could be used to identify someone? Read more

A Personal Data Breach Story

Our director, Colin Tankard, recently identified a personal data breach in action when buying a new car.

In the process of buying the car, Colin received poor service from a main dealer and when he complained about this, he didn’t receive a response.

He did receive an email from the car manufacturer’s marketing team inviting him to complete an online survey about his experience and, like many surveys, offered the chance to be entered into a competition. Read more

How Can You Protect Your Business Against Malware?

Ransomware, viruses, and malware. No business wants to find themselves victim of a cyber-attack. Often these malicious pieces of software enter the network via a backdoor attack, allowing cybercriminals to break into the infrastructure without being discovered.

Once inside the network, they can lay quiet for weeks or months before activating, making them even harder to detect. All the while it is moving around your network, seeking to find super-user credentials, elevate its privileges, and access vital data.

So how can you stop something you don’t even know about? Read more

How to make your email secure

Cybercriminals are intercepting emails between companies and their clients, deceiving customers out of life-changing sums of money and severely damaging the reputation of the organisation.

Targeted companies range from solicitors and conveyancers, to builders and traders.

In January this year, a charity worker buying his first home had his £67,000 life savings stolen after fraudsters hacked into emails sent between him and his conveyancing solicitor. Last year a London couple transferred over £25,000 to a fraudster posing as their builder after receiving a genuine-looking invoice, for an amount they were expecting, from a copycat email address. Read more

Secure Data Storage in a Cloud-Based Era

Is there an asset more valuable than your company’s data?

The need to keep off-site back-ups, seamlessly collaborate with others, and access data from any location has led to vast amounts of critical data being stored in third-party cloud-based services.

Your confidential data is such as Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, emails, contact lists and databases.

With hundreds of thousands of businesses placing these documents in cloud-based services like Dropbox or Microsoft One Drive, is it worth asking how secure they are? Read more