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    This week's news: Doggy cam, new Microsoft IOT technology and telephone scams from BT, NHS and Amazon

    Here are this week’s top IT and cyber news:

    Will ransomware insurance soon become illegal?
    Doggy cam and app
    Microsoft new technology: Vaccines and IOT
    Courier, Fastway, has client data stolen in attack
    Telephone scams: impersonations from NHS, BT and Amazon

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    Will ransomware insurance soon become illegal?

    I pay close attention to the cybersecurity and IT news. I have noticed a steady rise in ransomware attackers reported to be paid off.

    Computer Weekly have posed the question; is it time for a ban on paying off ransomware cyber criminals? It is a moral dilemma. If you have cyber insurance and are hit by a ransomware attack, you can, in theory, pay off the cyber criminals in order to get your IT back online ASAP. However, it is funding and motivating the next cyber-attack. Cyber criminals know the formula works!

    Another issue is that there is no guarantee that paying off ransomware attackers will resolve the issue, criminals are untrustworthy after all. I have seen businesses being infiltrated a second time within weeks of the first attack, having already paid off the cyber criminals.

    I predict that the act of paying off ransomware attackers will soon become illegal.

    Doggy cam and app

    Is anyone else feeling the guilt yet? The prospect of going back to the office and leaving your most beloved pet dog at home, after spending all this time at home?

    Technology to solve the guilt of leaving your dog at home after lockdown.

    I like to use technology to try and solve anything. When I saw this on the Gadget Show at the weekend, I felt they were really onto something!

    A pet camera/security camera, but with the pet-friendly extra of a treat dispenser!

    I like the prospect of having an app to monitor and speak to your pet dog while at work. But also, potentially practise dog tricks virtually! The Furbo seems to be a popular model:

    Are you sold? 

    Microsoft new technology: Vaccines and IOT

    Microsoft Reveals New Technology to Improve Vaccine Management

    Microsoft have developed new software to help governments and healthcare organisations improve management of their COVID-19 vaccine programs.

    Those programs include scheduling appointments for shots and monitoring results that have encountered some problems so far, Bloomberg reported.

    Source: The Street

    Microsoft invest in IOT technology

    IOT, cloud, AI, rapid prototyping - Microsoft are investing, big time, in having software in place that will help businesses adopt these advanced technologies.

    Microsoft has acquired The Marsden Group, a technology consulting firm and developer focused on cloud, rapid prototyping, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and AI (artificial intelligence) for industrial environments.

    Omar Abbosh, Microsoft’s corporate VP of cross-industry solutions, wrote:

    “Companies face unique challenges in adopting new technologies, for example connecting industrial equipment safely and securely to the cloud, overcoming data silos and supporting interoperability across modern and legacy systems.”

    Let me know if you need guidance around this. 

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    Source: Microsoft

    Courier firm, Fastway, has client data stolen in attack

    Beware that the courier service company, Fastway, was hit by a cyber-attack earlier in 2021 with client data compromised.

    Over 440,000 customers are affected. Data including names, postal addresses, email addresses and phone numbers (held for delivery purposes) were exposed. Thankfully, no financial data or other data was exposed.

    While Fastway has confirmed the incident has been fully mitigated, it is possible that data compromised in the breach could be used by cyber criminals to make phishing messages seem more convincing.

    Source: Fastway

    Telephone scams: impersonations of NHS, BT, Amazon and utility firms

    National Standards, the consumer protection body warns that telephone scams are becoming more sophisticated and targeting those spending more time at home. There are three common scams where callers:

    • Claim to sell insurance for ‘white good’ kitchen appliances
    • Impersonate NHS, BT, Amazon or utility firms
    • Offer domestic home repairs

    Earlier this year, the Information Commissioner’s Office issued fines totalling £270,000 to two firms making these kinds of nuisance calls.

    Source: BBC

    What next?

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