Data Driven Futures

‘Gap widens’ between cloud perceptions and realities

UK enterprises are placing themselves at serious risk by misunderstanding their cloud service providers’ backup provisions, according to research by 4sl. Its survey of 200 large UK enterprises showed that the majority of senior IT decision-makers believe their cloud service providers retain backup data for much longer than they actually do.

Scottish startup creates security bot

Casta Spes Technologies has unveiled a robotic security vehicle with security and inspection solutions across multiple sectors, including agriculture, energy and construction. Named ZIVA, the multi-terrain robot saves 92 per cent on the cost of a manned patrol by combining autonomous navigation with multiple software add-ons, such as licence plate recognition and threat classification. It was designed to reduce the cost and time associated with false alarms, using dynamic and flexible nature to cover blind spots, a major drawback of static cameras.

Information security M&A surges to $21.6bn

Merger and acquisition (M&A) deal value in the information security market has surged to $21.6 billion in the first nine months of 2019. PreciseSecurity’s analysis of the cyber security, digital ID, critical communications, access control, and video surveillance sectors showed that deal value this year rose by 44 per cent compared to 2018, when during the whole year the M&A value reached $15 billion.

Survey finds NHS most trusted with data

The NHS has come above both central and local government in terms of public trust for how it uses personal data. The Open Data Institute (ODI) and YouGov surveyed 2,000 adults, finding 59 per cent trust the NHS to be ethical in its use of their data - the only sector to score more than 50 per cent - although this was a decline since a survey focused on healthcare data in early 2018, when the NHS was trusted by 64 per cent.

Mayor partners Microsoft for tech challenge

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is launching an initiative with Microsoft aimed at encouraging tech companies to solve public policy challenges in London. The Civic Innovation Challenge will invite companies to come up technology-driven solutions to problems such as countering violent extremism online, delivering more affordable housing and making freight across the capital more efficient.

Labour Party hit by DDoS attack

The Labour Party has been hit by a “sophisticated and large-scale cyber attack” on its digital systems from an unknown source, although it was confident that security systems ensured there was no data breach. Party officials reported the attack, which took place on Monday, to the National Cyber Security Centre.

Regulators question Goldman Sachs’ Apple Card algo bias

Goldman Sachs is facing a probe by the New York financial authorities following online claims that the algorithms it uses to set credit limits for the Apple Card are gender-biased. New York’s Department for Financial Services confirmed it has launched an investigation after Bloomberg News reported that tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson posted a series of Tweets alleging he had been offered a credit limit 20 times higher than his wife when they applied for the card, despite her having a higher credit score.

75% of universities have cyber security staff

The proportion of UK universities achieving Cyber Essentials certification has almost trebled in a year, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Figures released by the cyber security arm of GCHQ also revealed that three-quarters of higher educational providers now have dedicated staff for cyber security.

Cyber-skills firm Immersive Labs raises $40m

Immersive Labs has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round, led by Summit Partners and existing investor Goldman Sachs. The British cyber skills startup, founded by former GCHQ researcher James Hadley, uses real-time feeds of the latest attack techniques, hacker psychology and tech vulnerabilities to build cyber wargames for IT and security teams to learn from.

Barnier calls for post-Brexit cybersec cooperation

The UK and Europe need to work together very closely to tackle cyber security, regardless of the eventual Brexit outcome, according to the European Commission’s chief negotiator. Speaking at the Amazon Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Michel Barnier stated that any new agreement between the EU and UK will be based both on trade and mutual security, noting that continued cooperation is key to protect against new threats.

UK ‘must harness AI’ or risk losing power

Failure to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) could damage the UK’s economic prospects, according to the chairman of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. Speaking at the Westminster eForum policy conference on the progress of the UK’s AI sector, Roger Taylor warned that the UK’s efforts to lead Europe in the acceleration of AI-driven techniques are often slowed by the need to ensure data ethics are taken into account.

PropTech Immo raises €11m from Series A

Immo Investment Technologies has closed an €11 million Series A funding round. The London-based PropTech, which purchases homes on behalf of buy-to-let investors, got the backing of Talis Capital and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, with participation from Tom Stafford and Rahul Mehta of DST Global, among others.