NHS and BigTechs build COVID-19 data platform
The NHS has enlisted tech firms Microsoft, Google, Amazon and data specialists Palantir and Faculty AI, to help it build a data platform to manage demand for critical medical supplies during the fight against COVID-19. Following a call from PM Boris Johnson and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance for tech firms to volunteer resources, the Department for Health and Social Care confirmed that it had partnered with the US and UK-based companies to help develop a nationwide tool to give hospitals and clinical services secure, reliable and timely data to help them co-ordinate their response to the pandemic.
Houseparty app owner denies hacking claims
The owner of video chat app Houseparty has claimed that a commercial rival is engaging in a smear campaign and has put up a £1 million bounty for proof. This follows several days of internet rumours and social media posts claiming that downloading the app caused other services, such as Netflix and Spotify, to have data personal data breached.
Morrisons wins data breach appeal
Morrisons has won a Supreme Court appeal over whether it was liable for an employee with a grudge who leaked the payroll data of around 100,000 members of staff. The supermarket took the case to the Supreme Court following a ruling in 2018 which gave the go-ahead for compensation claims by employees whose personal details were leaked.
InsurTech Loadsure secures £1.1m to fund expansion
InsurTech Loadsure has landed £1.1 million in its latest funding round. The freight insurance company aims to simplify and digitise the spot freight cargo insurance processes through its automated end-to-end process for brokers, shippers and carriers.
Element AI offers free platform for COVID-19 research
Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions developer Element AI has released a beta version of a free search platform to help clinical and scientific researchers, public health authorities and frontline workers find answers and patterns in research papers by locating relevant work across thousands of published papers. Information on COVID-19 is evolving fast and this AI-powered platform leverages a semantic search model that will allow users to quickly connect disparate information.
National Technology Awards rescheduled to November
The National Technology Awards have been rescheduled to 30 November, due to restrictions imposed to combat the Coronavirus. Still talking place at the Marriott Grosvenor Square hotel in London, the fourth annual event was due on 7 May.
Quantum breakthrough for secure communication
Scientists at the University of Glasgow claim to have made a breakthrough in the development of quantum-enhanced optical systems which could pave the way for advances in encryption, communication and measurement. In a new paper published today in the journal Science Advances, a group of researchers, led by Matteo Clerici at the University of Glasgow’s James Watt School of Engineering and colleagues from the UK, Japan and Germany, demonstrated a new method of generating and detecting quantum-entangled photons at a wavelength of 2.1 micrometres.
Global companies join to make ventilators for NHS
A consortium of UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors has come together to produce medical ventilators for the NHS. Companies including Ford, GKN and Microsoft have explored production of a range of ventilators based on designs from UK firms Penlon and Smiths Group.
Scottish Government invests £3.8m in digital mental health
The Scottish Government has put £3.8 million into digital mental health services to help combat problems faced in Coronavirus forced isolation. The new funding will support a two-strand approach, increasing capacity while aiming to reduce demand. It includes £2.6 million for an expansion of the NHS 24 Mental Health Hub and Breathing Space web support service and helpline.
UK Finance warns of Coronavirus smishing texts
UK Finance has warned consumers to be on the lookout for 'smishing' text message scams from criminals exploiting the Coronavirus outbreak. Smishing is when criminals use text messages impersonating other organisations to trick people into giving away their personal and financial information or money.
Google registers 350% spike in phishing during lockdown
New data analysis has suggested that the number of phishing websites has spiked by 350 per cent during the Coronavirus pandemic. According to data gathered and analysed by Atlas VPN, the number of registered phishing sites has surged to over half a million (522,495) in March as the COVID-19 crisis took hold.
COVID-19 cyber security solution accelerator opens
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) has opened applications to join its fifth cohort of cyber security scale-ups, with particular focus on solutions adapted to the Coronavirus outbreak. For the next cohort of its 12-month programme, LORCA is prioritising those businesses that are tackling disinformation and the need to secure the digital citizen, including solutions catering to disparate teams at a time when the majority of the working population are doing so from home.
Half of businesses hit by cyber attack in 2019
Almost half of UK businesses (46 per cent) have fallen victim to cyber security attacks or breaches in the last year, according to the UK government’s annual cyber security survey.
Now in its fifth edition, the survey of thousands of UK businesses and charities, published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, showed that nearly a third of businesses (32 per cent) were experiencing breaches or attacks a least once a week, up from 22 per cent in 2017.