More than a quarter (26 per cent) of British people feel more vulnerable to online hackers than ever as a result of Covid-19, according to new research. A survey of 1,000 UK consumers by biometric authentication firm iProov has found that despite greater awareness of the the risk of cyber breach as criminals seek to exploit Covid-19, many are using cyber security habits that could compromise the safety of their data and online accounts.
Total global spend on digital twins technology will reach $12.7 billion by 2021, an increase of 17 per cent from $10.8 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. Digital twins are a digital representation of physical assets that utilise Internet of Things (IoT) data, enabling use cases such as predictive maintenance when combined with artificial intelligence.
TrueLayer has been appointed to the government’s Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) payment acceptance framework for payments initiation. The agreement means the company’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can provide public sector organisations with its Payment Initiation Service (PIS).
Temporall, a UK-based startup founded by a former Google global director, has announced a £1 million seed funding round led by venture capital firm Luminous Ventures. The artificial intelligence-based analytics platform is designed to give key performance insights to leadership teams.
Dimension, a mixed reality (MR) technology company, has partnered with Microsoft to create new interactive digital experiences. The London and Newcastle-based company, which has developed interactive digital experiences with Madonna, Michael Bublé and tennis player Andy Murray has become a Microsoft mixed reality partner, meaning its content can be experienced via mobile phones, tablets, laptops and headsets such as Microsoft HoloLens.
Tech Nation has announced Stephen Kelly as its new chair, succeeding Eileen Burbidge, who has served since 2015. He has had a long career in the tech industry, starting at Oracle in 1988 as an executive of the European management team. After nine years there, he joined Californian enterprise software startup Chordiant, becoming chief executive in 2001.
Cisco has announced its intent to acquire privately held cloud intelligence platform ThousandEyes. A statement explained that by bringing together Cisco’s strength in network and application performance with ThousandEyes’ visibility into the internet, customers will now have an end-to-end view into the digital delivery of applications and services, allowing them to pinpoint deficiencies and improve network and application performance across enterprise and cloud networks.
The UK has joined the global COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) consortium. Science minister Amanda Solloway announced the plan at a virtual meeting of G7 science and technology ministers, explaining that it will give UK researchers and scientists access to the world’s fastest supercomputers.
Cloud storage company Wasabi has raised $30 million in funding to fuel further expansion.
The Boston-based company, which specialises in ‘hot cloud storage’ said the round brings total funding since it was founded in 2015 to $110m.
Digital Global Systems (DGS) and telent have agreed a three-year contract to install the CLEARSKY Drone Threat Management system at Bristol Airport, marking the first UK deployment of the system. The system was developed by DGS in response to the rising threat of unauthorised drone usage at critical infrastructure sites, including airports.
Card issuing platform Marqeta has raised an additional $150 million in new capital from an unnamed institutional investor, valuing the company at $4.3 billion. This latest financing follows its $260 million equity financing in May 2019, which was led by Coatue and included participation from Vitruvian Partners. Marqeta is also backed by Visa, Goldman Sachs, 83North, Granite Ventures and ICONIQ Capital.
More than two thirds of organisations (67 per cent) have started a legacy system modernisation project but failed to complete it, according to Advanced. The IT services provider’s 2020 Global Application Modernisation Business Barometer Report was carried out online by Coleman Parkes throughout March and April, with a sample comprised of 400 people working for large enterprises in Europe and the US with a minimum annual turnover of $1 billion. Of these, 100 people worked for organisations in the UK.
Microsoft and Workday have announced a strategic partnership prioritising enterprise planning in the cloud. Workday customers will also be able to run its Adaptive Planning software on the Microsoft’s Azure cloud and Microsoft will adopt Adaptive Planning for its global finance teams for planning, budgeting and forecasting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated manufacturers’ shift to digital transformation, with 70 per cent of organisations saying the crisis has focussed on the need for more digital procurement. A Vanson Bourne survey of 200 procurement, supply chain and finance professionals on behalf of smart procurement firm Ivalua, found that organisations believe that greater digitalisation (84 per cent) and better digital skills (83 per cent) will enable them to more effectively mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the business.
Cradlepoint is speeding up its expansion into Europe with senior hires, investment in new teams and new product offerings. The 5G wireless network edge solutions provider stated that it is aiming to win more customers across northern, central and southern Europe this year.
The computer code behind the scientific modelling of epidemics like COVID-19 should meet independent professional standards to ensure public trust, according to the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT. The lack of widely-accepted software development standards in scientific research has allowed for the ‘politicised’ undermining of confidence in computational modelling, including in high-profile models informing Coronavirus policy, the institute argued.
Facebook has rebranded its Calibra digital wallet - which will be used to store Libra digital currency - to Novi. The social media giant said that the name for financial subsidiary Novi Financial had been inspired by the Latin words 'novus' for 'new' and 'via' for 'way'.
Thriva has secured a £4 million extension to its Series A funding round from venture capital firm Target Global. This takes the London-based HealthTech startup's total funding to £11 million, following on from its initial £6 million fundraise last year, which included Guinness Asset Management and Pembroke VCT.
COVID-19 is not expected to significantly delay 5G deployments, according to a new report from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks. The percentage of mobile service providers stating their companies were 'moving rapidly toward commercial deployment' has increased from 26 per cent in a survey announced in early 2019 to 45 per cent in the new survey.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of the UK public do not trust the NHSX Coronavirus contact tracing app to keep their information safe from hackers, according to new research. A Censuswide study of 1,000 UK citizens on behalf of cyber security firm Anomali found that the app, which is set to be rolled out to users from next week to support an easing of lockdown restrictions, is the focus of concerns over data handling and the risk of cyber criminals accessing sensitive information.
Education technology business MyEd has won a share of a £40 million tech innovation fund from the UK government. The Birmingham-based education technology business, led by chief executive Upkar Pardesi, former dean of Birmingham City University Business School, works with educational institutions and local authorities to digitally transform admissions and home learning.
Local authorities are at increased risk due to the lack of a complete cyber security perspective, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). A new report from its Local Digital Collaboration Unit (LDCU) explained the findings of a pre-discovery project that it launched in March, following stakeholder interviews and analysis of 163 councils’ responses to a survey on ransomware.
The number of instant messaging users will reach 4.3 billion in 2020, rising from 3.9 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. The market analysis predicted growth of nine per cent year-on-year, largely driven by an increased need for remote communication during the COVID-19 crisis.
To help individuals and companies build trust and preserve the fundamental values of blockchain technology, the World Economic Forum’s Global Blockchain Council developed the Presidio Principles. Co-designed at the World Economic Forum’s offices in the Presidio of San Francisco, the 16 principles aim to protect users and preserve the values of the technology so that all can benefit.
Microsoft has introduced a number of new cloud computing services across its UK Azure regions to improve data security and enable innovation through the use of robots, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies. The company has released 10 new services for its cloud platform, including some that utilise cyber security technology to help protect systems as the cyber crime threat rises during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Miles, a pay-by-mile car insurance provider, has raised £15 million in Series B funding, led by CommerzVentures. The London-based startup, which aims to provide flexible cover to low mileage drivers - classified as those who drive less than 7,000 miles a year - using a plug-in device called a miles tracker.
Couchbase has completed a $105 million all-equity Series G round of fundraising. The round was led by GPI Capital and also included existing investors Accel, Sorenson Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, Glynn Capital, Adams Street Partners and Mayfield.
Nearly a third (30 per cent) of workers have fallen victim to phishing emails since the start of lockdown, according to new research. A survey of 491 employees and senior leaders working in UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for software and applications review business Capterra, found that while SMEs have moved quickly to transition to home working during the Coronavirus lockdown, cyber security processes have been less efficient.
The co-founder of online fashion retailer Boohoo has partnered with Avacta to develop a 10-minute home saliva test for Coronavirus. The antigen test will look similar to a pregnancy test, but will use a saliva sample rather than urine.
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of UK businesses expect COVID-19 to bring about a new wave of workplace and industry automation, with financial services firms leading the way. A study of 500 UK business leaders, commissioned by Internet of Things (IoT) provider Pod Group, found that many respondents expect automation technology to replace a considerable proportion of their labour force over the next 10 years, with the financial services sector the most advanced in levels of automation.
Plans to create a UK LawTech research and development (R&D) environment - the Lawtech Sandbox - have been announced today by LawtechUK, a government-backed initiative between Tech Nation, the Lawtech Delivery Panel and the Ministry of Justice. The sandbox is one of four initial programmes LawtechUK has announced in the publication of its vision to help the legal sector harness technologies that improve or replace traditional methods of delivering legal services and systems.
Executives at Facebook, Google and Twitter have been recalled to re-appear before a committee of MPs who claim they failed to provide clear answers over fake news related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Following an online hearing last month, Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee (DCMS) criticised social media executives for a “lack of clarity and openness” in their responses over the ‘infodemic’ of false narratives - such as conspiracy theories around 5G broadband or claims of fake Twitter accounts posing as those of NHS staff.
More than 700 Zoom licences have been purchased by UK government departments during the COVID-19 outbreak, despite official warnings from the National Cyber Security Centre about the potential for hacking and data breach of the video conferencing software. Figures obtained by the Parliament Street think tank under Freedom of Information legislation found that a total of 731 Zoom licences have been ordered since the start of the outbreak, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) purchasing 550 accounts, the Cabinet Office 150, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 15.
Blink, an app to connect frontline workers to their organisations, has raised £8.2 million funding as it prepares to launch today. The app has been developed over the course of 15 months in partnership with organisations including NHS, Stagecoach and Domino’s - whose workers are considered frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Business secretary Alok Sharma has announced that the government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million. The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the Coronavirus crisis, while supporting the UK’s next generation of tech startups.
Staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are using Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed-reality headsets to assist them in treating COVID-19 patients safely. The HoloLens and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist capabilities allow frontline healthcare teams at the trust to see everything the doctor treating patients can see, while remaining at a safe distance.
NHS Scotland has started testing its contact tracing software, with a two-week pilot across health boards in Fife, Lanarkshire and the Highlands. If these are successful, the plan is to roll-out around the country by the end of the month.
New research from Refinitiv has found that despite greater regulation and stronger enforcement action, many organisations are struggling to gain visibility over third-party risks. The fourth third-party risk survey found that on average, 43 per cent of third parties do not receive due diligence checks, an increase of six per cent compared to the responses found in the 2016 survey.
EasyJet has admitted that a highly sophisticated cyber attack has affected around nine million customers. The airline explained that email addresses and travel details had been stolen and that 2,208 customers had also had their credit card details accessed. It has informed the Information Commissioner's Office and is continuing to investigate the breach.
Over 60 per cent of consumers have stopped buying from brands that ‘stalk’ them online by using their data, according to new research. A survey of 8,000 consumers in the UK, France, India and the USA by Arlington Research on behalf of data analytics solution provider Truata also found over three quarters (77 per cent) believed that data held digitally about them should be their own property, not an asset owned by a company.
New research has revealed that a significant proportion of the population are not prepared to download the NHS Coronavirus contact tracing app – with half of respondents knowing at least one person who does not have the necessary technology. Cyber security firm Anomali commissioned Censuswide to interview 1,000 people across the UK, finding that almost a third (29 per cent) would refuse to download the app, with a further 27 per cent on the fence.
Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report has revealed that financial gain remains the key driver for cyber crime, with 86 per cent of breaches investigated being financially-driven. The vast majority of breaches continue to be caused by external actors - 70 per cent - with organised crime accounting for 55 per cent of these.
PA consulting and Hydroxyl Technologies are on the hunt for commercial partners to help them manufacture a decontamination device capable of neutralising Coronaviruses and other pathogens. The two companies have developed Airora Professional, a patented decontamination technology based on hydroxyl radicals that actively combats airborne and surface virus and bacterial infections, including Coronaviruses, Influenza, Norovirus, e-Coli and MRSA.
Organisations that put data at the centre of their strategy realise a differentiated competitive advantage by mitigating cost and risk, growing revenue and improving the customer experience. This is according to a survey of more than 900 global business analysts commissioned by data intelligence firm Collibra and carried out by Forrester Consulting.
The government has announced that organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop ways to support safe operations of novel modes of air transportation – minimising the environmental footprint and improving connectivity. Flying taxis, drones delivering medical supplies, small electric aircraft, vertical take-off and landing vehicles and autonomous aircraft are some of the innovations that Innovate UK hopes could transform aviation and broader transportation in the future.
Legal & General (L&G) is set to deploy £6 million of grant funding to HealthTech startups developing innovations in the healthy ageing market. The insurer was selected by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to distribute the grant funding to early stage companies, small businesses and social enterprises, alongside equity investment from L&G as part of the Healthy Ageing Investment Accelerator.
Progress in transforming digital services in the NHS has been slower than expected, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). It deemed recent investment in digital transformation "inadequate", adding that it is uncertain whether current funding will be sufficient to meet the government’s ambitions.
The UK’s energy network administrator has been hit by a cyber attack which compromised internal IT infrastructure. Elexon, which is the administrator for the UK electricity market, was alerted to the attack on Thursday afternoon, stating that its internal systems had been targeted, but the central data systems used to run the network remained unaffected and were continuing to work as normal.
Coronavirus contact tracing apps must only be used during the pandemic and will need to be automatically de-activated once the crisis is over, according to the EU justice commissioner. Reuters reported that Didier Reynders spoke yesterday in an attempt to allay concerns over state surveillance.
Artificial intelligence (AI) video streaming company iSIZE Technologies has raised £1.3 million in total funding after its first seed round. The London-based startup, which uses deep tech to cut the data used in streaming video, received backing in the round from Silicon Valley angel and institutional investors including Patrick Pichette, partner at Inovia capital.
New research has revealed that 80 per cent of consumers think payments technology is now key to their purchasing decisions. A OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK consumers for FinTech startup Modularbank found that just 22 per cent of respondents did not require anything more in the payments process from online merchants when it came to choosing which retailers, telecoms and utilities companies to use.
Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business unit has partnered with digital solutions provider Iotics to drive development of digital twins for its in-field assets. It will use the technology to tap into more than 200 data sources and broker interactions in order to create digital twins and receive real-time event data across customer, supplier and partner boundaries.
The mining sector is in the midst of a digital revolution, with 93 per cent of businesses currently trialling Internet of Things (IoT) enabled projects, with two thirds of these having already deployed at least one IoT-based project. This is according to a survey commissioned by Inmarsat and carried out by Vanson Bourne among 200 senior staff working for mining companies with at least 500 employees.
New research has revealed that almost half (43 per cent) of surveyed IT decision-makers said that their organisation has been reported to the Information Commissioners' Office since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. Apricon, a manufacturer of hardware-encrypted USB drives, commissioned Censuswide to interview 100 UK CIOs, heads of IT, IT directors and senior IT managers from enterprise organisations within the financial services, IT, manufacturing, business and professional services sectors.
More than a quarter (28 per cent) of UK businesses have automated key functions, with a third (34 per cent) planning to start Robotic Process Automation (RPA) programmes in the coming year, according to new research. A survey of 400 senior directors at organisations in the UK, France and Germany by digital intelligence company ABBYY found that 64 per cent of businesses had already used process mining technologies, which extract data from an IT system to create an events log of processes and workflow in order to help a company become more efficient.
Payment technology firm flatfair has launched a new online portal, Resolve by flatfair, to let landlords agree on a payment plan for any rent arrears accrued due to COVID-19 with their tenants. Residential landlords of all sizes will be adversely impacted by rental shortfalls. Resolve aims to give these landlords a tool to assist them in obtaining evidence of hardship and provide date stamped correspondence.
New research has revealed that while 82 per cent of people think their organisations need to focus on increasing the humanity of customer interactions, only 41 per cent view the way their organisation is using automation as helpful. Appian commissioned IDG to survey 1,200 employees across large organisations in the US and Europe, finding that 58 per cent of UK respondents thought the automation technologies used by their organisation were only 'somewhat effective' in providing all the data and context needed for a full picture of customers.
Payment technology firm flatfair has launched a new online portal, Resolve by flatfair, to let landlords agree on a payment plan for any rent arrears accrued due to COVID-19 with their tenants. Residential landlords of all sizes will be adversely impacted by rental shortfalls. Resolve aims to give these landlords a tool to assist them in obtaining evidence of hardship and provide date stamped correspondence.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has reported a significant rise in the number of people signing up to use the GOV.UK Verify digital identity service. However, the claim follows reports that it was told not to take on any more central government services and that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has begun working on its alternative service.
The government is preparing to replace the Coronavirus contact tracing app it is currently trialling on the Isle of Wight, communities secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed yesterday. The Financial Times reported on Friday that the NHS had begun developing a second app, which will use technology provided by Google and Apple, after concerns were raised about the initial app’s centralised system.
Video conferencing app Zoom has acquired secure messaging and file-sharing service Keybase for an undisclosed sum. The deal will accelerate Zoom’s plan to build end-to-end encryption that can reach current scalability.
Nearly half (46 per cent) of businesses globally have experienced a cyber security scare since shifting to remote working during the COVID-19 lockdown. A Censuswide survey of 1,000 decision makers from businesses in the UK, US, France and Germany, for cloud security provider Barracuda Networks, found that a similar amount (49 per cent) also said they were expecting to see a data breach or cyber security incident within the next month due to staff members working remotely.
The owners of Virgin Media and O2 have confirmed plans for a £31 billion merger to challenge BT and Sky in the UK. Virgin owner Liberty Global and O2 owner Telefonica have announced a 50/50 joint venture, which would have 46 million customers and around £11 billion in revenue.
The Libra Association has appointed HSBC chief legal officer Stuart Levey as its first chief executive. Prior to joining HSBC, he served as the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence during the Bush and Obama administrations, helping to set US and international policy to combat illicit finance.
HM Revenue and Customs has asked Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to remove 292 scam web addresses exploiting the Coronavirus outbreak since the beginning of the lockdown on 23 March. The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Griffin Law, revealed that of the 292 sites removed, 237 were proactively identified and requested for removal by HMRC independently, with the remaining 55 flagged by members of the public.
The EU Horizon2020 SecondHands consortium has completed its robotic platform, ARMAR-6. Launched in 2015, the mission was to develop a collaborative robot, or 'cobot' assistant to make industrial environments safer by proactively offering useful support and assistance to humans in maintenance tasks.
Ofcom has confirmed that O2 has submitted a last-minute challenge to the planned 5G spectrum auction, potentially creating a significant delay to the UK roll-out. The telecoms regulator said the firm raised concerns as part of the consultation process, relating to a technical point in the way the auction is to be organised, according to the Financial Times.
Governments, non-profits and private sector firms across finance, healthcare, enterprise software and more, have teamed up with Linux Foundation to enhance universal security and privacy protocols in the digital era. The Trust over IP (ToIP) Foundation is being developed with global, pan-industry support from organisations with sector-specific expertise.
The Coronavirus contact tracing app is set be piloted on the Isle of Wight this week, despite continued concerns around its centralised setup. The new app will alert users if they have been close to someone with the COVID-19 virus, with Health secretary Matt Hancock stating that the government is looking to recruit an “army” of human contact tracers to establish how and where the disease is spreading.
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to force tech companies to hold their spending, new research from talent.io has revealed that 38 per cent of European firms are freezing most or all of their tech recruitment. In London alone, there has been a 57 per cent drop in the number of companies creating new, permanent tech job listings.
Tim Bray, a vice president at Amazon Web Services, has quit the company “in dismay” over its firing of employee activists who criticised Coronavirus working conditions. In a blog post, the man perhaps most famous for markup language XML, said that firing strike organisers Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa in April was “designed to create a climate of fear”.
Coadjute has appointed Royal Bank of Scotland director of innovation for home buying and ownership Dan Salmons as its new chief executive. Following successful customer trials last year, the UK PropTech startup has brought in new leadership to accelerate, launch and scale its network.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company UiPath has partnered with Deloitte to help deliver its Intelligent Document Processing (DIDP) plans. The on-premise or cloud-based automation accelerator is aimed at delivering a capability which captures documents before extracting, classifying and verifying data for processing.
PwC, Cognite and OutSystems have formed a strategic partnership to deliver digital transformation solutions for manufacturing, energy and utility customers. The partnership is aimed at empowering industrial data scientists and engineers to operationalise data and develop applications by abstracting complex data pipelines, data contextualisation and application development tasks.
As the fourth anniversary of the IBM Quantum Experience approaches, the company is launching a challenge with four exercises, aimed at improving the understanding of quantum circuits. The IBM Quantum Challenge begins today, with access being given over the next few days to IBM's quantum computing resources.
The implementation of an app that traces Coronavirus contacts is necessary but must overcome “perceived Big Brother elements” to ensure the public get on board, according to the British Computer Society (BCS). The proposed NHS contact tracing app will alert smartphone users if they are in - or have been - in close contact to someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
The University of Oxford has announced a strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) focused on building new research projects relating to artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, cyber-physical systems, human-centred computing, and support to the university’s new 'Lighthouse' doctoral scholarships. This collaboration, supported by a £7 million gift from AWS to the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, will accelerate advances in AI and data science across the entire research portfolio.
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has raised $515 million for its second fund focused on crypto networks and businesses. This tops the $450 million target Andreessen Horowitz set for it and follows a similar $300 million fund created in 2018.
The UK’s tech sector suffered its its worst performance since the global financial crisis during the opening quarter of 2020, according to KPMG’s tech monitor survey. The quarterly analysis of business activity in the technology sector found the steepest decline in business activity since 2009, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sharp drop in non-essential spending and escalating uncertainty about the economic outlook.
Trials of novel technology that could dramatically cut the time it takes to decontaminate ambulances have taken place, following a rapid appeal by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in response to Coronavirus. Scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have tested 12 methods to speed-up the sanitising of ambulances – in some cases reducing cleaning time from an hour to around 10 minutes so more lives can be saved.
Younger Generation Z and Millennial consumers are the most lax when it comes to password and smartphone security, with some using the same password for up to 20 accounts. An online survey of 2,000 UK smartphone users aged 18 to 55 and over by OnePoll and cyber security company Clario, found that just 15 per cent of Brits have admitted to reading terms and conditions when signing up to a new app, leaving them vulnerable to being hacked if the correct security precautions are not taken.
The Department for Education and Nesta have announced the innovations that have been shortlisted for the £5.75 million CareerTech challenge, aimed at helping to support and re-skill employees as the world of work becomes more automated. The business ideas, which range from AI-driven careers advice to game-based learning platforms, are aimed at equipping adults across England with the tools and skills to navigate the rapidly changing world of work.
Social media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter will face questions from MPs today in a virtual grilling on the spread of fake news and misinformation amid the COVID-19 crisis. The online session of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will give MPs the opportunity to question the BigTech firms about their action and its effectiveness in reducing the deliberate spreading of harmful content about the coronavirus pandemic.
The Saudi G20 Presidency and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub have launched the G20 TechSprint Initiative to highlight the potential for new technologies to resolve regulatory compliance (RegTech) and supervision (SupTech) challenges. A range of operational problems have been published, with firms invited to develop innovative technological solutions to them. The problem statements identify challenges in regulatory reporting, analytics, monitoring and supervision - developed from submissions received from Financial Stability Board (FSB) member jurisdictions.
Income Analytics has launched its tenant income risk indices and benchmarks - a new and unique set of indicators for quantifying tenant income risk using data on over 355 million global companies from Dun & Bradstreet. The UK PropTech firm is aiming to redefine how the global real estate industry can access, analyse and deploy company credit data on tenants, assets and investment portfolios, giving investors and lenders real-time data on underlying tenants creditworthiness.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a sustainability collaboration with 2i and Topolytics focussed on ‘smart waste’ solutions. The tie-up will aim to boost recycling of materials and capture more value from waste through advanced data and analytics.
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has awarded almost £1 million to three projects developing technology that predicts and counters cyber attacks. The investment is part of phase two of its Predictive Cyber Analytics competition, aimed at further developing and merging the approaches explored in phase one - namely a proactive defence of UK military systems and networks.
A new report has claimed that consumers will interact with voice assistants on over 8.4 billion devices by 2024; overtaking the world’s population and growing 113 per cent compared to the 4.2 billion devices expected to be in use by year end 2020. However, monetisation of the voice assistants themselves remains a challenge, according to Juniper Research.
Zoom has chosen Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to support the rapid growth of its video conferencing service. “We recently experienced the most significant growth our business has ever seen, requiring massive increases in our service capacity," explained Zoom chief executive Eric S. Yuan. "We explored multiple platforms, and Oracle was instrumental in helping us quickly scale our capacity and meet the needs of our new users."
The NHS' Coronavirus contact tracing app will use a different model to that proposed by Apple and Google. A statement explained that with the help of GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre, it has found a way to make the software run on iPhones without users having to keep the app active and on-screen.
Job roles within tech increased by 40 per cent in the first third of the year, due to a surge in-demand within the 'hybrid-tech' sectors of FinTech, HealthTech and AgriTech, according to recruitment firm Robert Walters. The company's senior manager for technology Tom Chambers explained that in the last few years, tech startups and scale-ups have received a notable amount of funding, with the government and venture capital allocating more money towards in demand industries.
IW Capital has completed a £2 million investment in GPDQ, a startup delivering primary healthcare services by mobilising GPs, nurses, pharmacists and other specialists to meet patient demand across the UK. The multi-channel doctor-on-demand service has been using its technology platform to connect a network of clinicians with thousands of NHS and private patients through home visits, in-clinic or via video since 2015.
The UK’s intelligence services will be increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) to combat a range of online and real-world threats, according to a new report by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). The report, which was commissioned by GCHQ, is based on unprecedented access to the British intelligence community.
The government has backed 18 projects to develop digital tools to support vulnerable people under the TechForce19 Challenge. NHSX, the Department for Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have pledged up to £25,000 for individual projects worked up in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Investment Association (IA) has launched a cyber threat intelligence platform to help investment managers protect their firms. The Threat Intelligence Alert Network (TITAN), will provide a real-time dashboard bringing together alerts from law enforcement, government agencies and other relevant authorities, on cyber hazards and risks within the investment management community.
NHS Digital and NHSX have launched GP Connect, a service for general practitioners to securely share patient records with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will give access to primary care records of patients registered at other practices, along with the ability to share appointments to increase flexibility, and for NHS 111 staff to book consultations with GPs and specialist centres.
BABB has announced that after launching in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, it can be accessed in 169 countries. The UK-based blockchain banking platform has also opened an in-app referral programme for Android users and incorporated a cash-out fiat gateway in 36 regions.
Central banks should issue a digital version of cash to prevent the trust in the monetary system disappearing, according to research and campaign group Positive Money. The report suggested that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could give policymakers more effective tools to support the economy and maintain financial stability, particularly during times of crisis such as the Coronavirus pandemic.
Alibaba Cloud has launched a global enablement program to provide cloud technology relief worth more than $30 million to new and existing small and medium-enterprises (SMEs), aiming to equip them with the solutions needed to maintain business continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the program, new SME customers worldwide can apply for the relief between now and 22 June to start using a portfolio of proven solutions from Alibaba Cloud.
The NHS, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Ministry of Defence have begun work with eBay to create a new online portal to help ease some of the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply issues currently facing the medical community. The new portal, which is currently in a pilot phase, aims to help primary and social care providers to order PPE equipment from NHS Supply Chain.
After holding an accelerator in Europe for inclusive FinTechs serving refugees, Village Capital has produced a report stating that Europe's financial system excludes refugees lacking formal identification or language skills, who may hold the key to the FinTech future. The non-profit, which has supported entrepreneurs in 28 countries, conducted interviews with investors, non-governmental organisations, financial institutions, academics, mobile operators and refugees.
Over half (57 per cent) of UK startups only have enough cashflow to survive a maximum of six months from now, even after undertaking cost-cutting measures. Machine learning executive research platform proSapient surveyed founders and c-suite executives from 277 startups in the UK - with almost half of respondents working in the software and services, technology hardware and professional services sectors - finding that the lack of government support has created a real risk that a generation of innovation and economic productivity will be consigned to history.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has signed an £11.5 million contract with enterprise cloud provider Workday to provide a platform for its HR, finance and procurement functions. The five-year deal will see the financial regulator use the company’s enterprise resource planning system by the end of March next year, aligning with its current data centre contract ending.
Leeds Building Society has partnered with automation specialist Blue Prism to build the numbers of ‘digital workers’ supporting customers through the COVID-19 crisis. It is using Blue Prism’s COVID-19 Response Program to help deal with an unprecedented jump in mortgage deferral requests.
Just one in six (17 per cent) IT professionals in the UK are female, according to research from the Centre for Economics and Business Resources (CEBR) and security firm Tessian. The research, which was analysed from the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, also found that only 17 per cent of IT directors - from a 30,000 strong sample - and 29 per cent of IT technicians - sample size 225,000 - were female.
PropTech firm Shepherd has secured £1.1 million in funding from sustainable investor Earthworm, following-on from its initial £2 million investment last March. Shepherd is aiming to create a more sustainable environment by providing property owners and managers with actionable insight via a range of data analytical solutions.
More than half (57 per cent) of UK IT decision-makers believe that remote workers will expose their organisation to the risk of a data breach, according to Apricorn. A the end of March, the hardware-encrypted USB drive manufacturer surveyed 100 chief information officers, heads of IT and IT directors from enterprise organisations (more than 1,000 employees) within the financial services, IT, manufacturing and professional services sectors.
Digital identity provider ForgeRock has completed a $93.5 million Series E funding round led by Riverwood Capital. Existing investors, including Accel, Meritech Capital, Foundation Capital and KKR Growth, also participated. Riverwood Capital co-founder and managing partner Jeff Parks will join the board of directors.
GCHQ has launched a new scheme to encourage the public to report phishing emails and online scams as cyber criminals exploit the Coronavirus lockdown. The government intelligence organisation will then use an automated scanning system set up by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to check for scam emails and remove sites confirmed as criminal.
More than three quarters (76 per cent) of insurance executives think the industry is poorly equipped to insure risks related to blockchain and crypto assets. According to a PollRight survey of 51 senior insurance professionals, commissioned by Evertas, just 12 per cent believed their industry was prepared for providing insurance to customers for this kind of asset, with the majority claiming current progress towards this goal was poor.
Fenergo and IBM have signed an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement that will allow the companies to collaborate on solutions that can help clients address a multitude of financial risks. The agreement enables them to create solutions that combine Fenergo’s client lifecycle management (CLM) offering with IBM’s RegTech portfolio of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Client (KYC) solutions; all built with Watson.
Global cloud communications software and solutions provider IMImobile has announced that its Healthcare Communications division will offer its eClinic software to NHS trusts for free for a year. The video consultation software allows for patients to see their clinicians via online consultations, meaning that regular health checks and medical reporting can continue even if patients or healthcare professionals are self-isolating.
Applied Blockchain has completed a £2 million funding round lead by Hong Kong based venture capital firm QBN Capital. The funds will be invested in developing a platform using privacy enhancing technologies to help companies to collaborate together without having to share any of their data.
Engine B, a co-created professional services enterprise, has been awarded £1.75 million from Innovate UK. The award brings funds raised so far by the data and innovation venture to £3.5 million in total. The startup will use the funding to bring its platform to market, aiming to drive digitisation and artificial intelligence technology adoption in the professional services industry.
Trials have started for a system using machine learning to predict demand across English hospitals for intensive care beds and ventilators. NHS Digital said the COVID-19 Capacity Planning and Analysis System (CPAS) has been developed by its data scientists and researchers from the University of Cambridge, using data from Public Health England (PHE).
The government has promised £1 billion worth of support for startups struggling with the Coronavirus. A statement explained that £250 million will go towards a new £500 million Future Fund fund investing in high-growth private companies, with private sector support making up the other £250 million.
AIWAYS has been granted European and Chinese patents for its autonomous electric vehicle (EV) charging robot. The Shanghai-based technology firm has obtained seven patents to develop CARL, its mobile fast charging bot, which is summoned by a smartphone app, finds the car via GPS, and plugs in to charge the vehicle automatically.
After a successful beta with over 5,000 customers, Snoop has brought forward its launch and is now available to the public in the App Store and Google Play. The London and Norwich-based FinTech uses Open Banking Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to connect to a customer’s bank accounts and credit cards, then through a mix of artificial and human intelligence data-driven it delivers personalised insights to help consumers make the most of their money.
The House of Commons will begin virtual operations using Zoom video conferencing technology in response to Coronavirus self-isolation measures. Speaker of the house Lindsay Hoyle stated that the hybrid model, developed by the Parliamentary Digital Service and Broadcasting Team, will see most members of parliament taking part virtually while a small number remain in the chamber.
The tech companies supporting Libra, Facebook’s digital currency project, have applied for a payment system license in Switzerland. The Libra Association has formally started the process of applying for a payments license from the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA), in a move hailed as an “important milestone” for the project.
BioCatch has completed a $145 million Series C funding round, led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities, the growth investing business of Bain Capital. Also joining the round were new investors, including Industry Ventures, as well as existing shareholders American Express Ventures, CreditEase, Maverick Ventures and OurCrown, among others.
Scottish technology company Neatebox is offering supermarkets across the UK access to new technology which it claims can remove the challenges millions of individuals are currently facing when they visit a shop during lockdown. Social distancing rules, queues, changing opening times and protected hours for key workers are just some of the new rules being employed by supermarkets to help protect both staff and customers from COVID-19.
Data science startup Previse has made $11 million in funding round led by Reefknot Investments and Mastercard, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Hambro Perks and Augmentum Fintech. The money will support continued growth, as the business rolls out its instant payment technology, InstantPay, to more large corporate buyers all over the world.
The first new ventilator to be designed in response to the NHS’ Coronavirus Ventilator Challenge has received regulatory approval and is ready to be sent to the NHS frontline.
The Department of Health and Social Care announced that Penlon’s Prima ES02 model, a newly-adapted ventilator design, has now been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in hospitals.
Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) and ISARA Corporation have partnered to let CIP offer solutions and services that enable migration of digital trust infrastructures to post-quantum security. The onset of large-scale quantum computing will challenge the security of current public-key cryptography and create widespread vulnerabilities.
Voice cloud service firm Natterbox has secured £7.5 million of growth equity funding from the development capital team at Octopus Investments. The UK scale-up will use the capital to support its continued global expansion, strengthen its sales and marketing operations, and further invest in its customer service and product development teams.
Devised by the mysterious presumed pseudonym Satoshi Nakamato in 2008, blockchain’s immediate application was to serve as a transaction ledger for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Yet, despite more than a decade of talk about how blockchain was set to disrupt and revolutionise numerous industries, the technology has yet to really make its mark on any big business – with scalability, security and regulatory concerns holding it back.
Ericsson and BT have signed a deal to deploy Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core - a container-based, cloud native mobile packet core for 4G, 5G non-standalone and 5G standalone services. The solution, delivered on BT’s Network Cloud, will form a key component in BT’s move to a single converged IP network.
The UK Space Agency has made £2.6 million available to fund projects using space technology to fight the Coronavirus outbreak. The joint initiative with the European Space Agency is partly funded by its Business Applications Space Solutions Fund.
The UK’s tech industry is calling on the government to delay its digital services tax during the Coronavirus outbreak. TechUK, which represents multinational tech giants including Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, is asking the government to “look again” at the new tax - which came into force this month - and delay liabilities until next year, according to reports in the Times.
Huawei has appointed Michael Rake, a former president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and former chairman of BT group, to its UK board. The Chinese telecoms provider, announced that Rake, who has advised the company since 1 January 2019, will now take up a permanent position on the board, helping the company to navigate industry challenges and expand its internet connection services to UK households.
Technology firms are processing large volumes of confidential UK patient information as part of the government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Responding to a previous call for BigTech assistance to slow the spread of the disease, US data firm Palantir began working with UK artificial intelligence startup Faculty to consolidate government databases.
Engineering teams at Apple and Google have collaborated to create a decentralised contact tracing tool to help individuals determine whether they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Contact tracing is a tool which public health authorities use to track the spread of viruses and inform those potentially exposed so that they can get tested.
Hero labs has launched a home insurance company that rewards customers for owning smart home devices. The InsurTech, called Hiro, will offer discounts on policies to those who have invested in technology that can use sensors and predictive analytics to reduce the risk of damage to their homes and devices.
Tech Nation has revealed the 22 cyber security companies selected to join its Cyber 2.0 growth programme. Many of the issues being tackled by these cyber companies are coming to the fore against the backdrop of COVID-19. Bob’s Business, GlassWall, Hut Six, OutThink and ThinkCyber all provide training to reduce the human risk from scams, while Dataswift, ByzGen and Symphonic are all providing innovative data sharing and privacy solutions for both companies and individuals.
More than a third (36 per cent) of UK businesses are planning to deploy multi-cloud environments as part of their technology investment strategy. A survey of 2,485 IT decision-makers - from 23 countries in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific - carried out by Equinix, found that the adoption of multi-cloud approaches for data storage stood at 14 per cent in the UK, compared to 20 per cent worldwide.
The Council of Europe has called for member states to ensure that algorithms and automation are developed without the risk of human rights violations. In a recommendation issued to its 47 members states, the council called for “a precautionary approach to the development and use of algorithmic systems” and underlined the need for legislation, policies and practices that fully respect human rights.
Video conferencing app Zoom has hired Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos as an advisor, as it responds to rising security and privacy concerns. Stamos is a computer scientist and adjunct professor at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation. He was previously the security chief at Yahoo, and has also worked for Loudcloud, NCC Group Domain Services, ISEC Partners and Artemis.
Digital mental health platform SilverCloud Health will enhance its range of therapy programmes in the UK after securing £13 million funding. The new funding round will see the company further developing its innovative approaches to therapy, while expanding into the UK and Europe - with new and existing partners like Thieme Telecare - as well as into more US states.
As organisations push forward with digital initiatives, protecting sensitive consumer data has become the main driver for more than half (54 per cent) of businesses deploying encryption tools. Research from nCipher Security, based on a survey of 6,457 IT professionals in 17 countries carried out by the Ponemon Institute, found that the arrival of GDPR has pushed data protection to the top of the agenda of encryption activity for the first time, outranking compliance, which ranked fourth.
UK manufacturers are facing a precarious future, with 68 per cent reporting that their order books have halved in the last 30 days, with 67 per cent having less than £50,000 cash - so without any support many will run out of money before the end of the month. FinTech business lender MarketFinance surveyed 860 UK manufacturing businesses - which employ between one and 249 staff - in March, finding that 51 per cent were interested in accessing funding through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which offers up to £5 million interest free for the first year, over six years, to shore up their business for the medium to long term.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has published guidance on how public sector organisations should use cloud hosting services. The strategy outlines have been created to help organisations take a coordinated approach and avoid the creation of complex and expensive technology estates – emphasising a process based on the needs of users.
Global private equity deals worth $8.57 billion were announced by the technology industry in February, according to analysis by GlobalData. The deal value represented a drop of 15.8 per cent, when compared to the last 12 month average, which stood at $10.17 billion, as the economic impact of the Coronavirus outbreak began to filter through to investment decisions.
MPs have called for social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, to be held to account for the spread of conspiracy theories about 5G technology helping transmit the Coronavirus. False reports have been circulating on social media sites in recent weeks, resulting in warnings that telecommunications masts have been set on fire by vandals.
A new strategic partnership between myGP software creator iPLATO and doctor's service GPDQ has been launched to boost the capacity for NHS patient video consultations across UK, as one in four GPs are forced into isolation. After seeing a 1,451 per cent spike in GP video consultations being conducted during the Coronavirus pandemic, iPLATO and GPDQ have joined forces to provide surge capacity for UK-based General Practices, enabling more patients to be seen via video across the UK.
Open source solution provider Red Hat has named Paul Cormier as president and chief executive officer, effective today. He previously served as Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, and succeeds Jim Whitehurst, who is now president of IBM.
HealthTech startup Zegami is building a new artificial intelligence-driven platform to help healthcare professionals diagnose and predict outcomes for patients suffering from COVID-19. The Oxford University spinout will use data visualisation techniques to create a machine learning model capable of comparing the effect of different treatments for the virus, by comparing their x-rays to previous patients with similar conditions.
Startup accelerator Kickstart has opened applications for its annual business-to-business (B2B) scale-up programme, aimed at helping late-stage deep tech startups interested in entering the Swiss market. Kickstart, one of Europe’s largest innovation platforms, is hoping that its fifth iteration will enable around 100 entrepreneurs to join the three-month programme in September. It lets startups create and test pilots and commercial projects with corporate and public sector partners, including AXA, Roche, Credit Suisse and Lafarge Holcim.
Over half (53 per cent) of security professionals have no visibility into the number of devices connected to their company network. This is according to Outpost24, which interviewed more than 200 attendees at the RSA Conference in San Francisco at the end of February.
The government has put up £20 million for businesses that could help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of the Coronavirus outbreak and similar situations in the future. Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses to develop new ways of working in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport; as well as to support people at home in circumstances like those during the pandemic.
Google has published location data for 131 countries showing the drop in visits to shops, public spaces and workplaces since Coronoavirus restrictions were introduced by governments around the world. The anonymised information gathered from the Maps app on billions of smartphones is a public data set which can be used by authorities to assess whether lockdown measures and warnings about social distancing are being followed by populations.
Today sees the release of Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) and Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRNs) under an Open Government License, with the Government Digital Service mandating that these are to be the public sector standard for referencing and sharing property and street information. GeoPlace - the organisation that oversees the production and maintenance of address and street gazetteers - worked closely with Ordnance Survey, the Local Government Association, and the Geospatial Commission to reach this agreement on opening up of the UPRN and USRN as part of the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA).
Increased cyber criminal activity during the COVID-19 crisis has exposed passwords as a key vulnerability, according to the World Economic Forum, which is calling for consideration of a ‘password-less future’. Will Dixon, head of operations at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity, said the upsurge of cyber criminals seeking to exploit the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the risk to businesses of weak passwords used to secure employees’ accounts.
COVID-19 is prompting a shift in UK households’ digital activity, with many people trying online services for the first time. According to an EY survey of 2,000 UK consumers, video calling showed the largest uptick, with 18 per cent trying this for the first time, ahead of online shopping (nine per cent) and watching catch-up TV (nine per cent).
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The chancellor’s latest measures to sure up a financial sector hit by the Coronavirus outbreak have been welcomed by the tech sector. Rishi Sunak announced a further package of measures for the self-employed, now mirroring the scheme for the employed workforce.
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.
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.
The UK’s tech industry will maintain resilience, despite the COVID-19 outbreak, according to new analysis from global recruiter Robert Walters. In the first quarter this year, permanent job vacancies in the tech sector increased by 32.56 per cent and contract tech roles increased by 48.27 per cent when compared with the same period last year, according to JobFeed data.
Cyber criminals are cashing-in on the COVID-19 crisis by launching a wave of Coronavirus-related email attacks. Researchers from Barracuda Networks have been monitoring global phishing activity around the outbreak since the start of the year, recording 137 incidents in January, 1,188 in February, rising to 9,116 in March so far - an increase of 667 per cent since the end of February.
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is looking for rapid sanitising technology to speed up the time it takes to clean ambulances to help in the national effort against Coronavirus. It can take up to 45 minutes to clean ambulances once they have transported a patient suspected of having COVID-19.
Advanced has acquired Tikit, a global legal, accounting and professional services software business, from BT Group. This is the company’s fifth acquisition in 12 months and reinforces its ambition to become the leading provider of business software solutions in the UK, while simultaneously extending its global footprint.
British Crown Courts have announced that phone and video technology will be introduced to help continue trials amid social distancing measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus. The Lord Chief Justice put a temporary pause on new jury trials in Crown Courts, with only existing jury trials set to continue until they reach a conclusion.
NHSX has launched a programme for the rapid development of digital tools to support people self-isolating during the Coronavirus outbreak. The Techforce 19 initiative, in collaboration with GovTech venture capital firm Public, is making up to £25,000 per company available for a test phase of solutions that could be available within a few weeks.
Fountech.Ventures, an incubator for deep tech startups, has launched in the US and UK. The subsidiary company of Fountech.ai, a four-year-old international artificial intelligence think tank and parent company to a number of specialist AI and deep tech firms, is based in Austin, Texas and originated in London.
A new study has found that 96 per cent of IT leaders in the legal sector say insider breach risk is a significant concern. Cyber security specialist Egress' second annual survey was conducted in January among more than 500 IT leaders and 5,000 employees across the UK, US and Benelux regions - among these were 106 IT leaders and 1,001 employees in legal sector companies.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a messaging service with WhatsApp and Facebook to keep people safe from Coronavirus. The messaging service has the potential to reach two billion people and enables WHO to get information directly into the hands of the people that need it.
The National Gallery was hit by nearly two million email attacks over the course of 2019, as the UK’s largest public institutions step up their defences against hackers. According to data obtained under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act by cyber security specialists Absolute Software, the UK’s leading art gallery blocked an array of sophisticated email phishing attacks, including spam and virus attempts which were targeted at stealing the personal and financial data of National Gallery members.
As part of its effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, China is using 5G patrol robots developed by Guangzhou Gosuncn Robot Company with Advantech technology to monitor mask wearing and body temperatures in public places. The company upgraded its existing police patrol robot with new capabilities to assist officers in conducting disease prevention inspections.
Thomson Reuters has acquired Pondera Solutions, a provider of analytics to combat fraud, waste and abuse in healthcare and large government programs. A statement did not disclose the financial details, but explained that the deal would enhance Thomson Reuters’ offerings in the risk, fraud and compliance space, expanding on its strategic approach to deliver insight through advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and human expertise.
Locum’s Next, a HealthTech connecting NHS organisations with 25,000 clinicians for temporary work, is opening up its platform for free to help coordinate the response to COVID-19. The company’s shift-matching software will be made available to support efforts to recruit NHS clinicians to help fill short term vacancies - currently being listed by the thousands each day - as staffing issues grow across the NHS.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has announced its intention to take over ownership and management of OpenRoaming as a global wireless industry standard. The move, in line with the WBA’s history and leadership on Wi-Fi Roaming services and interoperability, is designed to facilitate the broad adoption of OpenRoaming by new and existing Wi-Fi Networks, service providers and other technology partners across the global Wi-Fi ecosystem.
Isle of Man based mobile operator Manx Telecom has partnered with blockchain protocol Minima to complete a decentralised payment proof of concept. The trial saw Manx Telecom send tokens on Minima’s blockchain, from one phone to another, granting network access without touching any of the operator’s existing billing systems.
PropTech company Pupil has secured $16 million in its latest round of funding, led by Singapore’s City Developments Limited. The London-based startup uses enterprise software and machine learning to measure the built world through its patent-pending digital twin technology.
The Met Office is planning to move the main components of its Space Weather service from internal storage to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. The move is aimed at reducing operational costs and the cycle time for changes, according to a statement, which also explained that it is seeking a delivery partner for the migration in a two-year deal valued at up to £2 million.
Microsoft co-founder and technology advisor Bill Gates has stepped down from the company’s board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities. He will continue to serve as technology advisor to chief executive Satya Nadella and other leaders in the company.
The UK’s digital technology sector grew nearly six times faster than the rest of the UK economy in 2019, with a record £10.1 billion in investment - an increase of 44 per cent.
According to Tech Nation’s annual report for 2019, the digital technology sector contributed £149 billion to the UK economy, accounting for 7.7 per cent of the UK’s gross value added (GVA).
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has revealed a range of attacks being perpetrated online as cyber criminals seek to exploit COVID-19. Techniques seen since the start of the year include bogus emails with links claiming to have important updates, which once clicked on lead to devices being infected.
Finablr has temporarily suspended its share listing amid “material uncertainty” about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The global platform for payments and foreign exchange confirmed in a statement that the Financial Conduct Authority agreed to the suspension, following an update on 12 March that “a number of factors that were placing significant constraints on the company's access to the daily liquidity”.
Google’s life sciences division Verily is developing a digital tool to help Americans establish if they need testing for the Coronavirus. Amid widespread criticism of the US government’s progress in testing potential cases of the virus, the Google-owned company said it was in the early stages of building an online triage system, with the first test site named ‘Project Baseline’ opened to adults in North California this weekend.
Six local authorities in England have won a share of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) £1.2 million Local Digital Fund. Barnsley, Buckinghamshire, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth and Southwark councils have received funding to develop existing projects, following the allocation of £2.5 million in the previous three rounds, all aimed at building digital services that can be replicated by other authorities.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation on new uses of technology in transport. It is aimed at making journeys easier and greener, with a prominent section on mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), suggesting that the way that new data and digital capabilities are making it possible to package different services together for travellers when they are planning journeys.
Prime minister Boris Johnson and his chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance have asked the tech industry to volunteer resources in the fight to curb the Coronavirus. In a meeting attended by around 30 companies from across the UK online and science sectors, the prime minister gave a speech imploring unity in efforts to lessen the spread of the pandemic.
More than half (51 per cent) of senior decision-makers among UK businesses feel overwhelmed by the data generated within their organisation – rising to 61 per cent among those working in larger companies with over 1,000 employees. This is according to database management platform provider InterSystems, which commissioned Vitreous World to interview senior decision-makers from 150 businesses covering all industries.
New research has revealed that 37 per cent of mobile operators will begin deploying 5G standalone within the next two years. A worldwide survey of 41 mobile operators by Enea showed that 27 per cent will deploy 5G within 12 to 18 months, with a further 10 per cent within two years.
The European Commission (EC) has unveiled plans to introduce the ‘right to repair’ for electronic devices, restrict single-use products, tackle premature obsolescence and ban the destruction of unsold durable goods. These measures form part of the new Circular Economy Action Plan, intended to deliver on previous pledges to transition the EU to carbon neutrality by 2050.
Data visualisation company Zegami has been appointed by researchers at the Oxford University Cardiovascular Clinical Research Facility to accelerate research into cardiovascular disease. The team will do this by applying data visualisation techniques developed by Zegami to hundreds of thousands of images of the heart, making it easier to categorise them and identify new trends and patterns.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has stated that the live use of facial recognition technology should be suspended until its impact has been independently scrutinised and laws governing its application improved. The statutory non-departmental public body covering England and Wales, established under the Equality Act, raised the concerns in a report to the United Nations on civil and political rights in the UK.
The global artificial intelligence (AI) software market’s value is predicted to rise from $22.6 billion in 2020 to $126 billion by 2025. This is according to data gathered by LearnBonds, with one in five workers in a non-routine job set to rely on AI for at least part of their role.
The government has confirmed that from 1 April it will introduce a new two per cent tax on the revenues of search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces which derive value from UK users. The announcement of the Digital Services Tax in the 2018 Budget was followed by a consultation which closed in February 2019. Following today’s Budget, legislation will now be introduced in the Finance Bill 2019-20 to establish a Digital Services Tax.
The new chancellor has unveiled a range of new funding initiatives for technological and innovative businesses in the UK. In his maiden Budget speech, Rishi Sunak announced that overall research and development investment would rise to £22 billion annually by 2024/25.
New research has revealed that 72 per cent of business executives think security concerns have restricted their organisation’s adoption of public cloud. Barracuda Networks commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 750 executives and team managers with responsibility for or knowledge of their organisation’s cloud infrastructure - just less than half of which were from EMEA - finding that concerns specifically refer to the security, or lack there-of, of public cloud infrastructure, applications deployed in public cloud and the potential impact of a cyber attack.
NHS Digital has partnered with Egress to support the UK’s secure healthcare communications network. The email security firm’s Egress Protect solution will be integrated into NHSmail to offer enhanced protection and improve user experience.
Artificial intelligence-based risk solution firm MindBridge has opened a new office in London. Since releasing its flagship AI Auditor service in March 2017, the Canadian company has grown its client base into 15 countries around the world and tripled the size of its workforce.
Prime minister Boris Johnson will face down rebels in his own party today over Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G network. A group of Conservative rebels are planning to back an amendment which would put an end to the Chinese technology company’s involvement in 5G infrastructure in 2023.
London-based PropTech firm Goodlord has raised $13.1 million in a round led by Latitude Ventures, along with Finch Capital and Oxx. The funding brings the total raised since its 2014 inception to about $33 million, with the new capital to be used for doubling its client base and expand the suite of products. The startup also plans to hire more engineering, product and customer-facing staff.
Amazon is to launch a new business selling its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology to other retailers. In an interview with Reuters, the retail giant revealed that it is due to launch a website today aimed at selling the tech behind its cashierless Amazon Go stores.
CREST has received a grant of $1.4 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help increase cyber security capacity in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. The not-for-profit accreditation and certification body for the information security industry stated that the funding will support threat intelligence-led system penetration testing through a trusted provider ecosystem.
The Ministry of Defence pressured the Civil Aviation Authority to delay safety warnings about a new drone it planned to fly over British skies to avoid tipping off protesters. Official documents seen by the Guardian revealed how the government department was in discussions with British safety regulators over the US-built drone, which was being flown from North Dakota to a military base in Gloucestershire.
A widespread lack of understanding of the role Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and fear of the ‘rise of the robots’ is holding businesses back from automating key processes, according to new research. A survey of 800 employees by business automation software firm V1 found that a fifth (22 per cent) of people thought automation requires a physical robot and half thought it will take their jobs in a ‘doomsday’ scenario.
Google Cloud and T-Systems have partnered to deliver solutions and managed services for enterprise customers undergoing digital transformation with the cloud. Under the deal, T-Systems will provide consulting services, migration support and managed services to enterprise companies leveraging Google Cloud.
Virgin Media has apologised to customers after a database containing personal details of 900,000 people was left unsecured and accessible for 10 months. The telecoms giant said that the details - which did not include passwords or financial information - had been accessed in at least one location by an unknown user. The marketing database included phone numbers and home and email addresses.
The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) has warned that as global financial services becomes ever more digitally interconnected, the potential for a cyber attack causing major systemic risk is becoming something which regulators and central banks must prepare for. In a new paper, the organisation stated that the system has come to rely critically on robust information and communications technology infrastructures and the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and systems.
The UK has dropped one place, to fourth, in KPMG’s annual ranking of most promising countries in the world for disruptive technology breakthroughs that have a global impact. Now in its eighth year, the survey consisted of 810 technology leaders - 54 per cent of them c-level executives - across 12 countries. It placed the UK tied with Japan in fourth, behind the US and both China and India, which tied for second place.
On average across the G7 group of nations, women account for only 30 per cent of the tech workforce; and even fewer women occupy the top echelons of tech companies. According to PwC’s Women in Technology Index, Canada is the best performing country within the G7 in terms of gender representation and equality in the tech sector, with France in second place.
Boots has suspended payments using loyalty points in-store and online after hackers tried to break into customers' accounts using stolen passwords. Customers will not be able to use Boots Advantage Card points to pay for products while the issue is dealt with, according to BBC News.
Volkswagen has announced an electric vehicle (EV) partnership with Centrica to install home charging stations for customers across the UK. The German manufacturer will partner with Centrica’s British Gas brand to provide charging hardware in support of the rollout of Volkswagen Group’s 80 electric and plug-in hybrid models and aim to grow sales of three million all-electric cars a year by 2025.
Microsoft has opened a new mixed-reality centre in Hull, aiming to boost the number of people with digital skills in the North of England. The Digital Realities Centre will train people to use Microsoft HoloLens, a headset that allows users to place 3D digital models in the room alongside them, so they can use the technology to speed up learning on the job, cut costs and make critical tasks safer.
Waymo has raised $2.25 billion in a funding round led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Company. The former Google self-driving car project, now a business under Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced that its first external investment round also included Magna, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation and its parent company.
Since 2013, blockchain startups in the United Kingdom have raised a collective $503 million between themselves in equity raises, according to analysis by Outlier Ventures, which also found that 450 blockchain companies now call London home. Of the total capital allocation, $95 million has been invested in seed stages alone, with one in three blockchain companies in the UK managing to raise funding. However, only 13 per cent of all firms that raise funding go on to raise a Series A and just three per cent make it to Series B.
UK taxpayers have been targeted by over 1.5 million email scams, calls and text messages over the past two years purporting to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Data collated by Griffin Law showed that while text-based scams, known as ‘smishing’, rose by 56 per cent between 2018 and 2019 - from 36,950 to 57,579 - email scams, known as phishing, declined 60 per cent, from 841,805 to 333,857.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published guidance on how to protect devices with ‘smart’ cameras from common cyber attacks. The government body explained that security cameras and baby monitors used to monitor activity usually connect to the internet using home Wi-Fi, meaning hackers can potentially access live feeds or images.
Pekka Lundmark has been appointed president and chief executive of Nokia, with Rajeev Suri to step down after more than a decade in the positions. The board announced that Lundmark is expected to start his new role on 1 September.
The fourth annual MSDUK Innovation Challenge has opened for entries, seeking startups working on social innovation, future tech and sustainability projects. MSDUK is an organisation supporting ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) in the UK, which face a systemic lack of representation in the supply chain, limiting access to markets and investment capital, growth and sales.
Engineers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed miniaturised warehouse logistics robots that could be repurposed for automated blood diagnostics and other biotechnology uses. According to a report on the study published in Science Robotics, the ‘ferrobots’, two millimetre wide disc-shaped magnets, are designed to work together to move and manipulate droplets of blood or other fluids with precision by mobilising the chip’s magnetism.
Audio and voice technology firm AudioTelligence has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding.The funding round, led by Octopus Ventures, will enable the audio source separation specialist to expand its licensing activity.
Ocado has ordered a further 30 natural gas-powered trucks for its distribution fleet. Of that figure, 10 have already gone into service, with the remaining 20 to follow throughout the year.
DocuSign has announced plans to acquire artificial intelligence-driven contract analytics business Seal Software for $188 million. The takeover, which is subject to regulatory approval, will enable DocuSign to expand its contract analytics capability and builds on the existing relationship between the two companies.
The Pope has waded into the global debate around ethics in artificial intelligence (AI) by issuing its own recommendations for the development and use of the technology. In a series of voluntary guides due to be published by the Vatican today, the Pontiff will emphasize the need for AI regulations to “protect people” and ensure the technology works for the “good of humanity”, according to Politico.
Amazon is testing customer service chatbot technology that could produce the first ‘generative chatbot’ capable of original dialogue in real time. A blog posted by Jared Kramer, an applied-science manager on Amazon’s customer service tech team, explained that the e-commerce giant is trialling end-to-end neural-network based chatbots.
The government is preparing to launch a specialist cyber security force that will target terror groups and hostile nation states. The Guardian reported that after months of delays and back and forth between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and GCHQ, the offensive hacking group will be announced in the spring.
As UK businesses look towards the cloud to enable digital innovation, more than half (58 per cent) report the move has been more costly than envisaged, according to Capita’s Technology Solutions division. It commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 200 IT decision-makers from UK businesses with more than 500 employees, finding that cloud migration (72 per cent) still remains the top transformational priority for most organisations, ahead of process automation (45 per cent), data analytics (40 per cent) and artificial intelligence/machine learning (31 per cent).
SHE Software has completed a £7 million Series B funding round led by Frog Capital, with existing investors Northern Venture Capital Trust and Mercia Fund Management also participating. The Scottish health and safety software company will help accelerate the growth of international operations, building on the momentum achieved over the last two years in North America. The company also plans to increase headcount, expanding its talent pool by 60, including 15 new jobs announced earlier this year following funding from Scottish Enterprise.
Fifteen percent of UK businesses are currently investing in 5G, rising to 70 per cent within three years, according to EY. Yet, less than half (44 per cent) are confident they can successfully implement 5G-based Internet of Things (IoT), with only a quarter indicating that they do not need a significant overhaul of their operating model to realise implementation.
As of January 2020, commercial 5G networks have been deployed in 378 cities across 34 countries, according to VIAVI Solutions. Using publicly available data sources, the network testing company revealed that the country with the most cities with 5G availability was South Korea with 85 cities, followed by China with 57, the United States at 50, and the United Kingdom with 31 cities.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has referred itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over a data breach after it mistakenly published the names and other information of 1,600 people. The regulator published a statement on its website this afternoon explaining that it had inadvertently published the details on its website in November as part of its response to a Freedom of Information request about complaints lodged against the FCA by individuals or organisation.
The Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick has defended the force’s use of facial recognition technology, calling critics ill-informed. The Met began operational use of the technology earlier this month, despite concerns about its accuracy and privacy implications being raised by the likes of Amnesty International, Liberty and Big Brother Watch.
Colliers International has used the OutSystems low-code development platform to rebuild its deal management system and is spinning off new applications to speed up transaction flows and streamline monthly reporting. The property services and investment management firm went live with a customised system called Our Deals in October, modernising a deal-tracking program that had been updated many times over the years to incorporate organisational changes and country-specific requirements.
A full rollout of gigabit broadband would provide a boost to the economy of 0.7 per cent of GDP by 2025 - the equivalent of over £13 billion - or an extra £217 per person a year. This is according to research commissioned by the Internet Association and prepared by Public First, which followed up on the Conservative Party manifesto pledge to deliver gigabit-capable broadband nationwide by 2025.
The third annual Verizon Mobile Security Index has revealed that 43 per cent of organisations have sacrificed mobile security in the past year ‘to get things done’, even when doing so meant they were twice as likely to suffer a breach. The top reasons for making the sacrifice were time (62 per cent), convenience (52 per cent) and profitability targets (46 per cent).
Organisations have reached a global cloud tipping point causing them to struggle with security challenges of digital transformation, according to the latest Thales Data Threat Report. With input from 1,723 executives with responsibility for, or influence over, IT and data security around the world, the research revealed that half of all corporate data is stored in the cloud and nearly half (48 per cent) of that data is considered sensitive.
Mastercard is planning to hire 1,500 staff in Dublin as it looks to establish its European Technology Hub in the Irish capital. The payments giant is planning to treble its Irish workforce for the new campus in Leopardstown over the course of the next three to five years.
The UK is leading the way in PropTech investment in Europe, according to Oxford Saïd Business School. The report, compiled using data from Unnisu and Crunchbase, found that as of June 2019 over $5 billion was invested in 805 UK PropTech companies – five times more than Germany for instance.
Google is planning to move its UK users’ accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, placing them instead under US jurisdiction. According to sources cited by Reuters, the search giant intends to require its British users to acknowledge new terms of service.
OneTrust has announced a $210 million Series B funding led by Coatue and Insight Partners. Following OneTrust's $200 million Series A, the new round brings the total investment to $410 million and valuation to $2.7 billion.
Mobilus Labs has launched the world’s first two-way bone conduction communication device, delivering audio and voice communications hand and ear free. The startup delivered the first batch mobiWAN TR headsets to positioning and navigation technology firm Trimble, to go alongside its XR10 with HoloLens 2. Together, built into an industry-standard hardhat, these products offer a mixed-reality experience which aims to increase safety and efficiency in extreme working environments.
Nine projects across the UK will receive a share of £35 million from rural and industrial 5G competitions, and a new £30 million open competition will look at how 5G can create new opportunities in industries including film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) noted that “none of the winning projects, or future projects, will use equipment from high risk vendors”, meaning Huawei will not be participating.
The European Commission has unveiled its plans for a European data strategy and policies to ensure that development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology is human-centric. A key pillar of the plan outlined by EU commissioner Thierry Breton is the creation of a €2 billion European cloud platform alliance.
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route is being expanded and renamed as the Global Talent visa, specifically to make provisions for science and research, while continuing to be open to promising applicants within digital technology. According to Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs which remains the endorsing body responsible for processing applications on behalf of the Home Office for the sector, the cap on the visa route has been removed.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a consultation on draft guidance for an artificial intelligence (AI) auditing framework. The guidance contains advice on how to understand data protection law in relation to AI and recommendations for organisational and technical measures to mitigate the risks AI poses to individuals. It also provides a methodology to audit AI applications and ensure they process personal data fairly.
New research has revealed that 97 per cent of IT leaders think insider breach risk is a significant concern – with 78 per cent believing employees have put data at risk accidentally in the past 12 months and 75 per cent reckon employees have put data at risk intentionally. A survey of more than 500 IT leaders and 5,000 employees across the UK, US and Benelux regions last month on behalf of security solutions provider Egress found that 41 per cent said financial damage would be the biggest impact of such a breach.
OTB Ventures has launched an early growth technology fund with $100 million in commitments from international institutional investors, including the European Investment Fund. Focusing on early stage, post-product, startups in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region - spanning cyber security, BigData, FinTech, Internet of Things, cloud and software-as-a-service industry verticals - the fund is targeting investment in a total of 16 companies to comprise its portfolio by the end of 2022.
Enterprise open source software currently makes up 40 per cent of software used in the financial services industry, a figure which is expected to rise to 46 per cent in two years, according to RedHat. Its annual State of Enterprise Open Source research report pointed out that by contrast, proprietary software is expected to decline from 39 per cent of software in use today, to 30 per cent in the next two years.
The shortlist has been announced for the fourth annual National Technology Awards. Celebrating the pioneers of technology and encouraging excellence across 29 categories – from retail to cyber security, telecoms to finance.
Shetland Space Centre’s (SSC) plan to build and operate the UK’s only satellite launch site has been given a major boost by a £2.05 million investment from private equity firm Leonne International. The cash injection, which gives Leonne a 20 per cent stake in the business, will be used for future growth of the company, such as the development of the launch site and ground station at the most northerly tip of Britain – the island of Unst in Shetland.
There has been a 640 per cent increase in phishing attempts and a 125 per cent increase in malware targeting Windows 7 last year, according to OpenText’s latest Webroot Threat Report. The report is derived from metrics captured and analysed by the Webroot platform’s machine learning architecture, which also showed that one in four malicious URLs is hosted on an otherwise non-malicious domain, and 8.9 million URLs were found to be hosting a cryptojacking script.
German manufacturers are looking to set up smart factories or further digitise their operations, with a range of new technologies including Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT). A study by technology research firm ISG Provider Lens found that manufacturers in Europe’s largest economy are looking to modernise, with newcomers unencumbered by legacy operations being able to deploy digital twins, collaborative robotics and additive manufacturing.
London-based venture capital firm Atomico has launched a new $820 million fund focussed on European early-stage tech startups. Announcing the Atomico V fund, the company said it would partner with “mission-driven” European founders at Series A fundraising stage, with enough capital to support the businesses into Series B and Series C.
More than 60 per cent of companies have admitted that a backlog of unused data is hampering their progress in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives. Experian’s global data management report surveyed 1,100 data practitioners and leaders of data-driven businesses globally.
The total number of 5G connections will reach 1.5 billion globally by 2025, rising from only 5 million in 2019, according to Juniper Research. The market analysis anticipated that revenue from these 5G connections is a highly sought-after new revenue stream for operators, with Internet of Things (IoT) connections considered as new connections that will not cannibalise existing operator connectivity revenue from current IoT technologies.
The government has invested £1.5 million in three projects which use data and digital technology to deal with traffic problems. The latest round of the GovTech Catalyst programme - aimed at supporting the development of solutions to social issues - awarded three firms as part of a project managed by the Department for Transport over the next 12 months.
The government has pledged a £1.2 billion investment in the world’s most powerful supercomputer to predict severe weather events more accurately and help the UK prepare for the impact of climate change. The new supercomputer, to be managed by the Met Office, will also be used to help ensure communities can be better prepared for weather disruption, including adverse weather events such as storms Ciara and Dennis, which have hit the UK and caused widespread flooding in recent weeks.
A new independent initiative has launched to help communities retain free access to cash, as the UK shifts to an increasingly cashless society. Communities across the country are encouraged to apply to participate in the new Community Access to Cash Pilots, which will help to test solutions to local access to cash needs, with the goal of developing scalable solutions which can inform national policy.
Mastercard is developing its first cyber and security centre in Europe, aimed at driving collaboration between both public and private sectors, as well as regulatory bodies to further support enterprise resilience in the region. Located at Mastercard’s European Headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium, the European Cyber Resilience Centre is the first of its kind that the company has invested in outside of North America.
Following a thorough review, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared Google’s purchase of Looker Data Sciences. The ruling noted that both firms supply business intelligence (BI) tools, but while these are the primary focus of Looker’s business, Google offers this capability alongside various other software and internet-based products and services, including web analytics, online search advertising and cloud-based data storage.
Societe Generale (SocGen) has invested nearly €1.1million in Czech online life insurance startup Mutumutu. Societe Generale Assurances, the insurance branch of the French banking giant has made the investment through CreativeDock insurance holding as the lender aims to extend its involvement in the InsurTech market.
Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is set to acknowledge that international action to wage higher taxes on BigTech firms may mean his company pays more. In a speech to the Munich Security Conference today, he is due to concede that moves to agree taxes on digital revenues may mean that companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google may “have to pay more”.
In the UK, over three quarters (76 per cent) of organisations were unable to deliver all their IT projects last year, leaving a significant 2020 backlog. This is according to a survey conducted on behalf of MuleSoft among 800 global IT decision-makers in organisations with at least 1,000 employees, which revealed that IT departments are having to innovate faster but with fewer resources.
Vertical payments company Flywire has acquired HealthTech platform Simplee to optimise the digital payments and patient engagement experience in healthcare, and scale its global payments services. Flywire also announced a $120 million Series E investment round, led by Goldman Sachs, providing additional capital to support its vision to digitise payments across education, healthcare and travel.
Ericsson has launched two new artificial intelligence (AI) powered network services, enabling communications service providers to secure always-on networks. Network Intelligence and Omni Network Channel employ automation and predictive analytics to address exponential data growth and the continuous introduction of new technologies such as 5G, digital transformation and scattered information sources.
Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs, has today announced the 10 early-stage scaleup winners of its nationwide competition, Rising Stars. Designed to showcase the most exciting companies at seed to pre-Series A funding from all areas of the country, the competition's winners were required to pitch to a panel of industry leading judges, in front of an audience of over 200 of the top venture capitalists, founders and corporates in the UK.
Two thirds of tech professionals are happy in their work, but despite this, half expect to change role in the next 12 months, citing pay (59 per cent) and work/life balance (40 per cent). Harvey Nash surveyed over 2,000 tech professionals globally, finding two areas where tech companies can have a significant influence in improving staff retention:
Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of UK homeowners would be willing to install a smart thermostat this year as Internet of Things (IoT) and connected home technology sees rapid adoption. Online property site Sellhousefast surveyed 1,462 UK households to gauge their interest in smart home technology, comprising devices and appliances that can be remotely controlled over Wi-Fi connections by smartphones and other devices.
Wearable technology - such as FitBit and Apple Watch - is maturing rapidly, but remains out of the mainstream, according to GlobalData. The data and analytics company forecasted an compound annual growth rate of 19 per cent between 2018 and 2023, with smartwatches the top selling wearable item.
Organisations that adopt artificial intelligence (AI) in finance and operations are growing annual profits 80 per cent faster, according to the Enterprise Strategy Group and Oracle. The companies surveyed 700 finance and operations leaders across 13 countries and found that emerging technologies - AI, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and digital assistants - have passed the adoption tipping point and are now creating significant competitive advantage.
The government is to appoint Ofcom as regulator responsible for policing social media firms over harmful content. Culture secretary Nicky Morgan this morning announced that the government is preparing to hand the broadcast regulator powers to ensure that the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter take down content deemed harmful, racist, explicit or abusive as part of a “duty of care”.
Up to half of all reported financial crime is either fraud or cyber crime, despite fraud being underreported and only one in eight cases being investigated. At last week’s Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) Financial Crime Conference, City of London Police commissioner Ian Dyson emphasised this point, stating that three quarters of all fraud crimes reported are cyber-enabled – “it’s now a lot easier than robbing a bank and the rewards are far greater”.
Advanced data platform Kx has become the latest firm to join the likes of Lloyds Banking Group and Dell Technologies as a corporate partner to the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA). Kx, headquartered in California, will join the government-backed programme to give cyber security scaleups access to its advanced data processing platform, bringing together real-time and historical databases.
Nearly 90 per cent of UK startups are planning to hire new talent in 2020, as Brexit-related political uncertainty clears and business confidence rises. A study of 1,100 founders of tech and healthcare startups in the UK, North America and China for Silicon Valley Bank, found that a majority (57 per cent) thought business conditions would improve in the coming year, compared to 47 per cent in 2019. Within that total, 86 per cent of UK companies said they were planning to hire.
Members of the Scottish Parliament have ruled against the use of facial recognition by Police Scotland under the existing legal framework. The Justice Sub-Committee on Policing published a report stating that the police need to demonstrate the legal basis it would rely on for its use, as well as compliance with human rights and data protection legislation, eliminating biases against ethnic minorities and women.
A/O PropTech has now launched, after raising €250 million capital to invest in startups disrupting real estate. Europe’s largest PropTech fund is looking to invest in startups at Series A stage onwards, which have the potential to transform the real estate industry through technology, data science and artificial intelligence.
The United States has charged four Chinese military hackers over the 2017 Equifax data breach. Attorney general William Barr called it one of the largest data breaches in history as he announced the indictment charges yesterday.
Verizon has opened a 5G Lab and production studio in London – the company’s first 5G-enabled facility outside the United States. The lab is based at Verizon’s Mid City Place office in central London, and offers a 5G-enabled environment where organisations can develop and test applications and experiences.
The UK tech sector’s performance is in limbo, with staff hiring declining and new business activity flat-lining in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to KPMG’s latest market analysis. UK tech companies reported that overall business activity was unchanged from the third quarter, which marked the worst performance for the sector since the current phase of expansion began seven-and-a-half years ago.
The global market for autonomous vehicles is predicted to grow significantly, contributing some $13.7 billion by 2030. Statista’s DossierPlus analysis predicted that by that time, one in 10 vehicles will be self-driving.
OneWeb has announced the successful launch of 34 satellites aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from Kazakhstan. The company’s second successful launch will help build its phase one constellation of 648 satellites designed to deliver high-speed, low-latency global internet connectivity.
Splunk, a US-based Big Data connectivity platform, is to become an official technology partner to McLaren.The motor racing organisation and the wider McLaren group will uses Splunk’s ‘data-to-everything’ platform to capture data across its infrastructure, network and server environment to help them accelerate performance development.
Security researchers at Check Point have discovered a vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lightbulbs that connected them to, and helped them compromise, the local network. The security flaw was discovered in the ZigBee wireless communication protocol that is used by a wide range of smart home devices.
Transport for London (TfL) is planning to pilot management systems for micromobility – the use of electric scooters, e-bikes and e-cargo bikes. The organisation is looking to reach near real-time visibility, with no more than one minute of latency, on the movements of such vehicles across the city, in order to feed this information into optimising its network performance and planning decisions.
New research has revealed that nearly half (49 per cent) of artificial intelligence (AI) projects are being held back by a lack of deep learning skills. Research among 350 chief information officers and senior IT makers from the UK and the Nordic region, commissioned by operational AI firm Peltarion, found that 83 per cent of AI decision-makers thought the lack of skills in areas such as data science, machine learning and AI was impacting their business’ ability to compete in the market; with 49 per cent saying it is causing projects to be delayed.
Amazon has given a preview of the design for 100,000 new electric delivery vans, as the e-commerce giant focusses on building the world’s most sustainable transportation fleet. A video published to the Amazon news channel showed clay models of the custom-designed van, produced by electric vehicle (EV) startup Rivian. The blue vehicle will feature Alexa integration with voice commands to help drivers finds packages in the van and central screen with a digital instrument cluster.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has appointed two new members to Innovate UK’s council – Isabel Fox and Matt Clifford. Fox is one of just a handful of female general partners in the UK, who has raised and manages an early stage DeepTech fund.
More than four in 10 employees in the UK believe their job will disappear in the next five years because of technology, according to new research. Spend management firm Compleat Software commissioned Sapio Research to survey 763 office workers and 250 finance workers late last year, finding that manufacturing and production workers (80 per cent), those in the medical profession (52 per cent) and accounting and finance staff (45 per cent) were the most fearful that their current job will cease to exist in its current form over the next half decade.
The Metropolitan Police Service has published its cyber security strategy, emphasising four ‘core vision principles’ to protect its information assets. Its new priorities are to: defend the data and distrust the asset; use identity as a perimeter; develop transparency of internet traffic; and be aware and prepared.
Nissan has completed an autonomous journey of 230 miles in the UK, marking the longest trip yet by a self-driving car. The Japanese carmaker announced that its LEAF electric vehicle (EV) made the driverless journey from its technical centre in Cranfield in the South of England to its Sunderland factory in the North East, according to Reuters.
Magway has secured over £1.5 million in private investment to fund the next stage of its plan to revolutionise the UK’s freight and delivery market. The British engineering firms’ solution proposes to move goods through a network of underground pipes to help keep up with the growth in online shopping and freight traffic, while reducing the air pollution and congestion that this causes.
Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity management provider floLIVE has announced a $21.5 million Series B financing round and the appointment of Nir Shalom as the company’s new chief executive. The funding round was led by 83North, and included Dell Technologies Capital, Saban Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures.
The UK is to bring forward the end of the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035. The move, announced to coincide with the launch of the UN climate COP26 conference in Glasgow in November, will mean that hybrid vehicles will now also be included in the deadline, with the UK aiming to transition to all-electric cars within 15 years.
Gypsum and plaster product provider Saint-Gobain Rigips has adopted Sixfold's live shipments visibility platform to lets its sales teams and planners give customers real-time data on shipments. The logistics visibility provider’s artificial intelligence-based platform will do away with calls to carriers, giving live data on the status of cargo, with predicted operational gains of up to 30 per cent from better planning resources for receiving inbound logistics.
The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has released a report suggesting that new regulation should be passed to control the algorithms that promote content on social networks. The government advisory body’s review of online targeting also recommended that social media platforms should allow independent researchers access to their data if they are looking into issues of public concern – which could include the effects of social media on mental health, or its role in spreading misinformation.
London-based PropTech venture capital fund Pi Labs has raised £17.5 million for its third fund, which is on course to be five times the value of its last one. In June last year, Pi Labs announced it would double the number of startups it funds over the next five years, giving each up to £1 million.
The global smart home market revenue will reach $158 billion value in the next four years, according to data gathered by Precise Security. By comparison, in 2017 the global smart home market was worth $43.4 billion, with industry revenue doubling and expected to reach $91 billion value this year. The statistics quoted in the security firm’s report indicate the overall market will show an annual growth rate of 15 per cent by 2024.
Japanese technology giant SoftBank has reportedly set up a robotics division in the UK as it looks to grow sales of robots including Pepper, the humanoid assistant. According to the Daily Telegraph, the Tokyo-headquartered investment firm, has hired Stefano Bensi, a former sales director at IBM’s Internet of Things (IoT) division, as the operations chief for SoftBank Robotics in the UK.
Knight Frank has lost a trio of staff members to property management platform Rentify. Last autumn, the PropTech firm poached the estate agency’s head of lettings Lucy Jones, who has become managing director.
Both NHS Digital and NHSX have made new senior technology appointments. NHS Digital has hired Pete Rose as new chief information security officer, starting on 4 May.
The IBM board has elected Arvind Krishna as its new chief executive, effective 6 April. He replaces IBM chairman, president and chief executive Virginia Rometty, who will continue as executive chairman through the end of the year, when she will retire after almost 40 years with the company.
A group of 137 countries has backed an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) commitment to reach international agreement on digital taxes by the end of 2020. The inclusive framework published today is aimed at “reaching a consensus-based long-term solution to the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy”.
Nearly one third (32 per cent) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are planning to increase technology spending by 10 per cent in the first three months following the UK’s official departure from the European Union today. This is according to a survey of 200 senior business decision-makers conducted by Censuswide earlier this month and commissioned by Leonne International, a private equity firm focussed on the development of SMEs.
HealthTech startup Patchwork has secured £3 million in funding from Praetura Ventures, with participation from BMJ and some existing angel investors. Founded by NHS doctors Anas Nader and Jing Ouyang in 2016, the firm is aiming to solve the NHS staffing crisis by supporting hospitals to fill vacant shifts and offer flexible working to clinicians.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is big business, with products and services expected by research firm Statistica to reach $35.6 billion by 2025. But as the sector expands, so do the potential security threats.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said the company is planning new tools for commerce and payments in 2020, as well as a new computing platform featuring augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). The social media giant’s quarterly results revealed that more than 2.9 billion people and more than 140 billion small businesses worldwide are now using Facebook’s platforms, including the WhatsApp and Instagram social media networks.
The UK government adopted a cloud-first policy in 2013, but new research has revealed that much of the public sector has been slow to follow. UKCloud commissioned a survey of 302 IT and business owners across 102 organisations in central government, local government, policing and education; 100 organisations in health and life sciences; and 100 in defence and national security.
Parcel delivery company DPD will take delivery of 300 new electric Nissan e-NV200 vans by May, in what it claims to be the largest single UK commercial electric vehicle (EV) van order to date.The move will take its electric fleet to 450 vehicles in total, with plans in place to exceed the firm's stated target of 500 EVs by the end of the year, making it the largest EV parcel delivery fleet in the UK. DPD is aiming for 10 per cent of its van fleet to be electric in each of its 68 UK depots by the end of 2020.
Tech Nation has revealed the 30 companies joining its Upscale programme for the UK’s fastest growing scale-up tech companies. Now in its fifth year, the latest cohort reflects the maturity of the tech landscape in the UK, with most of the companies on the programme having already raised a Series A round, and the average raise increasing from £4.2 million in 2017 to £7.2 million in 2020.
The European Commission is gearing up to announce its 5G guidelines today, after the US said it was “disappointed” by the UK’s decision to allow Chinese firm Huawei to supply ‘non-core’ parts of the 5G network. The guidelines will provide non-binding advice to the EU’s 28 member states to restrict or block ‘high-risk’ 5G vendors from core parts of the network.
Temenos has signed a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to help financial services organisations run mission-critical banking software and applications. The two companies began collaborating last year to integrate Temenos’ cloud-agnostic software into Google Cloud and have already worked with several joint banking customers in Europe and Asia.
New research has revealed that 77 per cent of cyber security decision-makers in financial services are concerned about the threat deepfakes pose to their industry, but just 28 per cent have implemented measures to combat such a threat. Biometric authentication firm iProov polled over 100 experts responsible for overseeing cyber security operations in financial services firms, finding that just under half (43 per cent) cited deepfakes as the tactic most likely to compromise facial authentication defences.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has urged the government to develop a new public data trust facility for financial services and a digital platform for self-employed workers. A new report from the thinktank has also prompted the Local Government Association (LGA) to highlight the role of local councils in fostering digital inclusion.
New research has revealed soaring growth of data management apps in workplaces, with some applications growing by more than 270 per cent. A survey of 7,400 customers of Okta, a cloud software company, found that data-focussed apps such as Atlassian Opsgenie, Google Cloud Platform, Splunk, Looker and Envoy grew their userbase significantly in the past year, with Snowflake - which enables organisations to make decisions faster - grew by 273 per cent.
The UK government has confirmed that Chinese telecoms firm Huawei will be allowed to play a limited role in the UK’s 5G network.Following months of speculation, the government said that a review of the supply chain for telecoms networks exposed the need for restricted access to core and critical parts of the network, but will push ahead with plans for Huawei to supply hardware to peripheral parts of the 5G infrastructure.
A review commissioned by HM Treasury has found that Big Technology firms are attracting top talent as the financial services sector continues to lose out in the skills race against rival global centres. The Financial Services Skills Taskforce, chaired by former City minister Mark Hoban, and convened by TheCityUK, found that changes in the workplace due to technological and demographic shifts demand a new approach if London is to retain top graduates an survive the wave of tech-centred disruption.
The government is drawing up new laws aimed at protecting millions of households with internet connected devices from cyber hackers. Legislation being drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is aimed at ensuring that all Internet of Things (IoT) devices conform to the following three new security standards
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has heaped further pressure on the UK government ahead of a "momentous" decision on whether China’s Huawei can build parts of the UK’s 5G infrastructure.The prime minister is due to make a final call over the controversial Chinese telecoms company’s involvement in the coming days.
The Metropolitan Police Service has confirmed that it will begin using controversial live facial recognition (LFR) technology. It said that the NEC-provided tech will be deployed to specific locations in London, determined by police intelligence, as part of efforts to tackle serious crime.
Following extensive consultation with the global community, the World Economic Forum has announced the Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance. This is the first initiative to bring together financial institutions, government representatives, technical experts, academics, international organisations and members of the forum’s communities on a global level.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation firm Blue Prism has announced an 83 per cent spike in revenues to £101 million.The Cheshire-headquartered robotic process automation (RPA) company released its results for the year ended 31 October, hailing “increasing momentum” for the business, sending its share price up 20 per cent.
Andrew Bailey, the incoming Bank of England (BoE) governor, has called for BigTech companies to collaborate with regulators to help protect consumers. In a podcast interview, in which he reflects on his tenure as chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bailey said the regulator would need help from tech giants to ensure that the revolution in data and digital services does not harm consumer rights and protections; particularly with regards to false advertising.
The Bank of England (BoE) is planning to make more use of public cloud services as part of its One Bank Services Transformation strategy. It has begun to look for partners to work with it in the design and construction of a new hybrid cloud environment under a two-year deal scheduled to start in April.
IT and cloud operations teams are being inundated by nearly 3,000 alerts from their management and monitoring tools each day, at a total average cost of $1.5 million a year. A global survey of 800 chief information officers (CIOs) by Vanson Bourne for Dynatrace revealed that IT teams spend 15 per cent of their time trying to identify which alerts need to be tackled and which are irrelevant.
Startups across the UK and Ireland are securing funding with ease, but struggle when deciding how best to use the money to grow the company. A survey of decision-makers at 250 tech startups, commissioned by expense management platform Soldo, found that 70 per cent said they found the funding process easy.
The World Economic Forum has announced the first neutral and public traceability platform capable of visualising blockchain-based supply chain data from multiple companies and sources, aimed at helping businesses across industries respond to consumer demands for ethical and environmentally-friendly products. To date, companies have self-published such data or relied on blockchain solution providers to do so. The pilot platform resulting from this initiative, however, can ingest blockchain-based data from multiple sources and visualize it on a neutral site.
The chancellor has insisted that the UK will go ahead with plans for a tax on BigTech companies this spring despite threats the US to impose “arbitrary” tariffs on UK car exports. On a panel at Davos yesterday, Sajid Javid said: “We plan to go ahead with our digital services tax in April – it is a proportionate tax, and a tax that is deliberately designed as a temporary tax.”
Wirecard is partnering with UZE Mobility to develop a range of e-mobility and ‘commerce on the move’ services. The agreement will combine its payment technology with UZE’s geolocation platform to drive emerging trends in electric vehicles and innovative payments solutions.
New research has found that two thirds (66 per cent) of job roles in financial services industry require digital skills from prospective candidates. Analysis from Gov.uk of eight million job adverts found that the industry where digital skills were most in demand was information and communications (79 per cent).
Facebook is to show its commitment to London ahead of Brexit with the addition of 1,000 new jobs in the capital.The social media giant said that more than half of the roles created for the new London office this year will be in tech-focussed teams such as artificial intelligence and software engineering roles, as well as product design and data science.
Vodafone has become the latest in a growing list of global companies to withdraw from Facebook’s Libra digital currency project. The Libra Association confirmed that the telecoms giant has exited the collective following an exodus of major payments and financial organisations last year.
Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £2 million in innovative research and development projects that involve UK businesses working with partners in Canada. The money is specifically directed at agriculture businesses, in an attempt to grow more food in a way that is sustainable and that reduces pollution, minimises waste and improves soil condition.
Cyber security threat firm Vicarius has raised $5 million in seed funding to accelerate international growth. The Israeli company, founded in 2016, has developed technology to automatically detect, patch and protect against software vulnerabilities before they are exploited by hackers.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has published its final Age Appropriate Design Code – a set of 15 standards that online services should meet to protect children’s privacy. The code sets out the standards expected of those responsible for designing, developing or providing online services like apps, connected toys, social media platforms, online games, educational websites and streaming services.
The proportion of internet users relying on passwords as weak as ‘12345’ has been exposed by research that showed poor account security caused nearly a third (30 per cent) of ransomware attacks in 2019. PreciseSecurity looked into cyber incidents in the US last year, finding that phishing scams remained the chosen method of hackers to launch a ransomware attack, with 67 per cent of infections caused by a fraudulent email infected with malware.
Amazon is working with Visa to develop a contactless biometric identification system to let customers to pay by waving their hands through a scanner. The Wall Street Journal reported that the e-commerce giant is working with Visa, and is in discussions with MasterCard, to test its hand scanner terminals, which will digitally map a shopper’s hand, link it to their credit card and allow them to pay with a wave.
The government is to double the funding available for electric vehicle charging points on residential streets to £10 million. Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced the move as the government sets out a plan to fund another 3,600 chargepoints across the country next year. The aim is to ensure electric vehicle owners have access to chargepoints on residential streets to making charging at home and overnight easier for those without an off-street parking space.
French president Emmanuel Macron has said he and US president Donald Trump will collaborate over France's planned digital tax to avoid an increase in tariffs. Reuters reported that after talks over the weekend, they agreed to put a hold on their tariff disagreement until 2021.
New research has suggested that while skilled negotiation is as important as ever, businesses must adapt their approach to avoid a lack of data preventing them securing the best deals. Barclaycard commissioned Opinium to survey 512 UK senior managers and above who are procurement decision-makers in companies of 250 plus employees and have a turnover of £6.5 million and above.
As the US tech giants continue to grow aggressively and expand their range of services, they have ramped up use of consultants, according to Source Global Research. The professional services industry analysts found tech industry revenues rose 13.4 per cent to $4.8 billion last year – growing by over $1 billion in just two years. The global technology, media and telecom (TMT) consulting market grew more slowly at 8.8 per cent to $12.9 billion in 2018.
Ericsson will establish a new research and development (R&D) site in France with up to 300 employees, focusing initially on software development and security. Due to open in early 2020, the site will see progressive growth of employee numbers. An initial unit will be established at Ericsson’s offices in Massy, France, part of Paris-Saclay, one of Europe’s largest innovation zones.
Regulators should take a “proportionate approach” to governing artificial intelligence (AI), according to Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google’s parent company Alphabet. In a speech delivered in Brussels, he warned that EU regulators - due to publish proposed rules for AI in the coming days - should tread carefully when drawing up frameworks for AI innovation, but conceded the need for regulations to prevent misuse as the technology becomes ever more advanced.
Estate agency platform Reapit has joined the IPN Consortium, a group of industry players developing a distributed ledger technology (DLT) system aiming to make the entire home buying process completable through a mobile phone. Launched late last year, the consortium includes NatWest, Dezrez Estate Agency Software, Redbrick Solutions Conveyancing Software, eTech Surveyor Software, Search Acumen Property Data, Conveyancing Data Services Property Data and LMS Panel Management Software.
More than 160,000 data breach notifications totalling €114 million have been reported across European countries since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented in May 2018, new research has found. According to the annual GDPR Data Breach Survey from law firm DLA Piper in 28 EU member states - plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - data protection regulators have imposed fines for a range of infringements of GDPR, not just for data breach.
Businesses are missing out on key insights because just three per cent are using machine learning (ML) to analyse their unstructured data, according to research. A Censuswide survey of 150 senior IT decision makers at UK financial services firms for Cloud Technology Solutions found that while artificial intelligence (AI) and automated functions such as Machine Learning are being used to process and analyse structured data, the value of unstructured data remains untapped.
The culture secretary has set out plans to strengthen digital governance and regulation as she set out the government’s vision for a society in which new technologies are no longer viewed as a “utopia.” In a speech setting out the five key principles that will guide government policy making on technology and the digital economy in the coming years, Baroness Morgan of Cotes explained that while technology is no longer a cure-all answer to social and economic challenges, it must also not be made the “the scapegoat for all of the problems in the world”.
Hyundai and Kia have invested €100 million in UK-based electric vehicle (EV) firm Arrival.The strategic investment will see the South Korean motor giants collaborate with Arrival to develop eco-friendly vans and other products for logistics, on-demand ride-hailing, and shuttle service companies.
The government’s cyber security accelerator programme LORCA (London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement) has announced the 20 scale ups selected for its largest cohort yet. This year’s cohort of cyber firms specialise in technologies ranging from AI and quantum to automated detection methods as well as zero-trust defence, cryptography and supply chain risk.
Investment in the UK’s tech sector surged to a record-breaking £10.1 billion in 2019, with FinTech leading the charge on £4.1 billion - more than double the total funding in 2018.
Data from Tech Nation and Dealroom showed that overall investment in UK tech companies increased by £3.1 billion last year- up 44 per cent on 2018- making the UK the strongest market in the world for growth in this sector, and smashing previous records.
Relx, the FTSE 100 data and information services giant has signed a $375 million deal to buy US fraud detection company ID Analytics. A statement said Relx’s LexisNexis Risk Solutions divsiion had agreed to acquire the San Diego-based enterprise analytics firm to expand its ability to deliver risk insights through the combination of proprietary data, patented analytics, and near real-time cross-industry consumer and identity behavior.
Dynatrace, an automated cloud platform and software intelligence company, is collaborating with Google and Microsoft to develop open source framework OpenTelemetry which aims to shape how the IT industry builds observability into cloud services.The Boston-based company said the collaboration would see Google and Microsoft increase the breadth of the data and scope of the cloud ecosystem that organisations can view.
The European Baking Authority has set out the key challenges to emerge from the growth of Big Data and advanced analytics, including machine learning , across the financial services sector. The EU’s banking regulator’s report identifies key trends taking hold as banks embrace financial technology, Open Banking and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data-driven processes. It also recommends safeguards to ensure “technological neutrality” in the use of advanced analytics.
Travelex, a foreign exchange service hit by a ransomware attack, has said it is making good progress on containing the virus and has begun the process of refunding customers while it remains offline.The company took its website down two weeks ago after a hacking group compromised systems and demanded a reported £4.6 million ransom with a threat to release personal customer data including social security numbers, dates of birth and card information.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has imposed a £500,000 fine on DSG Retail, after till systems at Currys PC World and Dixons Travel were hacked, leaving the data of 14 million customers exposed to attack. A hacker installed malware affecting the point of sale computer systems of 5,390 tills stores in an attack lasting from July 2017 to April 2018.
Innovate UK has launched a new competition offering a share of up to £9.4 million to show how new technologies could improve rail services for passengers and operators. According to a statement from the government, the UK rail industry transports 1.7 billion passengers and 110 million tonnes of freight each year, but faces challenges from rapid growth and changing customer expectations.
BP has invested $3.6 million in Chinese energy management specialist R&B as it explores the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in improving energy efficiency. The move by BP Ventures, which is the energy giant’s first foray into the Chinese AI market, led R&B’s latest funding round and was supported by investment from CLP Innovation Ventures and JAFCO Asia.
Data optimisation and privacy specialist Calligo has acquired DC Networks, a Dublin-based IT managed services provider. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but buying the managed service provider was seen as a significant step in Calligo’s global growth strategy.
Standard Chartered has made a strategic investment into Chinese supply chain financing platform Linklogis. The purchase of an equity stake for an undisclosed amount is aimed at helping it join the supply chain ecosystem proposition and provide suppliers with access to affordable financing.
IBM has announced an expansion of its quantum computing Q Network, which now includes over 100 organisations across multiple industries, including: airline, automotive, finance, energy, materials and electronics. Anthem, Delta Air Lines, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Woodside Energy are among the latest to begin to explore practical applications of quantum computing.
New research has revealed that 40 per cent of business leaders feel pressure to make split-second decisions is standing in the way of data-led processes. A Censuswide survey of 150 c-suite level executives and 462 business decision-makers in the UK, France and Germany. for data platform Splunk. showed that more than half (53 per cent) were under pressure to make a ‘critical’ business decision once a day, with fewer than one in 100 leaders claiming that they are always able to make decisions led by the actual data.
The Libra Association’s vice chairman has argued that Bitcoin has no future as a payment system. Speaking at the Digital Money Forum at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas yesterday, Dante Disparte commented: “Bitcoin as an asset class has proven that mathematical scarcity can support an incredibly exciting asset – it’s not a means of payment; it just isn’t.”
The United States and France have set a target of two weeks to reach agreement over the latter’s implementation of a digital or tech tax, mostly targeted at US tech firms. The dispute stems from when the French government decided to impose a digital tax on foreign tech firms at the start of 2019, implementing the law last summer.
Toyota has announced plans to build a futuristic smart city, fuelled by hydrogen fuel cells, at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The Japanese automotive giant unveiled plans at the CES industry conference in Las Vegas.
The Trump administration has issued proposals to limit regulatory “overreach” in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and has urged European countries to follow suit. A fact sheet issued by the White House sets out regulatory principles around the use and development of AI for federal agencies. According to Reuters, the document said that authorities should conduct “risk assessment and cost-benefit analyses” before taking regulatory action on AI and favoured instead “flexible frameworks rather than one-size-fits-all regulation”.
Amazon has made several announcements around moving its voice assistant technology into the automotive sector. Ahead of the Consumer Electionics Show (CES), the e-commerce giant revealed partnerships with Lamborghini and Rivian, auto-specific skills for Alexa, a market expansion for the Echo Auto device and a plan to bring its Fire TV edition into BMW and Fiat Chrysler vehicles.
The UK has reached mass adoption level of smart speaker devices, according to new research showing that 22 per cent of homes now have a voice activated device, up from nine per cent in 2017. Consumer consultancy firm Quadrangle found that adoption of devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home has been driven by the younger Millennial and Generation-Z age groups.
Travelex is reportedly being held hostage by the hackers that disabled its website and internal IT systems on New Year's Eve. They have demanded payment in exchange for either restoration of IT systems or the preservation of customer data. It is understood that a deadline for payment has been set by the cyber-criminals.
The Home Office has awarded Prepaid Financial Services a contract to provide payments services as part of a prepaid card scheme. PFS won the contract to provide the Support Payment Card after the Home Office launched a tender process through the Crown Commercial Services Framework for Prepaid Cards.
The Metropolitan Police has appointed Leidos to help upgrade its command and control centre. A 10-year contract has been agreed, under which the IT, engineering and services firm will implement a system to capture emergency contacts from the public and coordinate the deployment of police officers to incidents and operations.
The Open Transport Initiative has launched the first version of its Application Programming Interface (API) specifications. This is the first time an open standard for transport customer account interoperability has been designed and made available, with a statement explaining that the customer account and centralised operator look-up service API specifications are the result of various transport and data specialists working together.
Government Digital Service (GDS) has published new guidance on managing the risk of technical lock-in in the cloud. The official advice explained that when using public cloud, companies only pay for what they use and avoid upfront infrastructure costs, potentially providing significant savings and efficiencies over traditional data centre models.
Mastercard has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics firm RiskRecon. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, subject to regulatory conditions.
NHSX has started work on a project to develop a technical assurance service for health service organisations buying technology. It is planning to work with local, regional and central NHS teams to consult with suppliers in order to understand what they need from such a service.
OnTheMarket has raised £3.4 million by placing 4,857,143 new ordinary shares at 70p, with a combination of existing and new investors. The startup has also aqcuired a 20 per cent share - as a cash purchase of £797,000 spread over 10 months - in Glanty, the owner and developer of PropTech lettings platform teclet.
As another busy year in the tech sector draws to a close, it’s time to look ahead an predict what the next 12 months may have in store. We’ve gathered together a range of experts from across different industries to peer into their crystal balls and tell us what they think is set to come in 2020.
Up to £25 million has been made available through Innovate UK’s Smart programme to invest in innovative business projects across any technology area. Smart is an open grant funding programme that supports the best UK business ideas whatever area they come from.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that personal data transfers from tech companies in the European Union into the United States are “valid”. In June, it was revealed that Facebook’s transfer of data belonging to European citizens to the US would be examined by the ECJ.The social media giant lost a bid for the landmark case to be referred to the ECJ, after the Irish Supreme Court backed a ruling made by the Irish High Court in May 2018.
The government is planning to create a new body to regulate large tech firms, such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, after Brexit. The Financial Times reported that the regulator will be given power to implement a range of rules, including an enforceable code of conduct and ensuring better data accessibility for consumers.
FISCAL Technologies has made £3.6 million in Series A funding lead by Octopus Investments and supported by Calculus Capital. The forensic risk management solutions startup is based in Reading, UK, with a Raleigh, North Carolina, operation and has been entirely self-funded since it was founded in 2003.
The Federal Reserve has warned Facebook that it will be expected to meet a high threshold of legal and regulatory safeguards before launching its Libra cryptocurrency. Speaking at the European Central Bank Colloquium in Frankfurt, Fed board member Lael Brainard laid out the US central bank’s concerns surrounding the rise of global stablecoins.
Software engineering company Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) has publicly deployed Cardano, the world’s first blockchain network created from peer-reviewed scientific research. The technology was developed using studies into cryptography, behavioural economics and game theory at academic institutions including the University of Edinburgh. The platform has been designed to be scalable, self-sustainable and interoperable with conventional currencies, cryptocurrencies and future systems of exchange.
Many data centres are in danger of experiencing significant downtime during a power failure, as a quarter of UK energy decision-makers do not have a contingency plan in place. This is according to a survey of 200 UK energy decision-makers commissioned by Aggreko, which found that although 82 per cent described power continuity as a major or significant concern, many who don’t have a plan in place in case of an outage.
McDonald’s has entered into an agreement with Adyen to roll-out its payments platform globally, beginning with the UK early next year. The move is aimed at bringing simplicity and scalability through one integration so the food and beverage brand has a consistent customer experience everywhere it operates. In addition to making it easier to add new stores, markets, or regions, Adyen offers support for preferred payment methods, as well a single data view and customer insights.
When asked which factors contribute to poor software quality, 40 per cent of developers attributed it to manual processes, while a further 40 per cent cited unrealistic schedules. This is according to Diffblue survey conducted by Vanson Bourne among 300 participants - 200 in the US and 100 in the UK - who work in software development, application development and DevOps in sub-executive-level roles at companies with at least 500 employees, across various sectors.
Intel has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) firm Habana Labs for around $2 billion. The Israel-based startup develops programmable deep learning accelerators for data centres, which the chip-making giant will see as a key growth area as PC sales stagnate.
Odoo has closed a $90 million minority investment led by global growth equity investor Summit Partners, with participation from Odoo’s executive management team and existing investor SRIW and its affiliate Noshaq. The Belgian open source all-in-one business software firm has grown its team to 750-strong, including the addition of more than 300 team members in 2019. It operates international offices in San Francisco, India, Hong Kong and Dubai to support a global customer base.
Accenture has named 11 companies as finalists for its HealthTech Innovation Challenge, which brings together startups with prominent health companies. Attracting more than 2,200 startup applicants in its first three years, the challenge supports innovative approaches and solutions for improving the way people access, manage and finance healthcare in North America.
Accenture has invested in and formed a strategic alliance with TradeIX, whose open platform uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) to facilitate the flow of goods, services, transactions and information for global trade. The terms of the equity investment were not disclosed, but as part of the agreement, Accenture Ventures will work with the Dublin-based company to bring to market new use cases, beyond banking, to address the needs of buyers and sellers within trade finance.
More than six in ten Brits (62 per cent) would be willing to try retina recognition identification, as consumers become more familiar with biometric security methods, according to a new report. A OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults for Equifax found that respondents were generally very open to trying new forms of biometric verification, including fingerprint (61 per cent), facial recognition (57 per cent) and palm verifier (57 per cent) technology.
Professionals will need to learn data science skills to do their jobs and help their companies thrive in the next decade, according to a survey of business leaders. MHR Analytics commissioned Censuswide to survey 500 UK finance and technology professionals employed by large UK companies in August, with 55 per cent believing data analytics will be essential for business survival in the next decade, while 53 per cent said automation will be essential and 42 per cent reckoned artificial intelligence (AI) will be key.
An expert on artificial intelligence (AI) has called for all algorithms that make life-changing decisions to be halted immediately. Noel Sharkey, a professor of AI and robotics at the University of Sheffield, said algorithms were so “infected with biases” that their decision-making processes could not be fair or trusted.
Battery manufacturer Exide Technologies has been selected by JCB to power its new range of electric Teletruks. Under the partnership, Exide's GNB batteries and high-frequency chargers will be supplied with each new E-TEC forklift rolling off the production line.
The Post Office has agreed to pay almost £58 million to settle a dispute with postal staff over errors in Fujitsu’s Horizon IT system. The case centres over the use of the accounting system - which has been in place since 1999 and records transactions across Post Office branches - which ran into problems which caused sub-postmasters to be wrongly accused of fraud, with many told to pay back supposedly missing funds or face prosecution.
Connected care and health solutions provider Tunstall Healthcare has launch of a new nurse call system, Tunstall Carecom. Already supporting over 60,000 residents across Europe, the wireless system consists of a network of receivers placed around a building, with locatability beacons placed at strategic locations, which interact with smart pendants. These allow users to raise alarm calls but also offer location reporting, cancel at source, access control and geofencing.
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey has said the company will fund independent research into “open and decentralised” models for social media networks. The project, named Blue Sky, will involve an independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers and designers to develop an open standard for social media, which Dorsey said will have the goal of tackling online abuse and fake news.
The majority of leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have plans to brush up their digital skills in 2020, according to Hitachi Capital Business Finance. It commissioned YouGov to survey a representative sample of 1,211 small business decision-makers, finding that 69 per cent were planning on attending courses next year, with leaders in the manufacturing (82 per cent), legal (85 per cent) and transport (73 per cent) sectors the most likely to want training.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has invested in a company developing augmented reality (AR) for use in military telemedicine services. It has signed a £625,000 contract with Proximie, for a digital platform to support the use of AR by surgical teams. The company will provide an integration route across encrypted military communications systems and the product will also allow for real-time overlay of diagnostics in digital form - such as X-rays - to support both active and advisory surgeons.
The world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft has taken its inaugural test flight. Taking off from Vancouver and flying for 15 minutes, the e-plane was a collaboration between Australian engineering firm magniX and Canadian air ferry firm Harbour Air.
The UK’s maturity level for public sector open data is below the European average, according to the European Data Portal. Capgemini Invent, which manages the portal, has published the fifth annual Open Data Maturity Report, which gives the UK a rating of 60 per cent, compared with an average figure of 62 per cent for the 31 countries covered and 66 per cent for the 28 members of the EU.
More than three quarters (85 per cent) of financial services professionals lack trust in cloud computing, according to new research. A survey of 6,000 professionals in five sectors in six countries for commercial property agent Savoy Stewart found widespread distrust of cloud computing security, along with confusion over how the technology works.
Edinburgh-based HealthTech firm Current Health has secured £9 million in Series A funding. The patient management platform uses wearable tech to track patients’ health and applies artificial intelligence to detect illness and alert providers to high-risk patients.
The Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe (CLAIRE) has opened its new headquarters in The Hague. Claiming to be the world's largest artificial intelligence (AI) research network, it was established in response to the need for excellence in AI research and innovation to ensure that Europe remains competitive in AI and its applications.
Which? has exposed serious security flaws with popular children’s smart toys and is calling for the next government to introduce mandatory security standards to prevent unsecure products being available for sale. In collaboration with security specialist NCC Group, the consumer champion conducted a snapshot test of connected toys sold by major retailers - including Amazon, Argos, John Lewis and Smyths - and found they are lacking in basic security which leaves them vulnerable to being hacked and could even enable a stranger to talk to a child.
Intel has claimed to have achieved a milestone in the quest for commercially viable quantum computers. The Horse Ridge cryogenic control chip streamlines the systems used to control quantum bits, or qubits, something Intel explained will be necessary for scaling systems to hundreds of thousands or millions of qubits.
Nets has launched a pilot programme testing facial recognition as a payment method. Around 1,000 people - all working at Vibenshuset, an office community of 25 companies in Copenhagen - can now sign up to participate in the pilot. By linking their face with their employee ID card, they can now pay for their lunch using their face at the cafeteria.
A new digital and technology programme has opened applications for its first cohort, looking to foster the UK’s startups. The Exchange scheme will offer early stage tech companies and entrepreneurs access to the tools and infrastructure they need, as part of Enterprise City, a two million square foot tech, media and cultural cluster in the heart of Manchester city centre.
The European Council and the European Commission have stated that digital currencies such as Facebook’s Libra should not be allowed in the European Union until the risks they could pose are properly addressed. So-called 'stablecoins' may present opportunities in terms of cheap and fast payments, especially cross-border payments, the statement explained, but “at the same time, these arrangements pose multifaceted challenges and risks related for example to consumer protection, privacy, taxation, cyber security and operational resilience, money laundering, terrorism financing, market integrity, governance and legal certainty”.
Dedrone has been awarded certification from the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) for its counter-drone technology platform. DroneTracker detects, tracks and identifies drones by using multi-sensor capability, combining radio frequency, radar and optical sensors.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Alan Turing Institute have started a consultation to build guidance about explaining the decisions made by artificial intelligence (AI). The first draft of regulatory guidance into the use of AI is out for consultation until 24 January, and is aimed at data scientists, app developers, business owners or data protection practitioners whose organisations are using, or thinking about using, AI to support, or to make, decisions about individuals.
Almost 60 per cent of Generation Z and Millennials have used private social messaging for customer service, compared to 38 per cent of Generation X, 19 per cent of Baby Boomers and 16 per cent of the Silent Generation. This is according to a NICE inContact survey with more than 2,550 consumers across the globe, which also revealed that the majority of Generation Z and Millennials want companies to allow them to interact with customer service using private social messaging apps (72 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively).
Locum’s Nest, the British HealthTech platform for locums, has launched The Digital Collaborative Bank, the NHS’ first digital collaborative staff bank for doctors, in partnership with eight Acute NHS Trusts. The bank will provide locum doctors with an online platform to access shifts at all participating Trusts, aiming to create one national staffing pool across the whole of the NHS, to help save £1 billion by 2025.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the chief executive and president, respectively, of Alphabet, have decided to leave these roles. A statement from Google’s parent company explained that they will continue their involvement as co-founders, shareholders and members of the board of directors.
British businesses are missing out on the benefits of automation by not combining the right technologies, research from ABBYY has found. While 19 in 20 businesses have deployed some form of automation, only one in 20 use the full stack, meaning most businesses are missing out on what the firm calls the ‘secret weapons’ that could deliver the most return on investment (ROI).
Over 80 per cent of Scottish citizens want to see their councils use a wider range of digital technologies, according to research from Capita and the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN). They commissioned Opinium to survey 2,000 Scots during ths summer, finding that 84 per cent believed public services should embrace more digital technologies, with growing interest in concepts such as smart cities and the potential for connected devices in hospitals
Boris Johnson has pledged to implement an 'Amazon tax' in the UK, forcing US tech giants to pay more tax on their digital sales, despite opposition from Donald Trump. The British prime minister announced yesterday that he would push ahead with a digital sales tax ahead of today’s Nato summit.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has confirmed the successful completion of its phase one trial of Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure and services at the Mettis Aerospace factory in the UK. The trial was the first of its kind in the world and an important part of the WBA's test and development program, which included applications of 4K video streaming, large scale file transfers, messaging and voice/video communications, and the first stage of Internet of Things (IoT) sensor and mixed reality testing.
Real estate consultancy MindFolio has launched LociLab, a community engagement platform for consumer insights to help shape the development of the public realm. Through an online community, LociLab engages users in the early stages of planning, obtaining local public opinion via daily polls, topical discussion on message boards and integrated surveys, to provide a deeper understanding of consumer demographics and psychographics.
The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) has awarded a contract to Urban Tide to develop a data platform for the Energy Revolution Integration Service (ERIS). The £500,000 deal with the smart cities data specialist is to produce system for data storage on projects run by itself and its partners, with the capability to make it privately or publicly accessible.
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests undertaken by SoftwareONE have revealed that almost three quarters (72 per cent) of all English councils are planning to invest in making their IT systems more accessible over the next 12 months. Almost all councils (95 per cent) have at least one disabled employee, and all respondents said they have assistive technologies in place.
Cloudhouse research has revealed that 90 per cent of UK enterprises in the FTSE 100 and 250 have run into major problems migrating legacy business applications to the cloud as part of their digital transformation, with 84 per cent holding applications back. Interviewing 50 senior IT decision-makers within the UK’s largest enterprises, the firm found that almost all companies (96 per cent) are still running applications on legacy Windows operating systems.
Open Banking standards are more likely to morph into some form of digital identity protocol than any government-backed scheme, according to a panel of experts at TechUK’s Open Banking conference. Alastair Campbell, global head of digital portfolio and digital identity at HSBC, admitted that the bank struggles internally to agree on sharing of digital IDs, so “while I suppose this could happen in the UK, I think it’s unlikely”.
Coadjute, a network for decentralised workflow and data sharing within the property industry, has agreed a project with NatWest and a consortium of property software providers to create a new home buying journey leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT). The purpose of the consortium-led project is to speed up and simplify the entire home buying process through a NatWest mobile banking app.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has begun work to collect its cyber security logs in an aggregation platform, after identifying that it was not able to fully understand the situation around its estate, as the logs are held in multiple systems. The government department is now aiming to develop a single, centralised store of logs that can be more easily queried to help correlate information on attacks and track the behaviour of cyber attackers.
New research from McAfee has revealed that 40 per cent of large UK businesses expect to be cloud-only by 2021, with only five per cent of organisations having already reached cloud-only status in the UK. The cyber security firm commissioned Censuswide in October to survey 1,310 senior IT staff and 755 employees in large businesses with over 250 employees across the UK, France and Germany – with 300 senior IT staff and 252 employees in the UK.
Equifax and the Open Data Institute (ODI) have launched a report looking at the international consent framework for Open Banking. It combines research into Open Banking and data portability initiatives from across a range of countries, as well as interviews with experts from each region, aiming to identify and compare consent environments from across the globe, as well as outlining the consequences for breaking national or regionally-specific data consent rules.
Law firm RPC has appointed Serious Fraud Office (SFO) chief technology officer Ben Denison as its new director of information technology. Joining the firm on 6 January, he will support firm's growth in technology and innovation, as well as helping to find solutions for clients to harness benefits of technology.
New research conducted amongst UK chief information officers (CIOs) and senior IT professionals has revealed that the cyber security skills gap has reached a crisis point. The study from digital resilience firm RedSeal showed that 87 per cent reported that they are struggling to find cyber security professionals with the expertise needed to combat serious and organised online crime, while 73 per cent said that uncertainty around Brexit was a concern when it came to hiring security professionals from outside the UK.
Madrid-based cyber security firm buguroo has secured $11 million in Series A funding to bring its deep learning-based online fraud detection and prevention technology to customers in new territories. Venture capital firms Ten Eleven Ventures and Seaya Ventures led the round, with existing investors Inveready Technology Investment Group and Conexo Ventures also participating.
ANCILE Solutions is bringing its content creation and in-app learning tool uPerform to support NHS organisations with the deployment and adoption of major IT systems. The company already delivers uPerform to 4,600 global customers, who use it to train and support users on 200 business and healthcare applications.
The European Union’s proposed ePrivacy regulations - which aim to put the likes of Skype and WhatsApp on a level playing field with established telecoms services - have stalled after member states failed to reach an agreement about the overall scope. The draft directive was proposed in January 2017, with the goal of holding online communications and email services to the same standards faced by telecoms providers.
Tim Berners-Lee has launched a global plan to save the internet from the political manipulation, fake news and privacy violations which threaten to plunge the world into a “digital dystopia”. The Contract for the Web requires endorsing governments, companies and individuals to make commitments to protect the web from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity.
Business confidence, growth and sales volumes are all in decline across the UK’s tech sectos, according to KPMG’s quarterly survey. The latest analysis revealed a downturn in new work across the tech sector for the first time since the middle of 2012, due to softer global economic conditions and ongoing domestic political uncertainty.
Whether it be from David Attenborough’s documentaries, Greta Thunberg’s teenage activism or the Extinction Rebellion protests, it’s hard to miss the message about the earth’s impending climate catastrophe. But as governments miss environmental action targets, corporations greenwash their way to shareholder satisfaction and individuals struggle to make any impact, perhaps salvation comes from the variety of tech startups trying to make a difference.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) firm Automation Anywhere has received $290 million in Series B funding at a post money valuation of $6.8 billion. The funding was led by Salesforce Ventures, with additional investment from existing investors including Softbank Investment Advisers and Goldman Sachs.
KPMG has partnered with nsKnox to develop a secure payments system to prevent fraud in real time. KPMG Secure Payments will provide organisations with an end-to-end, holistic defense against fraud in supplier payments, whether caused by cyber attacks, internal fraud, social engineering, or data manipulation attempts. The joint solution verifies supplier and account details, safeguarding the payment process at every point of the transaction.
Artificial intelligence (AI) process mining software firm Celonis has raised approximately $290 million in Series C funding, valuing the company at $2.5 billion. Arena Holdings led the round, alongside a group of principal investors and established entrepreneurs including Ryan Smith, co-founder and chief executive of Qualtrics, as well as Tooey Courtemanche, founder and chief executive of Procore.
Google has announced plans to stop targeting of political adverts using data on public voter records and political affiliation, as UK voters prepare to go to the polls on 12 December. In a blog, the search engine giant said that recent concerns over the impact of political advertising on the democratic process had led to the change in policy, which will apply globally across all its platforms, including Google search and YouTube.
UK manufacturers stand to gain £13 billion over the next five years by using new technologies to sell direct to consumers (DTC), according to a report from Barclays. An Opinium survey of 500 managers at UK manufacturers found that 72 per cent believe retailing goods DTC and cutting out the middlemen is good for both consumers and manufacturers.
Alibaba has revealed plan to raise up to HK$100 billion (around £10 billion) through a stock exchange listing in Hong Kong. China’s biggest publicly listed company is selling 500 million shares, with an extra 75 million available if there is substantial demand. This means the e-commerce group should raise between HK£88 billion and HK$101 billion, before underwriting fees and other expenses.
Porsche Informatik has deployed Dynatrace's Software Intelligence Platform to accelerate software innovation and improve user experiences. The sports car company’s wholly-owned subsidiary selected the tech firm to provide a 360 view across its applications, infrastructure and customers’ digital experiences.
London-based property management platform Plentific has raised $32 million in a Series B funding round led by specialist venture capital firm AO Proptech. The startup will now expand its presence in Europe - including in the commercial property sector - along with a planned launch in the US next year.
A Supreme Court judge has warned about the potential dangers of automating decision-making in public services. In a lecture at the British and Irish Legal Information Institute this month, Philip Sales QC said that while new systems of digital government offer potential cost savings, they also have the potential to undermine human rights.
Nearly 40 per cent of workers are now seeing artificial intelligence (AI) in their daily working lives, as the use of automated technology takes hold across the economy. A survey of 1,000 professionals by software provider Advanced found that 38 per cent of workers encountered AI in the course of this year, up from 26 per cent last year, while 29 per cent saw chatbots, up from 18 per cent last year.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are forecast to add £62.5 billion to the UK economy - a 2.4 per cent boost to GDP - by 2030, according to PwC. The majority of the contribution to the UK economy will come from AR (£44.4 billion), with VR providing £18.1 billion. These technologies will also have a significant impact on the UK workplace, with 1.19 per cent of jobs - 400,663 people - utilising the technologies by 2030.