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Week Ending: July 12th - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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Just when everyone thought the dust had settled on the dreaded GDPR it’s been back in the news again this week, with consumers worrying it has made no difference, however, the regulator may finally using its power to make companies accountable. In case you missed it, here are some of the biggest stories in Tech and I.T. this week.

Consumers demanding biometrics to keep data safe

We’re sure you remember all the hype around GDPR in 2018 but has it actually made any difference to the security of our data? According to an article on IT pro this week, consumers don’t believe it has.

A recent report from IDEX Biometrics ASA claim, “three-quarters of UK consumers are fearful about what happens to their personal data once they share it with a business.” With many consumers demanding further security measures such as Biometrics i.e. fingerprint recognition software.

Half of the consumers in the report said they would feel more secure using biometrics as it would remove the need for passwords or pin numbers, which can easily be breached.

People are more fearful than ever of sharing information that could lead to identity theft, such as their mother’s maiden name or even their home address. With the number of cyber-attacks on the rise, it is hardly surprising that consumers feel this way. Just last week in our round-up we reported that the number of attacks on the financial industry rose considerably in 2018.

Be careful what you say

According to our partners Symantec, AI is being used to steal millions of pounds. The voices of Chief Executives have been used to create convincing ‘deepfaked audios’, that can then be used to trick senior financial controllers into transferring vast amounts of cash. Symantec says that this is possible due to the huge amount of audio available thanks to corporate videos, earning calls, media appearances as well as conference keynotes and presentations.

It would, however, take a vast amount of time and money to create something that is convincing. The human ear is very sensitive to changes in frequency and getting the audio to sound realistic would cost thousands of pounds, due to the sheer amount of computing time required. Hours of good audio is needed to accurately capture the rhythm and intonation of a human voice. Read more here.

Businesses paying the price for ‘poor’ cyber-security

This week British Airways is facing a whopping £183 million fine for allowing the data of half a million customers to be stolen from its website and mobile app. According to regulators, the company’s data security arrangements were ‘poor’, leading to the well-documented data breach in June of last year, in which personal and financial details of passengers were stolen. BA says it is surprised and disappointed by the fine which equates to 5% of its annual profits, but this does show that regulators at least are taking GDPR seriously.

The Information Commissioners Office (IOC), the regulator behind GDPR says that fraud is a huge cost to everyone and companies such as BA need to take cyber-security seriously. Hopefully, this will be the wakeup call that big business needs.

Another business to be hit this week was Marriot. In November 2018 Marriott notified the ICO that personal data of around 30 million residents in the European Economic Area (EEA) was exposed. Seven million related to UK residents. The company will receive a £99 million fine for GDPR this breach of GDPR. The message the IOC is sending is clear; start adhering to GDPR or face the fine.


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