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Week Ending: 13th September - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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It’s officially autumn and if you’ve been too busy stocking up on hibernation supplies to check out the comings and goings in the world of I.T. and Tech our trusty weekly roundup of the biggest I.T. and Tech news will bring you right up to date. In the week that brought us another new iPhone we bring you the latest in the Google/Apple war, how the EU plans to sanction cybercriminals and the worrying news that our manufacturing sector is alarmingly exposed.

Apple angry with Google

Following Google’s revelation of large-scale hacking efforts targeting Apple last week, Apple has gone on the attack. The tech giant is furious at what it sees as a stitch-up, however, Google stands by its research.

In a statement, Apple has taken issue with Google’s characterisation that this was a broad attack on all iPhone users. The statement says, "Google’s post, issued six months after iOS patches were released, creates the false impression of ‘mass exploitation’ to ‘monitor the private activities of entire populations in real-time’, stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised. This was never the case.”

Apple’s issue isn’t necessarily about what Google included in its report. Rather, the company is upset about what was left out. It claims that Google’s business interests in China led it to pull back on describing the attack as being targeted at the persecuted Uighur community. Read more here.

Over half of UK manufacturers victims of cybercrime

According to a new report, 60% of UK manufacturers have been victims of cybercrime and suffered financial losses as a result. The industry now is being urged to boost cyber defence investment.

During 2019, the manufacturing sector has been the fifth most targeted by cybercriminals, just behind the obvious sectors – government and finance. However, unlike those, manufacturing – which has 2.6 million employees, provides 10% of UK output and 70% of business research and development – is amongst the sectors least protected against cyber-crime in the country.

The new report revealed the full extent of the threat across the sector from loss of data, theft of capital and intellectual property, along with disruption to business and catastrophic impact on the trading reputation of a business. Most alarmingly of all, expert opinions believe that many more attacks will most likely have gone undetected, with businesses unable to protect themselves against this ever-growing threat or to detect a breach after the event.

The EU’s latest crackdown on cybercriminals

Cyber-risks facing businesses today are significant and only increasing. Therefore, many are welcoming the EU’s recent announcement that cybercriminals will face tough sanctions under a new regime agreed by member states.

An April 2019 report claimed that the number of cyber threats to businesses increased 235% in the previous 12 months. It was also recently reported that more than 60% of British businesses have been the victim of one or more cyber-attacks this year already.

Under new EU measures, people and organisations can be given travel bans and have their assets frozen if they are found to be responsible for cyber-attacks. Significantly, sanctions may also be imposed on people or organisations associated with them.

The EU’s announcement certainly marks a step forward in the battle against cyber-crime and the measures provide potentially powerful sanctions against cyber-criminals. However, it is important not to overplay any impact the measures may have. Whilst the sanctions will provide some potentially helpful tools for fighting security at an international level, their benefit is unlikely to be felt equally by all organisations. The measures only apply to attacks that have a significant impact and as of yet, there is no guidance on what this is.


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