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Week Ending: 17th July - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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It’s been a busy week in the world of I.T. and Tech, with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) launching an online exercise to help protect firms against cyberattacks amid a rise in home working, Popular video sharing app, TikTok, has been fined as a result of mishandling child data in South Korea, and it has been announced that Huawei will be completely removed from the UK’s 5G networks by the end of 2027. In case you missed the comings and goings, here’s our roundup of some of the biggest stories of the week.

UK Cyber Security Agency Creates Online Tool

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cyberattacks. As a result of this, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched an online exercise which allows businesses and home workers to roleplay being the subject of a cyberattack, to test their defences.

The online tool will help small businesses test the resilience of its firm while their staff work remotely. The launch comes as millions of employees continue to work from home during Covid-19, and it will help workers reduce the risk of data compromises while working away from the office.

The NCSC’s online exercise focuses on three key areas, including; teaching staff how they can safely access networks from home, which services might be needed for secure collaboration, and what processes need to be in place to manage a cyberattack remotely.

Sarah Lyons, NCSC deputy director for economy and society engagement, said:

“We know that businesses want to do all they can to keep themselves and their staff safe while home working continues, and using Exercise in a Box is an excellent way to do that."

“While cyber security can feel daunting, it doesn’t have to be, and the feedback we have had from our exercises is that they’re fun as well as informative."

“I would urge business leaders to treat Exercise in a Box in the same way they do their regular fire drills – doing so will help reduce the chances of falling victim to future cyber-attacks.”

With the significant increase in cyberattacks during Coronavirus, we believe this is a great way to help protect businesses and their employees from being a victim of hackers or spammers.

Find out more here.

TikTok Fined

More than 800 million people around the world use the short-video app, TikTok. However, this week, the app has been fined £123,000 by Korea Communications Commission (KCC), the country’s media watchdog.

In an investigation which began last year, the KCC reported TikTok to be collecting data of children under 14 years old in South Korea without any consent from their legal guardians, and more than 6,000 records involving children were collected over six months. It is believed that TikTok has been fined roughly 3% of its yearly revenue. Although, regardless of the KCC fining TikTok, the app claims it’s ‘deeply committed’ to meeting the requirements of the law.

A TikTok spokesperson also stated:

“We hold ourselves to very high standards on data privacy, and work to continuously improve and strengthen our standards.”

In addition to this, India (the app’s biggest overseas market) banned TikTok last month following escalating tensions with China after over disputed borders. Then, earlier this month, TikTok announced it was exiting the Hong Kong market after enforcement of new security laws by China.

The app has also been banned in Bangladesh and Indonesia. Plus, there are also concerns in the UK, Australia and the US as to whether TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is sharing users’ data with the Chinese government.

Could these problems lead to a downwards spiral for the extremely popular app? We think if TikTok doesn’t tighten its regulations and act on its data being so easily accessed, the app will be in some serious trouble.

Discover more here.

Huawei Role in UK 5G Network is to be Removed

The Digital Secretary for the UK, Oliver Dowden, has announced to the House of Commons that Huawei is set to be stripped of its role in the UK’s 5G network due to security concerns.

The decision was made in a meeting this week with the National Security Council (NSC), chaired by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. It was decided that mobile phone providers across the country will be banned from buying any new Huawei 5G equipment after 31st December 2020. In addition, it has been demanded that all the Chinese firm’s kit must be removed from all networks by 2027.

Consequently, Huawei, the company that has supplied BT and Vodafone, will be completely removed from the UK’s 5G networks by the end of 2027.

The ban follows on from advice produced by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in response to a new US sanction against the telecommunications vendor, which was imposed on Huawei in May.

Following the US sanction in May, the NCSC found that the company would need a “major reconfiguration of its supply chain”, because of its limited access to previous technology, and this would therefore make it “impossible to continue to guarantee the security of Huawei equipment in the future”.

The NCSC also advised full fibre operators to move away from buying any new Huawei equipment, with expectations of the transition to take more than two years.

Oliver Dowden stated:

“5G will be transformative for our country, but only if we have confidence in the security and resilience of the infrastructure it is built upon.

the time of the next election, we will have implemented in law an irreversible path for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks.”

Read more here.

Those were some of this week’s top stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels: