News conference on emergency phone and data legislation

David Cameron and Nick Clegg are giving a news conference on emergency legislation, which is being introduced next week, to force phone and internet companies to keep records of customer calls, texts and internet use. They are speaking following a special cabinet meeting to agree the planned laws, which have the backing of all three main Westminster parties. Ministers say the Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill is necessary so police and security services can access the data they need after an ECJ ruling declared existing powers invalid. Civil liberties groups are against the legislation saying that it infringes the right to privacy and sets a dangerous precedent.

Unnamed hedge fund data breach proves false 

The recently reported data breach suffered by an unnamed U.S. hedge fund has materialised to be false. British security company, BAE Systems has revealed that the report given by the company was an “illustrative scenario” that was incorrectly presented as an actual case study. BAE Systems have commented that they are reviewing all of their processes to investigate how such confusion was caused and to prevent this from happening again. The ‘data breach’ was disclosed by BAE Systems Global Product Director, Paul Henninger in an interview with CNBC. BAE Systems have announced that Henninger is “taking some time away from the business” and that he cannot be reached for comment at present.

Google U-turns on right to be forgotten 

After the ECJ confirmed Europe’s new “right to be forgotten” regime, Google has begun reinstating links to news stories which it had removed from its search engines only days beforehand. A series of links to articles in the Guardian newspaper that were removed by Google have now been reinstated after the news organisation complained publicly about the removals. The Guardian had accused Google of “an overly-broad interpretation” of the ECJ ruling when it took issue with the removals. Google has refused to discuss the reasons behind its decision which has further fuelled complaints from media companies and internet experts.

Barclays receives government cyber security certification

Barclays has become the first major organisation to receive a new UK government cyber security certification for its digital banking services. As part of the government’s cyber security strategy, the Cyber Essentials scheme is designed to assess the controls that organisations have in place to deal with increasingly prevalent internet-borne threats. To obtain its certification, Barclays had to complete the Cyber Essentials questionnaire and submit to an external perimeter vulnerability scan. The certification provides Barclays with an opportunity to showcase its leadership in digital banking and reinforces the importance of banks protecting customer data. 

Cyber attacks becoming more effective

According to a recent study conducted by BT, disruptive cyber attacks are becoming more effective at breaching security defences yet only 8% of IT managers have sufficient resources to handle such a crisis. The research revealed that 41% of organisations globally have been subjected to a Distributed Denial of Service attack over the past year causing major disruption. BT’s Global Banking and Financial Markets CFO commented that the transfer of knowledge between organisations is essential to combat the systemic risks that cyber-crime can pose. The report also urged organisations to have quality systems in place to prevent breaches and to have effective processes to deal with the aftermath. 

Cyber security and data protection not boardroom priorities

A recent report conducted by KPMG has found that despite cyber security being accepted as critical to long-term business operations, the issue only ranked third in priorities amongst UK executives. Investing in people skills and plant and machinery came before the need to invest in data protection. The report commented that a real risk lies in boardrooms doubting the severity of the issue and the extent of their vulnerability, and urged boards to remain aware of the changing cyber and technological threats facing business and the importance of training staff. 

New private cloud to rival Facebook

A new global network that promotes itself as an alternative to Facebook has launched in Australia. Aptly named ‘Respect Network’ claims to be a new cloudfunded network where users own their identity and privacy online. Respect Network asks people to “build an internet that respects personal choices and privacy” and which allows users complete control over their personal information. Launched in San Francisco and now released in Australia, the network claims to be a privacy friendly alternative to Facebook. It remains to be seen whether Respect Network will live up to its promises but in light of the multitude of recent privacy panics caused by social network giant Facebook, anything is possible.