This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS – Friday 12th July 2013

GCHQ Monitoring Increased Infrastructure Cyber Threats
GCHQ has thrown up a warning flag to highlight the potential threats from cyber attack to the UK’s national infrastructure. A suspected incident relating to the electrical grid prior to the Olympic Games in 2012, triggered the research. The report has revealed that technical reconnaissances have occurred across the UK’s infrastructure. An increased reliance on the internet by utilities makes security a national priority. In March 2013, the Government set up a Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership to help businesses and Government share information in real time. However, when 80% of utility organisations in the UK are run by the private sector, enforcing security governance around data requires a pro-active approach and is a wake up call for all businesses to review their data policies.

Google’s slapped wrist
The UK’s privacy watchdog the ICO has joined data protection authorities in several European countries in criticising Google after the internet giant’s privacy policy failed to comply with the UK Data Protection Act. UK users of Google’s services do not currently have a clear definition of how their data is collected and used across their products. Google bundled 60 privacy policies into one agreement and hoped this would absolve them from criticism. However, the lack of response from Google as to what it is using personal data for, and how long it is held, has led to various actions against them. Google faces penalties from the CIO if it does not rewrite its policy by 20 September 2013. It is important for business that this is resolved satisfactorily given the number of employees using the internet.

Huge Android security-hole discovered
Last week Bluebox Security uncovered a security flaw with Android phones and tablets, potentially affecting up to 900 million devices. An App downloaded outside the official Google Play store, could modify a pre-existing system App on devices. The flaw uses the special permissions for malicious purposes. Google stated this week that the bug has been caught and they are urgently working with their partners to push out correct patches. The key lessons for information security governance are to stick to official App stores and keep devices up to date with the latest software updates to keep information protected.

Nokia’s 41 megapixel monster
On Thursday Nokia held their ‘Zoom Reinvented’ event where they announced the arrival of the Lumia 1020, a smartphone with a whopping 41 megapixel (MP) camera, powered by Windows Phone 8. In comparison the iPhone 5 has a camera of 8 MP and the Galaxy S4 is 13MP. In addition to staggering image quality the advantage of such a high megapixel is the ability to zoom in to a picture even after the moment is captured. Such a leap over the competition in this field, makes choice simple for anyone whose top priority is the camera in a smartphone. Microsoft must be happy about the partnership they have built with Nokia, as it is exclusive flagship phones such as the Lumia 1020 that will build Windows Phone market share worldwide.