BetaNews Staff

UK tackles attacks with new National Cyber Security Center

Security Lock

The UK is getting a national center to combat cyber attacks, and it's the Queen who gets to open it. The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) will reportedly be opened in central London by the Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh and Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The NCSC is part of intelligence agency GCHQ and has already tackled 188 attacks in the last three months. It will look for holes in sites belonging to the public sector, will tackle spoof emails and pull phishing sites down.

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The most secure messaging apps

Smartphone closeup

IT security has never been more prominent at the forefront of people's minds than it is currently. With a sadly regular supply of hacking horror tales, Internet users are now exercising a great deal of care with the information they share through their networks. Stronger passwords and a reluctance to add personal details are among the more common measures to have become widely implemented.

Another option which people are leaning towards is that of secure messaging apps, a selection of which are profiled in the infographic below by ERS IT Solutions. There doesn’t yet exist a messaging app that is completely impenetrable to hackers, but there are those which distinguish themselves for their encryption of messages so that even if they are intercepted, the messages can’t be deciphered by unsolicited parties.

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European businesses are not prepared to handle a cyber attack

cyber attack

More than half of companies in the UK, US and Germany (53 percent) are not prepared to face a cyber-attack. This is according to a new report by specialist insurer Hiscox, which has polled more than 3,000 companies for the report.

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2017 looks at four areas -- strategy, resourcing, technology and process -- and ranks companies based on such criteria. Most companies score fairly well for technology, but less than a third (30 percent) reach the "expert" score in their overall cyber-readiness.

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Brits will spend €27bn on mobile devices in 2017

Smartphone closeup

This year, the UK will spend more than £27 billion on mobile devices, new figures from and the Center for Retail Research show. This means there will be a 26 percent jump compared to last year.

Consequently, online retail sales will also grow, by 11.5 percent compared to 2016. British shoppers are expected to be quite the spenders this year, spending a total of £1.428.39 per head online. That’s a third higher than the EU average of £1,003.54.

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IT decisions makers and executives don't agree on cyber security responsibility

Boardroom security

There’s a severe disconnect between IT decision makers and C-suite executives when it comes to handling cyber attacks. Namely, both believe the other one is responsible for keeping a company safe.

This is according to a new and extensive research by BAE Systems. A total of 221 C-suite executives, and 984 IT decision makers were polled or the report.

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Four major advantages to using open source software in the enterprise

open source laptop

With WordPress, Firefox and Linux now the virtual infrastructure for many millions of Internet users globally, and the likes of Apache and database management system MySQL widely embraced by corporations, open source (OS) software has long since passed a tipping-point moment. Yet despite growing familiarity with what OS means -- and usage even by the EU and the US government -- doubts among many businesses about the quality and reliability of OS software persist.

Such concerns tend to cluster around three perceptions. The first is that because many OS products were built by the wider developer community -- projects and foundations without the resources of a software giant with a history of producing proprietary programs -- they cannot then be truly enterprise grade; indeed, they must be of inferior quality and reliability.

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How email filters can improve malware protection


Spam has been around since the earliest days of email. While many spam messages are poorly written and reek of malicious intent, others are less conspicuous. Cyber-criminals can slyly embed malware and ransomware into emails that can do serious damage if opened.

Fortunately, today’s email filtering systems do an excellent job at finding and isolating these messages. Here we’ll examine the details of email filtering and why they should never be taken for granted.

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Hiring a hacker: Why and how you should do it


The global cost of cybercrime could reach £4.9 trillion annually by 2021, according to a recent report from Cybersecurity Ventures. Cyber crime incidents continue to plague organizations globally, even as businesses pour money into boosting their security.

But how do businesses deal with vulnerabilities they cannot identify? It only takes one smart hacker to discover a backdoor and get access to your sensitive data and systems. Organizations must identify the weaknesses in their cyber security, before -- not after -- they’re exploited by hackers. However, to beat a hacker you’ll need to think like one. Here’s how -- and why -- you should hire a hacker.

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Image editing tools for hybrid creative marketers


As visual content continues to take over social media, photos and video are becoming the language of the next generation. With 74 percent of marketers using visual assets in their social media marketing, photography now plays a vital role in any marketing strategy. From this, a new generation of hybrid creative marketers has emerged, a group of already time-strapped professionals who are being asked to find and edit compelling imagery across all platforms every day.

This constant need for engaging visual content has generated a demand for new and simple design tools to meet marketers creative needs. For example, a realtor who wants to create a compelling newsletter for their distribution lists, or a local shop owner who wants to promote a holiday sale on Facebook and Instagram. However, a surprising amount of them don’t know which tools are best suited for their needs.

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Lack of IoT security could be our downfall

IOT Internet of Things

Just as healthcare providers need PALS certification to keep up with new discoveries and advancements in medicine, individuals who work in IT need to become recertified with data security measures. One particular area in need of improved security protocols is The Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is quickly becoming more and more popular and therefore more and more vulnerable.

IoT allows users to connect several devices to the internet and to each other. That includes more than just cell phones but anything from coffee makers to lamps to alarm systems. It has influenced various industries to incorporate internet capabilities into their products, taking everyday objects and allowing them to send and receive data. With these changes in the technology industry, the IoT is quickly rising to becoming the "next big thing" in the IT industry. However, there are still several problems that make the IoT risky unless they are examined and improved. Here is our list of both the potential of IoT to improve and hinder consumer lives.

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Why do businesses still need to physically move and maintain digital data?


The explosion of digital information flooding the modern enterprise today creates its own unique challenges. Organizations strive to integrate multiple disparate systems, connect to a global ecosystem of partners and customers, and transfer large files and data sets securely -- basically, do business today -- but doing so efficiently and securely challenges even the largest and most skilled IT teams.

Amazon recently launched a service to literally drive a truck to your data center, load it up with all of your data, and drive it back to an Amazon server farm to plug it in and push it to the cloud. The rationale behind this offering stems from the idea that businesses looking to move massive amounts of data -- terabytes and petabytes of information -- to Amazon’s cloud don’t have a fast, affordable option to do so over the internet. But what if they did?

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The future of marketing -- from AI to voice control Apps


The marketing industry has experienced a surge of new technologies in the past few years. While this creates the potential for complete transformation, the marketing landscape over the past year has remained fairly steady. As 2017 begins, the question remains whether this will be the year that technology is fully embraced by the marketing community. Will it be a transitional year with common practices being adapted to reflect new technology trends or will it witness major developments that threaten to take marketers by surprise?

In a world where customers are constantly demanding more, customer experience (CX) has become difficult and challenging to perfect, putting extra pressure on marketers. Technology has been a driving force behind the development of solutions to enhance CX. However, embracing these technologies can be perplexing as a marketer, taking the business into new and unknown areas.

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The next generation of cyber attacks -- PDoS, TDoS, and others


2016 was a landmark year in cyber security. The cyber landscape was rocked as Internet of Things (IoT) threats became a reality and unleashed the first 1TB DDoS attacks -- the largest in history.

Security experts had long warned of the potential of IoT attacks, and a number of other predictions also came true; Advanced Persistent Denial of Service (APDoS) attacks became standard, ransom attacks continued to grow and evolve and data protection agreements dominated privacy debates. So what’s coming in 2017?

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The smart office revolution

businessman cloud

The recent headlines and buzz around Amazon Alexa is just one indication that smart home technology may have finally broken through to mainstream. Consumers have grown accustomed to interacting with smart technology to make their lives easier at home and soon will expect that experience to continue when they arrive at the office. While smart technology promises greater efficiency and innovation in the workplace, IT teams face a daunting task of determining which technologies are hype and which will actually make work a better place.

As organizations start to adopt technology that will make work-life better, they need to ensure organizations are set up for success from the beginning. The challenge of supporting and deploying new "smart office" technologies, while upholding corporate security policies is not an easy feat. It might be tempting to act prematurely and incorporate all the latest technologies right away but it’s important to take a holistic approach when evaluating IT projects and prioritize what to implement to ensure organizations are set up for success. While there are a myriad of smart office trends invading the workplace today, here are the top trends we think will most significantly alter the way we communicate and collaborate in the future.

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How criminals use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

cyber criminal

It has become common practice for attackers to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to link tools together so that they can be run in parallel when conducting an attack.

Attackers use AI and ML to take the results from one tool and then allow the other tools to "learn" about the finding and use it against other systems. As an example, if a one tool finds a password, that tool can feed the information to another tool or bot that may conduct the exploitation of one or many systems using the discovered password.

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