IT security and innovation update

Cyber security and innovation update

… and laptop advice

Another day, another security breach it seems!

This time, the “victim” is the US-based credit checking agency Equifax, which recently revealed it had been hacked.

The result has affected an estimated 145 million customers including up to 400,000 in the UK, whose names, dates of birth, email addresses and telephone numbers, stored in the US between 2011 and 2016, may have been compromised.

Two executives have been dismissed from the company as a result of what has been described as “poor update patching and cybersecurity practices on Equifax’s part”.  There’s more on this here

In previous blogs we have talked about how businesses can increase their levels of protection by training employees to be alert for fraudulent emails, not clicking on suspect email links in emails, looking for spelling and grammar oddities and so on.

A robust cyber security policy should go further, in restricting certain parts of a company’s IT system to only those whose work requires access, encrypting passwords and changing them regularly and by ensuring that all patches and updates are installed promptly.

Now some companies are turning their attention to producing routers that can give added protection and privacy. Both Norton and Asus have released new, privacy-focussed routers this year.

But there is a new start-up company based in Ireland designing routers that will secure all internet traffic.

The company is called Invizbox, and it is crowd funding its new inventions. The company’s InvizBox 2 and InvizBox 2 Pro work by being plugged into an existing router via an Ethernet cable. Both work by encrypting all its users’ internet traffic.

You can find out more about the technicalities here

Finally, as many of you are likely to have younger relatives about to head to university, we’ve found a really useful service in the Guardian newspaper’s tech pages, called Ask Jack.

Here are two examples answering new students’ questions on what type of laptop to buy, firstly for good quality photo editing, and secondly for the best cheap laptop for university.