Cyber Attack on Water Company Causes Network Outage

For your free ISO 27001 Information Security Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, click here. A water company in the U.S. is picking up the pieces after hackers launched a cyberattack that resulted in the company taking down its phone and online payment system. Greenville Water, based in South Carolina suffered the outage on January 22nd, with a company spokesperson, Emerald Clark stating that 500,000 customers were impacted by the breach. In a statement released by the company, Greenville Water said that experts “have taken immediate and appropriate action to reinforce existing security measures and to mitigate the potential impact, as well as determining its origin.” The company reite

United Nations Admits to Cyber Breach & Cover-Up

For your free ISO 27001 - Information Security Management System - Gap Analysis Checklist, click here. The United Nations has released a report following an investigation into a cyber breach that one IT employee described as a “major meltdown” of its servers, and has admitted to covering up details from the media and its own staff members. According to reports, the attack compromised United Nations offices in Vienna and Geneva, as well as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. “Some 400GB is thought to have been exfiltrated by the hackers, including Active Directory lists of users. Although it’s unclear exactly what other info was

Third-Party Dupes Medical Center Into Handing Over Patient Information

For your free ISO 27001 - Information Security Management System - Gap Analysis Checklist, click here. A New York City aged-care medical center has been tricked into handing over sensitive patient information after masquerading as one of the facility’s executives. Non-profit VillageCare Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (VCRN) has released details of the events that transpired, saying that one of its staff members responded to an email that looked as though it was from one of its senior executives. In a statement, VillageCare said that “on or about Monday, December 30, 2019, VCRN was alerted to a suspicious email received by an employee from an unathorized actor pretending to be a member of

Google To Start Charging Law Enforcement For Accessing Your Data

For your free ISO 27001 - Information Security Management System - Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. Google has alerted authorities in the U.S. that it will now be charging law enforcement a fee for accessing data requested in search warrants and subpoenas, following a move made by a number of telecommunication companies to “offset the costs” of producing the information. The news comes via a report from The New York Times, who writes that in the wake of an increasing number of requests for users’ information, “Google began charging law enforcement and other government agencies this month for legal demands seeking data such as emails, location tracking information and search queries.” Pric

Tokyo Unveils Zero-Emissions Strategy

For your free ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike has unveiled a plan to make one of the world’s largest cities and contributors to greenhouse gas emissions carbon-neutral- the zero-emission Tokyo strategy. The governor said Tokyo would implement a transition to renewable energy and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, which would be underpinned by heightened disaster awareness, a reduction in the rate of single-use plastic, as well as a transition to renewable energy, are all mentioned in the plan. According to the Japan Times, “it also reveals the governor’s ambitious vision of what Tokyo might look like in 30 years: z

Microsoft Inadvertently Exposes Quarter of a Billion Customer Service Records

“Support is a big security hole waiting to happen.” Dave Aitel Microsoft has disclosed details of a mammoth database error that saw customer service and support records of up to 250,000 million freely accessible to anyone with a web browser and internet connection. The loophole was first identified by famed security researcher, Bob Diachenko and Comparitech on December 29th, as most people were winding down in preparation for New Years festivities. It has been reported that Microsoft fixed the loophole in around two days, stating that the exposure of records was the result of a “misconfiguration” of its customer support databases, adding that there’s no evidence of “malicious use” of the dat

SEC Publishes Cybersecurity Practices for Financial Industry

For your free ISO 27001 Information Security Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. The US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released its guidelines for the financial industry to keep the integrity of its cybersecurity policies after making a series of observations of the industry operating online. According to reporting from Infosecurity Magazine’s Sarah Coble, “the observations were gathered by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections (OCIE) and are based on thousands of examinations of broker-dealers, investment advisories, clearing agencies, national securities exchanges and other SEC registrants.” The Office of Compliance Inspections has made its findings avail

Scotland Set to Hit 100% Renewable Energy This Year

For your free ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here A new report has shown that Scotland is well on target to be powered entirely by renewable energy by the end of the year, just in time for the United Nations’ international climate talks it is slated to hold. The news comes via Scottish Renewables, who has been crunching the data on the country’s installed capacity and energy requirements. The authors note that “Scotland’s renewable electricity capacity has shown steady growth over the last few years with the average annual capacity increase over 760MW since the end of 2008,” and that they are well on their way to a completely renewable-powered grid. T

Average Ransomware Payment Grew 104% in a Single Quarter

For your free ISO 27001 Information Security Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. A new report from Coveware has shown that the average ransom payment made by an organisation, government body or individual to a cybercriminal has more than doubled in a single quarter, while the average time a website or network was down grew by a number of days. The news comes via Coveware’s “Ransomware Marketplace” report, which shows that, on average, the payment made to the person or group holding a system for ransom grew to USD $84,116; up 104% from the previous three-months. Coveware also states that “in Q4 of 2019, average downtime increased from 16.2 days, from 12.1 days in Q3 of 2019.

How To Hack Your Marketing Strategy.

Great organisations don’t necessarily work harder than anyone else- they just work smarter; let’s look at the numbers and analyse some of the most effective ways to ‘hack’ your marketing strategy. I was doing some reading recently, and stumbled upon an interesting read from Small Biz Genius covering the most important advertising statistics of 2020. As I mentioned in the lead for this article, the most agile and impactful organisations out there aren’t necessarily working any harder than others, they just do the research and find out how they can work smarter. In the context of marketing, it’s important to first do the research and determine how you can best position yourself in front of th

Australian Government Secretly Handing Over Medical Records to Police Without Court Order: Report

The Australian government is currently releasing detailed medical records to police through a ‘secret regime’ that experts are condemning for violating fundamental privacy protections, according to a report from The Medical Republic. The report states that the federal and state police force requests “large volumes” of data from both the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare Benefits Schedule every year. However, unlike the My Health Record, no warrant or court order is required for the police to obtain this sensitive information. Instead, the department follows ‘internal guidelines’ to determine whether or not someone’s medical data will be released. Another report from The Guardian st

Global Consumption Hits Unprecedented 100-Billion Tonnes; Recycling Rates Fall.

For your free ISO 14001 Environmental Management Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. A report presented at the World Economic Forum has shown that global consumption of materials has been expanding at what the authors note is an ‘unsustainable’ rate, while the rates of recycling have actually fallen. Humanity has, according to a report from CGRi, surpassed the 100-billion tonne-mark of consuming materials; quadruple that of 1970 rates, outpacing that of population growth which has doubled. The report shows that each person on earth is responsible for the consumption of more than 13 tonnes of materials each year. The data was representative of the materials consumed in 2017, the latest year f

UK Government Database Leaks Details of 28 Million Children

For your free ISO 27001 Information Security Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. The UK government has revealed that betting companies were granted access to a sensitive database containing the personal details of as many as 28 million children. These betting companies were given access to the Department for Education’s database known as the Learning Record Service, which records and stores information on students in England, Wales and North Ireland. According to a report from The Sunday Times, “a data intelligence firm known as GB Group was able to sign an agreement with a third-party company to access the data. GB Group’s clients include gambling firms such as Betfair and

Leadership Lessons From Steve Jobs

Widely credited as one of the all-time entrepreneurs and a cult-hero in the tech scene, Steve Jobs has in a variety of ways shaped the way in which organisations lead their people. I’ll concede straight off the bat, judging by his biography, that Jobs could be a nightmare at times to work for, so let’s not conflate the effectiveness of his leadership techniques with kindness; as Walter Isaacson put it, “there was good Steve, and bad Steve.” One thing, however, is indisputable: after an eleven-year hiatus, with Apple just 90-days from insolvency, he was brought back as an advisor, surrounded himself with people he knew were A-players, like designer Jonathon Ive- and got to work on what is wid

Coca-Cola Will Stick With The Plastic Bottle, Citing Customer Demand

For your free ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. Coca-Cola’s head of sustainability has said that the company will be sticking with the single-use plastic bottle, citing consumer demand and convenience, adding that a pivot to solely aluminum or glass packaging would only increase the company’s environmental footprint. Bea Perez, Coca-Cola’s head of sustainability said that customers prefer single-use bottles because they are easily resealed and are lightweight. The company has, however, pledged to increase the number of recycled plastic bottles drastically by 2030, this includes a promise to utilise at least 50% recycled materials in its packaging b

FBI Pressured Apple to Halt iCloud Encryption: Report

For your free ISO 27001 Information Security Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here. Tech-giant Apple has reportedly capitulated to pressure from the FBI and ditched its plans to fully encrypt back-ups of their data hosted on Apple’s iCloud servers, according to The BBC’s coverage. Full encryption, in this context, refers to the process of converting easily accessible, readable data into a code that is close to impossible to access without a password. Apple was, according to reports, developing the encryption feature for its iCloud service for more than 24-months, but eventually abandoned plans after the FBI raised its concerns about the encryption hindering its investigations

China To Ban Shopping Bags, Single-Use Plastic & Illegal Deforestation

For your free ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Gap Analysis Checklist, Click here China has made a surprise announcement outlining its plan to tackle plastic pollution head-on with the phasing out of single-use plastics. What’s more, rather than announcing a multi-decade plan as it usual from governments and corporations alike, China has said that non-degradable bags will be banned in major cities by the end of 2020, with the rest of the country following two-years later. The legislation states that markets selling fresh produce will be exempt until 2025, and similarly the hotel industry will not be able to offer free single-use plastics by 2025. The production of plastic bags less

EU Calls For Universal Smartphone Charging Points to Reduce E-Waste

The European Union is in the process of drafting new legislation that would call for smartphone and tablet manufacturers to agree on and implement a new universal charging standard, aimed at decreasing the rising rates of electronic waste and improve the customer experience. The proposed legislation is responsible, according to the European Union for “more than 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year,” was first proposed in the European Parliament back in 2009, which called for a “harmonised charging system”, which was followed by the 2014 ‘Radio Equipment Directive’ which called for a common charger to be developed. According to the European Parliament’s website, “the commission’s approa

Climate Experts Urge World Leaders To “Stop Walking Away From the Science”

Climate scientists have made an urgent plea to world leaders and businesses alike to take action on climate change and implement policies, rather than rhetoric, as world leaders gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Taking the stage at the “Unite Behind The Science” campaign at the World Economic Forum, experts on climate change said that political inaction is not an acceptable option. “It took 10 years to land a man safely on the moon, and now we have 10 years to land Earth on a safe trajectory for our future,” Johan Rockstrom. “Scientists want to make clear that every single policy, business and investment decision worldwide must follow the path that gives the world a

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