According to the Department of Trade and Industry there are 4.5 million businesses in the UK of which 99.3% are small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), employing 0-49 employees. These comprise 58.9% of the total workforce of 24.4 million and account for 51.9% of the £2,600 billion UK turnover. Bruce Hallas, a specialist in information security, said “SMEs are particularly prone to poor or even non-existent information security.
As awareness of the importance of information security increases, the SMEs stand to lose competitiveness, potentially losing contracts with existing clients and suffering the financial consequences that are increasingly arising from information security incidents.”
An over reliance on Information Technology (IT) has developed over recent years. According to Hallas, this is the result of confusing Information Technology with Information Security (IS). With ‘insufficient’ money to invest in expensive information security expertise, many SME’s are investing heavily in IT in the mistaken belief that IT will ensure IS. “Yet the largest business drivers for security investment are contractual, regulatory, market pressures from consumers, corporate clients and the public sector. Not the typical domain of IT. The biggest security vulnerability lies with people,” Hallas says. “Security is about managing the risk from people, both known and unknown, interacting with your information and information systems. It is more about people management than technology.”
Tyler Moore of the Computer Laboratories, University of Cambridge expanded, “Information security is now a mainstream political issue, and no longer the province of technologists alone,” he said. “People used to think that the internet was not secure because there was not enough of the right technology, not enough sophisticated cryptographic mechanisms, authentication or filtering etc. so advanced encryption, public key infrastructure and firewalls were added. The internet did not get any safer,” he added. “In 1999 it became clear that even the latest and greatest technology will not solve all our problems if those who protect and maintain them are not sufficiently movitated. The issue is one of incentives.”
The impact of an under-incentivised workforce can have devastating consequences in business such as denial of service attacks allowing viruses to infect the IT system, hospitals putting access to data above patient privacy, bank customers suffering phishing attacks by poorly designed banking systems.
“Economics can explain many of the failures and challenges in a new way” Tyler Moore said. “As companies are beginning to realise the value of good information security practice so security measures are being used not only to manage the evils of the attackers but also to support the business models of companies.”
Now that the Achilles heel of the information security problem has been identified, companies, especially banks, often fight shy of divulging information about attacks, whether they have been successfully repelled or not because the information concerned may be sensitive.
Help is at hand in the form of a new report “Security Economics and the Internal Market” which outlines police options regarding the economic problems in providing IS.
The report’s first recommendation is for the EU to issue a comprehensive breach notification law to notify consumers when their details have been compromised so they can protect themselves.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Danielle Moore | alfa
UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville
New standard helps optical trackers follow moving objects precisely
23.11.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy