• Sepa data leaks as agency resists ransom demands

    The Conti ransomware gang has published a number of files stolen from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) in an attack on Christmas Eve, as the agency continues to resist its demands to pay.

    The attack saw the theft of 1.2GB of data contained in about 4,000 files. The material in question includes business information including regulated site permits, authorisations, enforcement notices, corporate planning and change programmes; procurement information such as publicly available procurement awards; project information relating to Sepa’s commercial work; and personal information on its staff.

    The agency’s chief executive, Terry A’Hearn, said: “Supported by Scottish government,

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  • ICO resumes adtech investigation

    The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced it is to resume its investigation into the advertising technology, or adtech, sector after an eight-month suspension because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Its investigation into real-time bidding (RTB), the practice of buying and selling advertising inventory in instantaneous algorithmic auctions, began in 2019 in response to concerns over the implications of RTB, which is supported by the collection and trading of the personal data of internet users.

    These behind-the-scenes auctions are responsible for many of the adverts that people may perceive “follow” them round the internet, and the data collected to support

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  • Hackney Council tenders for cyber security upgrade

    London’s Hackney Council is tendering for new security assurance capabilities and will evaluate a number of suppliers to take on the task, following a ransomware attack on its systems last year that, months later, has left many of its key services disrupted.

    In a request for proposal (RFP) posted to the government’s Digital Marketplace, the council said it intended to establish and manage its risks across all its ICT environments to minimise the risk of a future cyber attack on its systems.

    “Hackney Council is reviewing the way we deliver security assurance, following a cyber attack in October 2020

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  • HSBC closing more branches as customers turn to digital channel

    HSBC is closing a further 82 branches as the Covid-19 pandemic reinforces its strategy to move customers to digital channels.

    The bank said that even without the pandemic effect, 90% of all customer contact is now over the phone, internet or smartphone. It also said more than 100,000 customers a week interact with it on social media.

    Jackie Uhi, HSBC UK’s head of network, said the pandemic has emphasised the need for the changes the bank is already making to its branch network.

    “It hasn’t pushed us in a different direction, but reinforces the things that we were focusing on

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  • CIOs blame siloed IT teams and tools for misalignment

    A recent study has highlighted the extent to which CIOs and IT leaders are struggling to fix business-related IT issues.

    The Vanson Bourne global survey of 700 CIOs, for Dynatrace’s How to transform the way teams work to improve collaboration and drive better business outcomes study, reported that IT leaders have growing concerns about their ability to keep up with digital transformation. 

    According to the survey, CIOs estimate that on average, IT teams spend more than 16% of their time in meetings with the business, to identify the cause and solution to business problems. This equates to $1.7m per year,

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  • Nottinghamshire uses citizen engagement tools to inform residents

    Nottinghamshire County Council uses digital citizen engagement tools to communicate with local residents, keeping them informed during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

    To keep residents and other stakeholders up to date on a range of developments and services available in the local area, the council decided eight years ago to develop its email distribution capabilities using govDelivery platform, a cloud-based email marketing service for local councils developed by US-based public sector technology supplier Granicus.

    Integrated into Nottinghamshire’s IT estate and branded as Emailme by the council, the service has since grown to 86,000 subscribers, with each signing up to an average

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