Aug 31st 2022

Jam-packed July - client coverage highlights

July was been a great month for us here at Babel. With the return of our infamous roof party, as well as being shortlisted for the UK Agency Awards for our outstanding agency culture, it has definitely been a month to remember! More importantly, client coverage has been just as busy, with a wide range of great coverage for our clients this month – it was hard to choose which pieces to include here! But nevertheless, here are my client coverage highlights from July…

 

Hive you heard about ‘Don’t Step On a Bee’ Day?

I decided to kick off this month’s coverage highlights with a topic that I believe deserves more buzz… The 10th of July has been named the official ‘Don’t Step On a Bee’ day by the World Observer. As random as it sounds, this day was created to generate awareness of the fact that the fate of the bumblebee is very touch and go. With bumblebees being so integral to our ecosystem, one in three mouthfuls of food that we eat are dependent on bees, Gurtam set out to solve the problems facing bees and beekeepers alike. Gurtam teamed up with Geotrace SpA whose client is the Chilean-based Colmenares El Refugio, to help solve problems faced by beekeepers. One such challenge was the inability to control and monitor the temperature and humidity of beehives without affecting the microclimate within. This problem has already caused the Chilean-based Colmenares El Refugio to lose 50 hives – and with each hive costing $4000 and each loss causing a knock-on loss of $11,000 in future production, it is a very significant expense. Gurtam combined Wialon’s cloud-based data-monitoring system with Geotrace’s HiveTrace solution which created a solution that could control the temperature and humidity of hives. These devices also monitored the locations of beehives to prevent thefts, while providing beekeepers with updates every two hours via maps, charts and graphs on the platform. A testing phase took place to allow the beekeepers to provide feedback and ensure that the IoT device was fully optimised and did exactly what the beekeepers needed it to do. Since then, no thefts have been reported and better conditions have been created for bees. You can read more about this in Beta News.

 

Volt appoints Stuart Barclay as its VP of Strategy

Next up is the open payments gateway, Volt, which recently announced its newest appointment of Stuart Barclay from Trustly as VP of strategy. Stuart brings a unique set of expertise that he aims to use in his role at Volt to map out go-to-market strategies, position Volt at the forefront of the open banking space, and help contribute to open banking adoption worldwide. Stuart told Finextra that he was “won over by Volt’s collaborative and empowering culture, and by the team’s contagious energy. This translates into impressive and sustained speed to market”. This latest appointment is another testament to Volt’s extensive growth and ability to attract some of the best talents in the industry.

 

Marriott Hotels suffers a data breach

In July, Marriott Hotels experienced a data breach that led to them being questioned about their cybersecurity strategies and practices. The breach caused 20GB of data to be stolen from a Marriott Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. This data contained extremely personal client information, including credit card details and personally identifiable information on various flight crews that were staying at the property. An extortion group known as ‘The Group With No Name’ claimed that they are part of a well-established group that has so far avoided all media coverage. The group exposed Marriott’s ‘very poor security’ and stated that they are not a ransomware group and they prefer to resort directly to extortion. The group also claimed that they do not target government bodies or critical national infrastructure, unlike many other extortion groups. The Marriott contacted around 300-400 individuals who fell victim to the incident. Head of UK strategy at Orange Cyberdefense, Dominic Trott, provided ComputerWeekly with commentary on the attack. Dominic stated that the incident highlights the need to guard against unwitting human error, which seems to have been the single point of failure in this instance. He then went on to explain the importance of teaching employees how to recognise phishing emails which is extremely important in helping to reduce the rate of cyberattacks. This is yet another testament to the importance of a strong cybersecurity strategy in the face of the cybercrime wave that we are currently experiencing.

 

Sonatype discovers malicious packages hidden in Python

Continuing this security theme… client Sonatype’s researchers have discovered many malicious Python packages hiding ransomware scripts. Researchers stated that these packages are disguised as “requests”, which are a well-known feature amongst developers. These packages are an example of ‘typosquatting’ which is when the attacker subtly changes the name of files, websites or emails to trick the user into downloading the malicious software packages. According to Sonatype, this package that can access a user’s documents, pictures and downloads before encrypting them, has been downloaded around 258 times. Sonatype’s researchers are urging for more inspection and mitigation measures to be put in place.

 

And there you have it… another month of great coverage secured for our clients. If you would like to hear more about how the Babel team can help your business to get involved in the current news agenda, please do not hesitate to reach out.

 


Lauren O'Harrow
Lauren O'Harrow