MOVEit madness continues, Meta’s new baby and big moves for 5G – The June Tech Digest
As the PR world puts it, we find ourselves in the kick-off of silly season – the temperatures are up, offices are maxing their aircon, and people are either on leave or fanning themselves in front of their desks. In the PR world, the silly season often means frivolous headlines – the tech world was seemingly all business, however, as the industry gave us plenty of things to discuss.
The big headlines included the arrival of Meta’s Threads as the new hot thing, followed by further MOVEit cyberattack updates, as well as major movement across Fintech, Telecoms, and yes it is marked in stone by now – the AI stories are here to stay.
Let’s unpack all of this and more…
Cybersecurity: The Continuous Aftermath of the MOVEit Cyberattack
Let us kick off with cybersecurity. If you have been keeping up with our content, in May’s blog, we discussed the now-infamous MOVEit cyberattack, that has shaken up the tech world in recent weeks. In May, we examined Cl0p striking back, the cyberattack affecting the MOVEit file transfer program, and the cybergroup’s first few victims affected by the vulnerability.
But it was not until the beginning of this month that companies started to admit their services and data were affected. News of the first victims emerged after the BBC reported that its staff, as well as those working at British Airways, Boots, Aer Lingus, and Zelli, were affected. Since then, Cl0p has proceeded by listing its victims, including multinational oil and gas company Shell, several banks, media companies, universities, several US government agencies, and more.
Cl0p threatened to leak the data of victim organisations by the middle of the month unless they respond. As the consequences of the cyberattack continue to play out in the media, this remains a story worth following. It is a call for companies to invest in cybersecurity services to further improve their cybersecurity posture, so as to protect themselves against vulnerabilities of this scale – and the costs that come with them.
Telecoms: UK telecoms providers making big moves
And with that, let’s move on to telecoms. On a cheerier note, the fast-paced sector saw several headlines this month signaling big steps in the connectivity sphere for UK providers. Vodafone and Three UK, the country’s third and fourth largest mobile firms, formed a deal to create the UK’s biggest mobile phone operator.
The new service, which will be known as 5G Ulta, will add 5G standalone connectivity to the existing 5G network, creating a more reliable network and greater coverage. According to Vodafone, this aims to be 10 times faster than 4G! To make the news even more grand, Vodafone announced that more than a million additional UK customers will be able to connect to Vodafone’s 5G network and that the infrastructure will support up to 25% longer battery life.
The service is currently available in London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Cardiff, with plans to expand across the UK.
FinTech – The EC published its plans for the revised PSD2 and Financial Data Access Act
As we shift our attention to the world of Fintech, it’s regulation time! On June 23rd, the European Commission published its plans to bring payments and the wider financial sector into the digital realm. Through its revised Payment Services Directive proposal, the Commission aims to mark the next steps for open banking in the EU, by combating issues such as payment fraud and improving consumer rights.
The new plans mark a key component of the Commission’s 2020 Retail Payments Strategy, by ensuring that the laws governing the EU retail payments industry remain fit for purpose, take market developments into account, and foster the development of quick payments in the EU.
As a result, the EU expects that its new comprehensive set of legislation will boost the adoption of open banking services and the performance of open banking APIs, allowing consumers to securely share their data and access a broader range of better (and cheaper) financial products and services.
This is an exciting step for the sector and another advancement aiming to make open banking more easily accessible.
AI – Google spreads warning about chatbots
In the world of AI, the headlines never stop – every month we are always graced with a plethora of stories, some more alarming than others, about AI’s efficiency but also the concerns it may give birth to.
This month, the big tech giant Google warned its staff about the use of chatbots and the importance of safeguarding company data. It is of no surprise that big companies are concerned in the face of new advancements, with threats like cybercrime on the rise. As countries try to tackle and understand the technology, there is constant talk of nationwide AI bans – consequently, the tech world also finds itself in a state of doubt when it comes to knowing how hard to invest in AI.
With this in mind, companies have been drafting and placing their own AI regulation as a way to protect themselves and their sensitive information – this month, Google told staff not to enter confidential files into AI chatbots, including ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, to avoid leak risks. This caution reflects a wide security standard being adopted in the tech world when it comes to publicly-available chat programs.
Even though Google has stood as one of AI’s biggest backers so far, this comes to avoid business harm from the software it launched in competition with ChatGPT.
Big Tech: Twitter under threat from Threads?
To complement big tech news, another headline that emerged this month, was the respective launch of Meta’s Twitter rival. Even though the platform was not launched in June, speculation and teasing headlines certainly caught the attention of the tech world, with people anticipating the arrival of the download button in the App Store.
In June, a Meta spokesperson confirmed the platform was in the development stage emphasising the opportunity for a separate space “where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests.”
With leaked content online, people got a first glimpse of the application layout, creating further buzz. Of course, its connection to another social media platform equals even more connectivity! Its link to Instagram allows for an easier rollout of users. The success of the launch is something to track in the upcoming weeks – how will Twitter be affected? We will just have to find out.
Overall, whilst June might seem like a quiet month, the tech world was definitely kept on its toes. Something not always evident when it jets off to hotter climates and destinations for the summer period. And with that, we have recapped the top stories that emerged in June. Join us next month for our next wrap-up of the top news in tech.