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Summer seemed to go quicker than ever this year, and it’s hard to believe that September has already come to a close. To give summer a proper send-off and round off two months of great coverage, I looked at the top pieces of client coverage that the Babel team secured in September, along with a few of the honourable mentions from August. Despite August being holiday time for many in the industry, the team secured some truly amazing pieces of coverage on behalf of our clients. Here are my coverage highlights from the past two months…

South Staffordshire Water suffers a cyberattack

Kicking off August’s coverage highlights, another cyber attack affecting Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). This attack took place on the 15th of August when South Staffordshire Water’s corporate IT system was accessed by threat actors.  Fortunately, the attack only caused an internal disruption and its 1.3 million customers remained unscathed. A malicious group known as CI0P, which targets industrial businesses, was responsible for the attack. Interestingly, the group was initially confused over who the target of its cyberattack actually was after reporting that they first targeted Thames Water with a message claiming that they had stolen 5TB of the company’s data and had access to their SCADA systems. This sensitive data was highly personal and included information such as passport scans and driver’s licenses. The group began to publish a sample of the data they had stolen on their website after they said that negotiations were unsuccessful, which is not surprising at all considering they were negotiating with the wrong business. External researchers analysed this data and concluded that the true victims of the cyber attack were South Staffordshire Water. South Staffordshire Water was actually very fortunate that the malicious group did not use their access to the SCADA systems to their advantage, as they could have altered the water’s chemical make up which would make it unsafe to drink. Orange Cyberdefense’s UK Director, Chris Deverill, spoke with eWEEK about this attack and what can be learnt from it, you can read the full article here.

DCMS publishes cybersecurity report

Continuing on this cybersecurity theme… a report published by the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sports found that businesses only take cybersecurity seriously after they fall victim to an attack. The survey sample consisted of IT professionals and end-users in ten UK organisations, ranging from smaller to larger organisations that have all experienced a breach over the past three years. The report itself looked at the level of security initiatives in place prior to the breach, how the breach impacted the business itself and how the businesses’ cybersecurity initiatives changed after the breach took place. Shockingly, nearly all respondents said that they took cybersecurity much more seriously after a breach had taken place, with many businesses stating that they reviewed existing solutions and invested more money into ensuring that their security significantly improved. In response to this study, VP UK&I at Veeam, Dan Middleton stated that this was completely unacceptable and cybersecurity should be taken seriously way before ‘the penny drops’. Dan also stated that all enterprises need a CISO to help ensure that an enterprise’s data and infrastructure is secure and that everyone at the top needs to be listening to the CISO and taking their advice seriously. In light of the current cybercrime wave, it is time for businesses to wake up and realise that security should not be an afterthought, or their businesses could face significant damage should a breach take place. You can read more about this in InfoSecurity.

Apple launches the iPhone 14 Pro – the first iPhone to feature an eSIM

Most consumers always look forward to the launch of the newest Apple products, and this year was no exception. At the beginning of September, Apple announced the launch of its newest iPhone, the iPhone 14, and it came as no surprise that this phone was £150 more expensive than the iPhone 13 Pro when it launched last year. This iPhone does however come with a lot of new and exciting features, including satellite connectivity with an emergency SOS text feature and the integration of the eSIM into the iPhone. An eSIM is simply a SIM card embedded into a mobile device, allowing you to connect to any operator offering eSIM services. It works in the same way as a traditional SIM card, but you do not need a physical SIM card in order for it to work. Head of M2M/IoT business at BICS, Luc Vidal, told The Telegraph that “integrating the eSIM into the iPhone is a logical move that will allow customers to digitally activate or change their service plan in a matter of minutes, without having to receive a physical SIM or visit a store in person”. Luc also argued that the integration of the eSIM will create healthy competition to improve network performance and customer service, meaning that they work in favour of the development of the telecommunications industry. 

The role of Privacy Enhancing Technology in the financial sector

This next piece of coverage is great for all of the podcast lovers reading this blog… CEO and Founder of Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) company Enveil, Ellison Anne Williams, sat down with Robin Amlot to discuss PETs on the IBSI View Podcast. For those of you who are unaware, PETs are a technology that is designed to protect the security and privacy of data throughout its processing lifecycle. The recent developments in Privacy Enhancing Technology are something of particular interest to the financial industry, as these technologies can help to counter financial crime, which is on the rise significantly at the moment. Ellison Anne gives a really great example of how PETs are relevant to the financial industry. She asks us to consider when we are trying to use data or search for data with sensitive elements, which could be private information or information relating to who you’re banking with. If you want to run a search for this content, you must ensure that this content cannot be exposed at any point during processing. PETs allow you to encrypt these searches and run them without having to decrypt them at any point during data processing, meaning that the sensitive content will never be exposed. To hear more about PETs and what they mean specifically for the financial industry, you can listen to the podcast at the link above.

GenCell takes giant steps towards creating a more sustainable planet

The next piece of coverage showcases a massive step in the right direction toward meeting climate goals and creating a greener planet. At the beginning of last month, Vodafone installed a zero-emission ammonia-based off-grid power station in Romania to test the potential of the technology. This particular system was developed by our client GenCell which develops hydrogen-based fuel cell systems to replace diesel generators with a cleaner and more efficient type of generator. The GenCell Fox System that Vodafone installed is a low-temperature alkaline fuel cell, generating power from liquid ammonia, and the only by-products of this form of fuel are water, hydrogen and heat. The liquid ammonia has many advantages in itself, including that it is much less flammable than gasoline and other natural gases, and ammonia also has a strong odour which makes leaks much easier to detect. This is a very exciting development in the sustainable fuel industry, and we are all looking forward to the results of this test, and hope that GenCell’s eco-friendly fuel alternatives can be implemented everywhere. You can read more about this in Light Reading.

Amdocs launches the industry’s first 5G-native charging system

Last month, Amdocs launched the industry’s first 5G-native charging system. According to Amdocs, “this particular 5G and cloud-native product is said to provide endless monetisation opportunities for advanced standalone 5G and beyond, backed by a proven multi-cloud experience”. Many communications services providers have maintained many business support platforms, which in turn support different lines of businesses with dated requirements. Amdocs has stated that this is limiting the evolution of communications service providers and business support platforms alike, and is creating siloed environments for post/pre-paid, fixed/mobile, and 3G/4G/5G. In this new 5G/cloud-native era, these siloes have quickly become unsustainable, and Amdocs’ product directly addresses these issues as the product combines charging and business support system capabilities and is therefore streamlining the process. The system can also provide extremely fast time-to-market for innovative services, which in turn will monetise a wide range of network currencies and ensure that companies will maximise their investments in 5G. You can read more about this in Computer Weekly.

Getting to know DoIT’s CTO, Vadim Solovey

To finish off the coverage highlights for the past couple of months, we can look at Tech Round’s interesting profiling piece on Vadim Solovey, CTO at Managed Service Provider (MSP) DoIT. For background, DoIT is an MSP and strategic partner of both Google and AWS that works with customers to ensure that they are unlocking the full potential of the Cloud and that they are using the Cloud in the most strategic way possible. Vadim’s professional career began as a software engineer, which gave him the skills that he needed to launch a company that specialised in building advanced data centres for large organisations. Cloud computing soon became Vadim’s passion and he fell in love with everything that it had to offer, including the fact that it can be used on demand and is infinitely scalable. Vadim stated that his current mission at DoIT is to pioneer technology that delivers on the original promises of the Cloud. Similar to many other organisations, the pandemic led to a clear shift in the way that the industry operated, and this was something that Vadim experienced first-hand at DoIT. DoIT operates in a space that has experienced significant hypergrowth, and a space that is currently doubling in size every 10-12 months, and the pandemic has only accelerated this growth. The pandemic gave Vadim time to focus on onboarding some of the best minds in the industry, as the company was growing at a pace of over 100% per year. When asked about DoIT’s plans for the future, Vadim explained that DoIT will be continuing to develop its technology and provide unrivalled customer service. You can read more about Vadim Solovey in the link above.

And there you have it, another roundup of great coverage secured by the Babel team. If you would like to hear more about how the Babel team can make your business a part of the news agenda, please do not hesitate to reach out.

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