Cyberfrenzy, emergency alerts gone wrong and the EU/Chat GPT battle – The April Tech Digest
We have entered a new month and you know very well what that means… new headlines of course, and more rocky bumps and exciting news for the tech sector. It is obvious that the tech world never stops, constantly evolving, with new twists and turns and innovation is always in the forefront. Are you overwhelmed? Don’t you worry, we are back with our monthly news roundup of the industry’s top news!
Big headlines can give birth to goosebumps or pleasant shock, and April definitely saw a bit of both. Last month saw big news in telecommunications, cybersecurity, green technology and more. Unsurprisingly, the cyberattacks continue, with cybergangs turning their aim to the UK further. The telecommunications sector saw some confusion with the UK’s emergency test alerts not reaching everyone and of course we have further AI headlines, as Chat GPT continues to take over the tech world and to stress out the masses.
Let’s unwrap all of the above and more, below.
Cybersecurity: Cybergangs – 1, Tech sector – 0: The UK trembles
In March, we examined Clop ransomware and their falling victims. To build on this further, it is fair to say that we truly find ourselves in a never ending cycle of cyberattacks, something heavily prominent throughout April as well. Following the Clop attacks, last month saw a cyberattack aimed at charities and their clients. The Londonderry-based IT firm Evide was hit, with personal data from charity clients stolen, with organisations warning of fraud risk. Hackers stole personal data, affecting more than 1,000 people and contacted about 500.
If the stress was not enough, the UK Cabinet Office Secretary Oliver Dowden came out earlier this month to encourage UK companies to boost their cybersecurity infrastructure, as Russian cybergangs are seeking to infiltrate and destroy parts of the UK’s critical national infrastructure. Dowden aimed to announce this at the Cyber UK event, arguing that investing in cybersecurity defence is critical to protect critical national infrastructure.
With reference to the Zarya, LockBit and Wagner groups, their attacks, and the ways in which the groups leaked data, the UK is called to reassess their cybersecurity budget, as it is believed that efforts are being made to strengthen the criminal groups.
Telecoms: In the face of an emergency, will Three users be left in the dark?
Earlier in the month, the UK government issued its first nationwide test for the UK’s new national warning system. The emergency test alert was scheduled to be sent on the 23rd of April at 3pm, to all mobile devices connected to the UK’s 4G and 5G networks. Apparently, not everyone got the text with the accompanying 10-second tone – Three customers along with some on the O2 and Vodafone networks did not receive the alert, planned for 3pm, so we are left to wonder… What will happen in the case of an emergency?
Three for example, is currently investigating why many of its users were not reached. They announced awareness of the concerns and that they are working closely with the government to prevent this from happening in the wake of a real crisis, sparking conspiracies and memes in the process.
With initial tests beginning in 2013, the national alert system has been in the making for more than a decade. Even so, the networks were still overwhelmed, with some text messages taking almost two days to be delivered.
FinTech: And the EU said… Let’s regulate crypto
As we shift our focus to the fintech sector, the headlines get overwhelming – quite a few things have happened this month, including UK Fintech Week in London and Fintech Week in New York, which led to interesting conversations amongst industry professionals. Furthermore, the UK published its Open Banking roadmap – something that was announced in the Innovate Global Finance Summit (IGFS).
What we want to talk about though, is the EU Parliament’s new regulations around crypto assets. Lawmakers have voted to approve the new regulations, which form the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (#MiCA), along with the Transfer of Funds Regulation. This is a world first, with the new rules aiming to be applied from next year.
The rules will signal a number of requirements on crypto platforms, token issuers and traders around transparency, disclosure, authorisation, and supervision of transactions. The regulation will also require crypto-asset service providers to disclose the environmental impact of crypto-assets they offer to customers. MiCA will bring crypto markets into the regulated space by addressing risks related to consumer protection, market integrity, and financial stability.
The news has stirred the tech world, with the likes of Forbes, Reuters, Bloomberg and CNBC covering the advancements.
AI: Chat GPT addresses security concerns
In the world of AI the news and concerns never stop – that is simply the nature of the beast. Reminiscent of a domino effect, countries have been banning ChatGPT left right and centre. Following the European Data Protection Board’s move to investigate ChatGPT, OpenAI has decided to implement security controls, due to rising concerns that have emerged recently.
The Microsoft-backed company has announced users will have the ability to turn off their chat history. This new feature is being incorporated in OpenAI’s flagship chatbot, in an attempt to tackle the rising concerns around security and lack of safety that may be linked to generativeAI. This will mean that conversations and questions inserted into ChartGPT will not be used to train OpenAI’s underlying models, rather, they will be stored in the company’s servers and deleted after a month. This is definitely news to track – we have a whitepaper on the topic, covering the EU’s AI data reform plans.
Big Tech/Green Tech:
Sustainability is a big topic in tech, with companies attempting to hold themselves accountable for their environmental footprint. Advancements in the sector towards a more sustainable way of operating are key to achieving net-zero. It is the small changes that will bring about the big difference.
Amazon Web Services has announced that they will invest more than $13bn in Australia over the next five years, in a mission to expand their cloud computing operations in Melbourne and Sydney. This forms part of the company’s goal of running its data centres entirely on renewable energy.
This investment will also bring about expansion and growth, with two centres hiring an estimate of 11,000 full-time positions. With this, Amazon also aims to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025.
Overall, April did not disappoint with big headlines in telecoms, fintech, cybersecurity and big tech and sustainability. If you are thirsty for more, join us next month for our roundup of the top news in tech!