Data Privacy in the Age of Alexa

Reading the technology media coverage of both CES 2018 and the post-Christmas sales, it feels like smart devices are finally having their much predicted moment. Every consumer technology vendor seems to have their own take on the smart device, from Amazon and Google’s smart home hubs to Philip’s connected lightbulbs and Samsung’s internet enabled fridge. The rate of ownership of these particular devices may not be that high, with only 18% of UK households reporting owning one, however, if we include other connected devices such as wearables and smartphones, then it becomes very clear that these devices are appearing everywhere.

Internet connected devices have certainly made our lives easier and even have wide reaching potential for making our cities safer and more responsive for example through monitoring pollution and optimising traffic flow. Yet, as Data Privacy Day approaches, it is vital that we consider how all these devices will affect the use and collection of personal data.

A key part of Data Privacy Day, and the wider practice of data protection and privacy, is ensuring that individuals are aware of how their personal information is being used, collected and shared. This is vital for both consumers and businesses. Consumers should feel confident that their data is being used fairly and should be able to own their online presence, and businesses should be able to use customer data to improve and market their services in ethical and innovative ways. Awareness of the issue of data privacy is certainly growing, with IDC research published in 2017 finding that 84% of US consumers are concerned about the security of their personally identifiable information and with research from the UK Information Commissioners’ Office in 2016 showing that only one in four people trust businesses with their personal information. These concerns are likely to have been validated by last year’s Equifax breach.

Data Privacy Day 2018

Smart devices add a whole new dimension to these privacy concerns, however, due to the range of data which they are capable of collecting. Your Fitbit can collect data on how you sleep, your phone can record your location and (most importantly) your Smart Home Hub can record your voice. This certainly raises serious privacy concerns. Whilst we assume that the companies we use will collect our data, such as our browsing history and interests, and use it, this can often feel like a relatively impersonal exchange. You do, after all, have a degree of control over what you type into a search engine.

However, when you add data on how and when you sleep, voice recordings of what you say and do in your house and data on where and when you exercise, this data collection can suddenly feel incredibly personal and invasive. This data collection, when viewed as a whole, can amount to what Stay Safe Online call the ‘Internet of Me’  – a complete picture of your life, online, that could be used improperly or stolen by bad actors.

smart Home Hub

Technology vendors have a key role to play in ensuring that consumers feel safe by ensuring that security and transparency is built into products and that consumers can have complete control over what data is being collected. Data privacy should not be relegated to, or hidden, in the terms and conditions of a device, but instead be a headline feature.

In essence, whilst data privacy is certainly a challenge for both vendors and consumers in the age of Alexa, it also presents an opportunity for vendors who are willing to publically take responsibility for data privacy. Rather than an obstacle, data protection can instead be a major selling point for consumers concerned about the privacy of their online data.


A Monaco, les Assises de la sécurité grandissent et s’exportent

 Les Assises de la Securite

Pour sa 17 ème édition, les Assises de la sécurité, un évènement dédié à la sécurité de l’information, ont rencontré un succès inédit, que ce soit en termes de fréquentation ou de couverture médiatique.  Une amélioration due à l’intérêt croissant des entreprises françaises et mondiales pour la cybersécurité, au point que le salon s’exportera à Londres pour 2018. Retour.

C’est en tout début d’octobre, en plein mois européen de la cybersécurité, que se déroulaient les Assises de la sécurité. Organisées tous les ans à Monaco, ces dernières regroupent les meilleurs experts des SSI et proposent des conférences plénières, débats, ateliers, tables-rondes et autres espaces de rencontre dédiés aux éditeurs, constructeurs, opérateurs, sociétés de services et représentants d’entreprises.

Continue reading “A Monaco, les Assises de la sécurité grandissent et s’exportent”

Cybersécurité: des chiffres qui donnent le vertige!

Au cours des derniers mois, de multiples attaques par déni de service (DDoS) ou encore par des logiciels malveillants ont sévi un peu partout dans le monde. Le projet collaboratif Atlas révèle une augmentation assez franche des cyberattaques au cours du mois d’août en France : le pic des 28 000 attaques DDoS est atteint !

Image result for direct denial of service attack

Continue reading “Cybersécurité: des chiffres qui donnent le vertige!”

Security Implications of Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin

There is a new foundation being created for the internet, and it already looks like it will upgrade the very way the internet records and shares data. Moreover, many analysts believe this technology will shake up several industries, paving the way for user-to-user interactions without the use of a middle man. It’s called blockchain technology, and it was originally created to service Bitcoin transactions. But, what exactly is Blockchain technology?  Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution, describe it as “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”


Continue reading “Security Implications of Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin”

Your Customers Feel Safe – Remember This If You’re Selling Security Solutions in Poland

Poles feel safe; this is evident in recent research by CBOS which shows that 89% of the population declares Poland is a safe country and 95% claim their neighbourhoods are inviolable and free from danger. On top of this 60% of respondents said they were not afraid of being a victim of any kind of offence and only 14 percent states they have been a victim of theft over the past 5 years. Isn’t this idyllic? Yes; but it arguably leaves many Poles a little credulous, especially when faced by cybercrime.

Poland CybercrimePoland Cybercrime

Continue reading “Your Customers Feel Safe – Remember This If You’re Selling Security Solutions in Poland”

The Adobe Flash Phaseout: what it means for you and Cybersecurity

Adobe has recently announced the decision to gradually phaseout its Flash format and is working with partners to maintain the plugin and ensure a smooth transition until the Adobe Flash phaseout is complete in 2020.

Outdated and full of vulnerabilities, Adobe’s Flash is causing more harm than it is good. It’s a consistent threat to web users’ systems everywhere and its usage is decreasing as the use of HTML5, WebGL and Web Assembly grow. According to Google, 80% of desktop Chrome users were accessing a page running Flash three years ago and that figure has dropped to only 17% this year.

Flash is infamous for its numerous security vulnerabilities. According to CVE Details, the ultimate security vulnerability data source, there have been over 1,000 reports of Flash cybersecurity vulnerabilities, which have given cyber criminals the opportunity to worm into victims’ computers and take advantage of stolen personal information.

Continue reading “The Adobe Flash Phaseout: what it means for you and Cybersecurity”

Incendies, inondations, accidents de la route… les technologies éléments incontournables de la sécurité publique

Longtemps considérées comme des gadgets, les technologies et notamment les drones, robots, casques de réalité augmentée ou autres réseaux de vidéo surveillance connaissent depuis quelques mois un fabuleux tournant dans leur développement. Elles font aujourd’hui partie intégrante des dispositifs de service des secours à la personne. Elles n’ont bien entendu pas vocation à remplacer les équipes d’intervention mais plutôt de faciliter leur tâche face aux flammes ou dans le cadre d’interventions en milieu difficile ou hostile. Alors quelles sont ces innovations qui renforcent la sécurité publique?

Les drones et les incendies qui ravagent le sud de la France. Ce sont certainement les équipements qui connaissent le plus fort développement. Equipés d’une caméra infrarouge, ces robots volants permettent de visualiser les points chauds et les personnes ou équipes présentes sur les lieux au moment d’un incendie. Ils facilitent les repérages mais aussi la progression des équipes. Un outil précieux pour les pompiers, en complément de l’hélicoptère, qui ont cependant des limites notamment lorsque le vent est élevé, comme cela s’est produit lors des derniers incendies. Autre point noir dans leur développement : la nécessité de former des pilotes au sein des équipes de secours. Nos regards sont aussi tournés vers les USA où Lockheed Martin a développé une unité de drones capable d’éteindre un incendie.

Continue reading “Incendies, inondations, accidents de la route… les technologies éléments incontournables de la sécurité publique”

Videoüberwachung für mehr Sicherheit

Sichere Städte und das Thema Sicherheit allgemein werden immer wichtiger und nehmen eine verstärkte Präsenz in der täglichen Berichterstattung ein. Sicherheitskräfte müssen sich auf zunehmende Gefahren einstellen – wobei nicht nur Terror und Amok im Fokus stehen. Auch vermehrte Einbrüche, Angriffe auf Polizisten und Rettungsdienste oder eine Massenpanik bei einer Veranstaltung sind Themen der Inneren Sicherheit. Politiker fordern daher einen verstärkten Einsatz von Videoüberwachung und Parteien müssen sich für ihren Wahlkampf entsprechend rüsten. Erste Erfolge gibt es im Bereich Videoüberwachung bereits. Der deutsche Bundestag verabschiedete ein Maßnahmenpakt für eine Ausweitung der Videoüberwachung. Dadurch wird es künftig einfacher sein, Kameras in Einkaufszentren oder vor Fußballstadien zu installieren. Denn bei der Entscheidung über die Zulässigkeit von Videokameras werden Sicherheitsaspekte eine größere Rolle spielen als bisher.

Continue reading “Videoüberwachung für mehr Sicherheit”

What can PR managers learn from NotPetya?

We’ve heard a lot about cyberattacks lately, with news about incidents travelling far, wide and fast. That’s hardly remarkable, given that attacks can cause highly sensitive information to become public, personal information can be  stolen and entire companies can be shut down whilst cybercriminals wait for a ransom to be paid. In short, the economic and social impact is high. Recently, NotPetya dominated the news with both the Maersk terminal in the Port of Rotterdam and TNT post being hit. Using both online and offline media monitoring we found that there were more than six thousands articles and posts about the virus in just the first few days of the attack.

Continue reading “What can PR managers learn from NotPetya?”

Brexit and Cybersecurity – it’s a Minefield

Whilst businesses and individuals debate the cost and implications of the British public’s vote to Brexit, the cybersecurity community is similarly mulling over its consequences on the sharing of cyber-breach information internationally and what it will mean for cross-border data access.

The major issues we have to face is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the forfeiture of threat intelligence collaboration with Europe; the potential increasing cost of security (because of the falling value of the pound); and the loss of access to European technical expertise.

Continue reading “Brexit and Cybersecurity – it’s a Minefield”