Category: Tech News

After critical year, Vodafone trains security sights on CNI market

A little-known unit within Vodafone, Vodafone Business Security Enhanced (VBSE), is coming out of the classified closet and shining a bright light on new verticals, with a new portfolio of military-grade cyber security services on offer to public sector bodies, critical national infrastructure (CNI) providers, and other key organisations, spurred on by the lessons of a tumultuous period in the security industry.

Having traditionally specialised in providing top-tier cyber security services to government and the defence sector – something it has been doing in some capacity since the late 1980s – the pivot towards new verticals has been in the works for some time, Steve Knibbs, head of secure at Vodafone, told Computer Weekly. The mobile services giant is betting that its core business as a supplier of CNI itself will stand it in good stead with potential clients.

“A couple of years ago, we realised that some of the services we provide and some of the skills, techniques and the way we do things is probably applicable to a wider market. So, we spoke to the business and gotten to invest in what we call the enhanced portfolio,” he said.

“It provides effectively three portfolios of products that

Aryaka offers hybrid workplaces “risk-free on-ramp” to SASE

With its core market much changed over the course of 2020 and the secure hybrid remote working model now established as the paradigm for business networks in 2021, cloud-first WAN solutions provider Aryaka Networks has unveiled a technological solution that it claims will offer remote workers the industry’s most flexible managed virtual private network (VPN).

Built on secure access service edge (SASE) architectural principles and delivered as a fully managed service, Aryaka described the new product as tailor-made for today’s enterprise, which wants to make its distributed workforces “first-class citizens” with predictable and high-performance access to corporate applications.

It adds that for the first time, regardless of location or type of application being accessed, employees can easily and securely move between on-premise and remote office locations while experiencing the same highly predictable application performance.

Noting why such capability is so important in the context of the new hybrid workplace, the firm said the Covid-19 pandemic caused disruption to the global workforce. While many employees were able to work from home, they were challenged to get predictable access to corporate applications impacting productivity and collaboration.

As a result, the company said many CIOs engaged in post-pandemic planning exercises are looking

Three UK gears up for 2021 business expansion

Having spent 2020 laying the groundwork for a 5G network that, to date, has focused on consumer-centric services, Three UK is to pivot towards better addressing the business sector – an area that, according to Three CEO Robert Finnegan, offers a great opportunity for growth.

At a media conference summing up 2020 and outlining its strategy for 2021, Finnegan said that since he took the reins in March 2020, Three UK had embarked on a mission to provide better connectivity every day for every customer. He added that everything the company did had to revolve around those aims in terms of how it operated and how it interacted with customers.

“Better connectivity every day for every customer really depends on having a trusted and reliable network that matches best-in-class, richer experiences and that makes life better for everyone, and better propositions and experiences for customers as well,” he said.

Noting highlights for 2020, elements that would be the stakes in the ground for the forthcoming 12 months, Finnegan said the year had seen not only the acceleration of 5G, but had also seen a “massive” programme to improve the existing 4G network and all 4G traffic now on the company’s

Cisco accelerates collaboration with ‘wave’ of Webex enhancements and plans

Faced with addressing the needs of businesses adopting the new normal of a hybrid workforce with markedly different technical and cultural demands, Cisco has announced a range of actions to provide smart and seamless collaboration in the new environment with an updated Webex slate and an intention to buy audience interaction company Slido.

Principally the company has announced an all-new Webex app for meetings, messaging and calling, and introduced three devices for workers – Webex Desk, Webex Desk Camera and Webex Desk Hub. It also unveiled a new Webex App Hub, a collaboration app ecosystem that includes prebuilt integrations with Box, Dropbox, Salesforce, ServiceNow, MIRO and Workplace for Facebook. Into this, it will fit the Slido technology, which is designed to enable higher levels of user engagement – before, during and after meetings and events.

Putting the launches into perspective, Jeetu Patel, senior vice-president and general manager for security and applications at Cisco, said the moves were part of the company’s purpose to power an “inclusive future” where collaboration technology plays a critical role in levelling the playing field so everyone is able to participate in the global economy regardless of geography, language and personality type.

“This is why we

Amnesia:33 IoT flaws dangerous and patches unlikely, say experts

The disclosure of 33 TCP/IP stack flaws affecting smart devices manufactured by over 150 different tech companies has once again thrown the spotlight on lax attitudes to IoT security at the development level, and the likelihood of being able to patch them across every device is low, meaning users must either live with the risk of compromise, or splash out on heightened precautions that can never guarantee protection.

Dubbed Amnesia:33 by the Forescout research team that uncovered them, the vulnerabilities have already been the subject of a fresh alert from the US’ CISA cyber security centre. They were uncovered as part of Forescout’s Project Memoria, an initiative purposely set up to study the security of TCP/IP stacks, and their publication is the first disclosure made under the initiative.

Forescout revealed that four of the vulnerabilities were critical, enabling remote code execution (RCE) on targeted devices and giving attackers an easy entry point onto a network, whether consumer or enterprise, to establish persistence, move laterally, and conduct further attacks, or put devices into large IoT botnets. Others arise from bad software development practice and relate to memory corruption, which can cause denial of service, information leaks or allow for

SMEs need to acknowledge remote working lessons to prosper post-Covid

Just as the world’s first Covid-19 vaccination takes place, and companies, in particular small businesses, envisage that they may be finally at the beginning of the end of the business turbulence and see growth in a post-pandemic future, research from 8×8 is warning small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to heed the lessons of the pandemic and ensure there’s no return to bad habits.

Indeed, the integrated cloud communications platform provider’s survey showed that as the country looks to rebuild its economy following the pandemic, SMEs that improved their output and productivity would bring benefits not only to staff and customers, but also to the wider economy and local communities.

The survey was conducted by Censuswide, and took the opinion of 1,005 SME employees from businesses with between 2-250 employees across the UK at the end of October. High among the key items to deal with among such firms were concerns around customer service, worries about their mental health and that of their colleagues, and a lack of productivity.

Employees were fundamentally concerned for the businesses they work for, with many considering how their employers can do better to succeed long-term. Over half (54%) of SME employees said more frequent