Aug
4

See the light !

Light: Ever wondered about the about the cost of electricity and in particular light?

Just look at what our ancestors paid for light/electricity, courtesy of Statisa

Could all historians please just turn their attention away for a short moment?!

Let’s talk straight: All man had achieved before 1800 isn’t really worth mentioning. Easy peasy stuff. For thousands of years nothing really happened. These days, you visit a museum and are expected to marvel at an ancient plow or a knight’s armor, when back then they didn’t even have electric lighting. No switch, anywhere!

The history of artificial lighting accompanies and enlightens the Anthropocene, as some call the times from the year 1800 onwards, when mankind started showing off what its real capabilities were. Without light in the coal pits and in the factories, which from then on could be lit at all times, the industrial revolution would have had to have been postponed.

The costs for the production of light, one of the most important enablers of progress, have dropped in a way that is hardly imaginable. The environmental economists Roger Fouquet and Peter Pearson have retraced this development for England.

One hour of light (referred to as the quantity of light shed by a 100 watt bulb in one hour) cost 3200 times as much in 1800 in England than it does today, amounting to 130 euros back then (or a little more than 150 dollars). In 1900, it still cost 4 euros (close to 5 dollars). In the year 2000, we arrived at a cost of 4 euro cents (5 U.S. cents).

You can also put this into relation with the amount of time that an average worker needed to labor during different ages in order to earn enough for the 100 watt bulb to glow for an hour – just like the economist William Nordhaus has done in one of his classic essays.

The people of Babylon, in 1750 B.C., who used sesame oil to light the lamps, had to work for 400 hours to produce the said amount of light. Around 1800, using talcum candles, 50 hours needed to be invested. Using a gas lamp in the late 19th century, 3 hours were due. Using an energy saving bulb today, you will have to work for the blink of an eye – a second.

Infographic: The Cost of Light Through the Ages | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Jul
27

Impersonation Fraud by Email

All UK Banks have been advising their customers to be vigilant about email impersonation fraud.

Cyber Security Eye
Email impersonation fraud has cost UK companies some £32m. Cyber attack is increasing in usage,
which is why SMEs must stay vigilant or they risk being hacked.

Email impersonation fraud may seem legitimate, but scams involve employees receiving requests from “bosses” for sudden money transfers. An email arrives in the employee inbox looking like a legitimate request to make a money transfer for an apparently urgent reason. Companies that do not have checks and balances on setting up new payees or money transfer risk falling foul of this scam.

Social media has been highlighted as a tool used for the online crime wave, with fraudsters doing their research on companies and individuals through social networking accounts.If employees post information about their lives on Facebook then it will be easier for criminals to find out where they work and start to guess email addresses, passwords (name of your favourite pet etc..)

Prevention is of upmost importance in putting a stop to this cyber crime – companies need to consider fraud as critical to their business operation as any other aspect such as cash flow

With the number of businesses now going online for their business banking the issue of fraud prevention has never been more important.”

In order to prevent these attacks, it is vital that businesses to discuss the issue with its staff. This will include considering how they can be more vigilant about what is being shared publically, so that hackers have limited information resource. Constant training and discussion is vital as the “threat landscape” changes rapidly.

Last year,2016, it has been discovered that 91 per cent of business leaders said cyber security was important, though just 57 per cent had a protection strategy. Furthermore, only 20 per cent have insurance for attacks. If you are interested in Insurance there are a number of providers out there but one we particularly like is Elmore. Just have a chat with Simon Gilbert

One of our top tips to stay safe on line is to keep contact details with your bank updated, so that businesses are easily reachable should suspicious activity be detected.

Other blogs of interest:

Jul
25

EV Revolution: Watch out China’s About!

Beware the Dragon

This serves as a cautionary tale for the West. The majority of the EV electric vehicles deployed in China today did not originate in the West. China is already ahead and it’s all to do with their massive market.

Today, here in Britain we get most of our tech from US companies, with a few notable exceptions. Are we looking to the East for the next wave or can their be a Renaissance in the West.

Martin Armstrong from Statista says: Not so long ago, it would have come as quite a surprise to hear that coal guzzling China was a leader in some form of renewable energy technology. Now though, with a strong commitment to the Paris Agreement and continued high-levels of government investment in renewables, it is less of a shock to see the country ahead of countries like the U.S.

 

 

As this data from the International Energy Agency shows, the uptake of electric and alternative fuel vehicles in China has really taken off. Despite lagging behind the U.S. up until 2014, new registrations hit 352 thousand last year – almost 200 thousand more than in the States. Of course, China is a much larger market, but with an increase of 381 percent from 2014 to 2016, compared to a comparatively stagnant 33 percent in the U.S., the appetite for electric vehicles is clearly big.

For an in-depth look at the auto industry in China, take a look at the Statista report ‘The Chinese Passenger Car Market‘.

This is courtesy of Martin Armstrong at Statista

Jun
30

How has Malware grown?

According to Dyfed Loesche of Satista  One type of malware has captured the attention of the world. Recent ransomware attacks show the devastating effects it can have on business and infrastructure. After a worldwide attack with a cryptoworm called “WannaCry” in May, another attack with a strain of ransomware called “Petya” started on Tuesday and kept on spreading around the world on Wednesday.

Infographic: Ransomware Makes up Small Share of Growing Malware Threat | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

Malware has come a long way in the last ten years, as the below infographic shows. According to analysts with IT-security software firm G Data, the number of new malware specimen is likely to reach more than 7.4 million this year alone. Albeit this number seems to spell bad news only, the data also indicates that the malware growth rate is slowing.

It is also important to note that according to data provided by IT-security institute AV-Test, ransomware (such as “WannaCry” and “Petya”) only makes up a very small share of all malware detected worldwide. However, this just goes to show that the number of specimen of a certain kind of malware does not reflect its actual potential for damage.

amatis takes your cyber safety seriously we have a number of blogs on the subject click this link

Jun
28

GDPR fines are happening in the UK

Boomerang gets £60,000 cyber attack fine for “basic” failings

If your company has failed to implement basic cyber security, and your website takes a hit, the Information Commissioner’s Office can hand out a fine.

With GDPR coming into force next year, a cyber attack fine could become a lot higher, have a look at our previous blog GDPR the Costs.

Boomerang a UK SME is now counting the costs!!

Cyber security has been a ubiquitous subject lately and we all maybe suffering from info overload.

Here is a wake up call!!

Experts are warning that SMEs are ill-prepared, or not listening. Find out  What can you do? here.

Now perhaps they will as the company subject to the fine Boomerang Video, allows customers to rent video games online, payable through a web application. It was the victim of cyber crime in 2014, which saw the details of 26,331 customers accessed.

On the surface, the attack didn’t differ too much from those on larger companies throughout the year, WONGA, Talk Talk, Debenhams

Most were just warned in some way, mostly for not letting customers know about the breach immediately.

Boomerang was handed a cyber attack fine of £60,000 – not something you expect to be given after someone hacks your website. Here are the reasons why:

1.Boomerang used a third party to develop the web site and it had a security flaw.

2.The site was based on WordPress and you need to be constantly updating security for the world’s most popular WB site tool see our blog WordPress Security

3.Boomerang apparently ignored guidelines on credit card data storage and kept records of names, addresses, primary account numbers, expiry dates and security codes

4.In particular “security code” storage is a No No according to the Information Commissioner “Industry guidelines prohibit the storage of the security code after payment authorisation. Boomerang failed to carry out regular penetration testing on its website, which should have detected the error. It also didn’t ensure the password for the WordPress account was sufficiently complex to be resistant to a brute-force attack”

Have a look at the ICO explanation

The ICO has made an example of Boomerang to remind bosses that no one is exempt from the law.

The ICO states “Regardless of your size, if you are a business that handles personal information then failure to take responsibility will land you with a cyber attack fine. And with GDPR coming into force next year, a cyber attack fine could become a lot higher.”

 

Jun
9

amatis Invest in New Service Management System

amatis Networks has just rolled out the deployment of ServiceNow to enhance our Customers experience at all levels. This is just part of our continuing commitment to give Customers the very best service in the Industry.

This major investment backs up amatis commitment to ISO27001 and the amatis ITIL® Service Strategy.

ServiceNow consists of a number of different elements and amatis will be rolling these out over the coming months.

IT Service Management:

  • Implementing ServiceNow has been an easy transformation from our old ticketing system and will offer so much more.
  • With the ITIL best practice built in we have now got a world class support system
  • We can assign work fast. Automated routing, drag‑and‑drop assignments, and integrated collaboration make it easy for our provisioning and support teams to work together.
  • Simplify service delivery with an easily configured portal which provides amatis staff and customers with a consumer‑like experience for requesting and tracking services.
  • Full visibility for all with Dashboards thats provide consistent and actionable information for service demand, service‑level compliance, and other key performance indicators.

Self Service Portal:

  • ServiceNow offers an IT self‑service portal that lets users submit service requests in seconds. They can request IT services, log issues, search a knowledge base, and track progress using one informative, engaging interface.
  • A consumer like experience as it uses a service catalog as a one‑stop shop for all service requests across all customer services with amatis. Managing requests through a familiar, easy‑to‑use shopping‑cart checkout interface using routine steps to establish clear expectations and delivery timeframes.
  • Improve Service quality by Guiding customers with configurable prompts to make sure their issues are routed to the correct team.Keep Customers Informed regarding their issues and requests with online status updates. Enables automatic escalation and recognises SLA terms to ensure that service commitments are delivered.
  • Sharing. ServiceNow will Empower our staff and customers to search for solutions and workarounds in a categorised knowledge base. Score articles and collaborate on submitted questions for continuous improvement. Consolidate our corporate documents and FAQ’s in a centralised knowledge base.

Asset Tracking

  • ServiceNow provides a single system of record for all IT components, it shows a complete, connected view of systems, networks, and assets, so we can identify and resolve problems faster. We will always know how every system is configured, who has access to it, and what’s installed on it.
  • Customers and staff will know their networks and assets as ServiceNow allows us to rapidly deploy and scan IP connected device across multiple domains with an agentless architecture.Flexible scheduling to scan daily, weekly or during off‑peak hours to keep the CMDB up‑to‑date.We can discover installed software applications, versions and license counts to help manage compliance and ensure consistency.
  • Manage change – ServiceNow will strengthen our change processing by tracking attributes such as asset age and lease expiration dates. We can quickly identify business service outages related to problems or incidents with a connected asset.We can easily view the impact of change through a business service map of related network devices.

Real Time Dashboard

  • Keep everyone infomed  ServiceNow provides real‑time transparency with configurable, role‑based dashboards for staff and Customers.

Customisation

  • One of the reasons that we chose ServiceNow is that we can build and publish service request management solutions for the business in hours. We can create any service request workflow and process, tailored to each department’s individual needs. ServiceNow adapts to any process without a single line of code.
  • amatis has a roadmap of additional services that we will rollout once the initial implementation has bedded in.

For more information please contact support on 0118 321 9946 or

Logon to the amatis Service Now Portal