Thursday, 12 October 2017

Do You Trust Your Local Authority to Hold Your Personal Data?

For the last 7 years West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has published on-line the personal details of over 1400 carers, foster carers and disabled people. It came to light when Andrew Rowson a data scientist spotted the information. He reported it to the WSCC who took a further 29 hours to remove the information.

The council claimed that there was insufficient information released to identify the people concerned but the BBC picked a set of 30 names and managed to track them all.

Although the Council didn't comment you might argue this is just a case of human error, I think it's much more than that, it is a process error. Clearly the data was not classified correctly nor were there procedures in place to protect the data from release. No one person should have been able to authorise the release of the data.

Digital Data is the New Battleground

While Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un carry on their public rhetoric behind the scenes the greatest interest is focussed on the power of the hackers and their countries resistance to attack by others. By all accounts and as discussed in the Washington Post last week it is generally agreed that North Korea is just as vulnerable to hacking as the US but there is far less to attack in North Korea. According to Priscilla Morluchi a former NSA analyst, they only have 1500 available IP addresses and about half of those are for propaganda or informational web sites.

The more interesting question is where does the balance lie in the capability of one side to digitally attack the other?

Deloitte's Hack Looks Worse than First Reported

An attack on the user names, passwords and personal details of the company's clients which happened earlier this year was reported last month. At the time the company undertook a review and claimed that no disruption had occurred to client businesses and that in any event very few clients were impacted. According to a report in the Guardian the attack was US focussed and was regarded as so sensitive that only a small number of employees were aware of the hack.

However a new report from the Guardian has claimed that the security breach involved up to 350 very high profile clients including US Government departments.

There is a message here, so often when these cases are first reported it is always small and under total control. Based on later analysis this is invariably found to be wrong, the attacks are always worse than first reported. It seems like a PR strategy, report a little problem and just gently leak the more gruesome details later when nobody is looking or they have lost interest.

ADP Acquires Global Cash Card, Solidifies Leadership Position in

ADP has announced the acquisition of Global Cash Card, a leader in digital payments, including paycards. Paycards have been the fastest growing method of pay in recent years, in part because of their popularity with Millennials and Gen Z.

Joe Purcell, founder, president and CEO of Global Cash Card, said, "The Global Cash Card team is thrilled to join ADP. We've worked hard to develop a very happy and growing customer base, and I'm excited to see this payment processing technology reach a whole new level with the know-how, resources and market penetration of ADP behind it."

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