Wednesday, 03 August 2011

NHS e-Records Unworkable say MP's

The Commons Public Accounts Committee publishes a report today on the workability of the National Programme for IT in the NHS. The report is based on evidence from the Department of Health (The Department) and its contractors BT and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).

The Department has been unable to demonstrate what benefits have been delivered from the 2.7 billion-pound spent on the project so far.

It should now urgently review whether it is worth continuing with the remaining elements of the care records system. The 4.3 billion-pound which the Department expects to spend might be better used to buy systems that are proven to work, that are good value for money and which deliver demonstrable benefits to the NHS.

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, today said: "The Department of Health is not going to achieve its original aim of a fully integrated care records system across the NHS. Trying to create a one-size-fits-all system in the NHS was a massive risk and has proven to be unworkable.

The original objective was to ensure every NHS patient had an individual electronic care record which could be rapidly transmitted between different parts of the NHS, in order to make accurate patient records available to NHS staff at all times.

First Fingerprint-enabled NFC Payment Transaction Completed in the U.S.

NXP Semiconductors, AuthenTec and DeviceFidelity, Inc., announce they are jointly developing reference designs that enable highly secure mobile payments via Android-based phones through the use of fingerprint biometrics and near field communication (NFC) technology.

The companies recently collaborated to complete the first biometrically-enabled NFC mobile payment transaction in the U.S. The successful transaction was made possible via a Motorola ATRIX 4G smartphone equipped with AuthenTec's AES1750 smart fingerprint sensor and DeviceFidelity's In2Pay microSD card based on NXP's secure NFC solution. The quick, convenient and secure mobile payment was conducted when the demonstrator swiped a finger over the Smartphone's fingerprint sensor, authenticating him as the pre-enrolled account owner and quickly launching a credit card app. Following authentication the user simply tapped the ATRIX smartphone against a payment terminal to complete the first fingerprint-enabled, secure NFC transaction in the U.S.

"The payment experience demonstrated the convenience, speed, and security consumers require for broad adoption of mobile wallets, said Henri Ardevol, vice president and general manager, secure transactions, NXP Semiconductors. "The fingerprint transaction shows how future mobile transactions may become increasingly convenient through the use of NFC and biometrics. In the meantime, however, we continue to focus on bringing easy-to-integrate yet highly secure solutions to mobile phone OEMs and carriers eager to offer secure mobile wallet designs."

Fromant to Drive Contis Group Forward as Prepaid Market Leader

Mike Fromant is set to take Skipton-based Contis Group, provider of online banking and prepaid card technologies and services, to the next level following his promotion to managing director.

With nearly four decades of experience in the banking and consumer finance industry, Mike Fromant is well placed to drive the company forward as a major player in the card payments sector. He boasts a track record of success and achievement with sector leaders including the launch of the first ever cashback card in the UK with GE Rewards and managing the take on of 20 new clients in 7 years for TSYS.

His elevation from general manager follows the recent launch of Contis Group's 2million-pound investment programme to position the company at the forefront of developments in payment processing, including advancements in cloud computing and SMART phone technology.

Said Mike: "It is exhilarating to be handed the reins of the company during such an exciting time. The prepaid industry is really flourishing - with predictions of a boom expected to continue until at least 2017, and I will seize this opportunity to drive Contis forward as a global leader within the sector."

64% of Organisations Failing to Encrypt Data in the Cloud

Venafi, the inventor of and market leader in Enterprise Key and Certificate Management (EKCM) solutions, in conjunction with Echelon One, an IT security research leader specialising in security programs and guidance, today released the 2011 IT Security Best Practices Assessment. Echelon One led the effort to establish a set of 12 best practices and worked closely with Venafi to evaluate how well 420 enterprises and government agencies implemented them. The assessment reveals an epidemic of security worst practices, where a majority of organisations fail to adhere to simple data protection standards and, in many cases, are fully unaware of what security practices are currently in place.

The assessment evaluated where organisations rank in the implementation of 12 IT security and compliance best practices, ranging from how organisations leverage and manage encryption to how often they conduct security awareness and training programs. The top five best practices, their high failure rates, and recommendations for mitigation include:

  • Perform quarterly security and compliance training. Failure rate - 77%
  • Encrypt all cloud data and transaction. Failure rate - 64%
  • Use encryption throughout the organisation. Failure rate - 10%
  • Have management processes in place to ensure business continuity in the event of a Certificate Authority (CA) compromise. Failure rate - 55%
  • Rotate SSH keys every 12 months to mitigate risk incurred by the average employee life cycle of 2 years of service. Failure rate - 82%

"The biggest security struggle organisations face today is managing the unknown - aka the unquantified and unmanaged risks. Your best security assets can easily turn into liabilities if not managed properly," said Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi. "If this assessment demonstrates anything, it's that IT and security departments have got to gain greater visibility over all of their security and compliance activities, and take steps to better understand and manage them."

To read the full report:

Neology Sues Federal Signal and Sirit Over Patent Infringement

Neology, a pioneer of passive RFID technology announced Friday that it had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Federal Signal and Sirit, a unit of Federal Signal Technologies Group, for patent infringement of multiple claims in six Neology patents.

The lawsuit demands that Federal Signal and related companies immediately and permanently stop directly or indirectly making, using, selling or offering for sale, importing or exporting, all infringing RFID tags, readers, and systems or sub-systems. In addition, the suit demands that Neology be fully compensated for all damages attributable to past infringement.

As a technology leader, Neology's strength in intellectual property and focus on security, increased performance, and innovative products has positioned the company as the largest and best source for passive RFID products and EVR systems in North America. For more information, visit

S1 Corporation Board of Directors Rejects ACI Proposal

S1 Corporation announced yesterday that its Board of Directors, after thorough consideration and consultation with its legal and financial advisors, has rejected ACI Worldwide, Inc.'s ("ACI") previously announced proposal to acquire S1. The Board unanimously concluded that pursuing discussions with ACI at this time is not in the best financial or strategic interests of S1 and its stockholders. In doing so, the Board affirmed its commitment to S1's pending business combination with Fundtech.

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