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Women in IT Awards nominee!

We are proud to announce that Nadira Hussain our Director of Leadership Development & Research has received a nomination for `CIO of the Year’ in this year’s Women in IT Awards!

The percentage of female IT leaders globally is still only 9% and this figure has not changed much in the past few years despite one third of organisations claiming to have diversity initiatives.

Countless studies have shown a shortage of tech workers in the UK and around the world, and this number will only rise. Increasing the number of women entering tech is perhaps the most powerful tool for alleviating this burden.

The technology sector is still stereotyped as to the types of roles available and this has led to a decline in the number of women entering the tech workforce. This has resulted in difficulties in recruiting and retaining female tech talent and this is becoming increasingly more difficult for companies. Many women see the low number of women in tech and choose to enter other fields.

The Women in IT Awards aims to tackle this issue and redress the gender imbalance, by showcasing the achievements of women in the sector and identifying new role models.

Organised by business technology site Information Age, the awards were launched as a platform to celebrate women in technology. Since its launch, in 2015, the Women in IT Awards have showcased women in technology in London and New York. This year, the awards series will expand to celebrate women in technology in Silicon Valley, Asia and Ireland for the first time.

This growing awards series acts as a flagship and high-profile platform to support the industry in its mission to move the dial on gender.

The award will go to a female Chief Information Officer who has demonstrated particular innovation, IT excellence and leadership in the last 18 months. Judges will be looking at projects and achievements spanning the current organisation or others if applicable, along with examples of best practice, leadership, ROI generated and alignment to business goals.

Good luck Nadira!

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Empowering Women in a Digital World

Start the new year with a new perspective! This exciting leadership programme is just a few weeks away! An opportunity to tackle the issues and challenges faced by women in their personal and professional lives. Our Empowerment course looks at developing the relevant strengths to work with others to achieve high-reaching personal and business outcomes and goals.This is a tried and tested and well regarded programme that delivers positive experiences and provides a supportive learning environment. There are only a few places left! Visit the website for further details - register yourself or recommend someone else you think would benefit.

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“Clean-up your computer month” – our guide to keeping data safe.

‘Clean up your computer’ month for January, marks the importance of organisations and the workforce adhering to the principles and guidelines of data protection (GDPR) and ensuring that appropriate and adequate security measures have been implemented to protect staff, their devices and the data they use and share. In the current climate, we all individually need to take personal responsibility of being compliant with national and local policies and practices.

It is also paramount that organisations are able to achieve cost effective storage solutions through adopting these ‘good’ practice principles and limiting how much information is stored.

It really isn’t about the use of cleaning materials and rubber gloves to ensure that your device is clean and tidy! Although, there is a need to keep kit and desks neat and paper-free in-line with ‘clear desk and hot-desking’ policies.

It is really helpful to follow the advice and guidance that is made available regarding the cleaning-up of devices for the following reasons:

  • We should only keep hold of data; comprising of emails, attachments, case details and other documentation and information, to meet our specific business need. With the introduction of the GDPR guidelines earlier this year, it is even more pertinent for individuals, teams and organisations to be really vigilant about which data is retained and for how long. And we are obliged to ask data owners if they want us to keep this information through the use of the ‘privacy’ guidelines. Organisations need to clearly articulate their retention, archiving and disposal policy guidelines. (See – insert link to GDPR best practice)
  • We need to ensure that adequate, reliable security measures are in place to prevent the misuse of the data that we hold. If we need to  share data with partners and other agencies, then it can be done in a secure manner. We also need to be careful that if a device is lost or stolen, that the security protection that has been deployed will prevent access to data unlawfully.
  • It is a known fact that the more data that is kept, the more storage capacity is required. This poses a number of issues for organisations:
    • information overflow – a need to ensure that there is clarity about what is kept for how long and how this is managed and stored
    • investment in robust document management systems to ensure the electronic safeguarding of information, rather than being riddled with tons of paper! To reduce cost, it is necessary to limit how much data we keep
    • physical, virtual or cloud storage – the more we need to store, the more expensive our storage solution. As more and more organisations review their infrastructure and storage solutions, it is an ideal opportunity to reduce the amount of data that is kept, so that storage is optimised and made as cost effective as possible.

The start of a new year and the opportunity to refresh the approach to using, storing and sharing data and keeping devices secure! Please take the necessary actions to ensure that these guidelines and best practice are followed to protect yourself and any potential mis-management of data.

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Friday Roundup: A Week in Tech (21/12/18)

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It’s Friday. It’s the roundup. It must be time for Facebook Disaster of the Week – and this one’s a classic balls-up.

The social network – which, amazingly, continues to operate – has revealed the discovery of a bug that exposed nearly seven million of its long-suffering users’ photos.

According to Facebook, during September up to 1,500 third-party apps gained access to a ‘broader set of photos than usual’.

What makes all of this particular poignant/gruesome is the offer Facebook made last year for users to send it their most intimate photos as part of an effort to tackle revenge porn.

I suggested at the time that only the bravest of souls would send in their most private of pics, what with the firm being submerged in a ocean of fishiness and ineptitude even then – and this year has seen that risible sea deepen to the point that I doubt even a specialised Elon Musk submarine can save it.

Anyhow, Facebook says it plans to notify the victims of the latest screwup, and explained itself thusly: ‘When someone gives permission for an app to access their photos on Facebook, we usually only grant the app access to photos people share on their timeline.

‘In this case, the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos.’

Have you been affected by this present fiasco? Please let us know why you haven’t shut down your Facebook account.

***

Poor old Uber has been found wanting by the forces of justice, and must now treat its workers like human beings.

Actually, it must now treat its workers as workersafter the Court of Appeal ruled that the firm could no longer regard its drivers as self-employed; meaning – the horror! – that they are entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage.

Of course, these entitlements could be short-lived when the genius of Brexit crash lands into the UK mainland in March and destroys 40 years of carefully crafted employment law – but who cares anymore, right? Sovereignty! Woo! Go Brexit!

Anyhow, the action was brought by two former Uber drivers, one of whom is Yaseen Aslam, chairman of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union, and he had this to say: ‘I am delighted today’s ruling brings us closer to the ending of Uber’s abuse of precarious workers made possible by tactics of contract trickery, psychological manipulation and old-fashioned bullying.’

Hard to put it any better than that – however, responding to Uber’s plans to appeal the decision, thus further delaying the implementation of the treat workers well edict, Mr Farrar outdid himself with: ‘This is nothing more than a cynical ploy to delay inevitable changes to its business model while it pursues a record breaking $120bn stock market flotation.’

Greedy, greedy Uber! Just like Facebook, very greedy and very sloppy with its users’ data. Rich, sloppy, disdainful and shady. We’ve let these firms take over our lives, folks. What are we thinking?

***

And now it’s time for a look back over the year that everyone’s calling ‘2018’ – not all of which has been about Russia, China and Facebook.

Things kicked off with the disconcerting news that many CPUs are vulnerable to hackers. AMD, ARM and Intel chips were all apparently prone to a number of weaknesses. Interestingly, the story seems to have gone very quiet over the last six months, which means they either fixed it or everyone lost interest because of Brexit. Probably the latter.

In far more alarming hacking news, it was revealed that America’s gargantuan nuclear arsenal is also susceptible to hackers, in another story that has since gone incredible quiet, possibly because of most people’s attention being drawn to the deranged Donald Trump.

At the end of January, friendly Facebook announced plans for a child version of Facebook, while simultaneously claiming it was very concerned with the effect social media is having on the young. No shame! None at all!

In February, then digital minister Matt Hancock released an app – which was immediately implicated in a data privacy breach fiasco. I wonder whatever became of it?

The end of February bought moon news. 4G moon news.

(Only the end of February? This is going to take ages.)

I’ve zipped to April (not that much happened in March, honest) when the notoriously tech-illiterate Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced £9m to fight cyber crime. Whatever happened to her?

Lots of our focus this year was concerned with the hateful Cambridge Analytica. Here’s one of many stories about the scandal-filled enterprise.

In June, I couldn’t find a single World Cup-related tech tale, so had to make do with stuff like this.

July started with shock and horror! Social media firms are actively trying to make their networks as addictive as possible!!! Who would have thought it possible??!!

In mid July I got a bit maudlin with this effort about the strange story of the trapped teenagers and Elon Musk.

August brought some pretty good news: the demise of spite hive InfoWars. Well, not demise exactly, but hopefully all the frenzied liars involved in the dirty enterprise felt their pockets pinched a little bit.

Apple and Samsung got some massive fines for deliberately slowing their phones down. As for me, my October was reasonably enjoyable.

Which brings us to November and news that Google lost loads of its IP addresses for a short while – and China has built a literal fake newsreader.

That’ll do it. Didn’t enjoy compiling this at all. 

***

Anyhow, this is the last of my Friday roundups. I hope you’ve enjoyed them. Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year.

 

by Max Salsbury

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Policy Briefing - Digital by choice: Bridging the digital divide - Part 3


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Policy Briefing - Digital by choice: Bridging the digital divide - Part 2


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Policy Briefing - Our Key Policy Themes


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Policy Briefing - Digital by choice: Bridging the digital divide - Part 1


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