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Ninety-Five Percent of UK Businesses Still Struggling with Mobile Working and Security of Data Continues to Cause Concern

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Ninety-Five Percent of UK Businesses Still Struggling with Mobile Working and Security of Data Continues to Cause Concern

A third of organisations have experienced a data loss or breach as a direct result of mobile working

MANCHESTER, UK.– Apricorn, the leading manufacturer of software-free, 256-bit AES XTS hardware-encrypted USB drives, today announced new research highlighting that 95 percent of surveyed organisations  in the UK recognise problems with mobile and remote working, and, worryingly, nearly one in five (18%) suggest their mobile workers don’t care about security.

All (100%) surveyed IT decision makers noted that they had employees who work remotely at least some of the time, with an average of over a third (37%) of staff members who do so.

With an increase in the numbers working remotely, this means more data moving beyond the confines of the corporate network, and organisations need to ensure that any data, be it at rest, or on the move, remains secure.

While many are taking steps, such as implementing security policies for mobile working and bring-your-own-device (BYOD), to ensure their data is protected, just under half of respondents (44%) still agree that their organisation expects their mobile workers to expose them to the risk of a breach. Roughly a third (32%) say that their organisation has already experienced a data loss or breach as a direct result of mobile working and, to add to this, 30 percent of respondents from organisations where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies are concerned that mobile working is an area that will most likely cause them to be non-compliant.

Fifty-three percent cited that one of their top three biggest problems with remote working is due to the complexity and management of the technology that employees need and use. Over half (54%) say that while their organisation’s mobile workers are willing to comply with requests relating to security measures, employees lack the necessary skills or technologies required to keep data safe. Nearly a third (29%) take the radical approach of physically blocking all removable media, and a further 22% ask employees not to use removable media although they have no technology to enforce this.

“The number of organisations blocking removable media has increased compared with responses to the same question in 2017, when 18% said they were physically blocking all removable devices. A unilateral ban is not the solution and ignores the problem altogether whilst presenting a barrier to effective working. Instead, businesses should identify corporately approved, hardware encrypted devices that are only provided to staff with a justified business case. The approved devices should then be whitelisted on the IT infrastructure, blocking access to all non-approved media,” said Jon Fielding, Managing Director, EMEA, Apricorn.

Despite strict security policies, mobile working can still leave organisations wide open to the risk of a data breach. Half (50%) of respondents admitted one of the three biggest problems with mobile working is that they cannot be certain their data is adequately secured. Only around half enforce and are completely confident in their encrypted data in transit (52%), in the cloud (52%) and at rest (51%).

“Whilst the new GDPR legislation requires the pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data, encryption is not a new concept, and keeping data secure has always been imperative to any organisation handling sensitive information,” adds Fielding.

“Organisations are simply not following security best practices. They need to implement and enforce policies and provide employee training to ensure compliance with data protection regulations. Failing to put processes in place is putting confidential data at risk and with the GDPR legislation in place, organisations face the prospect of being fined even before a breach has occurred,” advised Fielding.

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Bank of England sets out interim ‘bail-in’ debt targets for banks

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Bank of England sets out interim 'bail-in' debt targets for banks 1

via Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England on Tuesday set out interim levels of special debt that banks including HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds must issue over coming years for writing down in a crisis to avoid taxpayer bailouts.

The BoE said it would review how the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities or MREL is calibrated, and the final compliance date before setting “end state” amounts.

“In doing so, we will have regard to any intervening changes in the UK regulatory framework,” it said in a statement.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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British firms call for immediate $10.3 billion in COVID aid

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British firms call for immediate $10.3 billion in COVID aid 2

via Reuters

By William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – British firms called on Tuesday for another 7.6 billion pounds ($10.3 billion) of emergency government help, saying they cannot wait until finance minister Rishi Sunak’s March budget to learn if they will get more pandemic support.

With Britain back under lockdown and companies adjusting to life after Brexit, firms are taking big decisions about jobs and investment and need to know if their financial lifelines will be extended, the Confederation of British Industry said.

“We just have to finish the job. Now would be a very odd time to end that support,” CBI Director-General Tony Danker said in a statement.

Sunak has extended his support measures several times already and has said his response to the pandemic will cost 280 billion pounds during the current financial year, saddling Britain with a peacetime record budget deficit.

But he is facing calls on many fronts to spend yet more including from lawmakers, some from his Conservative Party, who want an emergency welfare benefit increase to be prolonged.

The CBI said Sunak should extend until June his broad job retention scheme, which is scheduled to expire in April, and then follow it up with targeted support for jobs in sectors facing a slow recovery such as aviation.

He should give firms more time to pay back value-added tax which was deferred last year, grant a similar deferral for early 2021 and extend a business rates tax exemption for companies forced to close by the lockdown as well as their suppliers.

“The rule of thumb must be that business support remains in parallel to restrictions and that those measures do not come to a sudden stop,” Danker said.

The CBI said its longer-term priority was an overhaul of the business rates system that it said was outdated and discouraging investment in low-carbon energy.

Danker said it was too soon to start raising Britain’s corporation tax rate, one of the lowest among rich economies after a Times report that Sunak was drawing up plans to increase it to start fixing the public finances.

“It would be wrong to raise business taxes when we don’t have a recovery,” Danker said.

($1 = 0.7380 pounds)

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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BOJ’s policy review may make ETF buying more flexible – Reuters poll

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BOJ's policy review may make ETF buying more flexible - Reuters poll 3

via Reuters

 

By Kaori Kaneko

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan will likely focus on measures to make its purchases of risky assets, such as exchange-traded funds (ETF), more flexible as the economy comes under growing strain from a spike in COVID-19 infections, a Reuters poll found.

Analysts polled also revised down their economic projection for the fiscal year ending in March on expectations a recent resurgence of coronavirus infections would dent growth.

Economic activity could stall in the world’s third-largest economy from pandemic curbs and the BOJ may have to look at more effective ways to achieve its 2% inflation target as renewed infections force it to maintain its massive stimulus longer, analysts said.

The central bank said last month it would undergo an examination of its yield curve control and quantitative easing policies to seek ways to make them more “effective and sustainable”. Its findings will be released in March while new GDP estimates will be issued at its Jan. 20-21 policy meeting.

“The BOJ may be thinking of correcting distortions caused by its policy that could become an obstacle for maintaining its current framework through Governor (Haruhiko) Kuroda’s term that ends in early 2023,” said Izuru Kato, chief economist at Totan Research.

Asked what steps the BOJ would take when the central bank unveils its findings in March, 31 economists said the central bank would “make its ETF, J-REIT buying more flexible,” the poll conducted between Jan. 7-18 showed.

Eight analysts said the BOJ would revise its three-tiered deposit rate system that applies negative interest rates only to marginal excess bank reserves and two said the central bank would change the 10-year bond yield target to other durations.

The question allowed multiple answers.

The central bank will discuss ways to scale back a controversial programme that buys massive amounts of exchange traded funds without stoking market fears of a full-fledged retreat from ultra-loose policy, sources have told Reuters.

 

RENEWED STATE OF EMERGENCY

Japan expanded a state of emergency it declared for the Tokyo area earlier this month to seven more prefectures last Wednesday amid a steady rise in COVID-19 cases.

Many analysts expect the latest measures to inflict less damage to the economy than the stricter and broader curbs imposed in April and May last year.

In the poll, taken before the government’s decision to expand the state of emergency beyond the Tokyo area, analysts expected the economy to contract 2.4% in January-March. The poll had predicted a 2.1% expansion in December.

For the current fiscal year ending in March, the economy was forecast to shrink 5.5%, the poll found, slightly weaker than a 5.3% contraction projected last month.

The economy was expected to expand 3.3% in the fiscal year beginning in April, starting with 4.1% growth in the April-June quarter, the poll showed.

“Restrictions under the renewed emergency status are relatively moderate, so it could take a long time for infection numbers to fall,” said Hiroshi Namioka, strategist and fund manager at T&D Asset Management. “Downward pressure on prices could strengthen.”

Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile fresh food prices, will slip 0.5% this fiscal year before rising 0.2% next fiscal year, the poll found.

Economists were split on which direction the BOJ will move when it next changes policy.

Twenty-one of 39 analysts forecast the BOJ would scale down stimulus, while 18 said it would ramp up monetary support.

Sources have told Reuters the BOJ was likely to slightly revise up next fiscal year’s economic forecast and hold off on expanding stimulus at its Jan. 20-21 policy meeting.

 

(For other stories from the Reuters global economic poll:)

 

 

(Polling by Shaloo Shrivastava, Editing by Leika Kihara and Jacqueline Wong)

 

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