Top IT News of the Week (38/2021)
IT news #1: Microsoft announces it’s going passwordless
Technology giant Microsoft has dropped major news and announced users can now delete all passwords from their accounts. Instead, the company offers a user authenticator app or another solution. This move follows the company’s initiative back in March when it made passwordless accounts available for business users. The system is now available to all Microsoft or Windows users too. After passwordless login is enabled and users re-login, they will be asked to provide a fingerprint or other forms of secure unlock on their mobile phones. In the event of losing access to the authenticator app – the phone is stolen or the user forgets to upgrade – backup options such as facial recognition, SMS/email codes or physical security key can be used.
IT news #2: UK to lose £1.3bn due to fraud and cybercrime
Topic: Cybercrime, fraud
A new report conducted by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau found that individuals and organisations in the UK lost an estimated £1.3bn due to fraud and cybercrime between the 1st of January and the 31st of July. Compared to last year’s figures, this number shows a threefold increase in reported financial losses, from £414.7m, given that the number of cybercrimes has risen too. It is now seven times higher, increasing from 39,160 to 289,437. ComputerWeekly explains the peak of these attacks was between January and March when the UK was in its second national lockdown. More than 137.000 crimes were reported during this period causing a reported financial loss of £625.6m. It was also discovered, the most significant losses were seen in London, the South East and Eastern England.
IT news #3: PayPal launches “super app” that takes digital payments to the next level
Topic: Digital payment, finance
Online payments company PayPal has launched a “super app” aiming to transform digital payments in the future. The newly introduced financial tools combine payments, paying bills, managing savings, cryptocurrency, shopping and more, essentially offering users a digital wallet. PayPal also combines forces with Synchrony Bank for its new savings account, PayPal Savings, to further support this imitative. This move shifts PayPal from only functioning as a financial entity, although the company doesn’t aim to become a bank. Instead, the new app offers competitive features to those thinking to move their finances to neobanks, such as Chime or Varo, as PayPal will now support Direct Deposits of paycheck through PayPal’s bank partners, including two-day early access, bill pay, among others.
IT news #4: Cyberattacks to target Australia’s infrastructure
Topic: Data breach, cyberattack
A report conducted by the Australian Cyber Security Centre revealed ransomware attacks were up 15%. In line with this, the reported cybercrime losses reached £24bn. A quarter of the incidents have targeted critical infrastructure and essential services, such as healthcare, distribution of food and energy supply. The report highlights that the total loss affected not only businesses but also individuals and other entities throughout the year. The main target of cybercriminals was gaining access to personal information during the pandemic, encouraging recipients to enter details to access Covid-related information or services. There were 14 cases in total in 2020-21 that involved cyber incidents concerning federal government entities. The removal or damage of sensitive data or intellectual property also affected nationally significant infrastructure.
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