Sunday 18 March 2018

Briefs: TDs demand action on broadband


Independent TDs have demanded a new expansion to mobile operators' 4G mobile broadband coverage in rural areas. Denis Naughten, an independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, and Mattie McGrath, a TD representing Tipperary, said that the extra mobile coverage is to compensate for delays to the National Broadband Plan, which will not now complete its rollout to 760,000 rural homes and businesses until 2022.

"We need to fast track 4G broadband in the short term," said Naughten. "It would at least provide a short term solution until the longer term solution is in place. I am putting a proposal to government. Hopefully we can get some momentum on foot of that." Any state-ordered rollout of 4G across rural areas of the country would require fast-tracked planning permissions for extra masts and could require a change to existing mobile licenses. Legal telecoms experts have warned that such measures were unlikely to happen without significant due process.

Firms 'failing on cyber security'

More than half of Irish companies don't provide regular cyber security training to staff, according to a survey by Data Solutions. The study shows that 52pc of organisations are not providing adequate training to staff, up from 43pc of businesses last year.

Almost half of those surveyed see staff as one of the two biggest sources of data breaches. 21pc said that criminals were most likely to be behind a data breach. The survey also found that despite the proliferation of high-profile attacks such as Cryptowall, which encrypt vital data and hold organisations to ransom, many organisations remain unprotected against such attacks.

One-third of respondents stated that they were either unaware of whether steps have been taken, or sure that no steps have been taken by their business to protect itself against attacks. A further 15pc said that they have not made changes to their cyber security in the last year, despite the rise in cyber-attacks globally.

New ad blocker for Android sets

A native ad blocker has been integrated into the Opera browser for computers and Android smartphones. Sixty million people use Opera for computers, while almost 120 million use Opera Mini for Android on a monthly basis. These users no longer need to install an ad-blocking extension or download an app to experience faster browsing.

"Opera is the first browser company to offer a native ad blocker across devices," said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera.

"We want to provide people with the fastest browsers in the market. Our speed test shows that online ads slow down the browsing experience."

Storage devices in data loss blame

One in four data loss scenarios are due to storage devices appearing to be unrecognisable or undetected, according to the quarterly data loss index from Kroll Ontrack. More than one in ten experience data loss from the device failing to power on, while just over 10pc lose data because of users dropping their device. Over 9pc lose data due to deleted files.

The index covers individual disk assessments and is developed from the analysis of anonymous data collected through Kroll Ontrack's data recovery tool.

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