News

22nd September 2017
Switch2IT says On Your Bike to data breaches like Equifax

On Your Bike, Data Breaches!

There has been so much news about data breaches just lately that it is unreal – at least, the Switch2IT team wishes it was. The latest reports reveal that the Equifax data breach was a lot worse than first thought and that investigations into the extent of its impact are ongoing.

As well as 143 million Americans, 100,000 Canadians and 400,000 British people have fallen foul of the hack. It seems the breach at the consumer credit reporting agency, which holds a myriad of data assessed for credit worthiness, has left millions of social security numbers, driving licence numbers, birth dates and addresses compromised.

In addition to the huge cyber-attack on Equifax in May, another hack took place in March this year. It was found that the security breach was a result of a known flaw in the software package Apache. Discovered and fixed by the web server firm back in March, Equifax failed to install the patch to its own systems by May.

An announcement followed that the chief information officer and chief security officer of Equifax who were “aware of this vulnerability at that time, and took efforts to identify and to patch any vulnerable systems in the company’s IT infrastructure” would leave the company at once.

Switch2IT’s Daniel Piggott commented: “This is the latest in a long line of cyber security glitches and this problem will surely grow unless a serious reaction takes place. Too many firms casually pass private data around without consent. For example, we know of instances when Thames Water has passed customer information to Castle Water without consent. We are sure our customers and readers will have experienced similar scenarios.” 

We believe that people in the UK should not be subjected to such underhand excuses for customer service. Data protection law should require individuals to receive full disclosure from companies who hold their data and intend to move it or share it, so that they have the chance to opt out. It is about time personal data was met with the respect and protection it deserves and that cyber security for businesses in the UK, and abroad, was taken seriously enough to prevent such monumental slip-ups – on your bike, data breaches!    

Switch2IT solo cycling success

Speaking of getting on your bike, our IT consultant Dave Baldery got on his and did good! While Switch2IT’s Dave is used to dealing with everything from data recovery to IT networking projects throughout the South East, covering no less than 1200 miles in 12 days by sheer pedal power was something of a new challenge. Dave recently cycled solo from Lands’ End to John O'Groats and this was not just an excuse to get out of the office. Our super-fit-techie completed this mentally and physically demanding mission to raise funds for two charities close to his heart:

“I have chosen to support FibroDuck Foundation and Ataxia UK as Fibromyalgia and Ataxia are conditions that affect thousands of people in the UK, including a close family member. I have seen first-hand how these diseases can affect individuals and how much care is needed to support them. Not enough research and understanding of these diseases is available in the UK.”

On the experience, Dave commented: “This was a very tough but thoroughly enjoyable challenge, pedalling through the heat (and hills) of Cornwall as well as the torrential rain in the Lake District and Scotland. A strong will, a “can do” attitude and a full English breakfast were required each day to complete the solo route in twelve days as planned. I will never look at a map of Great Britain in the same way again. Thanks to all those that have sponsored me, I am delighted with the support so far. The JustGiving pages are still open to see if we can push the total to an amazing £2500!”

Switch2IT has donated £100 to each of Dave’s chosen charities and congratulates Dave on completing his challenge in excellent time. Until the end of September, you too can donate to Dave’s Lands’ End to John O'Groats Solo Cycle Challenge via his (totally secure) JustGiving pages.

Celebrating innovation in business

Dave may have crossed that finish line in style, but that is not the end to Switch2IT’s giving. We are also sponsoring the Innovation Award at this year’s BC Live awards. Rejoicing excellence in the building and construction industry for more than 80 years, the Builders’ Conference will present six new awards during an evening of festive networking at London’s Savoy in December.

Daniel Piggott says: “We’re delighted and honoured to be supporting this award, innovation is very important to Switch2IT as are our valued clients, Builders’ Conference. We await the ceremony on 6 December in London where we’ll toast innovation in construction and look forward to the industry’s future.”

Speaking of innovation… to keep your business ahead of the game, make sure you have the best technical support in place. Whether you are based in Surrey, Sussex or Kent, we have the complete IT business support service for you. Contact us today for more information or to request a quote. 

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