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Companies warned over cyber security risk

A fast-growing Edinburgh-based fintech company aims to uncover key concerns around the evolving cyber threat landscape in Scotland at an event on the sector being held in Glasgow this week. The Future of Cyber Security Scotland Conference is taking place on Thursday and issues lined up for discussion include reducing risk and ensuring compliance, data breaches on the so-called dark web and encouraging a better gender balance in the industry. Among speakers and panellists are Don Randall, former head of security and chief information security officer of the Bank of England, and Alisdair Matheson, partner at law firm Brodies. Also on the list is Stephen Budd, product manager specialising in data solutions at cyber security specialist ZoneFox, a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University. The firm s founder and chief executive Jamie Graves told Scotland on Sunday: As a Scottish company, I am delighted that we are able to partner with the conference to share knowledge across the cyber community in Scotland and educate on the best strategies and technologies to identify threats and reduce risk. Failure to protect sensitive information in the current business climate has serious consequences from reputational damage to huge financial loss, to the fallout for individuals that comes with the leak of their personal information. The firm will discuss whether Scotland is ready for general data protection regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in 2018 and will impose strict new rules on the way organisations collect, store and use personal data.

A recent study found that nearly half of UK firms were not ready for it coming into effect. Graves added that with the forthcoming GDPR, pressure has never been so high on organisations to safeguard their data and monitor its movement. As well as the increasing amount of state attacks and large organisations being breached, there have never been more attacks on businesses by cyber-criminals than we are seeing today, but, worryingly, knowledge and awareness about how to prevent such attacks is still very low. ZoneFox will present to delegates on the likes of how user behaviour analytics and machine learning can highlight threats to an organisation before they turn into incidents . Police Scotland, one of the conference s backers, said this month that there have been 34 ransomware attacks in Scotland in the past year, including 13 on NHS health boards on 13 May.

The conference s organiser is OSP Security Professionals, which last year took the Global Security & Cyber summit to Aberdeen, where it was predicted that oil and gas and the NHS were perfect targets for cyber hacks .

Islamist militants rapidly increasing in Sweden

STOCKHOLM The number of Islamist militants in Sweden has soared to thousands in recent years but only a few pose a security threat to society, the head of the country’s security services said on Friday.

Sweden is still in shock after five people were killed and 15 injured when a hijacked truck ploughed into a crowd on a busy shopping street and crashed into a Stockholm department store on April 7.

Police are holding an Uzbek man who has admitted to driving the vehicle.

Anders Thornberg, the head of the Swedish Security Service (Sapo), said only a handful of militants had the desire and capacity to carry out attacks . He blamed propaganda by Islamic State for the problem.

“We have never seen anything like this before,” Thornberg told national news agency TT.

He said the numbers included those who merely sympathise with violent militants to those who spread the message, recruit and collect funds.

“The growth in extremism is a challenge of historical proportions,” he said.

The biggest concentrations of militants are in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Orebro, according to Sapo.

The government has tightened laws and promised more funding for police and security services . It is planning further measures, including increased CCTV surveillance.

But Thornberg said the security services faced a new environment where attacks no longer needed months of planning and preparation.

“Today, if you decide to act, you maybe buy two knives or hire a truck and drive into a crowd,” he said.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Blackfriars Bridge An ‘Absolute Shambles’ After Security Barriers Put In Place After Terror Attacks

London s Blackfriars Bridge has become an absolute shambles with thousands of cyclists being forced to squeeze through one lane due to security barriers put in place following recent terror attacks, groups have complained. Photos from the bridge early on Tuesday morning showed long queues as cyclists passed through the barriers, which authorities have been criticised for putting too close together. City Cyclists wrote on Twitter that the barriers on the bridge, which is on the route of Cycle Superhighway 6, are a good idea but they ve made the bus lane unusable + bike highway and footway way over capacity .

It added that cyclists had no issue with the barriers but they need to be done properly . The barriers were also installed at Lambeth, Waterloo and Westminster bridges following the London Bridge terror attack1 that killed seven, on June 3, and the Westminster Bridge attack, on March 22, that resulted in five deaths. Transport for London (Tfl) has been accused of making it safer to cycle on the road again on Blackfriars Bridge and the BBC s Tom Edwards tweeted that they had caused an absolute shambles .

He added: Barriers are put in by the Met with little consultation . City Hall says it is working to improve them short-term & for long term solution. Video from the bridge on Tuesday showed cyclists having to slow down before entering the barriers in single file as TFL officials watched on. Cyclists expressed their frustrations on social media.

One wrote: Four traffic officials needed to man new security barriers on the cycle highway over Blackfriars . People are going to get hurt when it s busier. While another implored London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Tfl to move the barriers further apart. A spokesman for London Cycling Campaign told the Evening Standard2 the barriers had created a real safety risk as they forced riders into quite fast traffic .

These barriers had to go up very fast indeed .

We hope that something can be done to modify or change them to provide security and not make things worse for cyclists, the spokesperson added. A TfL spokesperson directed HuffPost UK to the Metropolitan Police for comment, but added: The Met has installed barriers to increase security on London s busiest bridges.

We are working with them to ensure that these barriers affect cyclists and pedestrians as little as possible, while ensuring the security of all road users. The spokesperson said he was not aware of any complaints concerning other bridges where security barriers were put in place.

The Metropolitan Police have been contacted for comment but are yet to respond. Police, TfL, and council officials have faced serious questions over why barriers were not installed immediately after the terror attack in Westminster that saw Khalid Masood plough into four pedestrians before stabbing a police officer to death. The method of attack was replicated on June 3 on London Bridge, before the three attackers then stabbed people in nearby Borough Market.

References

  1. ^ London Bridge terror attack (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
  2. ^ Evening Standard (www.standard.co.uk)