BizTech Brief #21

Week Commencing 9th January 2016

This weeks BizTech Brief article summarises and highlights some of the biggest news stories from the past week within the tech industry. This week focuses highly on Ransomware and cyber security (unsurprisingly), IT spend and a success story.  

To read the other BizTech Brief Articles 

Ransomware targets UK Schools

Cybercrooks are targeting UK schools, demanding payments of up to £8,000 to unlock data they have encrypted with malware.

Action Fraud warns that fraudsters are cold-calling schools claiming to be from the Department of Education and asking for the head teachers’ email addresses. Crooks then send booby-trapped emails with infectious zip attachments supposedly containing sensitive information. In reality, these files carry file-encrypting ransomware.

VMware Releases 2016 State of the Digital Workspace Report

VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, today introduced the 2016 State of the Digital Workspace Report, a global survey of business and IT decision makers, practitioners and influencers. 

The report unveiled that organizations taking a digital workspace first approach that aggregates devices, applications and services while securely managing them through unified common access and identity — experience business, operational, and financial benefits while those that wait are falling behind.

After an extremely successful year in 2016, winning two industry awards and being listed as one of one of the ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ by the London Stock Exchange. ComputerWorld has started 2017 with a bang by being shortlisted for the PCR Awards, which seek to celebrate excellence within the PC and tech industry.

ComputerWorld have been shortlisted for the Corporate Value Added Reseller award, against four other finalists.

IT spending to soar a whopping 2.7 per cent, says ball-rubber Gartner

Companies are due to splash $3.5tr (£2.87tr) on IT this year, globally, although that is down from its previous projection of three per cent.

Worldwide devices spending on PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones are projected to remain flat in 2017 at $589bn (£484bn). Meanwhile, the IT services market is forecasted to grow 4.2 per cent in 2017 to $938bn (£770bn). Enterprise software spend is expected to increase the most at 6.8 per cent to $380bn (£312bn).

US college admits paying $28,000 ransom to cyber attackers

The Los Angeles Community College District has admitted handing over $28,000 in bitcoin to cyber attackers to regain access to data encrypted by malware commonly known as ransomware.

Although security and law enforcement representatives routinely advise against paying ransoms because it entrenches this type of cyber criminal activity and there is no guarantee that data will be restored, the college said in a statement that it had obtained the funds for the ransom and assistance of cyber security experts from a cyber security insurance policy created to deal with such incidents.

Fortunately for the college, the attackers delivered a key for decrypting the data after payment was made. “The process to unlock hundreds of thousands of files will be a lengthy one, but so far, the key has worked in every attempt that has been made,” the college said.