Beware of public Wi-Fi!

Paul Holland has published an interesting post on LinkedIn, highlighting the risks associated with using public Wi-Fi.  To quote Paul’s post:

“An investigation conducted in London has shown the ease with which personal data can be hacked when the target is using public Wi-Fi. Security and privacy software company F-Secure teamed up with penetration testing expert Mandalorian Security Services and the Cyber Security Research Institute to conduct the test – in this case, hacking into the devices of three politicians.

The politicians, deliberately selected from the most powerful chambers in UK politics, were Rt. Hon. David Davis MP, Mary Honeyball MEP and Lord Strasburger. The exercise was carried out with the permission of the politicians who, despite holding important positions within the different parliaments, admitted that they had received no formal training or information about the relative ease with which computers can be breached while using public Wi-Fi – a service they all admitted to using regularly.”

It is important to note that when using Safe4, all interaction with our service is fully encrypted, including the internet link from your device.  Even when using public Wi-Fi, Safe4 communications cannot be intercepted – as opposed to the huge risks that exist when using open email systems.

Another bumper month for Safe4

June 2015 proved to be another successful month for Safe4, with a record number of new users registering for the service, and 100% availability once again.  The uptime record of Safe4 is now amongst the best in the industry, and coupled with very high levels of security this makes Safe4 the ideal choice for any organisation that needs to deliver information securely to parties both internally and outside its own IT domain.

For more information on how Safe4 can help you to achieve total security combined with 100% reliability, please contact us.  We will be very pleased to assist.

Bank of England moves to stop email errors

The Financial Times has recently reported on a new security measure being implemented by the Bank of England – disabling the auto-completion of email addresses to lessen the risk of emails being sent to the wrong addressees.  This follows an email about research into Britan’s exit from the EU being accidentally sent to a member of the media by the private secretary of Sir John Cunliffe, the Bank’s deputy governor for financial stability.  The email itself explicitly stated that it should not be sent to the media.

Auto-completion of email addresses is a useful tool, but time and time again it has been responsible for confidential information being sent to the wrong recipients.  Several UK law firms have reported this problem, but it keeps on happening.  Staff at the Bank of England have commented that switching this facility off might have an adverse impact on productivity. As far back as 2007 the then Financial Services Authority was recommending that auto-complete in email systems be disabled by members of the financial services community.

This problem can be eliminated by using Safe4 to store confidential information and share it with external parties.  The internal controls built into Safe4 will ensure that documents or messages will never be sent to the wrong people; only authorised parties will be able to receive communication about documents held within the system, and subsequently view such information.  Using the comprehensive audit trails and records maintained by Safe4, it is possible to make sure that only the right people have had access to confidential information.

More uptime availability and performance success for Safe4

During January 2015 Safe4 maintained 100% availability of the service except for a short period  when our hosting partner applied a critical security patch to the infrastructure.  Since we take the security of our customers’ information very seriously it was felt that applying this patch was essential. The downtime was scheduled for overnight at a weekend, so it is hoped that it did not impact any of our users. Please accept our apologies if you were unable to access the service during this time.

Availability

We hope you are pleased with the performance you are seeing when using the system. In order to help target improvements Safe4 tracks the time taken to display pages in the system. Since there are a number of factors that can cause performance problems we have implemented an approach which measures the time it takes for you to be able to use a page. This is the most realistic measure we can find.

When developing Safe4 the team treat any page that takes longer than 2 seconds to load to be a defect. This is our performance target.

We are pleased to advise that during January the average (median) page load time experienced was 0.89 seconds. This is well under our target so it is hoped that we are meeting your performance expectations.

Performance

If we examine individual geographies we can see the impact of the internet on the performance.

  • Performance in the UK, where our data centre is based, is averaging out at 0.78 seconds.
  • Performance in South Africa is averaging out at 1.5 seconds, despite the extra network connections we are pleased to be getting great performance here.
  • The slowest average performance at 1.6 seconds seems to be for users in the United States where increased network delays seem to be adversely affecting performance.

Safe4 will continue to monitor performance and availability of the service to ensure that we meet the demands of your businesses. Look out for updates to these charts in the coming months.

Safe4 teams up with Valeos

Valeos logo 8 Apr 14

Valeos was created by David Ross in 2014 to bring a range of value-added services to organisations wishing to refresh or extend their offerings.  David has long experience in the insurance industry, and is currently working with a number of insurers who are seeking ways to expand their services.

David feels that introducing Safe4 is an ideal way to bring additional services and capabilities to this sector.  He believes that “the Safe4 secure document delivery and storage service is a perfect fit for many of the organisations I am now working with, and brings real additional value.”

Ben Martin, Safe4 director, agrees.  “Safe4 are delighted to partner with Valeos.  We recognise that the experience and knowledge gained by David through many years in the insurance and financial services sector provides an excellent opportunity for the delivery of a highly secure document delivery and storage service as an extension of the core Valeos proposition.  Safe4 and Valeos will work together to bring these combined benefits to clients in a sector for which total security of information transfer is of prime importance.”

Valeos are based in Leeds, one of the UK’s leading centres for financial and professional services.  Yorkshire-based media have also covered this development, click here for more information.

Reporting of carbon emissions is becoming an issue – and soon

New legislation will shortly be putting pressure on many organisations to reduce their carbon footprint.  This applies to small and medium-sized companies too, if they are suppliers to either public-sector organisations, or corporates that fall within the scope of the UK Carbon Reduction Commitment requirements (annual energy expenditure of more than £500,000, or listed on the LSE main exchange).

But before any organisation can start to think about reporting on their carbon footprint, they must of course measure it – what is the starting point?  This will almost certainly involve the need for specialist skills and tools – hence the importance of the partnership between Safe4 and Co2conut.  Safe4 can assist with bringing down carbon emissions by reducing dependence on paper and hard-copy information deliveries; Co2conut can provide expert guidance, and access to tools that will help with the accurate measurement of current emissions.

How does this issue affect your business?  We would be glad to hear from anyone who has a view on this issue – please post your blog entry below.