News in brief

Short takes from this week's news

Short takes from this week's news

Gateway reviews 'create £730m savings'

The Office of Government Commerce's Gateway Review process created value-for-money savings of £730m in 2003/2004, Cabinet Office minister Jim Murphy told MPs in a parliamentary debate last week.

Veritas patches Java flaw in Netbackup

Veritas has patched a security flaw in its Java authentication service running on the firm's Netbackup software. The vulnerability potentially allows remote hackers to gain access to information stored on back-up servers.

IBM donates code to open source foundation

IBM is donating some of its Rational project development technology to the open source Eclipse Foundation, which is developing a Java-based platform to allow software from different suppliers to be easily integrated and developed. IBM is donating 3,000 lines of code, representing 15% of the Rational Unified Process platform.

US bank regulator sets authentication deadline

US banking regulator the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council has given US banks until the end of 2006 to introduce multifactor authentication for "high-risk" online transactions. It said banks should use enhanced authentication methods when checking the identity of online customers and added that single-factor authentication was insufficient for transactions involving customer information or the movement of funds.

Cost of basic ID cards to be capped at £30

The cost to the public of basic ID cards will be capped at £30, home secretary Charles Clarke has said. Combined ID cards and passports - the government's favoured method - will still cost £93 each. Clarke said, "We remain confident that further significant savings to government and the private sector be identified as plans are developed."

Indian database to tackle rogue call staff

Indian IT trade body Nasscom is to set up a database of call centre workers to help prevent rogue employees stealing sensitive data. The database will hold records of more than one million staff and, although registration is voluntary, firms have said they will only employ registered staff.

NHS warns BT over late delivery of systems

The NHS has warned BT it could face penalties if it fails to install software in two London hospitals in November The company, which has already been fined £4.5m by the NHS for late delivery of networking services, admitted it was nine months to a year behind on a project to install patient administration systems as part of its contract with Connecting for Health, which runs the £6.2bn national programme for IT in the NHS. Richard Granger, director general of NHS IT, said there could be a "domino effect" with 42 remaining hospitals in London should it miss the deadline.

UK companies to spend more on IT than EU firms

UK companies intend to increase their IT spending by an average of 4% in 2006 - the average planned increase for European companies is 3%, according Gartner. The analyst firm quizzed more than 400 IT users about their spending plans for the coming year. The research revealed that companies plan to increase spending on security software and mobile devices but spending on servers will be cut .

Public shared services risk duplicating effort

The public sector risks duplicating effort because of the number of government bodies working on IT shared-services initiatives. John Oughton, head of the Office of Government Commerce, warned public sector organisations to be wary of starting IT shared-services projects when similar schemes already existed. Oughton said 70 shared-service initiatives at 130 sites were already under way.

BT plans higher-speed broadband network

BT will next month begin trials of its ADSL broadband Max service, which will deliver downstream line speed of up to 8mbps. The trial is expected to pave the way for the launch of high-speed broadband services across the country by next spring. BT will initially make the service available to 50,000 end-users across 53 telecoms exchanges.

Wireless network for Institute of Education

Teacher training body the Institute of Education has rolled out a wireless network to give 6,000 students and 800 staff access to learning materials and applications anywhere on campus. The network, which uses Nortel technology, links the institute's three sites in London.


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