News in brief

Short takes on this week's news

Short takes on this week's news

Commissioner warns on offshore data processing

Businesses that outsource call centres or other data processing outside Europe must take account of special Data Protection Act provisions or they will face legal action, the Information Commissioner’s Office has warned. It published updated guidance on transferring personal information outside the European Economic Area to help data controllers comply with the law.

New IP network for Fife Council to span 500 sites

Fife Council, Scotland’s third-largest local authority, is migrating its 22,000 employees to a voice and data network spanning 500 sites. The new network, which will run on Cisco IP equipment, will go live on 2 April next year. The network will be installed and managed by Affiniti.

FBI warns job hunters of online fraud attempts

The FBI has warned job hunters not to be taken in by online scams set up by fraudsters seeking to steal confidential personal data. The US security agency cited examples where job seekers responding
to fake online job advertisements had received e-mails from fraudsters offering interviews and requesting bank account details, allegedly to help with processing pay cheques.

Technology budgets fail to keep pace with revenue

IT budgets react less positively to increases in business revenue, and are often more negatively affected when revenue falls, according to a study by analyst firm Gartner of 900 organisations. It noted that even in businesses that experienced 10% revenue growth, most did not show IT budget growth beyond 5%.

Anxiety over computer crime on the rise

British companies have become more concerned about the impact of computer crime over the past 12 months, a survey by Accenture reveals. The research, based on interviews with 2,000 IT professionals in eight countries, found that 69% of UK professionals felt more vulnerable than a year ago. It revealed that UK managing directors and chief executives were more likely to set information security policies than IT directors or chief information officers.

Kingfisher makes savings using shared services

DIY retail group Kingfisher has cut its IT operating costs by 20% in a year by consolidating voice and data contracts and reducing its number of IT suppliers. It has left decision making at a business level but is delivering IT as a shared service.

Google search finds host of malicious code

Security experts have found thousands of worms, Trojans and malicious files all over the internet by using the Google search engine. Researchers from security firm Websense searched for malicious executable files indexed by Google.

New anti-hacker laws won’t affect IT workers

IT security professionals have nothing to fear from legal changes targeting hackers that are currently going through Parliament, according to Home Office minister Vernon Coaker. IT professionals had expressed concern that they could inadvertently fall foul of the Police and Justice Bill.

Microsoft OS turns old PCs into thin clients

Microsoft has released an operating system for businesses that turns old PCs into effective thin-client computers. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is only offered to firms on Microsoft’s Software Assurance licensing and maintenance programme.

Microsoft fined £200m by European Commission

The European Commission has fined Microsoft £193m for failing to comply with its 2004 anti-trust judgment. This follows a £342m fine the commission levied on Microsoft in 2004 for abusing its dominant market position.

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