Tech and Hosting News Round-Up

March 27, 2024 / Technology News

tech news

Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.

Internet Downtime Costs

UK businesses endured 50 million hours of internet downtime during 2023, costing the economy over £3.7 billion. According to a report by ISP Beaming, while downtime hours have decreased since 2018, the cost to businesses has quadrupled. Moreover, with companies increasingly reliant on internet connectivity, the number of firms that expect financial loss from an 8-hour outage has risen from 33% in to 2018 to 40% in 2023.

Other results from the report showed that SMBs experience an average of three to four failures a year, resulting in 19 hours of downtime. The sectors experiencing the most downtime and the greatest financial losses were hospitality, manufacturing and IT, with the latter losing around £555 million last year due to connectivity issues. Location had an impact too, with Southampton having the most severe broadband outages, averaging 63.2 hours, compared to just 13.5 hours in London.

It is not just outages that are causing a problem, however; a survey by Neos Networks found that one in five UK businesses have slow broadband speeds and this is having an impact on profitability, productivity, staff retention and client collaboration.

BA’s Digital Leap

British Airways has announced plans to invest a staggering £7 billion in digital transformation. The extensive programme which features over 600 different initiatives, includes an £850m upgrade to its IT infrastructure and £100m earmarked for integrating machine learning, automation and AI to improve operations. In particular, the company wants to accelerate departure times, respond more effectively to disruptions and predict delays using AI.

The airline also intends to spend an additional £750 million migrating its systems to the cloud, a project it aims to complete by 2025 and which will create 350 new jobs at Heathrow. At the same time, it is to enhance its digital user experience with new customer care solutions, a revamped website and app, and improved wi-fi on its aircraft.

Domain Name

Robotic Dresser

Boffins at the University of York’s Institute for Safe Autonomy have created an advanced two-armed robot for people who need help getting dressed. Using AI to imitate human movements, the robot reduces discomfort and the physical effort required by users with limited mobility.

According to the institute’s robotics expert, Dr. Jihong Zhu, the robot is able to learn its dressing skills from observing human demonstrations, a development that eliminates the need for complex programming. By watching and mimicking people assisting with dressing it can interact with users in a more natural and effective way. It is hoped that the robot will make those with limited mobility more independent while reducing the burden on caregivers and healthcare organisations.

Library Ransom

Analysis of the ransomware attack on the British Library in late 2023 has highlighted the impact of having outdated infrastructure and inadequate cybersecurity measures. The attack, which the Rhysida ransomware group has claimed responsibility for, encrypted data, damaged servers and leaked stolen files after the library refused to pay a £600,000 ransom.

The library suspects the group gained entry using compromised privileged account credentials which may have been obtained through phishing or brute force attacks. However, the exact method of intrusion remains unclear as the attackers used anti-forensic tactics and damaged servers to hide their tracks.

One vulnerability that worsened the situation was the British Library’s failure to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA). Without it, the library lacked the infrastructure to recover its digital collections and critical applications.

UK Tech Skills Boost

The UK government is to invest more than £1.1 billion in developing advanced technology skills in order to boost recruitment in the tech sector. This package will include support for PhD-level training in engineering and physical sciences, providing assistance to over 4,000 students through the creation of 65 new ‘Centres for Doctoral Training’. The centres, which will be located in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Sheffield and other cities, will focus on emerging fields, such as quantum technologies, artificial intelligence, engineering biology, semiconductors and telecoms.

Additionally, the investment includes over £60m for quantum skills programmes, £14m of which is allocated to quantum PhD studentships and early career researcher support, together with £4m for quantum-related industry apprenticeships. Overall, the investment aims to strengthen the UK’s ability to nurture future tech talent while complementing other initiatives, such as the £7.4 million AI upskilling fund and digital skills boot camps.

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  • Niraj Chhajed

    I'm a SEO and SMM Specialist with a passion for sharing insights on website hosting, development, and technology to help businesses thrive online.

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