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DIGIT Tech News Roundup: 16th of August 2019

Ross Kelly


News Roundup September

This edition of the Tech News Roundup covers some of DIGIT’s top trending news stories in the week beginning 12th August.

Cyan Forensics leads fight against child exploitation with US Partnership

Edinburgh-based digital forensics startup, Cyan Forensics, has secured its first major partnership in the US with the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

The partnership with NCMEC is the company’s first step to introducing its tool to social media companies, network operators and US law enforcement.

Cyan Forensics’ software helps police detect indecent images of children in minutes, speeding up the time it takes to search seized devices.

Digital evidence is vital to investigations into child sexual exploitation, and investigations often take months due to delays caused by backlogs of devices waiting to be searched. Cyan Forensics’ software could help speed-up the process by quickly scanning devices for any recognised content, and can be used before it enters a potential queue of backlogged devices.

Moving forward, both Cyan Forensics and NCMEC will work together to evaluate the startup’s technology, as well as its ability to detect images already known to the organisation.

Want to find out more? Check out the original article here.

Fintech scale-up Modulr to create 50 jobs in Edinburgh

Fintech scale-up Modulr will use a £10 million grant to expand its Edinburgh operations and create more than 50 high-quality jobs.

The funding boost, delivered through the Capability and Innovation Fund, will enable the creation of a new product, the Accountant Payments Control Centre (APCC), which aims to offer greater control, automation and efficiency for Modulr’s accountant and SME clients.

Additionally, more than 64 high-quality regional jobs will be created by the firm following the grant funding, with at least 80% of the roles being used to scale the company’s existing presence in Edinburgh.

Modulr, which has a footprint in Edinburgh, London and Dublin, provides businesses with a digitally native alternative to traditional banking and payment services.

The company confirmed it will also match the £10 million investment to deliver on its commitments to “expand the benefits of the CIF” to its clients, create new products and support future job creation.

Want to find out more? Check out the original article here.

New online applications system could simplify Scots’ disability benefits

Applications for disability benefits in Scotland could become much easier through the introduction of an online application system, according to the Scottish Government.

Under the current DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) system, people can only apply for disability assistance via post or telephone.

However, a new system set to be introduced by the Scottish Government will enable people to apply online, face-to-face or by the aforementioned traditional methods. The Scottish Government is set to take responsibility for disability assistance next year along with a host of devolved benefits.

Sopra Steria was awarded the contract for the online application system in November 2018. Worth £5.2 million over a three-year period, the project will focus on the design and configuration of the client-facing online application portal.

Want to find out more? Check out the original article here.

Check-in security vulnerability put British Airways passengers at risk

Security vulnerabilities in part of British Airways’ online check-in process have been uncovered by a UK-based cybersecurity firm.

According to researchers at Wandera, vulnerable check-in links being sent via email can be easily intercepted by hackers, allowing them to alter flight booking details or even view personal information belonging to passengers.

Other forms of sensitive information that could be revealed by the security flaw include passenger names, email addresses, booking reference, seat number, flight times and phone numbers, researchers claimed.

The news of this security vulnerability follows a tumultuous week for the airline. A major IT outage last week led to nearly 300 flights being delayed or cancelled at two of the UK’s busiest airports – Heathrow and Gatwick.

British Airways was also fined £183 million for breaching GDPR last month by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Want to find out more? Check out the original article here.

US biotech company acquires Edinburgh-based life sciences firm

An Edinburgh-based life sciences firm, Synpromics, has been acquired by leading US biotech company AskBio.

Synpromics was founded in 2010 by Dr Michael Roberts to commercialise proprietary and patent-pending technology in the emerging field of synthetic biology.

The firm has developed a data-driven bioinformatics platform, known as PromPT, which assists scientists in developing next-generation cell and gene therapy techniques.

Last year, the company was awarded a £1.9 million grant from Scottish Enterprise to expand its R&D programmes. The firm was also ranked 12th in the Deloitte ‘UK Technology Fast 50’.

Following the acquisition, Synmpromics will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AskBio and will remain headquartered at the Roslin Innovation Centre, Midlothian.

Want to find out more? Check out the original article here.

NatWest trials voice banking service with Google Assistant

Customers at one of the UK’s major high-street banks will now be able to do banking through their Google Home smart speaker or smartphone.

A three-month pilot scheme by NatWest will enable customers to use Google Assistant to ask for commonly requested details, such as their current balance or recent transactions, and be met with a verbal response.

The new scheme will let customers ask up to eight questions and access more than 15 banking tips. If the pilot is successful, customers could see more added further down the line.

On smartphones, information requested by customers will also appear on-screen, and where a customer question cannot be answered, contact details for NatWest’s customer helpline will be sent to their device.

Want to find out more? Check out the original article here.

Heriot-Watt smart wound sensors could revolutionise healing

Researchers from Heriot-Watt University are developing pioneering sensors that will enable medical practitioners to better manage how wounds heal.

The small electronic sensors being developed can ‘hear’ beneath bandages, and monitor the tiny, microscale mechanical changes that happen to body tissue during the healing process.

Wounds ranging from simple cuts to surgical incisions and burns cost the NHS anywhere between £4.5 billion and £5.1 billion each year. Through groundbreaking new techniques, researchers believe that cost savings and improvements to efficiency could be imminent.

The two-year project, which is being supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is led by Dr Michael Crichton, a biomedical engineer at Heriot-Watt.

Dr Crichton explained: “We want to understand what actually happens in a wound. Lots of research has looked at the biological properties of wounds. But we know very little about the mechanics of how wounds heal, especially at the microscale, which is where changes are happening at sub-hair width scales.”

Want to find out more? Check out the original article here.


Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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