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BISPhysical locks & guards won’t keep them out - The UK’s most senior business leaders are getting new advice on how to better tackle the growing cyber threats to their companies.  Currently, too few company chief executives & chairs take a direct interest in protecting their businesses from cyber threats.

The Government has launched Cyber Security Guidance for Business, which consists of 3 products:
The first product is aimed at senior executives and it offers some high level questions which BIS believe will assist & support them to determine their critical information assets, support them in their strategic level risk discussions and help them ensure that they have the right safeguards and cultures in place.

The second product is an Executive Companion which discusses how Cyber Security is one of the biggest challenges that business and the wider UK economy face.  It offers guidance for business and focuses around key points of risk management & corporate governance and includes some anonymous case studies based on real events.

The third product supports the Executive Companion and provides more detailed cyber security information & advice for 10 critical areas (covering both technical & process/cultural areas).  The material integrates the ‘Top 20 Critical Controls for Effective Cyber Defence’ as endorsed by CPNI. These controls provide further detailed guidance.
Press release & links ~ UK Cyber Security Strategy ~ Cyber Security Guidance for Business ~ Comments by the Foreign Secretary at the end of the London Conference for Cyberspace (02/11/2011) ~ CPNI: Top 20 Critical Controls for Effective Cyber Defence’ ~ Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA) ~ Police Central e-Crime Unit in the Metropolitan Police ~ SOCA: Protecting your business from organised crime ~ SOCA: Protecting individuals - useful links ~ National Crime Agency ~ CESG (the Information Security arm of GCHQ) ~ Combating cyber attacks ~ Defence Minister opens UK cyber security test range ~ CH: Cyber Security ~ On cyber warfare ~ Cyber Attacks: A Wake-Up Call ~ RUSI: Cyber Security ~ ICSPA ~ Cyber Security Centre ~ PBP: Cyber Security in the UK ~ Newswire - ICO:  You might be able to ‘demand it’ from clients, but you will also now ‘pay for it’ if you are careless with it (2nd item) ~ European Network Security Agency (ENISA)Digital Agenda: cyber-security experts test defences in first pan-European simulation ~ Digital Agenda: Commission reviews Member States' protection against cyber attacks ~ Digital Agenda – Commission consults on a future EU Network and Information Security legislative initiative (closes on 15 October 2012)

BIS:  Just one step up from Slave Labour - Norman Lamb, Minister for Employment Relations, has recently taken the move of naming an employer under the BIS Scheme for naming employers who flout National Minimum Wage (NMW) law.  Leicester based hair & beauty salon owner, Mrs Rita Patel trading as Treena Professional Hair & Beauty, neglected to pay £3,361.22 in arrears of the NMW to a former worker following an investigation by HMRC, which has resulted in HMRC enforcing the debt through the court.

HMRC’s investigation showed that over a period of 4½ months, Mrs Rita Patel paid only £342.00 to a worker in salon.  Under the NMW Act the worker was in fact legally entitled to £3,703.22 for work undertaken during that period.   Employers who pay workers less than the NMW have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates and face financial penalties of up to £5,000.

The Government is committed to deterring employers who would otherwise be tempted not to pay the NMW and recognises that bad publicity is an effective way of doing this.  The BIS scheme to name employers who flout minimum wage law came into effect on 1 January 2011.
Press release & links ~ TUC comment ~ BIS: NMW ~ Low Pay Commission consultation on the National Minimum Wage (closes 17 September 2012) ~ HMRC: NMW ~ Acas: NMW ~ National minimum wage - work experience - internships - and the NMW ~ NMW - work experience & NMW - examples ~ TUC comment ~ NIESR research suggests the NMW need not harm youth

StC:  Unfortunately what Society may like the State to provide and what it can afford to provide don’t match - The UK's poorest children are bearing the greatest burden of the recession – having their parents go hungry to feed them, missing regular hot meals, unable to afford warm coats & new shoes and suffering enormous emotional strain, says Save the Children

In its major new report ‘It Shouldn't Happen Here’, the charity highlights children's - as well as parents’ - experiences living in recession-hit Britain and the extent to which poverty is blighting young lives.  1 in 8 of the poorest children in the UK go without at least 1 hot meal a day, and 1 in 10 of the UK's poorest parents have cut back on food for them to make sure their children have enough to eat, the report reveals.   

Behind the projected increases in child poverty are the day to day struggles of families on low incomes - many of them in work, but still in poverty.  
Press release ~ It Shouldn't Happen Here ~ StC: Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play ~ FAST (Families and Schools Together) ~ Step up for a Living Wage ~ Severe Child Poverty: Nationally and locally ~ Save the Children: UK child poverty ~ Poorer families forced to pay more for heating and services ~ Directgov: Minimum Wage ~ LPC comment ~ TUC comment ~ CBI comment ~ Child Poverty Action Group ~ JRF: We need a third more earnings to make ends meet, say working families ~ Living Wage ~ A Fairer London: The 2011 Living Wage in London ~ Scottish Living Wage campaign ~ Researching London’s living wage campaign ~  IFS: Child and Working-Age Poverty from 2010 to 2020 ~ CSJ:  With budget cuts we can only afford targeted funding that delivers value for money (2nd item) ~ Committee publishes report on the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission cost reductions  ~ MPs publish report on means tested benefits ~ JRF - New Welsh poverty figures threaten 2020 child poverty target ~ IFS:  The better off can cut back on expensive luxuries, but for the poor that is often not an option ~ CO:  It has always been a question of ‘who you know’, not ‘what you know’, even for some manual jobs ~ Help for Scotland’s poorest families ~ JRF:  Often beautiful, but usually a long walk (little public transport) to anywhere or any service (4th item)

BIGMoney (or at least charitable funding) can help you to become happier! - The Big Lottery Fund’s (BIG) £160m Well-being programme has led to an increase in life satisfaction more than three times greater than would be expected if someone was to double their income

Other headline figures include a 13% rise in the number of people eating 5 portions of fruit & veg a day amongst users of Well-being funded projects, while there has been a 30% drop in the number of adults reporting symptoms of depression.  Amongst those aged over 65, this drop was greater – at 56%.

The Year 4 evaluation, carried out by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and the New Economics Foundation (nef), has surveyed 3,204 people who are taking part in over 50 projects.  The final report will be available in autumn 2013.
Press release & links ~ Measuring well-being on a street near you ~ Education improves the well-being of both young and old ~ BHF - Mental wellbeing an important part of a healthy lifestyle ~ Wales set to become the first country in the world to legislate for play ~ Survey paints a portrait of the UK ~ CIPD - Leading employers highlight how employee well-being programmes drive performance & business success

IoE:  The GCSE debacle: what, if anything, went wrong? – From an Institute of Education blog:
Reading the headlines about the current GCSE furore brought me back to the heady days of September 2002 and the last major examination crisis.  Teachers reported marking discrepancies in certain A level coursework modules and complained to awarding bodies and the media. …….

It looks as though there will be an inquiry along the lines of (the resultant) Tomlinson’s 2002 report, possibly spearheaded by the House of Commons education select committee. If so, I hope that it makes sure it fully understands the complexity of the issues.  2012 was the first year of the new English specification (syllabus)actually 3 new specifications: English (a combination of language and literature), English language, and English literature.  There was also a new element in the specificationsFunctional English.
Press release & links

VSO:  The stuggle for life begins at birth - International development charity VSO is calling for midwives & other maternal healthcare professionals to consider volunteering in Ethiopia where they will improve healthcare for countless mothers & babies.  In Ethiopia 14,000 women lose their lives through birthing complications each year and only 6% of women have access to a skilled birthing attendant.
Press release & links

STFC:  Are you up for a global challenge? - The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Futures Programme is making funding available to support around 15 new studentships to undertake research training at the interface between STFC capabilities and the global challenges in energy, the environment, healthcare & security. The scheme will operate as a pilot scheme in the first instance and will be reviewed after the first projects are awarded. Deadline for submitting applications: 4pm on Thursday 4 October 2012.
Press release & links

CESG: - New CESG Certification scheme for Government Information Assurance Professionals Goes Live - CESG, the UK’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, A new certification scheme for people working in government IA roles by CESG, the UK’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance.

The scheme has been developed because the government wants to secure the huge economic and social benefits represented by cyberspace.  It needs to ensure cyber activities are not disrupted due to attacks. There are tens of thousands of malicious emails on government networks each month.
IA plays an important role in reducing cyberspace vulnerabilities. We need knowledge, skills and capability to underpin our cyber security objectives so we can take advantage of the economic and social opportunities that cyberspace represents.

Candidates can now apply for six  IA certifications, giving them independent verification of their  specialist knowledge and skills.

Click here to find out more.

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