Week Ending: March 9th - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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The ‘Great British thaw’ actually turned out to be a little more snow once the first lot had melted as the country dealt with another weather curve-ball this week. The industry, however, does not stop for the weather and this week’s stories delve into quantum computing, military technology and ransomware warnings. Let’s jump in.

Further steps towards single-atom quantum computer

Australian of the year, Michelle Simmons, is currently leading a team of scientists in quantum computing. This week, she and her team announced they’d been able to build quantum bits from single phosphorus atoms in silicon that could communicate and correlate with one another.

This step forward brings the world a little closer to quantum computing, and Simmons explained that a process known as ‘entanglement’ was key to the team’s development. This process allows one quantum particle to communicate with and affect the state of another, allowing them to share information at an even more efficient rate.

Entanglement with qubits has been achieved before, however it has never successfully been done in silicon with single atoms, both factors providing a much higher accuracy and reliability.

This past Monday Google also announced that it had created a 72 qubit computer, a record for total qubits however not entangled. The two stories come as physicists strive to reach “quantum supremacy”. This is defined as the point at which a quantum computer outperforms a standard supercomputer.

The Pentagon using Google technology

Google has said it is allowing the Pentagon to use some of its image recognition technologies to aid in a military project. This comes as a Gizmodo report explained that AI tech was being utilised to analyse footage of drones.

Employees are said to have learned of the collaboration through internal emails last week and this has caused quite a stir among some.

A spokeswoman for Google explained the technological partnership commenting:

"The technology flags images for human review, and is for non-offensive uses only," she added.

"Military use of machine learning naturally raises valid concerns.

"We're actively discussing this important topic internally and with others as we continue to develop policies and safeguards around the development and use of our machine learning technologies."

Historically, Google has always been cautious about having ties to the US military and once removed one of its robots from a Pentagon-organised competition despite being the favourite to avoid controversy.

Read more about this story on the BBC’s website here.

Data recovered for only half of victims who pay ransom

A recent report has revealed that of those who have been victims to ransomware attacks, only half have had their data recovered despite paying the requested ransom. This number does not bode well for companies as experts urge organisations to focus on ransomware prevention rather than having contingency funds.

We know the nation as a whole needs to be better prepared for ransomware attacks therefore a data strategy is paramount to ensure cybercriminals cannot capitalise on a business’ sensitive information.

The report was based on comments from 1,200 I.T. security practitioners and decision makers from 17 countries. You can read more of its findings here.

Worried about your data? Why not speak to the Claritas team. We have a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years, having dealt with organisations of all sizes. Give us a call on 0845 639 9661.

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