Monday, 16 April 2018

'Facewotsit' or 'Instabook'?

The recent grilling of Facebook's dorm room tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, has made it eminently clear that personal data is not, well, personal ... or data. It is a commodity, that can be traded. Chillingly, and unwittingly our clicks may be influencing what brands are set before us, from garden furniture to our political options. No one, but no one, can be unaware of this, even our parents and grandparents, who watch TV news and ask us if we are on 'Facewotsit' or 'Instabook'? It's a mad, unstoppable chariot with bots and humans tethered together into an unpredicted future. The tech giants need to learn how take the reins, and we humans need to get a grip on our billions and even trillions of tiny individual click behaviours. 

Behaviour is our specialist area, here at Restricted Intelligence, especially bad or indifferent behaviour. We're also fond of boredom, bewilderment and that old favourite, denial. These are all fairly standard responses, though when it comes to a huge oncoming piece of regulation - GDPR, which has gone from an earnest legal drama to a full on West End extravaganza, with chorus line, orchestra and juggling elephants. 
So in that spirit, we've made a video, 'Five Things You Can Do for GDPR' which is aimed at outlining the basics, without frightening the horses: verifying data; locking down the data you do have; shredding anything you shouldn't have. If it's out of your pay grade or level of understanding, talk to management, hire an expert. And not someone who just read a blog on the subject. 

Watch 'Five Things you can do for GDPR' 

Check out the 'Restricted Intelligence Privacy Edition'

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Best of Intentions

Happy New Year to you. Here's hoping 2018 brings health and happiness in equal measure. Right off the bat we've got National Data Privacy Day on 28th January. Just the moment to slip in a plug for our Restricted Intelligence Privacy Edition, tackling all the important GDPR issues plus vanity shame, social inadequacy and cheating.

We're also chuffed to bits to be taking our unique storytelling approach into the Healthcare sector, where patient privacy is a huge topic. And of course, not forgetting Season 5 of Restricted Intelligence. Thank you for your input on the stories that are most important to you. Your ideas will be coming into full blossom in late Spring.

So in the spirit of the best of intentions, we're launching these natty New Years Resolution posters with some pointers on self improvement. Far be it from us to throw shade on the simple pleasures in life. Who doesn't enjoy starting up arguments with complete strangers on YouTube comments and of course, you can never have enough 'HammerTime'. But if you can't manage it in January, when the the diet, let's face it is as good as it's ever going to be, when can you?

You Say Privacy, we say ... er Privacy

So, you're all set for National Data Privacy Day. While there may be general debate about how to pronounce the word but there is growing consensus around its importance.

Clearly Miss Reynolds here, getting ready for her close-up, in Episode 5, 'Mr Cellophane', won't be taking any nonsense. It's difficult to imagine say a "Carphone Warehouse' scale breach of customer and employee data happening on her watch. She knows the danger lies in the behaviours of individual employees, and that's what she takes a tough line, well on everything pretty much. 

Restricted Intelligence: information security in a box.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Dont Panic! ... these people are professionals.

It would be fair to say that the last couple of months have been nothing less than epic. 

There are new Seasons of 'Tuesdays with Bernie' in the can plus all new stuff on Privacy and Healthcare polished and ready to go. We are also beyond excited to welcome our new 'Bernie' guy - Adam Unwin. And of course Charlotte is as ever the point of contact for all things 'Restricted Intel.' Obviously though, the big question is - 'what will we be pulling out of the bag for our legendary Christmas Viral?'

Here's a reminder of some of our mini Christmas epics

Flamethrower or tweezers? 

There is a concensus that while GDPR represents a massive challenge on a technical, planning and organisational level there will be an upside. Clearly preparation for it’s arrival represents a chance to weed out, prune and generally put a flame-thrower to superfluous or irrelevant data amassed over the decades as well as limiting and protecting future data. However another equally huge challenge and opportunity lies in the field of human behaviour. You could say the degree of success of the implementation of GDPR is potentially as varied as the leaves on the trees, or the blades of grass in the garden, in other words the individuals in any organisation or company. It requires awareness, understanding and engagement at a truly granular level. To borrow a line from Julian Jordan at SolaGroup, in his GDPR Summit event presentation,

'Computers don't make breaches, people do' 

So the paradox, to the individuals in an organisation, GDPR or information security can seem just plain banal or trivial. In fact not very engaging at all. And that is precisely where the danger lies. People might not value that information or regard it as being worthy of protection, and anyway,
‘… we’ve got security, right?’

Monday, 19 June 2017

Start Spreading the Word

Lionel doing his best Christian Slater impression.
HP has announced they are producing a 12-month digital TV series starring Christian Slater. The programme, entitled “The Wolf,” aims “to raise cyber security awareness at work, perhaps leading to an increase in cyber security jobs.”

“Wow,” you’re saying to yourself, “Where have we heard an idea like this before?”

First, let’s just say we believe imitation is the highest form of flattery. So thank you, HP. Weve been producing a programme to inform businesses on cyber security for a few years now and we welcome you to the conversation. We are flattered and honored. More perspectives and more insights mean more opportunities to learn. To quote a wise sage, A rising tide floats all boats. And we certainly like to have our boats floated.

Its interesting to note how the two programmes are very different from one another. The Wolf is gripping drama, while Restricted Intelligence is a sitcom (that often feels like a gripping drama to its characters). And with Christian Slater playing the hacker, you get to see things from a very different point of view. Sort of the yin to our YOW! We are curious to see how this plays out for The Wolf, though. Nobody meets hackers. Will this turn into a chess match? The Wolf makes his move, the office makes theirs, back and forth until The Wolf has exhausted his hacking arsenal? Isnt that how chess works?

HP’s programme will be five total episodes, released over the course of a year. We havent heard whether they will produce more that could depend on the story and how this first series concludes. And while we are fans of Mr. Slaters, we will be cheering for good to prevail. Thats just how we roll.

Since we first started producing Restricted Intelligence, weve always encouraged the idea of getting the conversation started. With The Wolf, a new voice joins the conversation, a new voice that brings new ideas and new perspectives. If there is a downside to all of this, its that it probably isnt a good time to get into hacking.

And, oh yeah, Mr. Slater if you’re reading this, we really are big fans. All the way back to “Heathers.” If you enjoyed the HP production, and you’re still itching to spread the word about cyber security, have your people call our people. (Also, please note, we don’t really have people, so just feel free to call us direct.)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Our Funny Business

People come up to us all the time and ask, “How can I be funny?” Okay, well, maybe not all the time. And maybe it’s not people. It’s actually—

Okay, fine, we often ask ourselves “How can we be funny?” And after an extensive but fruitless search on Google for “funny making software,” we’re reminded of a formula handed down to us from on high. It’s the formula for a joke and it goes something like this:

Tragedy + distance = comedy

You might be asking, “So an earthquake on Neptune? That’s funny?” First, we would correct you: They don’t have “earthquakes” on Neptune, they have Nepquakes. Duh. Second, when we say “tragedy” and “distance,” we’re talking in very loose and general terms. After all, what may be tragic for some of us may just be a bad hair day for someone else. And there’s a ton of different types of distance: physical, historical, emotional, and so on.

We at Restricted Intelligence deal in tragedies, there’s no way around that. Email hacking, phishing, security breaches… None of these are a source of joy for anybody (except maybe the perpetrator). So how do we make them funny?

That’s where the distance comes in. And it’s where we have to do some balancing and juggling, too. Now, we could set this on Neptune, but who knows how business works on Neptune? We could decrease the distance a bit and hold up a mirror, but that’s hitting a little too close to home, which isn’t funny.

Instead, we split the difference. We make creative stories close enough to the viewer’s experience so they can relate (password issues, phishing scams, BYOD, and so on), but create a context that’s a little further from reality: larger-than-life characters, scam emails that any reasonably intelligent human could pick up on, and the list goes on and on.

Oh, and the one thing that we didn’t mention as part of the Comedy Formula but is absolutely crucial: No one really gets hurt. And by that we mean no one really suffers. Egos may be bruised, careers sullied, but no one gets hurt. It’s like with great slapstick: people fall from buildings, get hit with bricks, step on nails, but they dust themselves off and get back to the story.

So now you know our secret formula. We take the scenarios you’re familiar with, we see how almost cartoon-like characters deal with it, and we make sure there’s no injuries at the end. You and your team, in turn, get to have a laugh and walk away with new tools in your fight to secure and protect your company and your customers’ information.

Just don’t tell our characters. They take this stuff very, very seriously.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Minding Your Business

Funny thing, people.

One minute they’re worried about their personal information and Googling “Facebook privacy” or “Instagram government surveillance” and the next minute they’re posting photographs from the bachelor party in Las Vegas or video from their tequila drinking competitions. Privacy is a hot topic not just in the business world, but in our culture at large. People seem more than willing to post just about anything, until they sense their content is being seen by someone they hadn’t expected to look.

For businesses, the issue cuts both way: we must be mindful of what we post from the office or from a business device and we must also be mindful of our customer’s sensitive information, too.

Privacy has become a very public topic.

Which is why we’ve created a special series dedicated to the subject of privacy. And, ironically, we’re hoping everyone gets to see our very privacy series. To kick off the series, we introduce the ironically titled “Nothing to Do With Me.” In it, Lionel complains about his participation in a meeting he swears has nothing to do with him. Spoiler alert: It has everything to do with him.

This first episode also marks the return of series four vendor Mia and introduces a new character, the savvy new head of Privacy, Anya. Plus, everyone’s favorite IT manager, Ian, makes a typically awkward appearance.

The second episode, “Nobody Reads That Stuff,” finds Mia seeking advice on the nuances of the Terms and Conditions document. It seems that Jack and Lionel have some ideas concerning data gathered from customers – ways of taking advantage of the data that could mean big sales for the company, but ways that could be disastrous for the company’s reputation.

But who would find out since nobody reads that stuff, right?

In a nutshell, the episode is an awful lot like the scene in “Jurassic Park” when Dr. Ian Malcom declares, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.” Except in this case, it’s not scientists. And also our dinosaurs aren’t so scary. It’s the consequences you should be afraid of.

Whether it’s medical information or new tattoo photography, people have a right to control their personal information. And we in leadership have a responsibility to guide our teams through the proper use of information, both their own and the customer’s. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for anything to happen within your own organization to learn about the consequences. We can tell you about Lionel’s experience.

And we won’t spare any details.

Want a sneak peek? Check out the series trailer!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Use Your Parental Controls

As many of you know, we have produced a line of videos to teach parents how to safely steer their children through the oft risky online world. And because we’re serious about the issue (as well as being remarkably generous), we’re giving the series away for free.

So far, we’ve covered Facebook, YouTube, and Google – sites which may seem innocuous enough, but can prove quite troublesome when young ones are left to navigate them unattended. But one need not look very far to see there are security issues everywhere. Take for example this story about a security breach involving everyone’s favorite blocky distraction, Minecraft.

It would appear our work is not quite finished. And we’d love to continue producing these videos. So we’ll pose the question to you: what applications concern you most? Are you curious about Snapchat? Do you have Twitter concerns? Tell us (by emailing Katie or Jess) about what sorts of challenges you face as parents. We’d like to start the discussion that will ultimately lead to more and more families creating cultures of security in their homes.

Granted, when it comes to technology, kids are so far ahead of most of us that we often consider them our first line of tech support. In fact, we just learned from our kids that this big gray button on our keyboard is called a “trackpad” and helps us navigate throughout our computers and also through “cyberspace”!

But when it comes to protecting them from potentially harmful sites and activities, there’s a lot more all of us can do. And it starts with training.

Check out our series here. And if you have trouble using the link, ask a kid for help.