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25/03/14

Open University adds digital forensics to postgrad computing programme

The Berrill Building at The Open University's Milton Keynes campus. Copyright The Open UniversityThe Open University has unveiled included modules on corporate digital forensics in its new Masters qualification in Computing to help organisations identify information leaks, tackle intellectual property espionage and address insider security threats. The module provides computing postgraduates and IT professionals with the opportunity to add this skill-set to their portfolio, and allows employers to develop in-house expertise to identify the source of insider threats. The Digital Forensics module will be accompanied by new modules in Software Development and Project Management, with further modules in Software Engineering and Data Management to be unveiled in November 2014 to add to the existing module in Information Security first delivered in November 2013. "HR and IT teams are increasingly called upon to investigate the source of internal Intellectual Property leaks or the theft of information such as sales books by ex-employees who take them to rival companies," says Blaine Price, senior lecturer in computing at Open University. "The problem is most companies lack the technical skills to do this and are often oblivious to the legal requirements to pursue these cases." The new postgraduate modules in Software Engineering and Development will also include Agile methodologies, whereby solutions evolve incrementally through collaboration between self-organising, cross-functional teams. The deadline for enrolment on the May modules in Digital forensics, Software development and Project management is 17 April 2014. The Final enrolment date for November's modules in Software engineering, Data management and Information security is 30 September.
Pictured: The Berrill Building at The Open University's Milton Keynes campus. Copyright The Open University.
Open University Computing and IT postgraduate courses: www3.open.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/computing-and-it

Healthcare market drives video conferencing in Europe, finds Frost & Sullivan

The rising popularity of video conferencing in healthcare is creating short and long-term opportunities for conferencing service providers, according to a new report from technology research body Frost & Sullivan. The report, 'Video Conferencing for Healthcare', finds that video conferencing offered as a service to patient's homes will be a key area of growth for the market in Europe. The convenience of receiving treatment from home can be a major benefit to the elderly, disabled, those suffering from chronic conditions, and rural dwellers, it finds. Video conferencing can also facilitate post-discharge programmes, specialist consultations, and physician collaboration and training. Although the cost associated with video conferencing services is decreasing, investment in new systems is still an issue for budget-conscious healthcare organisations, the report finds. Concerns about the security and privacy of patient's data are ever present as services advance and more data is collected. Ensuring that only those with the correct authority can access content is a vitally important consideration when dealing with patient's data. Different regulatory environments across Europe present additional challenges to suppliers in terms of service roll out, the report finds.
Frost & Sullivan Conferencing & Collaboration Growth Partnership Service: www.conferencing.frost.com

Local Government Association to manage Audit Commission contracts

The Local Government Association has been appointed by the government to create a new independent company to act as a transitional body when the Audit Commission closes at the end of March 2015. The new company will be responsible for managing the Commission's £85 million audit contracts as well as the Value for Money profiles when the commission shuts. It will also have responsibility for working with the Department for Work and Pensions to enable the continued delivery of the Housing Benefit Count. The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, was chosen by the Department for Communities and Local Government to create the new, independent, private transitional body. LGA Chairman Sir Merrick Cockell said: "It is our aim that councils that wish to do so will have the opportunity to access external audit from a national body when the current contracts come to end. We believe this will continue to provide the public sector nationally with the best prices for external audit." The LGA will establish a new company with a new board for the sole purpose of being the transitional body. It will take on the Audit Commission's statutory functions, managing the audit contracts of nearly 11,000 public sector organisations including councils, police, health services and fire authorities. A name for the company will be announced in due course. Current Audit Commission staff will transfer to the new company and be based at Local Government House.
Audit Commission: www.audit-commission.gov.uk

UK University IT service desks lead in social media and staff recognition

Service desk professionals at UK higher education institutions lead their industry peers in the use of social media, support for 'bring your own device' (BYOD) policies, industry best practices and service desk staff recognition, according to a new report from UCISA (Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association), the Service Desk Institute (SDI) and IT service management specialist Cherwell Software. Highlights from the UKHE Service Desk Benchmarking Report include that 80% of UKHE service desk staff will enhance their careers with formal qualifications within the next 12 months; 70% of UKHE service desks have adopted ITIL best practice frameworks, compared to 62% for the industry; and 57% use Twitter, and 27% use Facebook, to communicate with their customers. Regarding BYOD, the HE sector lies way ahead of its counterparts in the wider industry, the report finds: 92% of respondents in the UKHE benchmarking survey support BYOD, compared to 42% across all sectors.
UKHE Service Desk Benchmarking Report: www.cherwellsoftware.co.uk/lp/UKHE-report
UCISA: www.usica.ac.uk

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