December 2023 Newsletter

Posted By: Mark Monday 15th January 2024 Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This month: AI in Microsoft 365 CoPilot; Microsoft’s glass-based storage technology; end-of-year Cyber Security reports; end-of-year NCSC advisories; 2024 cyber security predictions; plus 2024 tech predictions.

Newsletter Image: Microsoft 365 CoPilot

Using AI in Microsoft 365 Copilot

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionised the way we work and interact with technology. Microsoft 365 has integrated AI capabilities into its suite of applications, resulting in a more efficient and productive experience for users.

What Is Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered productivity tool which integrates large language models, and content within Microsoft Graph, such as emails permissible documents, with the Microsoft 365 apps that you use every day, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, etc.

A combination of deep learning techniques and vast data sets provides an AI framework that helps users work more effectively by suggesting edits, generating new text, and creating summaries in Microsoft Word. Copilot can also help users analyse trends, create professional data visualisations, bring their ideas to life, create impactful communications, brainstorm more creatively, and much more.

Benefits Of Microsoft Copilot And AI Functions

Here are some of the benefits of AI in Microsoft 365:

Increased productivity:

AI-powered features like Microsoft Copilot can help users work more efficiently by providing suggestions for edits, generating new text, and creating summaries in Microsoft Word. AI-infused solutions can also help boost creativity.

Streamlined operations:

AI in the workplace helps predict equipment failures, streamline supply chains, and optimise manufacturing processes. AI-powered features like Microsoft Editor can identify wordy sentences and recommend alternate versions to be more concise and clearer. This can help users improve their communications.

Improved customer service:

AI can help businesses better understand their customers’ needs and preferences. AI-powered chatbots can provide instant customer support and answer frequently asked questions. Microsoft 365’s AI-powered features can help businesses serve their customers and grow their business with greater productivity and creativity.

Enhanced security:

AI-powered security features in Microsoft 365 can help detect and prevent cyber attacks. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 uses AI to detect and block phishing emails and other malicious content. This can help businesses protect their sensitive data and maintain their reputation.

Better decision-making:

AI-powered analytics in Microsoft 365 can help businesses make better decisions by providing insights into customer behaviour, market trends, and other key metrics. This can help businesses stay ahead of the competition and make informed decisions.

Integrate AI into your company’s Microsoft 365 workflow

AI is bringing about a new era of productivity and efficiency in the workplace. With the help of Microsoft Copilot, Microsoft 365’s AI-powered features have made it easier for users to make better decisions. With AI-infused solutions, businesses can streamline their operations, improve customer service, and enhance their security. The possibilities are endless!

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 is generally available as an add-on, and LaneSystems can help your business benefit from the improvements AI brings to your working environment. Contact us today and take the next step in the evolution of your company.

Newsletter Image: Glass-based Storage Tech Becoming A Reality

Glass-based Storage Tech Becoming A Reality

Microsoft has released a paper related to the widely-anticipated glass-based storage technology it’s backing to replace the conventional storage technology.

What Is Glass-based Storage

Glass-based storage technology is a new and innovative way of storing data for the long-term. It uses quartz glass as a low-cost, durable, EMF-proof, storage medium that could last from tens to hundreds of thousands of years. This technology is being developed by Project Silica, a Microsoft Research project that aims to create sustainable and secure systems for archival storage.

How Glass-based storage works

The data is written to the glass via ultrafast femtosecond lasers, and then read using polarization-sensitive microscopy. The Silica storage system guarantees true airgap by design for the storage media, making it physically impossible to accidentally overwrite data during reading.

Silica offers volumetric data densities higher than current magnetic tapes, with raw capacity upwards of 7TB in a square glass platter the size of a DVD. This technology has huge consequences for sustainability, as it means data can be left in situ, eliminating the costly cycle of periodically copying data to a new media generation.

Benefits of glass-based storage methods

Glass-based storage has the following advantages other storage technologies:


Glass storage can last for hundreds or thousands of years, while current media such as magnetic tapes or hard drives degrade over time and need to be replaced every few years.


Glass storage can hold more data in less space than current media. For example, a CD-sized disk of glass could hold 500 terabytes of data, while a magnetic tape can hold up to 30 terabytes.


Glass storage is resistant to data corruption from heat, floods, or solar flares, which can sometimes affect magnetic storage. It also guarantees true airgap by design, meaning it is physically impossible to accidentally overwrite data during reading.


Glass storage reduces the environmental impact of data storage, as it eliminates the need for large, energy-intensive facilities and the costly cycle of periodically copying data to a new media generation.

Tech Radar says that due to the secure nature of archival glass storage the medium is suitable for a host of sensitive industries, such as finance, scientific research and healthcare. Using this storage method could help organisations withstand ransomware attacks targeting data being stored in the cloud.

Azure customers will be the first to benefit from this new technology, but its success could see a major transformation in future storage methods for all.

Businesses in the North East of England talk to us today about our cyber security, backup and data recovery services.

Newsletter Image: End Of Year Cyber Security Reports

End Of Year Cyber Security Reports

It’s been a busy year for cyber security incidents, and the end of the year saw no let up in the volume and intensity of reported cyber attacks.

Here are some of the major incidents reported during late 2023:

Norton Healthcare Data Breach

Norton Healthcare, a Kentucky-based healthcare provider, disclosed a data breach that impacted an estimated 2.5 million people. The attackers gained unauthorised access to personal information about patients and employees.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Ransomware Attack

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee confirmed that it was hit by a ransomware attack by the Meow ransomware gang. The attackers compromised a database that the University says did not contain personal or protected information about patients or employees.

Toronto Public Library Data Breach

The Toronto Public Library disclosed that sensitive, personal information relating to their employees, customers, and volunteers was stolen from their systems during a sophisticated ransomware attack. The library did not reveal the number of affected individuals or the type of information that was compromised.

LockBit Ransomware Attack on NHS Scotland

LockBit, a notorious ransomware group, targeted NHS Scotland and encrypted the files of several health boards. The attackers demanded a ransom of $40 million and threatened to leak the stolen data if not paid. NHS Scotland said that no patient data was affected and that it did not intend to pay the ransom. It happened back in August, but the issues are still ongoing.

National Amusements Data Breach

National Amusements, the cinema chain and corporate owner of media giants like Paramount and CBS, has confirmed a data breach where hackers stole personal information of tens of thousands of people. Althought the hack happened in December 2022, the information was only released this month.

Yakult Australia Data Breach

The probiotic drinks manufacturer confirms cybersecurity incident after Dragonforce cybercrime outfit claims responsibility for a 95GB data leak. The hack affected IT systems in Australia and New Zealand.

2024 will see further cyber security threats. All businesses are vulnerable to cyber attack. LaneSystems proves a range of services for keeping your precious business data safe, alongside other business services. Contact us today to get cyber secure.

Newsletter Image: End Of Year NCSC Advisories

End Of Year NCSC Advisories

The National Cyber Security Centre is a UK government organisation that provides advice and support to both the public and private sectors, giving guidance on the latest cyber security threats.

The NCSC publishes advisories, reports, and guidance on various cyber security topics, such as artificial intelligence, cloud, supply chain, phishing, and more.

Here are some NCSC advisories released during December 2023:

Russian FSB cyber actor Star Blizzard continues world-wide spear-phishing campaigns

The Russia-based actor is targeting organisations and individuals in the UK and other geographical areas of interest. The NCSC provides information on the actors’ tactics, techniques and procedures, and recommends mitigation measures.

UK and Republic of Korea issue warning about DPRK state-linked cyber actors attacking software supply chains

The joint advisory observes cyber actors leveraging zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits in third-party software. The NCSC advises organisations to apply patches and updates as soon as possible, and to monitor their networks for any suspicious activity.

Exploitation of Cisco IOS XE vulnerabilities affecting UK organisations

The NCSC alerts organisations to take action to mitigate vulnerabilities affecting Cisco IOS XE (CVE-2023-20198 and CVE-2023-20273) and follow the latest advice from the vendor. The NCSC warns that these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution or denial of service attacks.

You can find further details, and other advisories, on the NCSC website.

If you’re looking for cyber security services around Teesside, Tyne & Wear, County Durham, North Yorkshire and the surrounding areas, contact us today to see how LaneSystems can keep your data protected.

Newsletter Image: 2024 Cyber Security Predictions

2024 Cyber Security Predictions

Cyber Security is a constantly evolving field, and the threats that face individuals and organisations are a constant challenge.

Here are some of the main cyber security trends and challenges that experts predict for 2024:

AI-driven Attacks

Cybercriminals will increase the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance their attacks, such as creating personalized spear-phishing messages, generating fake videos and voices, and exploiting on-device AI models

Supply Chain and Critical Infrastructure Attacks

Attackers will target the weak links in the supply chains and critical infrastructures of various sectors, such as healthcare, energy, and transportation, to cause disruption, damage, and extortion

Cyber Insurance:

As cyber attacks become more frequent and costly, the demand for cyber insurance will grow, but so will the challenges of assessing the risks, setting the premiums, and covering the claims

Nation State Threats

Nation state actors will continue to engage in cyber espionage, sabotage, and influence operations, using sophisticated techniques and tools to evade detection and attribution

Weaponised Deepfakes

Deepfakes, or synthetic media that manipulate the appearance or voice of real people, will be used for malicious purposes, such as spreading misinformation, impersonating celebrities or politicians, and blackmailing or defaming individuals

Phishing and Ransomware

Phishing and ransomware will remain the most common and profitable forms of cyber attacks, as attackers leverage social engineering, automation, and encryption to trick and extort their victims

These are some of the possible scenarios that could happen in 2024, but they are not inevitable. By staying informed, vigilant, and proactive, we can all play a role in enhancing our cybersecurity and protecting ourselves and others from cyber threats.

Newsletter Image: 2024 Tech Predictions

2024 Tech Predictions

We’re peering into the digital crystal ball to explore some of the tech predictions being made for for 2024:

AI in Healthcare:

Artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionise healthcare. Expect to see enhanced productivity, reduced costs, and improved patient care. It should free up doctors and other healthcare professionals from time-consuming administrative tasks – speeding up note taking, referrals, etc. It could help speed up diagnosis and medication choices. It could make drug development faster and cheaper for the pharmaceutical industry. It could, generally, bring down the costs of healthcare.

MicroLED TVs going mainstream

MicroLED TVs combine cutting-edge display technology, stunning visuals, and high-end realism as they benefit from perfect contrast, with ultra-low blacks and and higher peak brightness than the current OLED leaders. The tech claims unbeatable luminance and color without the risk of burn-in. But, they are currently very expensive, available in sizes above 100″, and require professional installation. Samsung announced a 76″ that shouldn’t need an install, and the back-end of the new year could — maybe — see MicroLED tvs hit the retailers in more affordable options at a range of ‘normal’ TV sizes for the average consumer. Realistically, commercially viable prototypes are the most likely.

Solid State Headphones

Solid state speakers are a departure from the traditional coil and magnet designs, akin to the movement from traditional hard disk drives (HDD), to solid state drives (SSD) in the computer world. Constructed from silicon, they create ultra-high-quality, high-resolution sound experiences across all audio frequencies. They also bring improved durability and reliability to that enhanced sound quality. xMems Labs have applied their solid state speaker tech to headphone drivers, which a number of manufacturers have already signed up to use.

Samsung AR/VR headset

Samsung are likely to enter deeper into the world of augmented reality & virtual reality with a device to take on the Apple Vision Pro. Possibly called ‘Samsung Galaxy Glass’, and in collaboration with Google — although some tech experts say it may run Meta’s highly regarded Quest VR OS software — it may become a more budget-friendly challenger in a sector Apple currently leads. Rumours are that Samsung abandoned a prototype in 2023, and while there is no official Samsung statement, the buzz is for something appearing in the first half of 2024.

Humanoid Robots

The market in Humanoid Robots is predicted to grow by 40% in 2024. Adoption is expected to expand into many industries – logistics, innovative applications, retail, the military, healthcare sectors, etc. Agility Robotics will mass-produce the Digit humanoid robot for use, alongside Human workers, in warehouses and distribution centres. Tesla is completing a factory to mass-produce Teslabots, a humanoid robot it claims learns from video and can perform precise tasks like sorting and duties that require good balance.

Let’s see what comes to fruition in the year ahead. All the best for 2024!

Recent Posts