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Latest Coronavirus publications


Covid-19 and the reality of digital espionage

Finding a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is priority number one in the healthcare community. While an increasing number of countries appear to have joined China in getting the virus under control, there are legitimate fears that a second-wave could take many nations back to square one. Put simply, the surest way of preventing a Covid-19 resurgence is to develop and test an effective vaccine.

Developing a vaccine is a complex and challenging undertaking at the best of times. But to make matters even more complicated, experts on the frontline of these efforts have been subject to rampant cyber attacks in recent weeks. 


Fighting a virus – the cyber security approach

There has been a great deal of conversation around the similarities between the spread of the Covid-19 virus and that of computer viruses. And indeed, as the first global pandemic to occur during the age of connectivity, this comparison is valid. But while most focus on how we can leverage the knowledge gained in the “real world” in identifying and stopping the spread of plagues in the virtual world, I would like to offer another perspective.

Perhaps we in cybersecurity can return the favour. Perhaps the medical world can take the lessons learned in three decades of fighting “cyber viruses” and implement these in their fight to mitigate the coronavirus?


Microsoft’s submarine data centre is processing Covid-19 research workloads

An experimental data centre Microsoft sunk in the sea off the Scottish coast is being used to process workloads that could help scientists understand and design treatments for Covid-19.

Microsoft, which plunged the data centre into the sea off Orkney in 2018 as part of Project Natick, revealed the [email protected] computing project is harnessing the facility’s processing power to research viral proteins that cause Covid-19 in a bid to design therapeutics that might thwart it.

The [email protected] research project simulates protein dynamics to get a feel for protein complexity. These simulations can identify sites on a viral protein that potential treatments could bind to, for instance.


Q&A: Ethnicity & Covid-19 – What the data is telling us

There has been significant coverage on the apparent link between ethnicity and the risk of contracting coronavirus, but what does the data actually reveal?

In 2005, Richard Webber and Trevor Phillips OBE started Webber Phillips, a data analytics business specialising in a software package called “Origins” (developed by OriginsInfo, of which Webber is MD). Origins applies reference tables linking people’s names and cultural backgrounds to the examination of cultural diversity among private and public sector organisations. It wasn’t long into the pandemic before Webber and Phillips realised their software could be applied to Covid-19, amid early indicators that the UK BAME community was disproportionately at-risk.

We spoke to Webber to understand the power of Origins and how the software package might help the UK Government better understand the connection between Covid-19 risk, ethnicity and occupation. In terms of what the data is telling us, Webber warns against oversimplification and says the devil is in the detail.


Unsung Heroes of the Data Centre Part 1: Chris Ryan, Fordway

Techerati and Data Centre World are giving shout-outs to data centre professionals who have been nominated by their colleagues for their exceptional efforts in recent weeks. This week, Richard Blanford, CEO at Fordway, nominates Chris Ryan, the company’s senior infrastructure lead. I’d like to nominate Chris Ryan, Senior Infrastructure Lead at Fordway as an unsung… Read More