A recent survey revealed that British companies are now hoarding a dramatically increased amount of the digital currency Bitcoin.

This research, commissioned for corporate networking company Citrix, indicated that 20 per cent of UK businesses now have Bitcoin reserves, with the average holding being £46,000 and larger companies sitting on up to £136,000.

The reason for the upsurge is believed to be fear of ransomware attacks, the prevalence of which in 2017 has been illustrated by some arresting statistics, despite there being plenty of good advice out there on how to protect your business against them.

Because Bitcoin enables people to transfer funds without involving banks or revealing their identities, it is seemingly the currency of choice for assailants such as those behind this year’s WannaCry and NotPetya attacks. These afflicted numerous organisations, from the UK’s National Health Service to giant delivery services company FedEx.

Despite advice from law enforcement agencies not to pay ransoms, there seems to be increasing evidence of organisations budgeting for these and handing money over. A Korean web hosting company recently revealed that it had paid over $1m to restore data after an attack infected 3,400 websites, for example.

In such a climate, it’s understandable that our customers want to know what we do to protect the security of their data, when they deal with us over applications such as the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation system.

The answer is that we partner with the two most appropriate high-quality providers available, Sophos and LinOTP, which are recognised by analysts and customers as market leaders in their fields and provide unsurpassed security standards.

Ahtishaam Khan, Opal Wave technical director, explains:

“Sophos Group is a security software and hardware company. It develops products for communication endpoint, encryption, network security, email security, mobile security and unified threat management.

Primarily focused on providing security software to mid-market organisations with from 100 to 5,000 employees, Sophos is not only listed on the London Stock Exchange but within the FTSE 250 index of its largest companies.”

Sophos produced its first encryption and antivirus products in the 1980s and today its products protect over 100,000 businesses and 100 million users, in more than 150 countries.

Ahtishaam says:

“LinOTP is an enterprise level, innovative, flexible and versatile one-time password platform for strong authentication. Developed and maintained by German company KeyIdentity, LinOTP is used for purposes including small individual installations, middle-sized company scenarios and satisfying cloud provider requirements.

Based on the Linux computer operating system, LinOTP is an open source authentication server implemented as a web service.”

Due to its highly modular architecture, LinOTP works regardless of its vendor and supports different authentication protocols, token types and user repositories. The software supports multi-tenancy, is easily scalable, is user friendly and can be implemented quickly and simply in virtually any environment.

In summary, Ahtishaam says: “While it’s no secret that an impregnable security system will never be developed and maintaining defences against attacks is always a challenge, I can reassure our actual and potential customers that we take the protection of their data extremely seriously.

“We’re constantly monitoring this aspect of our operations and are confident we have the two best partners for the needs of our clients, whose defences are upgraded regularly.”