Archive for the ‘Cyber Security’ Category

  • What is Ransomware?

    Date: 2017.05.30 | Category: Cyber Security | Response: 0

    After an increasing number of high profile cases including that against the NHS in the UK more people are asking the question, ‘What is Ransomware?’. And most importantly, ‘How can I protect myself and business from it?’.

    Simply put Ransomware is; a type of malware (malicious software) that prevents a user from accessing their system or files, this is commonly done by encrypting data (converting information into a code) and holding the user to ransom by asking for funds to unencrypt their data and therefore providing access to their files once more.

    Ransoms can range from anywhere a few hundred pounds to several thousands, as you may have seen from the NHS attacks in May 2017 they were only asking for $300 per computer. Fortinet, a US based cyber security company, suggest ransoms are becoming less (in the region of £50-£200) to make them more like a parking ticket, where the victim simply pays the amount to avoid the hassle.

    So, how can you protect yourself and your business against ransomware?

    As with any cyber security policy or action there is no ‘silver bullet’ which will guarantee your safety, however there are some simple actions you can take to reduce the chances of an attack, such as;

    Be vigilant with your emails, 33% of attacks in the UK come from users opening malicious emails. Request a free copy of our ‘Email – Is It Safe?’ poster for a step-by-step guide and what you should be asking yourself to check if an email is safe.

    Back-up your files, this is a massive one and still hugely underutilised. By having copies of your file elsewhere the impact on files being encrypted is minimal, particularly if you back-up daily the worst case is you lose a few hours of data. Critical here is that you back-up to a server not directly linked to your original data otherwise the infection could reach your back-up files too.

    Update your system and software, please ensure you update as soon as a program offers a new update. You can set Windows to automatically update to the latest versions, this prevents hackers using potential vulnerabilities in outdated software.

    These are just a few areas to get you thinking about how to prevent a ransomware attack, please call us if you have further concerns or need more advice on how to stay cyber safe.

    Please request a copy of our Free ‘Email – Is It Safe?’ A2 printed poster for your office.

  • The Role of Leadership in Cyber Security

    Date: 2017.04.20 | Category: Cyber Security | Response: 0

    You may be surprised to learn that only 21% of directors believe that their company is managing cyber security risk well. Why is that? Surely it can’t be for lack of awareness, cyber security is receiving more publicity than ever before, it’s rare you won’t read of a serious cyber-attack in the Sunday papers, or scroll across an attack on your favourite news site, even TV has programming highlighting the issue such as a recent cyber-crime feature on BBC Crimewatch.

    So, if not awareness, then perhaps capability? As a leader in your business, ask yourself a serious question, do you have the knowledge to create, implement and monitor a cyber security process suitable for your business? If the answer’s no, you need help and fast. Far from trying to scare monger it’s a reality that your business particularly if in the financial services sector, will be attacked, if it hasn’t been already (perhaps you don’t even know about it).

    Of course, capability won’t be the only reason. As business leaders, you will likely be an experienced manager and may have good technical knowledge in the area you do business, but I’m sure you’re well versed in bringing in support such as marketing, sales or accounting to fill your knowledge gaps. You will also likely undergo regular risk management and if you were to identify a risk, such as say one client providing too large a portion of your company’s revenue you will react by increasing marketing activity to reduce that risk. So why is you’re not reaching out for support when it comes to cyber security?

    Trust? Of course, it makes sense you need to trust a company or individual to have them access your IT systems but that is no different from trusting an accountancy firm with access to your company’s finances or trusting a marketing agency to spend your budget effectively.

    The truth is we don’t know, and the best person to answer this question is you! Call us and let us know will you. The fact you’re reading this tell us you’re one of the more forward thinking business leaders and likely to take steps towards protecting your business on-line. If so, here’s what you should be doing next.

    5 Key Steps to Leading on Cyber Security

    Acknowledge and accept that Cyber Security is a real and active risk for your business.
    Understand the exact risks your business faces and the possible consequences.
    Expand your knowledge in the area, bring in a specialist company to help you do so.
    Implement a policy from the top-down which outlines clear processes to minimise risk.
    Plan and practice what you would do in case of an attack.

    Reference Articles:

    Forbes – Cyber Security Leadership
    McKinsey – Senior Leaders Against Cyber Security