Are you paying attention to your cyber security?

News

Ask any IT professional what their top 3 current IT challenges are at present, and I can bet nearly all of them will mention cyber security in some form. It was always the hot topic for IT management to consider, but recently it has been pushed to the front of the line as the business landscape has changed so much since the start of the pandemic.

Most companies worked in their offices with employees leaving at the end of the working day to their home life, not needing to consider work again until the next morning when they returned to the office. Of course, that all changed 12 months ago with new working arrangements implemented almost overnight as the nation was advised and then mandated to work from home.

With this shift came the new challenge of how do we work effectively and safely from home? The world is in a digital age where we rely on technology and connectivity. The pandemic accelerated the need to evolve exponentially for some companies, adopting new methods and technologies such as, VPN, RDP for remote access, BYOD for people without company mobile devices, and video conferencing.

For some this was just a normal way of working but for others this was a shift to a whole new way of working. A whole new raft of technology for them to learn and understand. As companies rushed and struggled to prepare their workforce and systems for lockdown, cyber criminals saw a chance to exploit the poorly prepared protections in place. For cyber criminals this was like the honey pot being left with the lid off.

Attending different online cyber events I have heard the stories of how cyber related crime or attacks have increased over this period as cyber criminals have used this window to attack companies and employees, and not just with network or endpoint type attacks. E-mail phishing attacks have increased and not just in the workplace but privately too. I myself saw a huge increase in spam mail over the pandemic period claiming I needed to re-register this account, confirm my identity, reset my password, and all at a time when people had their minds on other things, targeting their fears, or using the opportunity for misdirection.

So, “what is the solution?” I hear you ask, and its pretty simple, good cyber security awareness!

Some people will say it’s too complicated and they just don’t understand anything about the technical side of computers, others will just say it’s boring, but think of it this way, if you could learn something in 10 minutes that could stop you or your company being then victim of a cyber-crime would it be worth it?

Think about how long it has taken you to read this? If you could learn something in the same amount of time would it be worth it?
Over the coming months CEME will be publishing cyber security advice on the website and in our email newsletters. Each month we will pick a different topic to discuss and also be highlighting interesting articles for you to read (only if you want to).

I hope you will enjoy these bite-sized cyber security updates and find them useful both at work and at home.

Stay vigilant and stay safe.

Chris George,

Head of IT, CEME

 

Here’s this month’s suggested articles for you to read:

Scammer jailed for sending fake NHS text messages to people waiting for Covid-19 vaccination

Cybersecurity For The Uninitiated