At NVT Group, we are delighted to have reopened the doors at our Earn House HQ and to be saying a real-life ‘hello!’ to our staff and visitors as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Like many businesses, the way we have provided services has changed significantly since March 2020. However, something that has not changed is our commitment to robust cyber defence practices. Across the different blogs we have published since the beginning of the pandemic, you will see that we have consistently called for extra vigilance and increased security.
For example, we advocated for stronger password security measures to be implemented at the exact time it became understandably tempting to do the opposite.
We also recognised that emergency solutions were being implemented to facilitate the shift to remote working, so we warned against cutting corners with cyber defences and recommended that businesses create plans, processes and contingencies that were designed to make systems more secure in the longer-term.
Naturally, cyber criminals grasped the opportunity with both hands and happily took advantage of any weaknesses that were inherent to new ways of operating. As a result of all of this, we weren’t surprised to read reports that cyber-attacks on UK organisations increased by a fifth during 2020.
However, nearly 18 months on from March 2020, the threats have not gone away. Indeed, today businesses find themselves in another state of transition as they go back to shared workspaces and adapt to hybrid working practices. Whatever happens in the coming months, cyber criminals will continue to capitalise on the fluidity of the changing technology landscape.
What’s more is that the risk is greater than ever. The recent data breach experienced by the Irish Health Service proves the scale of the problem. The ransomware attack was described by the Health Service leader as “catastrophic” and “stomach churning”. The damage included health workers being forced to shift to using paper records. It caused a high number of out-patient appointment cancellations. It affected every aspect of patient care in Ireland and has been classed as a major disaster to the Irish Health Service.
High profile targets like this certainly make headlines and it is true that organisations are becoming more and more aware of the need to prioritise cyber security. In fact, two thirds of businesses believe that avoiding the impact of a cyber-attack is more important than it was a year ago. On the other hand, new research commissioned by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) has revealed that nearly four out of 10 (38%) Scottish businesses still do not feel prepared for such an attack.
So, what is there to do about it?
With so much information, guidance and advice available, it’s okay if you feel overwhelmed or uncertain of who to trust.
At NVT Group, our approach to cyber security and data protection is multi-faceted. For instance, we offer a suite of cyber defence monitoring, alerting and firewall tools, which are designed to protect your networks and digital assets.
Meanwhile, our Blue Rock business can complement this with cyber awareness training to empower your staff with the skills and knowledge they need to spot cyber threats and therefore avoid them. We use ethical hacking techniques to expose weaknesses in your employee password security. We can even test your employees by sending them phishing style e-mails to see how prone your business is to falling victim to this type of attack.
Lastly, we can help you to implement information governance protocols across your business to control how information is stored and shared, thus ensuring compliance with data protection regulations and minimising the risk of data loss.
At the very least, we urge you not to ignore the threats and to start putting plans in place to best defend your business from the devastating effects of a cyber-attack. If you’re unsure where to start, all you have to do is talk to us (send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01698 749000) and we can steer you in the right direction.