Rev up Your Cybersecurity: Why Cyber Essentials Accreditation Is Your Business’ MOT

You put your car through a MOT as an annual check to keep it operating smoothly, so why not do the same for your business? In today’s digital world, cybersecurity is more important than ever. With the modification of technology and the increase in cyber-attacks, safeguarding confidential and sensitive data is becoming more and more difficult for organisations. Luckily, organisations can undergo a similar MOT by certifying for Cyber Essentials Accreditation to rev up their cybersecurity. Continue reading, as we share a deeper insight on Cyber Essentials Accreditation including how you can benefit from it and explain why it is essentially your business’ MOT. 

What Is Cyber Essentials Accreditation?

If you haven’t heard of Cyber Essentials Accreditation before, it is an internationally verified and government-backed scheme created by the National Cyber Security Centre which protects organisations against the most common cyber attacks. To secure accreditation, an organisation must take an online self-assessment questionnaire to evaluate how the following 5 key cybersecurity technical controls are implemented in their IT infrastructure:

1. Firewalls

A firewall acts as a cyber barrier to prevent access to private networks. When a cyber attacker attempts to gain access to information or data from a private network, it will identify the cyber threat and block them from gaining unauthorised access. This is only effective if the firewall is installed and managed properly. It can also monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic. A firewall can be physical hardware, software, software-as-a-service (SaaS), public cloud or a virtual private cloud.

2. Secure Configurations

Computer networks contain servers that help organise and access information. Another key technical control to effective cybersecurity is secure configurations. When an organisation has secure configurations in place, they help to prevent access where it shouldn’t be granted, reduce network vulnerability and prevent unauthorised actions.

3. User Access Control

Most organisation networks are built with users in mind. They also have network administrators who manage and have total access, ability and control over things within the IT infrastructure. Any organisation has to be mindful about who and how many individuals have administrator privileges. The more people with access, the higher the risk of common cyber attacks. For optimum cybersecurity, organisations will want limited access to computers, applications and networks to anyone without administrator privilege.

4. Malware Protection

Malware is a malicious type of software. It is used by cyber attackers to cause harm to computers and networks within an organisation. It is a criminal offence to install malware as it can damage or lock files, steal or disrupt confidential information and block access. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for cyber attackers to use a type of malicious software called ransomware to gain access to a network and keep it captive until payment is released. Organisations will need to set up their IT infrastructure to prevent such malware attacks. 

5. Security Update Management

Any device that runs software is at risk of security errors, also known as vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are a potential opening for cyber attacks. All software must undergo regular security updates to spot any errors. As soon as a vulnerability is identified, it must be corrected for it to remain completely secure, this process is called ‘patching’. 

Cyber Essentials vs. Cyber Essentials Plus

Once the self-assessment questionnaire is submitted, it will be reviewed by a qualified assessor. When the application is successful, a certificate will be awarded to the organisation. There are two types of certifications – Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. Cyber Essentials includes an online self-assessment questionnaire and Cyber Essentials Plus includes a technical assessment. This involves a qualified assessor who will verify an organisation’s cybersecurity technical controls to ensure they are correctly implemented. Many organisations prefer to apply for Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, particularly those that hold a sustainable amount of sensitive data. Cyber Essentials Plus also offers a higher level of assurance than the basic version, Cyber Essentials. 

How Can You Benefit From Cyber Essentials Accreditation?

Any business, no matter the industry or size can apply for Cyber Essentials Accreditation. Not only does it protect against a vast amount of common cyber-attacks, it also has additional benefits:

  • Reassures your customers, investors and shareholders that you are serious about cybersecurity and you are working to secure your IT against cyber attacks 
  • Attracts new business with the promise you have cyber security measures in place
  • Provides better visibility of potential cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities
  • For some government contracts, a Cyber Essentials certification is required
  • Receive a £25,000 limit of Cyber liability insurance – if the whole organisation is certified and has less than £20m annual turnover (terms may apply).

Get Started With SYTECH Consultants 

If you are thinking about putting your business through a MOT and obtaining Cyber Essentials Accreditation, we can certainly help you. At SYTECH Consultants, we are proud to be an issued certification body for Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. Our team of cybersecurity analysts provide support and assistance to organisations across the UK on Cyber Essentials. Similar to a vehicle MOT, you will need to complete an annual review of your cybersecurity every 12 months to renew your certificate.

To receive a quotation or to arrange a free consultation, contact us today via phone or email and we will be happy to get you started on your certification. Our qualified assessors are always on hand to answer any questions that you may have along the way.

Essential Cyber Security Best Practices for Small Businesses

Whether you run a small business or you’ve just started a new starter business, it’s essential to invest in cyber security practices, this is to protect the business from online vulnerabilities.

Due to many opportunities, markets and industries being available online, the online world is a necessity for many businesses to grow and progress. From computer-based tools, emails and website maintenance to complete management systems, many businesses now rely on online systems and softwares, but with these business enhancements comes the responsibility to keep the company’s data, privacy and information safe and secure.

In this blog, we’ll talk you through the best practices for cyber security that could potentially save the business from becoming the victim of a cyber attack that could result in huge financial and data losses.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is how individuals and organisations reduce the risk of cyber attacks and consists of technologies, awareness, processes and controls. Cyber attacks are usually aimed at assessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information. This could be anything from extorting money from users to interrupting normal business processes.

Theft of digital information (another form of cyber attack) has become one of the most common threats to businesses who use online facilities. This is avoidable, but it is up to each business who uses these online facilities to take responsibility for their cyber security.

It is essential that businesses work hard to create a culture of security that will keep the businesses data private and secure, along with securing their staff’s safety. This responsibility can only stand to give clients and customers enhanced protection and confidence in using the businesses service or product.

Cyber Security Best Practices

Protect Your Assets

There are several ways you can protect your computers, networks and information from online threats such as viruses and malware:

  • Install the latest security and antivirus software.
  • Set the security and antivirus software to run a scan after each update.
  • Implement key software updates as and when they are available.
  • Install firewall security for the businesses internet connection.
  • Ensure that systems are protected by a firewall software, whether employees are working from the office or working from home.

Brief Your Employees

It’s important to make sure the businesses employees are trained to understand the importance of cyber security practices. Reiterate the importance of security and data protection policies every few months to ensure all staff are in the know, and make sure to run new starters through your practices so each employee is in the know.

These practices can include:

  • Establishing appropriate internet use guidelines that detail penalties for going against these cyber security practices
  • Implementing strong passwords across all softwares and systems
  • Establishing how to handle and protect customer information and any other vital data each employee may come across

Regarding passwords, employees should be briefed before creating any passwords at the company to only use unique and strong passwords. Passwords should also be changed every three months to avoid vulnerability.

Implementing multi-factor authentication can also help with the businesses level of security. Multi-factor authentication is becoming more and more common to help businesses stay safe and secure. This form of security usually requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry, such as sending a code to your mobile phone device to type into the system to gain access.

Limit Employee Access Where Necessary

It’s important to keep your business as secure as possible, in all areas of the business. Things like company computers should only be used by employees who require them to complete their duties.

If it’s necessary for all employees to use a company computer, ensure each employee has an individual user account and only provide the necessary staff members with access to the specific data systems essential for them to perform their role. It’s also important to limit authority to install software for each employee as this should be something that is permitted when necessary.

Tablets and laptops can be easily misplaced or stolen, so these hardwares will need to be locked up or put somewhere extremely safe when not in use.

Wifi Network Security

Most businesses in today’s digital world will rely on wifi to be able to access the internet and any forms of online systems. It’s important to understand that your wifi is another way for your business to become a victim of cyber attacks.

To ensure that your wifi is protected, you need to make sure your wifi network is secure, encrypted, hidden, and your router is password protected with a strong password.

Contact Our Experts for Cyber Security Support

Here at SYTECH, we provide a variation of Cyber Services including Cyber Essentials Certification, Penetration Testing and Incident Response Services. If you’re unsure what your small business needs regarding Cyber Security Support, you can contact our team of specialists to find out more information.

The main Cyber Services we cover are:

We can offer advice and are happy to talk you through the options most suited to you and your business.

If you’d like to contact our team, you can find our phone number and email address via our contact page.

 

Top 10 Cyber Security Threats in 2024

No matter what size your business is, as long as you use online, computer-based tools, emails, management systems and website maintenance software, you’ll need to be aware of the top cybersecurity threats. It’s essential to keep your business protected by investing in Cyber Security practices to avoid sitting in a vulnerable spot online.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the top 10 Cyber Security threats in 2024, so you know exactly how to protect your business, and how much security you’ll need to invest in. Many companies rely on online software and management systems to carry out daily tasks and important projects which can make your business vulnerable to security issues – this is due to storing data and private information. This is where the responsibility comes in to keep your company’s data, privacy and information safe and secure.

Not only will we talk you through the most common threats, but we’ll also discuss what the best practices are to help you stay protected from them. Cyber Security can save a business from becoming the victim of a cyber attack which could result in private data confiscation and financial losses.

1. Phishing

Phishing is a very common delivery method for ransomware. The harmful links or ‘bait’ could be sent via a suspicious email or even an email that appears to be legitimate or from a ‘trusted’ sender but isn’t.

Phishing is very serious for businesses as it can cause large problems. Not only this, but it only takes an unsuspecting employee who could open the email mistaking it for a genuine one for the worst case scenario to occur. These emails unleash viruses or malware from one click of the email, but many companies make the mistake of believing it to be real due to their lack of protection and awareness ensuring secure practices are in place. Employees should be trained to recognise misleading and ingenuine emails, not open them and report them immediately to the appointed person in the business.

2. Ransomware

Ransomware is malware that is used to lock and encrypt data, devices, files or systems of victims, making them completely unusable and inaccessible. This type of attack is usually held up until the victim pays the attacker a ransom payment to release access.

A ransomware attack is one of the most common among today’s vast variations of cyber attacks. Most ransomware attacks target small to medium-sized businesses, and these attacks continue to target companies worldwide that are not prepared or protected from cyber attacks.

3. Poor Data Management

To avoid practising poor data management, you’ll need to ensure that your storage and organisation systems are managed well and kept up to date regularly.

The amount of data stored online is growing by the day, and it’s crucial to keep the data you hold safe and controlled to ensure maximum data protection. Make sure to only store data that is needed and necessary, and protect this data with appropriate software and practices such as implementing strong passwords and security measures that all staff members follow.

4. Mobile Device Vulnerabilities

Mobile device usage has increased significantly over the last few years. We not only use mobiles more, but we’ve come to depend on them much more too. 

Along with this, mobile wallets and touchless payment technology have increased, meaning that mobile users taking advantage of these easier ways to pay are much more at risk of being the victim of a cyber attack. The more people using devices, the higher target there is for cyber criminals.

5. Cloud Attacks

Cloud attacks involve malicious activities that target businesses that use cloud computing systems and services. Attackers find and target vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure, user accounts or applications to gain unauthorised access, steal confidential, private and sensitive data, jeopardise data integrity or cause a general disruption to the services.

Cloud computing systems and services are used more commonly as time goes on as they come with many advantages to businesses. They do, however, come with security challenges.

The following cloud-based threats can impact a business while making it vulnerable to cloud attacks:

  • Misconfigured cloud storage
  • Vulnerable cloud applications
  • Incomplete data deletion
  • Compliance issues
  • Reduced visibility and control
  • Incorrect cloud settings

It is crucial for businesses to safeguard their critical data on the cloud services and systems they install across the company.

6. Employee Training

It’s important to ensure your employees are trained to understand the importance of cyber security practices by:

  • Reiterating the importance of security and data protection policies every few months to ensure all staff are in the know
  • Running new starters through your practices so each employee is in the know

These practices can include:

  • Establishing appropriate internet use guidelines that detail penalties for going against these cyber security practices
  • Implementing strong passwords across all software and systems
  • Establishing how to handle and protect customer information and any other vital data each employee may come across

7. Third-Party Exposure

Another way your business can be impacted by cybercriminals is when they outsmart security systems by hacking networks that aren’t thoroughly protected. These could belong to third parties with privileged access to the hacker’s primary target. Businesses can be at a higher risk of this happening by working with independent contractors to complete work rather than in-house employees.

8. Insider Threat

An insider threat is a concerning attack for employers to experience as this involves a level of mistrust from a potential employee, former employee, business associate, or contractor; anyone who has dealt with or currently works for the company who may have or have had access to inside information concerning the company’s security practices, data and computer/online systems.

9. IoT Device Attacks

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a range of physical objects that are upgraded to include software, sensors, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other online systems. The devices (upgraded from objects) can be used to generate data and transmit them through a communications network, an example of this might be the on-screen device in a car or a fitness watch that can connect to your mobile device.

With devices becoming increasingly required day-to-day, and as they become more common, the risks of security heighten. The interconnected nature of IoT devices creates multiple target points for cybercriminals. It is crucial to ensure that each device you own is protected to avoid data breaches and privacy infringements.

10. Social Engineering

A social engineering attack is when cybercriminals work on manipulating a person or multiple people into exposing sensitive and private information that can compromise a company’s security. Unfortunately, social engineering tactics carried out by cybercriminals are becoming more common and effective as the years go by.

Social engineering can involve cybercriminals sending persuasive and personalised messages or emails to trick individuals or creating a fictional identity to gain an employee’s trust through calls or emails. Being the victim of a social engineering attack can leave companies at a financial loss, reputational damage and sometimes costly legal repair.

Contact Our Experts for Cyber Security Support

If you’re unsure what Cyber Security Support you require, you can contact our team of specialists to find out more information.

All employees should be educated about the different types of attacks that cybercriminals are capable of, and the importance of vigilance. Keeping on top of cyber security practices such as installing and maintaining up-to-date security software, implementing multi-factor authentication, and reviewing and updating security protocols are essential in preventing cyber attacks.

Here at SYTECH, we provide a variation of Cyber Services including Cyber Essentials Certification, Penetration Testing and Incident Response Services.

The main Cyber Services we cover are:

We can offer advice and are happy to talk you through the options most suited to you and your business.

If you’d like to find out more about SYTECH, click here. If you’d like to contact our team, you can find our phone number and email address via our contact page.

 

Mobile Phone Forensics: Protecting Privacy and Safeguarding Digital Evidence

Mobile phone forensics is vital in a case as the digital evidence that is discovered by our team may be the difference between winning or losing a case. Digital evidence in a mobile phone may be information stored or transmitted in binary form that may be relied on in court. Having an experienced team of mobile forensic experts on your side to protect your privacy and safeguard digital evidence could be the support and strength you need to succeed in the completion of the case you’re involved in.

Our role at SYTECH is to extract and analyse evidential material from mobile handsets. Due to technological advances transforming telephones into computers for your pocket over the recent years, mobiles are how many people browse the internet, access apps, communicate via texts, messages and emails, as well as make and receive phone calls.

If mobile phones are being used as digital evidence towards a case, a mobile phone forensic examination can often reveal crucial evidence for criminal or civil investigations. Because most members of the public now use a mobile phone and carry it with them throughout the day, there is likely to be as much evidence via a mobile phone as a desktop computer.

Continue reading this article to discover what our experts can recover and examine while protecting privacy and safeguarding digital evidence.

Protecting Privacy and Safeguarding Digital Evidence

Because we have the skills and expertise to protect your privacy and safeguard digital evidence, you know you’ll be in safe hands with our team. The information we could find on a device has the potential to be quite sensitive, personal and difficult to process, therefore it’s crucial that you have that all-important discretion and support throughout the proceedings.

Our team of digital forensic experts have the skills to often uncover and examine:

  • Deleted text messages
  • Call logs
  • Social media activity
  • Internet activity
  • Documents
  • Maps & GPS location
  • Emails
  • Images

With specialist skillsets, such as recovering deleted media and messaging, mobile phone forensics often reveal more of the mystery than you might imagine. From this, you can discover important details about relationships, intentions and actions.

Privacy and security during this process are essential, and due to our thorough understanding of this matter, we can investigate a device for you with the utmost professionalism.

Protecting Privacy and Safeguarding

The average person collects a lot of information and media on their mobile device, and your communication with other people can also give our forensic team important and private information such as home addresses or even banking details – these will all be protected during the investigation.

Mobile phone devices leave a digital footprint by storing various kinds of information and data. With our expertise, even altered or deleted files can be detected – even a device with fire or water damage can still contain salvageable evidence inside.

While uncovering this data isn’t easy, our skilled and experienced mobile forensic experts will collect sources of data such as:

  • Deleted and hidden files
  • Media
  • Time logs
  • Metadata
  • Internet history
  • Call logs

Our specialists will then use forensic tools and techniques to secure and examine specific data without altering the source, maintaining its admissibility before presenting and discussing the findings with you.

Regarding the protection of your privacy, it’s vital for us to keep your data safe to ensure complete trust throughout the process. The right privacy protection can provide the thorough security you need to ensure that you feel safe during our forensic investigations from start to finish.

With SYTECH, you’ll gain the helping hand of our dedicated and experienced consultants who can take you through our findings with sheer professionalism.

Why Choose SYTECH for your Mobile Phone Forensics

Here at SYTECH, our experienced and knowledgeable team offers digital forensic services tailored to your individual needs and requirements. And not only are we 27001 & 14001 certified and hold FSR codes of practice and conduct accreditations, but we are also a UKAS accredited testing laboratory: No. 8765 (refer to UKAS website for accredited activities).

The security of your mobile phone forensics and information is at the top of our priority list, and the analysts who assist in police investigations are all security vetted to NPPV Level3. Our power is our strategy, experience, expertise and most importantly, our people. As a company, we nurture the culture of respect and understanding, which helps us go the extra mile when helping our clients with their individual requirements.

We have over forty years of successful outcomes for many prosecution and defence cases, and our team is made up of experienced expert witnesses who are here to help you find the answers to your questions.

Contact Our Team

If you’re in need of a dedicated and extremely skilled team to protect your privacy and safeguard your digital evidence, get in touch with our team today.

You can contact us via phone for free digital forensic consultation advice. Another way to contact us is by emailing or filling in our helpful contact form via our contact page. You also have the option to contact us by writing to us via our full address which is available upon request. We are ready to help you with your case and aim to respond as soon as we can.

Should you have any concerns regarding the services we offer or that we have provided, or wish to begin a dialogue on an issue you require help with, please use the following link and one of our specialists will contact you shortly: feedback@sytech-consultants.com. Your feedback and concerns are extremely important to us as well as helpful, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Is Cell Site Analysis Dead?

There are 118 million active mobile phone subscriptions in the UK. With the rise in mobile technology, it’s no surprise that forensic phone analysis has become an essential tool for uncovering crucial information in investigations.

However, with the advent of new technologies like GPS tracking and location services, some may question whether cell site analysis is becoming obsolete.

Let’s explore the world of forensic phone analysis and discuss whether cell site analysis is truly dead.

Forensic Phone Analysis: Shedding Light on the Truth

Forensic phone analysis is a powerful technique that allows investigators to delve into the depths of a mobile phone’s data. It involves extracting and analysing various types of data, such as call logs, text messages, emails, photos, and even deleted information. By employing advanced tools and techniques, experts can uncover valuable evidence that can make or break a case.

The Rise of GPS Tracking and Location Services

In recent years, GPS tracking and location services have gained popularity among both consumers and businesses. GPS tracking allows individuals to locate their stolen or lost phones, track their children’s whereabouts, and even monitor employees’ activities.

On the other hand, businesses utilise location services to improve their marketing strategies and offer personalised experiences to their customers. These technologies provide real-time tracking capabilities, making them more precise and reliable than cell site analysis.

Is Cell Site Analysis a Dying Technique?

Cell site analysis, once hailed as the go-to method for tracking a phone’s location, is now facing competition in the form of GPS tracking and location services. So, is cell site analysis dead? Not entirely. While GPS tracking may seem like the superior option, cell site analysis still plays a crucial role in certain situations.

Cell site analysis relies on the triangulation of signals between cell towers and a mobile device to determine its approximate location. This technique is especially valuable in cases where GPS is unavailable or unreliable, such as areas with limited network coverage or instances where the device’s GPS functionality has been disabled.

The Benefits of Cell Site Analysis

By analysing the connections between mobile devices and different cell towers, professional investigators can establish timelines, corroborate or challenge alibis, and link suspects to specific locations. This capability is particularly valuable in solving crimes, as it provides tangible evidence that can be presented in court.

Secondly, cell site analysis plays a pivotal role in national security and counterterrorism efforts. Intelligence agencies can leverage this technology to track the activities of individuals associated with potential threats. The ability to identify patterns and connections between mobile devices contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of networks involved in security risks. 

Lastly, cell site analysis has applications beyond criminal investigations, such as in search and rescue operations. When individuals go missing, their mobile devices can serve as a lifeline, helping authorities to locate them. The analysis of cell tower connections aids search teams in narrowing down possible areas, expediting the search process and increasing the likelihood of a successful rescue.

The Limitations of Cell Site Analysis

 

While cell site analysis offers valuable insights, it is not without its limitations. Firstly, the accuracy of location data is contingent on the density of cell towers in certain areas. In urban environments with a high concentration of towers, the precision of location tracking tends to be higher.

However, in rural or remote areas where cell towers are sparse, the accuracy decreases, making it challenging to pinpoint the exact location of a mobile device.

Factors like signal strength, obstructions, and the type of terrain can further impact the reliability of the results. Therefore, investigators must exercise caution and consider these limitations when interpreting cell site analysis data.

Secondly, privacy concerns have become a significant challenge associated with cell site analysis. The extensive tracking of individuals’ movements through their mobile devices raises ethical and legal questions. Striking a balance between law enforcement’s need for investigative tools and protecting individuals’ privacy rights is an ongoing challenge. 

Courts and legislators must grapple with defining clear guidelines and regulations to ensure that cell site analysis is conducted within legal and ethical boundaries, safeguarding the privacy of individuals while allowing for legitimate investigative purposes. As technology evolves, addressing these limitations becomes crucial to maintaining public trust and ensuring the responsible use of cell site analysis in legal proceedings.

Cell Phone Tracking: Embracing a Multi-Faceted Approach

Instead of viewing cell site analysis and GPS tracking as opposing techniques, investigators should adopt a multi-faceted approach to forensic phone analysis. By combining the strengths of different methods, investigators can uncover a more comprehensive understanding of a phone’s location and movements.

For example, using cell site analysis in conjunction with GPS tracking can provide more accurate results, especially in urban areas with multiple cell towers.

Location Services: A Game-Changer in Forensic Phone Analysis

Location services, an integral part of most modern smartphones, have also revolutionised forensic phone analysis. These services collect an array of location data points, allowing investigators to reconstruct a phone’s path and activities. From geotagged photos and check-ins to app usage records, location services offer a wealth of information that can help paint a detailed picture of a person’s movements.

Cell Site Analysis Is One Piece of the Puzzle

In the world of forensic phone analysis, cell site analysis may no longer be the sole solution for tracking a phone’s location. With the rise of GPS tracking and location services, investigators now have access to more precise and reliable methods. However, it would be premature to declare cell site analysis dead.

Instead, it should be viewed as one component of a multi-faceted approach to forensic phone analysis. By combining different techniques, investigators can unlock a greater understanding of a phone’s movements and uncover the truth. So, the next time you hear the question, “Is cell site analysis dead?” remember that it’s just one piece of the puzzle-and it needs other approaches to succeed. 

Ready to unlock the power of forensic phone analysis? Contact us today to talk to some of the UK’s best digital forensic experts and learn more about how we can help you in your investigations.

Exploring Various Cyber Security Tools, Techniques and Risks

Cybercrime is more prevalent in today’s world than ever before. From 2022 to 2023, 32% of businesses and 24% of charities reported breaches or cyber attacks, and this number grows every year.

These days, almost all businesses use the internet in one way or another, and all of these businesses need to protect themselves. Having a robust cyber security strategy in place will help to keep your business, your employees, and your customers safe. There are various cyber security risk assessment tools that you can use that will help you ensure your system is secure.

Keep reading for a rundown of the different tools and techniques that make up cyber security risk assessment.

What Is a Cyber Security Risk Assessment?

There are a huge number of cyber security risks out there, and a cyber security risk assessment will show you how secure or vulnerable your business is. It will identify any potential threats that may face your systems, networks, or data so you can develop and implement an action plan.

Cyber security threats are constantly evolving, so you should conduct assessments regularly. This is vital if you want to protect business data and keep your company safe.

The average cost of a data breach or cyber attack in the UK is £4200, but it can be much higher than this. In some cases, businesses damage their reputation, suffer from financial loss and downtime, or end up going under as a result of cyber attacks.

Small businesses typically don’t have a suitable in-house team to properly monitor threats and establish security systems. Even in larger businesses, the needs are often greater than what the IT team can deliver. Third-party cyber security companies can help businesses with cyber security risk assessments, and then recommend the best steps to take to ensure their security is as strong as it should be.

Cyber Security Risk Assessment Tools

Due to the variety of threats that exist, there are also multiple types of cyber security tools. You’ll want to make use of all of these to ensure you have the right level of protection.

Security Ratings

Third and Fourth-Party Vendor-Provided Tools

A lot of vendors who provide supply network solutions also offer security tools that you can use to scan their products. It’s always worth asking about these when communicating with your vendors as they’re usually free to use. You can also find a range of tools online that can help in a similar way.

Vulnerability Assessment Platforms

A vulnerability assessment platform will look at your IT infrastructure and take inventory of (and analyse) the current security controls you have in place. They then produce a report that will help you understand the risk of any vulnerabilities it finds in your network.

You can prioritise these threats so that you know how you should proceed. It’s also possible to perform independent vulnerability assessments to evaluate vendor performance. This can help improve third-party relationships.

Penetration Testing

There are various types of penetration testing available, and they help to assess current security systems while maintaining compliance with regulatory standards such as HIPAA, FINRA, PCI DSS, SOC 2, and FFIEC. Some of the weaknesses that penetration testing can expose are:

  • High-risk vulnerabilities
  • Feasibility of a customised set of attack vectors
  • Your network’s attack detection and incident response capabilities
  • The magnitude of potential business impacts from attacks
  • Forensic analysis of post-security incidents

Employee Assessments

Research has shown that 88% of data breach incidents (if not more) are the result of human error. As such, this is arguably the most important cyber security tool available. All it takes is one employee to absentmindedly click on an email link containing malware and your business could become a victim of a cyber attack.

It’s vital that you assess your employees to ensure they’re aware of the potential risks. The results from an employee assessment can show you if you need to conduct any employee cyber security training. Doing so will greatly reduce the level of risk your organisation is exposed to.

Ensuring Your Company Is Protected

At this point, ensuring your company has the right level of security is essential, and this will only become more important in the future. Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to exploit individuals and businesses. You need to keep your company’s security systems comprehensive and up-to-date through regular testing.

Sytech Digital Forensics is a leading digital forensics and cyber security company. We’ve been in business since 1978; longer than any other cyber security firm in the UK.

Our knowledge, expertise, and cyber security risk assessment tools help us offer the best services available. Get in touch with our team today to find out more about how we can help keep your organisation safe and secure.

 

 

Unveiling the Risks of Cyber Attacks in Barristers’ Chambers

Cybercrime is becoming more profitable than ever before. This means that sensitive organisations, such as barristers’ chambers, are at risk. If you want to keep your organisation safe from cyber attacks, you’ll need to be aware of the risks and take steps to mitigate them.

So what are some of the biggest threats that a barrister’s office faces today and how can you use cyber security monitoring tools to fight back? This article lists some of the main cybercrime methods you need to be aware of. 

Confidentiality

One of the most significant cyber risks for barristers’ chambers is that a cyber breach could result in a violation of client confidentiality. Cybercriminals know that barristers often handle sensitive client information. Unfortunately, this makes them a good target for cybercriminals, which could be someone trying to get details about a criminal case on behalf of one of the people involved in the case. These kinds of data breaches could have severe consequences for your company. Not only will you face reputational damage and a loss of client trust, but you might also face legal consequences. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can defend your barristers’ chambers. You’ll need to implement encryption and secure data storage, along with data access controls. Given how vital confidentiality is in legal practices, working with an external company with legal cyber security experience is the right course of action. 

Ransomware

Given the importance of legal data, barristers’ chambers are an incredibly attractive target for cybercriminals. The fundamentals of ransomware are quite simple. 

Cybercriminals trick someone into opening a malware file. Once the file is open, it applies unbreakable encryption to the system’s files. The only way to get the files back is by inputting a decryption key that only the ransomware attacker can provide. Generally, the only way to get this key is by paying a cash ransom to the attackers. Naturally, this puts barristers’ chambers in a difficult position. While you need to safeguard your data, you also can’t negotiate with criminals. 

Ransomware attacks can lead to significant downtime and financial losses. Thankfully, there are ways you can protect yourself from this kind of attack. You’ll need to have a robust file backup system that keeps multiple copies of your essential files. With this kind of system in place, the ransomware attack is useless. You can simply revert to one of your backup files without worrying about negotiating with the criminals. 

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are still a common type of cyberattack. Phishing attacks involve tricking someone into inputting their login credentials into a fake (but convincing) website. Often, criminals create a fake login page for the organisation they’re targeting.

Generally, they trick the victims into using this fake login page by impersonating a trusted individual. Phishing attacks are often a stepping stone towards another attack. Having login information may give criminals access to all your internal cyber systems. 

Sometimes, cybercriminals cast a wide net and try phishing techniques on a large number of people at once. On the other hand, they’ll sometimes target specific people or organisations. Barristers’ chambers can make an attractive target for this kind of attack because of the sensitive data they handle. 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take against phishing attacks. One of the main and most effective defence mechanisms is having a multifactor authentication login system. This is when you’ll need to confirm your identity using a second device whenever you log in. For example, you might log in via a website, and you’ll receive a code on your mobile phone. A cybercriminal would then need to compromise your phone as well if they wanted to breach your systems. 

You can also help to prevent phishing attacks through staff awareness training. Phishing scams often have telltale signs you can easily spot (if you know what to look for). For example, fake login sites often use misspellings of the original URL.

Software Exploits

Some of the most devastating cyberattacks in history happened because attackers were able to exploit security holes in software. Legal organisations such as barristers’ chambers need to ensure they only use secure software. This can be a challenge as cybercriminals frequently identify new weaknesses in software they can exploit. 

Thankfully, good software vendors identify these problems and release a security patch to fix the problem. If you want to stay safe from software exploits, you’ll need to ensure you always keep your software up to date. 

You’ll also need to ensure you work with software companies that take security seriously. It may make sense to work with a cyber security monitoring company to help keep you aware of any software exploits that could potentially impact your organisation.

Cyber Security Monitoring Tools Can Help

If you want to stay on top of all of the potential cyber threats, you need to have the right safeguards. Cyber security monitoring tools can help you to stay aware of all the potential threats to your organisation. 

Do you want to work with a company that can help you to implement a robust cyber monitoring system? Contact us today and we’ll explain how we can help.

How Your Personal Social Media Presence Can Get Your Business Hacked

A social media presence can be very rewarding for businesses. Some business owners may see it as an opportunity to promote their brand, as well as engage with their customers. They are not wrong, considering that 4.48 billion people across the world use social media. 

However, the business owner has to be careful when managing their social media security. There are bad people out there that intentionally try to hack social media accounts. So how does social media hacking happen? How can you prevent it? This guide answers those questions and more. 

Passwords to Hack Social Media Accounts

One of the biggest things that can lead to your social media account getting hacked is if you have a weak password. This is something that is easy to guess or something that you use quite often for other logins. An example of a weak password could simply be using the word “password”. Other examples include using your name, using your birthday, using your maiden name, etc. 

This is one of the most common reasons why user accounts get hacked on the internet. About 30% of people that have experienced a data breach did so due to a weak password. Considering that 59% of Americans use their birthdays or names in their passwords, it is easy to assume why they are considered weak – it gives hackers the opportunity to easily guess your password. Once they do that, they have access to your social media account which can cause a lot of damage. 

Weak passwords are not the only thing that you have to watch out for – you have to consider the damage that a repetitive password could do as well. Let’s say that you use the same password for your social media account as you do for an account with a hotel chain. One day, that hotel chain could experience a data breach that compromises all of your account information with that chain. If you used the same password on both platforms, hackers may use that exposed password to try to see if it works for any of your other accounts on the internet. If it does, that is where you can run into trouble. 

The point here is that you need to try to strengthen your passwords and try to use unique passwords for sensitive accounts like this.

Two-Factor Authentication 

Setting up two-factor authentication for any business account that you use adds an extra layer of security for any account that you do this with. Let’s use passwords as an example. If a hacker gets access to your password for your business social media account, it can damage your business. However, if you have two-factor authentication, a password is not the only thing that they need to hack your account. 

They would need access to another level of security that you set up. In most cases, this typically means access to your mobile device or access to your email account. Those tend to be resources where two-factor authentication comes into play and verifies that the owner of the account is trying to access it. It is vital to take the time to set this up for your business account in case your passwords get compromised. 

Increase Security 

If you are going to have a business account, you need some online security that protects your account from being compromised. It is important to make sure that you have antivirus software installed on your device or even the right hardware depending on what business you are operating. 

You can hire a third party to handle all of your security needs and send you alerts for hacking situations that may arise. With this arrangement, you would have professionals monitoring your activity and they will be able to flag anything that they deem suspicious. 

On top of this, computer forensics teams could collect all of this data and help you get justice in the event that serious hackers are caught trying to compromise your social media account. In other words, it never hurts to have someone watching your back. 

Beware of Phishing 

Finally, you need to look out for the signs that a phishing scam is afoot. For those of you who are not familiar with this, it is when a hacker tries to manipulate you into compromising your own personal information. 

What they will do is mimic a company that they suspect you know and trust. Then, they will send you a fake email or a fake message either requesting more information from you or a link that they want you to click. If you click the link while you are signed into your account, that account can officially become compromised. The same happens if you reveal too much personal information that compromises your business through one of these phishing scams. 

Make sure that you are always on the lookout for this and do some additional research on what the most likely phishing scams are these days. 

Protect Your Business 

Bad people are going to do everything they can to try to hack social media accounts. What you need to do is make it impossible for them. Make sure that you and your employees have strong passwords, unique passwords, set up two-factor authentication, watch out for phishing scams, and increase your online security. 

Do you know where to begin with this? If not, we are here to help.  Contact us to find out how to get better online security for your business. 

MOVEit Hack: Could My Business Be at Risk? – Why You Need Cyber Security Essentials

Picture this: a staggering 60% of small businesses cease to exist within six months of a cyber attack. 

This statistic is not only chilling, but a wake-up call to businesses across the globe. It underlines the importance of cyber security essentials and, more specifically, the necessity of implementing comprehensive, robust solutions such as MOVEit file transfer to safeguard business data.

Keep reading to find out the cyber security essentials that you need to know and get on track to safeguard your business. 

Understanding the Scale of Cyber Attacks: An Invisible Battle

In our digital world, cyber attacks are happening more often and they’re getting more tricky. They’re not always easy to see, so we sometimes don’t know they’re happening until it’s too late. To really understand the risks businesses face, we need to understand how big these attacks can be and how they can vary.

Every day, there are about 3,000 cyber attacks reported. But we think only about 30% of all cyber crimes are actually found out. These attacks can be as simple as fake emails trying to get people to give up private information, or as complex as sneaky threats that secretly get into a network to steal data over a long period of time.

Another type of cyber attack that’s growing fast is ransomware. This is where cyber criminals lock up a victim’s data and ask for money in exchange for the data being released back to the victim. In 2022 alone, the cost of damage from ransomware was expected to be $20 billion. That’s a huge increase from $325 million in 2015. This big increase shows how fast cyber crime is growing, which makes it really important to have strong cyber security.

Cyber attacks can happen anywhere in the world, to businesses big and small. Small businesses are often targeted because they might not have strong security, while big businesses and governments are targeted because they have a lot of information.

Understanding how big and varied cyber attacks can be is an important first step for a business in defending itself. Once a company knows how big the threat is, they can start taking steps to protect their digital data. This might mean using secure file transfer tools like MOVEit, or coming up with a plan for how to respond if they get attacked.

MOVEit File Transfer: A Shield Against Data Exfiltration

Data is becoming more and more important for businesses. Because of this, it’s really important to protect this data from the increasing threat of cyber attacks. One kind of cyber attack to watch out for is data exfiltration. This is when someone unauthorised moves data from a computer. A lot of businesses choose MOVEit File Transfer to protect their important information.

MOVEit is a system that automatically transfers files in a secure and compliant way. This means businesses can move their important data safely. MOVEit can encrypt data transfers, keep detailed records of transfers and automate workflows, which all help to lessen the risk of cyber threats.

Unfortunately, recent news about a hack into MOVEit has made business owners worried: “Could my business be in danger?”

Unmasking the MOVEit Hack

Cyber criminals are always looking for weak spots they can take advantage of in popular file transfer solutions like MOVEit. The MOVEit hack is an example of a cyber attack where the bad guys found a hole in the system’s security and used it to steal data.

But it’s important to remember that any software or system, even the ones with the best security, can have weak spots. The MOVEit hack shouldn’t scare businesses away from using the software. Instead, it should make them want to add more security measures and stay on the lookout for threats.

Implementing Cyber Security Essentials: The First Line of Defence

A robust cyber security framework should be the cornerstone of every business. It should encompass the implementation of strong firewalls, antivirus software, and network security controls. However, there’s more to cyber security essentials than just technical defences.

Fostering a culture of cyber awareness among employees is key. You should ensure your business has a comprehensive incident response plan in place.

Is Your Business at Risk?

In a world that’s turning more and more digital, no business is safe from cyber attacks. The risk can be cut down a lot by having strong cyber security.

It is essential to be careful when choosing and using file transfer solutions like MOVEit and ensuring you have a detailed plan for what to do if an attack happens.

Pillars of a Strong Incident Response Plan: Laying the Foundation of Resilience

When it comes to cyber attacks, the question is not if, but when they will occur. This inevitability necessitates the development of a strong incident response plan, a strategic blueprint outlining how a business will respond to and recover from an attack.

It serves as the bedrock of a resilient cyber security infrastructure and is composed of several key pillars:

1. Preparation

The foundation of any effective incident response plan is thorough preparation. This involves conducting regular risk assessments, implementing preventive measures and training personnel to detect, respond to and mitigate threats.

2. Identification

Upon encountering an unusual activity or potential threat, swift and accurate identification is paramount. Employing advanced security tools can aid in detecting anomalies and flagging them for review.

3. Containment

Once a threat is identified, it must be contained to prevent further damage. This can involve isolating affected systems or networks, limiting the attacker’s access and implementing temporary measures to ensure business continuity.

4. Eradication

After containing the threat, the next step is to remove it from your system. This might involve deleting malicious code, patching software vulnerabilities, or even rebuilding entire systems if necessary.

5. Recovery

Once the threat is fully eradicated, businesses must work to restore their systems and operations to their normal state.

This includes restoring data from backup, testing the security of restored systems and ensuring that no remnants of the attack remain.

6. Lessons Learned

Lastly, every incident should be followed by a thorough review to extract key learnings.

Identifying what went wrong, what worked well and how the response can be improved is vital to strengthening the organisation’s cyber security posture for future threats.

Securing Your Digital Frontier: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

While the MOVEit hack may have raised concerns, it also serves as a reminder of the evolving nature of cyber threats. Your business could indeed be at risk, but with the right cyber security essentials in place, that risk can be mitigated.

Investing in cyber security tools and measures ensures that your business data is protected from data exfiltration. Adopt secure MFT solutions like MOVEit for file transfers, implement cyber security essentials and plan ahead with an effective incident response strategy.

Don’t let your business become another statistic. Safeguard your digital frontier today and enquire about our cyber security essentials

 

Safeguarding Confidentiality: The Vital Role of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is vitally important, so much so that even the UK government has a dedicated strategy for dealing with this issue. Data breaches can cause problems for consumers and companies alike. Privacy protection is important to avoid the worst consequences of these incidents. 

It’s vital for companies to keep customer data safe. Failure to do so could see them lose the trust of their customers and even face legal action. Businesses must do everything possible to protect customer data. The right cybersecurity can provide enough protection to help you and your customers feel safe. 

If you’re looking to learn more about the importance of cybersecurity and what you can do to protect data, you’re in the right place. We’ve put this guide together to help you understand the importance of cybersecurity. 

Protect Customer Data

Whatever business you’re in, it’s likely you have a lot of customer data on hand. Especially if you deal with customers online, you likely collect information on their preferences through cookies. In some cases, you may collect more sensitive information like home addresses or even banking details

Strong cybersecurity is vital for protecting this customer data. There are a lot of bad actors out there and many of them have a lot of experience in breaking down standard defences. These groups are often part of an organized crime ring and they are always changing their methods to steal data.  

Cloud Security

Lots of data is now stored in “the cloud”. While there is sometimes an assumption that all data stored in this way is very safe, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Cloud data needs robust protection to avoid a breach. 

The key to protecting data stored in the cloud is to ensure that only authorised people can gain access. Often, this is done by adding a new form of authentication.

An example of this is the bank calling you or requiring an access code if you make a deposit in a new place. This is the kind of approach that may be necessary for protecting your data. 

Network Security

Your networks will have a lot of information going back and forth. Without the proper protection, these can be vulnerable to breaches. 

Modern, regularly-updated software is essential to providing strong network security. Firewalls and anti-virus software can protect data going backwards and forwards through networks. Ensure your technicians pay close attention to this area and respond quickly if you’re suspicious about any issues. 

Consider engaging with consulting services to help you improve your information security. 

Breach Detection

Sometimes, companies don’t realize they have suffered a security breach. They might think things are as usual when in reality, all of their systems have been compromised. 

Companies ought to run regular checks to ensure their systems have not been breached. There are dedicated types of software that can help you to identify whether bad actors have access to your system. 

If a breach is detected, you will need to respond quickly. Plan ahead and work to put an existing incident response plan in place. 

Protecting Financial Data

A cybersecurity breach can result in a company’s financial data being exposed. Your banking information could fall into the hands of cybercriminals if it isn’t properly protected.

In recent years, some companies have had their financial data stolen by bad actors. This may give criminals direct access to your bank accounts, allowing them to make withdrawals or transfers.

In other cases, criminals could redivert your revenue streams into their own accounts. You might find payments you expect are heading overseas instead. 

Employee Data

Every company stores sensitive data about its employees. This includes home addresses, dates of birth, and bank details. It’s important to protect this data as much as you protect customer and corporate data. 

Keeping your employees safe is one of your duties as an employer. Carefully safeguarding their data using modern cybersecurity techniques can help you to build a strong reputation. It can even boost employee retention and improve your ability to recruit in the future. 

Avoiding Legal Difficulties

If you fail to protect confidential data, you could face legal difficulties. Clients can sue you, or you may face action from regulatory bodies if it is found that you have not protected your client’s data properly. 

A judgment against your company will be extremely costly. It could also come with a court order to make certain changes in your company. This could restrict your development plans or force you to submit to regular inspections. 

If you are subject to a court judgment or a fine, this could cause a spiral of negativity around your company. Customers may see reports about the court judgment in the media and pull their support as a result. This could potentially have a huge impact on your revenue streams and cause your company to eventually fold. 

Privacy Protection and Security Training

Cybersecurity isn’t just about buying the latest software and hoping it works out. Staff members need thorough training to ensure they know how to use their equipment. They should also understand how to manage data and company property to avoid creating a weakness. 

Efficient training will look very different for different employees. Entry-level and non-tech employees like secretaries will need basic training. This will mostly revolve around identifying phishing scams and simple data protection.

Technicians, software engineers, and other professionals need more detailed training. This may need to be delivered by experienced consultants. 

Get Quality Cybersecurity Services for Your Business

In the modern era, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Failing to give it the proper attention could cause major problems for your business, potentially even causing it to face financial difficulties. That’s why safeguarding confidentiality should be top of your priority list.

Here at Sytech Consultants, we provide a range of cyber services, including help with privacy protection. We can offer you protection from bad actors or help you through the immediate aftermath of an attack. Find out more about our consultancy services today or contact us today to make an enquiry.