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  • Justin Cuckow

Cyber attacks are on the increase as dependency grows on IT for remote working and delivery


In the last few weeks as the world continues to focus on COVID 19 response and prepares for a second wave, attention has also been dragged onto a range of other disruptive incidents. Huge and devastating wildfires in the USA, protests about lockdown measures impacting livelihoods and of course the perhaps inevitable nation state actor cyber attacks on the upcoming USA Presidential elections.


Research published by Business ISP specialist Beaming shows that the volume of cyber attacks on UK business increased by almost a third in the first quarter of 2020. New malware is targeting the growth in use of collaboration platforms such as Zoom, and we’ve seen ransomware attacks hit the well known cloud provider blackbaud impacting multiple universities and charities that hold valuable alumni and donor data. We’ve also seen Newcastle University succumb to weeks of disruption following a ransomware attack which has led to the closure of clearing telephone lines vital to secure students, and the cancellation of exams. Three weeks later the issues continue.


So whilst the world understandably continues to be focused on COVID-19, how prepared are you for a concurrent cyber related incident? Having changed your operational delivery model to respond to COVID, you’ve no doubt increased your dependency on remote working and collaboration tools. Are you sure that you are secure, that your supplier due diligence was robust?


Some quick tips you might like to check off:

¨ Multi factor authentication is in place

¨ Patching is routinely updated within 24 hours of release

¨ On call IT specialists are available 24/7 to monitor and respond (Security Operations Centre)

¨ Playbooks are in place to guide response and your exercised them to ensure familiarity

¨ A regular programme of Penetration testing is taking place

¨ Actual Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives are understood by business units which have adequate work arounds

¨ Third party supplier escalation routes and business continuity arrangements are immediately available

¨ Insurance specialist advice and escalation routes are clearly established, and cover understood

¨ ICO decision tree reporting is well understood and approved

¨ Finally, and most importantly of all – there is a clear communications plan to your customers whose trust in you has just been hit.


If you’ve gaps and are unsure how to resolve them, do get in touch.



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Incident Ready Consulting Ltd

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