Cyber attacks have become the norm in business over the past three years. Every day another attack is announced, and a feeling of helplessness is reported by the media. There is however a clear difference between companies that will succeed and the one’s that will succumb to cyber attacks. Those that have recognised there is an issue, and then broken down the barriers between IT and management will succeed. Cybersecurity is very much a company wide issue requiring all teams to be fully on-board with improving cybersecurity in order for a business to survive.
I believe it is naive to think that business owners and board members don’t want to care about their cybersecurity, of course they do, they want their businesses to thrive. The issue could be that the IT department either don’t want to, or more likely don’t have the resources to, simplify the information so that everyone within the business can understand the current situation and what needs to be done in order to make improvements.
I am acutely aware that this is easier said than done because for the past decade I have been running my own MSP business, which is ISO/IEC 27001:2005 and Cyber Essential certified. So I know how difficult it is to keep these processes and procedures up-to-date, relevant and followed. This is actually where the idea of ThreatAware originated from. I didn’t feel that I could see first-hand the live state of our cybersecurity, despite my technical background and all the measures in place including; a dedicated security team, a systems maintenance team, and following the correct standards etc.
Peace of mind
Despite all of this, I didn’t feel it was enough, I still didn’t have peace of mind that we were doing the best we could, every day. This wasn’t to say that my team weren’t doing a fantastic job, they were, especially with the tools they had available to them. However, it was clear that all of the available tools were inadequate as they didn’t provide me with the near real-time level of reporting that my team and I wanted.
Get the basics right
The reason for this high level of paranoia of cyber attacks is my team know that a hacker only needs to find one crack in your defence. Excellent cybersecurity really boils down to one thing, doing the basics to an exceptionally high level, constantly. Anyone who thinks this is an easy task has been mislead by the word basic. Doing the basics right, every time without fail is very difficult with the previous generation of monitoring tools.
With ThreatAware you have your own management dashboard, monitoring the cybersecurity status of each of your Cloud systems, along with a clear alerting mechanism for your processes.
Cyber attacks and their impact
Here are some examples of the biggest cyber attacks and how could have been prevented if the organisation was using ThreatAware:
Date: May 17
Breach Impact: 34% of NHS trusts showdown due to Wannacry
Vulnerability: “Failure to patch and update systems and reliance on old software” – unpatched workstations and no Web Protection
Solution: ThreatAware Enhanced. With our partnership with Automox, Umbrella and advanced alerting service. The NHS would have seen the out of date systems and their IT team would have updated it easily using Automox. The Ransomware then would not even have started due to the protection that Cisco Umbrella delivers.
Source: National Audit Office Report
Date: September 17
Breach Impact: 146 million people, 99 million addresses, 209,000 payment cards, 38,000 drivers’ licenses and 3,200 passports
Vulnerability: Out of date Apache server
Solution: ThreatAware Enhanced. With our partnership with Automox and advanced alerting service. The Equifax management team would have seen the out of date systems and their IT team would have updated it easily using Automox.
Organisation: Chicago Tribune
Date: December 18
Breach Impact: Mass loss of data, huge delay in publishing.
Solution: ThreatAware Enhanced. With our partnership with Cisco Umbrella, Webroot and advanced alerting service. The Chicago management team would have seen non protected machines and got their IT department to protect with Cisco Umbrella and Webroot within hours. This is a classic case of not doing the basics and it is really having a huge negative impact.