Thursday, December 30, 2021

UK Government Advice to Protect Businesses from Hackers and Blackmailers

Cyber Security - Help is at Hand
Shipping News Feature

UK – They may read like characters from Lord of the Rings but there is nothing whatsoever entertaining about the hackers and trolls referred to in modern corporate literature. In an attempt to better educate businesses about the best ways to defend against cyber criminals, the government has produced a set of simple processes which it recommends all computer users follow.

Working in conjunction with polling outfit Ipsos MORI, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have produced instructions which take the form of a card that can be downloaded and printed out to pass to any relevant staff.

The logistics industry is proving a ripe target for the criminals, as can be evidenced by entering a suitable keyword into a News Search box on this site. Some victims have spent enormous amounts to recover data and replace hardware and software, such as the reported $300 million shelled out by Maersk. Others, such as Albany Airport, have chosen to pay a ransom in bitcoin.

One thing is certain, like the current pandemic, businesses are up against an enemy that is not only persistent, but able to evolve and continually probe the defences put in place to repel it. One untrained member of staff can make the easiest of mistakes, opening a suspicious email, plugging in an unprotected device, to allow the attackers access to IT systems.

Some of these criminals may want money, others just to cause mayhem or extract revenge. Whatever the reason these attacks will persist, almost impossible to defeat completely without full cooperation from every nation worldwide. Not only unlikely but, with some openly hostile relationships between countries, state sponsored attacks are always a possibility, and even harder to negate.

The new cyber-crime information card links to government guidance for boards of directors and explains ten steps which can reinforce cyber protection, again via suitable links, and showing how to defend against the criminals..

In addition the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) publishes its own advice and offers the chance for individuals and organisations to create their own personalised ‘to do’ list. It also offers further links showing how to report phishing and cyber attacks, an important point which enables the authorities to calculate the size and type of the threats posed.