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What happened at the Neuways Cybersafe event? Your lowdown

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On December 5th, Neuways held a thought-provoking Cybersafe event at Neustro House, featuring insightful talks from three expert speakers in cyber security. The speakers, Leigh Cockell, Toby Stephenson, and Charlie McMurdie, shared their experiences and expertise on the evolving cyber security landscape, outlining the cyber landscape’s past, present and future. The event aimed to underscore the critical importance of implementing robust cyber security protocols to protect businesses from the growing threat of cyber attacks.

Leigh Cockell – Principal Sales Engineer at ConnectWise

First up was Leigh from ConnectWise, who captivated the audience with a compelling presentation on the historical, present, and future aspects of cyber security. He navigated through the transformation of data security, emphasising the current advanced systems and the necessity for cyber security experts to strengthen defence mechanisms.

Toby Stephenson – Chief Technology Officer at Neuways

Toby, Chief Technology Officer at Neuways, followed with an in-depth discussion on the Cybersafe program, emphasising the need for the right frameworks and processes to safeguard business data. Toby also talked about the NIST left and right of the boom data model, providing valuable insights into pre-breach, during-attack, post-detection, and recovery phases.

Charlie McMurdie – Head of the National Cyber Crime Unit

Charlie McMurdie, Former Head of the Police National Cyber Crime Unit of the Metropolitan Police and seasoned cyber security professional, shared her wealth of experience in the field. Charlie delved into her work in the cyber crime unit at the Met, recounting previous crimes and cyber attacks she had dealt with. Her talk highlighted the ease with which youngsters (even as young as 12) and criminals can infiltrate organisations of all sizes, accessing data and stealing sensitive information for amusement at the cost of significant financial repercussions for companies.

Charlie emphasised the shift from traditional bank robberies to cyber crimes, noting that while cash can be spent only once, stolen data allows continuous theft and fraud through various cyber methods. She provided insights into social engineering attacks, where criminals impersonate others to commit fraud. Charlie also discussed real threats and circumstances in real-world operational cases, including organised crime groups targeting financial institutions, dark markets facilitating cyber trade, internet frauds, phishing, and hacktivist attacks. Additionally, she touched upon physical security threats concerning People, Premises, and Products.

Holistic Cyber Security Measures

The speakers collectively stressed the importance of comprehensive security measures, encompassing physical, human, and digital aspects. Cyber security must be taken seriously at all levels, notably C-suite levels. Budgets must be planned and added to the IT budget rather than included. Otherwise, there is a scenario where IT gets compromised, and your business could still have holes in the business plan with the proper budgets applied. A cyber security budget is a must.

Operational Examples

Furthermore, Toby, Leigh and Charlie provided functional examples of investigations, offering valuable insights into the strategic precautions required in the face of evolving cyber threats. Learning about how cyber attacks work in various industries was eye-opening to plenty of the audience. There was an intriguing segment where each speaker referenced that smaller companies are more accessible to hackers. Then, the cyber criminal would use this data to infiltrate the larger companies. The easiest route to attack a large organisation is via a supplier with a different cyber security defence budget. Look at Boeing, for example. Their organisation was targeted when a cyber criminal attacked the company through a supplier.

Current Cyber Threats

Lastly, in all of their presentations discussing cyber security, the speakers highlighted present cyber risks, emphasising the vulnerability of every organisation to ransomware, DDoS attacks, and data breaches. The current threats are happening all day, every day. Companies should be reporting data breaches and aggression all the time. However, smaller businesses are inclined not to, so the reported figures are well below the estimated actual figure. Clients should be aware that the Cybersafe frameworks help secure against cyber attacks of all sizes but that businesses and business owners must take it seriously. Budgets, training and information sharing are all significant in making businesses secure against current and future cyber attacks.

Information on Cybersafe and Cyber Security

Ultimately, the Neuways Cybersafe event, featuring Leigh, Toby, and Charlie, served as an invaluable platform for gaining insights into the variety of threats from cyber criminals. Attendees were left with a heightened awareness of the evolving threats, the need for robust defence frameworks, and the imperative for a serious approach to cyber security. In an era where cyber criminals continuously adapt their tactics, such events play a pivotal role in fostering a collective commitment to bolster digital defences and safeguard sensitive data.

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