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April 2016

When we think of cyber attacks what springs to mind tends to come in the form of exterior threats. We envision far off criminals hacking systems and alien malware invading from afar – but often the biggest threats to the security of our businesses and industries come from within. Targeted phishing attacks on staff and inside personnel by cyber criminals are becoming a hugely popular means to infiltrate a company’s system due to sheer simplicity. Using unsuspecting members of a business community presents a relatively effortless way to attack a company purely based on the fact that, despite living in this digital era, most people don’t know what poses as a cyber security risk.Read More

DMARC at Work – DMARC offers the facility to quarantine and reject malicious or unidentified emails. It was designed to fit into an organisation’s existing inbound email authentication service and helps the recipients to determine whether the email aligns with what they know about the sender. Brands and businesses that have adopted DMARC have seen significant results. Sweden’s largest online market-place, Blocket, saw a 99% decrease in the number of suspicious emails, in just three months. In addition, there was a 70% drop in phishing attacks. However, the vast majority of FTSE250 companies, which include financial services providers, appear to have chosen to ignore statistics such as these and leave their customers unprotected.Read More

Online banking is now the consumer’s preferred method of interaction with financial service providers. According to statistics from the British Banker’s Association (BBA), traditional, high-street banking services are being eschewed in favour of banking apps. Mobile banking apps have overshadowed all other forms of online interaction, with 10.5 million communications being made from mobile devices, each and every day. This figure has even eclipsed the number of log-ins from computers, which weighs in at a still-respectable 9.6 million, per day. However, despite the news that each of these industries are continuing to develop and grow, a question mark is being thrown over the security of online banking.Read More

Perhaps the most recent and shocking statistics that illustrate this have come from research by Cyber Security Partners (CSP). Their findings show that only 17% of the FTSE250 companies listed, use the Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) standard as part of their stance against cybercrime. Of that number, only 6% use the standard to protect their email exchanges with consumers. Given that many of the companies on the FTSE250 are leading utility and public service infrastructure, the potential for cyberattack is almost unthinkable.Read More

A new survey by online surgery, Push Doctor, has revealed that the British public are wholeheartedly embracing the services offered by the digital health revolution. In a bid to create week-long primary health services, the government has encouraged GPs to road-test a range of services, designed to suit busy, modern lifestyles. These include Skype consultations, the use of email and phone, online booking for appointments and registration and electronic prescriptions. The results of the survey show that just under 70% of patients are favouring these online services, rather than subject themselves to the long waits offered in a physical GP surgery. However, as online health services expand, so too does the potential for healthcare-related cybercrime.Read More

A Call for Greater Interaction – While the trend towards inter-organisational collaboration is helpful in the fight against cybercrime, the fact that there is very little internal consolidation of security measures and protocols means that many of these public sector service suppliers are still at risk of exploitation. Robb believes that “consumer education is just one factor in the fight against cybercrime and with business solutions available to prevent malicious phishing attacks, companies must take the lion’s share of responsibility for ensuring the safety of consumers online. We urgently call for businesses to review their cybersecurity policies and recognise their role in protecting UK consumers against cybercrime.”Read More