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Cyber Essentials – What you need to know (10 Facts About The Scheme – Download PDF)

bigstock-Computer-security-data-protec-8394244Only here you are always welcome, together with eye of horus online slot you have no equal! In first 3 months of 2014, Microsoft, Tesco, and eBay all reported that they had been the victims of cyber crime. eBay had been hacked sometime in February or March but did not realise until May by which time 128 million customers details had been compromised.

Cyber Crime has reached such a level that the UK Government felt compelled to address this by issuing  the Cyber Essentials Scheme which identifies the basic security controls that organisations must have in place within their IT system in order to have confidence that they are beginning to mitigate the risk from internet-based threats.

However, the Cyber Essentials Scheme is mainly focused on larger organisations and only addresses the IT aspects. The Scheme focuses on five essential mitigations within the context of the ‘10 Steps to Cyber Security.
But where does that leave you?
How do you protect your business from this growing threat?

Cyber security is about protecting your business. The Metanoia process not only covers the basic recommendations from the Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme but addresses the wider risks that businesses are exposed to. For example, 80%+ of DPA breaches are related to human behaviours. That includes fraud or accidental loss of equipment or paper containing personal/sensitive data. We also address the risks associated to physical security, mobility, the supply chain and of course all aspects of IT.

450-36053560 Today, the information created, processed, and used by your business is one of its most valuable assets. The disclosure, compromise or unavailability of this asset can severely impact your organisation, constitute a breach of laws and regulations, and negatively affect its brand name. WHAT IS DIRECTLY AT RISK?
  • Your money
  • Your IT equipment
  • Your IT-based services and your information.

Information is an asset that can take many forms: client lists, customer databases, your financial details, your customers’ financial details, deals you are making or considering, your pricing information, product designs or manufacturing processes. There is a risk to your IT services and information wherever they are stored, whether held on your own systems and devices, or on third-party hosted systems (the cloud). WHO COULD POSE A THREAT TO THESE ASSETS?

  • Current or former employees, or people you do business with. Compromising your information by accident, through negligence, or with malicious intent.
  • Criminals. Out to steal from you, compromise your valuable information or disrupt your business because they don’t like what you do.
  • Business competitors. Wanting to gain an economic advantage.

WHAT FORM COULD THE THREAT TAKE?

  • Theft or unauthorised access of computers, laptops, tablets, mobiles.
  • Remote attack on your IT systems or website.
  • Attacks to information held in third party systems e.g. your hosted services or company bank account.
  • Gaining access to information through your staff.

WHAT IMPACT COULD AN ATTACK HAVE?

  • Financial losses from theft of information, financial and bank details or money.
  • Financial losses from disruption to trading and doing business – especially if you are dependent on doing
  • business online.
  • Costs from cleaning up affected systems and getting them up and running.
  • Costs of fines if personal data is lost or compromised.
  • Costs of losing business through damage to your reputation and customer base.
  • Damage to other companies that you supply or are connected to.

Planning Cyber Security:

Take these 12 steps to make information security part of your normal business risk management procedures:

  1. Consider whether your business could be a target – this will indicate the level of risk your business is exposed to.
  2. Ask around to see whether any of your suppliers, major customers or similar businesses in your area have been attacked, so you can learn from their experiences.
  3. Know whether you need to comply with personal data protection legislation and Payment Card Industry compliance.
  4. Identify the financial and information assets that are critical to your business, and the IT services you rely on, such as the ability to take payments via your website.
  5. Assess all the IT equipment within your business, including mobile and personal IT devices.
  6. Understand the risks to all of these things by considering how they are currently managed and stored, and who has access to them.
  7. Assess the level of password protection required to access your equipment and/or online services by your staff, third parties and customers, and whether it is enough to protect them.
  8. Ensure that your staff have appropriate awareness training, so that everyone understands their role in keeping the business secure.
  9. Decide whether you need to make an investment, or seek expert advice, to get the right security controls in place for your business.
  10. You could seek advice from accredited security consultants, internet and managed service providers or even your web designer if they have the capability.
  11. Consider who you could turn to for support if you are attacked, or if your online services are disrupted in some way.
  12. Define what your recovery procedures would be, and how you could keep your business running, particularly if you trade online.

Implementing Cyber Security:

Take these steps to put the right security controls in place for your business. If you use third-party managed IT services, check your contracts and service level agreements, and ensure that whoever handles your systems and data has these security controls in place.

  • Malware protection: 

Install anti-virus solutions on all systems, and keep your software and web browsers up to date. Consider restricting access to inappropriate websites to lessen the risk of being exposed to malware. Create a policy governing when and how security updates should be installed.

  • Network security:

Increase protection of your networks, including wireless networks, against external attacks through the use of firewalls, proxies, access lists and other measures.

  • Secure configuration:

Maintain an inventory of all IT equipment and software. Identify a secure standard configuration for all existing and future IT equipment used by your business. Change any default passwords.

  • Managing user privileges:

Restrict staff and third party access to IT equipment, systems and information to the minimum required. Keep items physically secure to prevent unauthorised access.

  • Home and mobile working, including use of personal devices for work:

Ensure that sensitive data is encrypted when stored or transmitted online so that data can only be accessed by authorised users.

  • Removable media:

Restrict the use of removable media such as USB drives, CDs, DVDs and secure digital cards, and protect any data stored on such media to help stop data being lost and to prevent malware from being installed.

  • Monitoring:

Monitor use of all equipment and IT systems, collect activity logs, and ensure that you have the capability to identify any unauthorised or malicious activity.  

Review your Security:

Take these steps to review your security and respond to any changes or problems you identify, including attacks or disruption to business.

  1. Test, monitor and improve your security controls on a regular basis to manage any change in the level of risk to your IT equipment, services and information.
  2. Remove any software or equipment that you no longer need, ensuring that no sensitive information is stored on it when disposed of.
  3. Review and manage any change in user access, such as the creation of accounts when staff arrive and deletion of accounts when they leave.
  4. If your business is disrupted or attacked, ensure that the response includes removing any ongoing threat such as malware, understanding the cause of the incident and, if appropriate, addressing any gaps in your security that have been identified following the incident.
  5. If you fall victim to online fraud or attack, you should report the incident to the police via the Action Fraud website. You may need to notify your customers and suppliers if their data has been compromised or lost

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The Benefits that Cyber Essentials offers to your organisation:

There are several ways in which Metanoia can help your business reduce risk and even remove most threats:

  • Free online risk assessment click here
  • Download the Metanoia Cyber Essentials fact sheet click here
  • Free informal telephone discussion on how to protect your business
  • Onsite risk assessment of potential security threats to your business
  • Implementation of Information Security Management System
  • Staff training
  • Certfication in accordance with principles outlined in BS ISO/IEC 27014:2013
  • The Cyber Essentials Badges allow your company to advertise the fact that it adheres to a government endorsed standard

The Metanoia process is based on international best practice and includes the Cyber Essentials element and is specifically built around addressing the needs of small to medium sized enterprises such as yours. We talk in plain language, which makes the process transparent for you. Our prices are fixed prices, so there are no financial surprises, which can happen on hourly rate consultancy firms.
 Contact us Here for more information