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The Rising Threat of Cyber-Attacks

Posted 4th December 2023

The current threat landscape

As 2023 closes, we’re seeing a significant increase in cyber-attacks, the attacks are now becoming much more frequent, sophisticated and automated – meaning businesses can often only find out they’ve been attacked when it’s too late. 

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber-attack in the last 12 months. However, this figure remained consistent with previous years of the survey, suggesting that enhanced cyber security leads to higher identification of attacks. 

Only recently we have seen reports of a UK-based provider of cloud and managed IT services hacked. With the hack reportedly affecting around 80-100 businesses, having huge impacts on operations for those companies. 

Another recent example is a UK logistics firm who was the victim of a ransomware event. The event crippled all business functions and ultimately lead to the insolvency of the business and 730 redundancies.  

As we are all too familiar with, cyber criminals will target businesses with insecurities or the least path of resistance, so it is integral you are aware of your businesses security posture and are working towards improving it. 

Common routes cyber criminals take

Cyber criminals constantly scan your estate and establish any weak points, as well as scanning the dark web where credentials and other nefarious services are sold to hackers. They’ll then look at gaining access to your systems and use other weak points discovered to laterally move upward gaining more access footholds in your systems. Here’s just three of common vulnerabilities and issues cyber-criminals use; 

1. End of Life technology

One route cyber criminals use is End of Life (EoL) technology. We’ve seen an increased prominence in EoL attacks due to the lack of security updates and patches, often making it an easy target for cyber criminals to exploit and compromise. It is now too important to ignore that you ensure you are aware of any EoL technology and are working towards pivoting to an alternative.

2. Zero-Day

Another route is Zero-Day issues, this is where there is not yet public vulnerability in a system, this will then need to be patched to deter bad actors, however, this would require having a patch ready to implement. This is where it’s integral to be aware of your posture, or working with a partner that is security aware so they can put the relevant advisories in place to fix or mitigate the vulnerability where possible.

3. Firewall Vulnerabilities

We’re also seeing an increase in firewall vulnerabilities. This is as it gives cyber criminals a direct entry point into a business’s network. Then once they have entry, they have access to a business’s system and data, often leading to a ransom demand to hand access back.  

What businesses are targeted?

In terms of companies that cyber criminals target, it really is any company, any size. That’s why it’s important to do all you can to protect your business and your employees.

We’re seeing that private cloud and managed service providers are big targets for cyber-attacks due to the potential of data, networks and resource they can tap into, should they successfully gain access. This enables cyber criminals to scale attacks across multiple businesses, disrupting services and compromising numerous systems through one breach  

BCN are here to help

At BCN, we aim to have 100% of our customers at a recommended level of cyber security posture by 2024 and ensuring that they are at a recommended cyber baseline. To read more about our Cyber Security Pledge, click here.

We also have a baseline that we expect all our customers to be, this is to ensure they are well positioned should they be targeted. This is a level that ensures they have requirements in place to protect themselves should they be targeted by a cyber-attack.

We have a whole host of cyber security products and services available that will help you protect your business from the rising threat of cyber-attacks with an expert team on hand to help:

  • Security Awareness Service – This is a service BCN provides, simulating phishing campaigns and engaging training modules to employees, creating a cyber-aware culture. Training and modules cover topics like, how to identify and report phishing emails and malicious websites, strong password security and multi-factor authentication, and how to recognise and respond to social engineering attempts. View Security Awareness & Cyber Security Training Service.

 

  • Cyber Essentials – As a UK Government-backed certification scheme, Cyber Essentials gives businesses a framework for ensuring they are implementing cyber security best practices across key attack vectors. Accreditation not only ensures businesses are protecting themselves in line with National Cyber Security Centre standards, but provides assurance for customers, users and partners that they are taking security seriously. View Cyber Essentials. 

 

  • Firewall Protection and Patching – You can protect your networks and your business-critical data from unauthorised access and malicious traffic with BCN’s next-gen firewall solutions. Then you have Firewall Patching, this protects your company from the most recently discovered exploits. View Firewall security. 

 

  • MFA – Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication system requiring two or more factors to verify a user’s identity and grant them access to an account, this is why MFA is also known as two-step or 2-factor authentication. The secondary layer of security prevents anyone but you from logging into your account, even if they know your username and password. Our team can manage all of this for you.  

 

  • Patching – A patch is a small piece of software that a company issues whenever a security flaw is uncovered. At BCN, we repair the flaw, keeping hackers from further exploiting any weaknesses. We can also schedule any patches to run at a time that won’t disrupt your workflow via patching remote access solutions like Microsoft RDS and CITRIX. 

 

  • Endpoint Security – Managed endpoint security involves protecting every device on your network from cyber threats. Our skilled team implements and maintains industry-leading tools to strengthen your defences against crippling data breaches. BCN managed endpoint security will guarantee the resilience you need to keep your company working safely with confidence. View Managed Endpoint Security

 

  • Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity – This is the process of planning and implementing measures that protect your business’s data and systems from cyber-attacks. This ensures you restore normal business operations as quickly as possible after being victim of a cyber-attack. 

Contact us to speak to one of our Security experts

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