Cyber Resilience in a Heightened Threat Environment
In the wake of ongoing tensions in Europe, the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) Chief Executive, Lindy Cameron, has sent a message to UK organisations and businesses advising them to prepare for increasing cyber threats and attacks. With organisations reliant upon computer systems and technology for day-to-day operations, it is critical that these assets are appropriately protected.
Cyber attacks do not consider geographic boundaries and the current crisis and events in Ukraine have escalated into Cyber space, heightening the threat environment, and causing concern among nation states including the UK. Further, cyber attacks have already been associated with this crisis; on Friday evening (18th February), the UK government judged that the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) was involved in last week’s distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against financial organisations in Ukraine.
At a time of heightened tensions and an increase in cyber attacks and data breaches, it is pertinent UK organisations, especially those making up our Critical National Infrastructure (CNI), recognise the need to proactively manage and constantly review their Cyber Security posture. There is a need to strike a balance between the current threat, the measures needed to defend against it, the implications and cost of those defences and the overall risk this presents to the organisation. The NCSC has published updated guidance setting out steps for organisations to take to improve their Cyber resilience. This guidance includes ensuring systems are patched, back-ups checked and effective incident response plans are tested and implemented.
Templar Executives has long been an advocate of organisations fostering a proactive Cyber posture and supporting them in implementing NCSC guidance and best practices. At the heart of our holistic approach is the accountability and key role of Senior Executives, from the Board in adopting a robust and sustainable Cyber agenda for an organisation, and Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) for providing oversight. In the current environment, all organisations should seek to:
- Review their patching processes;
- Ensure access controls are sufficient;
- Ensure devices are protected with anti-virus software;
- Update and test backups;
- Develop, update and practice incident plans;
- Review their exposure online i.e. social media accounts, google accounts;
- Run a Phishing campaign and setup an email sandbox capability;
- Review supply chain assurance; and
- Brief their organisation on the latest news and threat landscape.
For some organisations further actions may be appropriate such as:
- Review whether their organisation is able to accelerate the implementation of key mitigating measures that are planned for the future;
- Revisit key risk-based decisions in response to the changing threat landscape;
- Be cognisant of the additional exposure to risk that exchange of data from untrusted networks may bring; and
- Ensure your threat feeds are providing intelligence relating to information surrounding the period of heightened threat.
For more information or a free consultation on how Templar Executives can help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 203 542 9075.
Published February 2022