In 2017, Hertfordshire hit the cyber threats headlines when a teenager from King’s Langley was jailed for two years after executing a global cyber security attack, from his bedroom! Adam Mudd fits rather well into the ‘hacker’ stereotype who earned around £350,000 as a result of 594 attacks he carried out personally, and sales of his software to professional cyber criminals. In 2013 Mudd used 660,000 IP addresses globally, using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in which websites find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of traffic flooding their services. Businesses were required to pay a ransom to stop the onslaught.
A Range of Cyber Threats to Hertfordshire
The 2017 Wannacry ransomware attack which targeted networks using an unpatched Microsoft Operating System caused disruption in the county’s heath provision. The East and North Herts NHS Trust was one of the 80 or so affected Trusts, causing delays to treatment and the postponement of the Lorenzo electronic patient record system (EPR) launch for two months. Counties across the UK were taken by surprise as the ransomware encrypted data and brought hospital departments to a halt. Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this cyber security ‘tornado’ was that NHS Trusts had not heeded warnings about the impending threat, and had ignored the security patches provided by Microsoft. In many cases it was discovered that the ‘automatic update’ function which optimises the installation of security updates, had been disabled.
Preparing for Cyber Threats to Hertfordshire
The big lesson to learn from the cyber threats that Hertfordshire has already encountered, is that they will continue to be unpredictable and could come from any one of a number of sources. Cyber crime is a cat-and-mouse game which requires alert vigilance to counter it. Security professionals are now recommending cyber security awareness training for employees as a keystone to business security strategy. Anti-Virus, firewalls and cyber insurance all have their part to play in defending your business, but a workforce who understand the cyber threat to the business, know how to report cyber incidents, and behave securely at all times, are certainly your greatest asset.
Layer 8 provides cyber security awareness workshops, comms, and consultancy. We don’t do PowerPoint, or CBT; our training is interactive, experiential and proven to be effective in the fight against cyber threats. Take a look at our Layer 8 Toolkit to see how we can support you in developing cyber security awareness across your staff base.