Many thanks to Sam Parsons who gave a fascinating update on Cybersecurity plus tips to help prevent us falling  victim. Sam works for the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SWRCCU), part of the regional police who investigate cyber dependent crimes in the South West.

After explaining the difference between cyber enabled and cyber dependent attacks, Sam said that from Apr-Sep 2018, there were 1167 cases in the SW resulting in over £2m loss to those companies.

Useful advice to prevent becoming a victim included NOT keeping your backup drives connected to the network. This allows you to wipe everything and re-input the data after the event, safe in the knowledge your backup drives haven’t been compromised as well. One company recently lost 26 years of business data after an attack infected both their main computer network and their backups.

Other tips included backing up every 2 days – and regularly testing the backups – having a robust password, ideally a 2 factor authentication; use biometrics where possible instead of/alongside passwords;  take care if you use removable media (memory sticks) – only to those you trust as they can be easily infected with viruses; ALWAYS upload any legitimate software updates immediately you receive them.

In public places, be aware of shoulder surfing  where people record your password and never use a public Wifi area with no login facility – if there is no password in public area, then don’t use that Wifi connection – use 4/5G on your mobile instead.

Finally and take a positive attitude to cybersecurity with a ‘no blame’ culture, as you want people to highlight quickly if they believe they have been compromised

So how do you know if you have been hacked? If your computer is slower or lacking in functions, change your password.

For more advice, please click on the presentation pdf here.