Another day, another breach – Andy Gilbert, from Space Data Centres comments on cyber threats

Andy Gilbert, Space Data Centres

The recent Yahoo breach should be a stark reminder to us all that firms across our region are still vulnerable to cyber threats.

In fact new research by PwC reveals that the cyber security risk to UK organisations continues to increase in both severity and impact, but nearly one in five (17%) admit they don’t prepare or drill for cyber attacks, and fewer than half (49%) conduct penetration tests to examine their defences.

In this article, we speak with Andy Gilbert from Nottingham’s Space Data Centres to get his views on the subject.

“It seems at least a monthly occurrence to have a major and trusted provider coming clean about stolen data. Yahoo may not be the market leading Email provider of toady, but it was once the most popular email platform and an early internet pioneer used by most. These users would now be in their late-30’s to mid-40’s, the perfect age to hold a position of influence with in a business, prime targets for cybercrime due to high disposable income and corporate responsibilities. The 2013 yahoo breach contained all account information and security answers. This providers a cybercriminal all the tools needed to gain access to the users other account like Facebook, Instagram and most worryingly PayPal.

“Being a major provider like Yahoo inadvertently makes you a major target. Cyber-attacks of this type are usually directed at the bigger targets for the bigger rewards, the “more bang for your bucks” ethos. What does that mean for the businesses that use these providers? Well, whilst these services offer high availability together with ease of use and access web portals, they come with this risk of breach due to being a high value target. Business emails often hold more information that you think, often we send sensitive information internally between staff and management, banking information even passwords are shared by staff using seemingly secure emails. The risk to this information is high whilst it sits on a shared environment, somewhere in the vast cyberspace floating in a providers cloud (Easy pickings for highly skilled and often state funded hackers).

“Secure communications is a vital part of operating a business in this day and age. Breaches such as this only strengthen the position of secure local data centres like Space Data here in Nottingham. Over the last year we have provided secure dedicated services to an increasing number of businesses large and small across the region. One of the main reasons for this uptake is the increasing knowledge of Information Security. For me, even if a customer does not take the services recommended by myself, as long as they have gained a greater understanding and appreciation of security and their systems, I feel it to be a job well done and a worthwhile exercise. Remember email is a way into your internal systems, an “open door” to your business information. Ensure all staff answer this “door” by asking themselves these questions: Who sent me this email? Should I click the link in the email? Should I download this attachment? Having a policy in place like this will reduce risks to your information dramatically.

“Local data centres lower these risks further, small targets under the radar of the usual threat actors. This coupled with the fact that a business has accountability of its email services by way of they know where the data is held, puts them in a far stronger position to mitigate the risk to their data. Across the industry this trend continues with more and more well-known UK businesses moving their services to secure independent data centres.

“Space can be a beneficial technical partner to your business, drop me a line to take the first steps in securing your business future…”