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Unlocked 2019: Five Key Security Takeaways

31 July 2019 by Charlotte Greene

Josie Rickard Unlocked 2019

Security panel discussion at Unlocked 2019.

The UK’s biggest cybersecurity conference, Unlocked, is over for another year. But while the roadshow itself may have come to an end until next summer, it offered some crucial lessons which are essential for every business to take on board.

Let’s take a look at the five key takeaways from Unlocked 2019.

1.      We still need to work on the basics

Over the course of the morning, the phrase ‘getting the basics right’ was mentioned an awful lot – and for good reason. It became apparent that many organisations out there are still failing to implement basic cybersecurity defences. ‘Basic’ measures explained by our industry experts included:

  • Keeping software up to date
  • Using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication
  • Protecting your administrator access
  • Fixing all configuration errors and vulnerabilities
  • Understanding your data and why you need to protect it
  • Understanding the risk to your supply chain and using third party services
Stephen Crow Unlocked 2019

UKFast’s Head of Defensive Securities and Compliance with host Arlene Bulfin at Unlocked 2019.

2.      People are your biggest weakness

Another common theme was the importance of raising security awareness among employees. Employee training is crucial, not just as a one-off but as an integral part of your overall security strategy.

As UKFast’s Head of Defensive Securities and Compliance put it: “Focus on keeping up to date with employee training. Employees are the biggest threat to your business – if your awareness is poor then the technology is useless.”

So, next time you fancy employing the latest innovation of online protection products, remember to first invest in sufficient employee security training to support the tech.

3.      Third-party and supply-chain threats must be mitigated

If we’ve learnt anything from the likes of British Airways and LabCorp, it’s that third parties and supply chains can be a huge risk if not considered in your security strategy.

Undertaking a complete evaluation of your entire supply chain, from your hosting provider and suppliers, to the third-party Java script you’re using, is essential to form a broader view of the threats to your organisation. Only when we’re aware of the weak points in our security can we start to tackle them head on and mitigate the risks.

4.      Security must be embedded into your systems

Marc Avery, Independent Cyber Advisor and Club CISO member, highlighted several challenges that businesses face with regards to security, such as a decreasing consumer focus on security and the shortage in security skills. However, he also pin-pointed the ways in which security can be embedded into every part of your organisation, including:

  • Design technology based on secure architecture
  • Build security into your programmes, communicate this with your team and use secure standards.
  • Employ risk-based testing and consider security within use cases like WannaCry.
  • Get the basics right, prioritise threats and vulnerabilities, and focus on detection and recovery.

5.      Backing up data is essential

Steve Nolan, Systems Engineering Manager at Commvault UK, shared his knowledge on ransomware, disaster recovery (DR) and the importance of backups.

In his words: “The game has changed. We’re now moving away from blanketed attacks to more targeted attacks. There are always new threats evolving, and as the rise of tech continues, there are even more threat actors to contend with.”

Steve explained that the best way to protect your data from attacks like ransomware is to back it up and employ a cloud disaster recovery strategy. The advantages to this, according to Steve, include:

  • Lowers costs of e.g. a ransomware attack
  • Increases agility and reduces complexity
  • Helps to mitigate compliance challenges
  • Allows data to become more visible and actionable

If you want to find out more about how you can protect your business from ransomware, check out these 7 easy steps now.

Protect your business from a range of cyber-threats with PROsecure™, UKFast’s comprehensive security bundle.

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