Structuring Cyber Security: The Best Defence is a Good Offense

Cover Image for Structuring Cyber Security: The Best Defence is a Good Offense

| Courtney Price

In the digital age, cyber threats are an ever-present reality. From Trojan horses to data breaches, the landscape of cybercrime is vast and complex. However, understanding this landscape and structuring your cybersecurity accordingly can make all the difference.

In the session, Securing Charities living with Cyber Risk, Stuart Sivieri explained that cyber-attacks are not limited by geographical boundaries. They can originate from anywhere in the world, with countries like China, Russia, and Ukraine often being the sources of these attacks. These aren't just isolated incidents carried out by individuals; they're organised crime groups, state-sponsored actors, and even businesses that treat your data as a commodity.

The best defence against these threats is a good offence. This means having a robust security posture that goes beyond just having antivirus software or multi-factor authentication (MFA) in place. It involves a comprehensive approach that includes awareness training, penetration testing, and continuous monitoring among other elements.

Regulators expect businesses to maintain a healthy attack surface, which essentially means minimising their risk. This involves actively protecting their networks and implementing strong governance measures. In the UK, for instance, legal powers have been put in place to prosecute managed service providers who fail to adequately protect the networks they manage. This came in response to significant attacks on health and education services, highlighting the importance of proactive protection.

A useful model for businesses to consider when structuring their cybersecurity is the 'NIST' Cyber Response Model. The core principles of this model are Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover.

Identify –cyber health checks and identifying your cyber security design.

Protect – cyber security implementation, cyber awareness and training.

Detect – cyber risk monitoring, threat hunting, incident response and remediation.

Respond – digital forensics and investigation, cyber standards assessment.

Recover – penetration testing, supply chain monitoring, cyber risk and resilience.

This approach not only aids in investigating incidents but also provides a solid framework for businesses to assess their cybersecurity footprint.

Investing in cybersecurity may seem daunting, but it's crucial to remember that the cost of a breach can far outweigh the investment in prevention. As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." In the realm of cybersecurity, the best defence truly is a good offence. By proactively investing in comprehensive security measures, businesses can protect themselves and their stakeholders from the potentially devastating effects of a cyber-attack.

To watch the full session, please click here. In the session, Stuart Sivieri covers the following topics:

  • The Global Cyber Challenge – what is happening internationally, the key risks and issues and how this will affect your charity in the UK.
  • The Threat Landscape – A deeper dive into the threat landscape, looking at attack trends, understanding the differences between charities and other organisations and showcasing specifically the impact of a charity breach.
  • The Cyber Attack – Looking at the timeline of a cyber incident, what happens when a crisis occurs, and what is the short-term, intermediate and long-term effects of the crisis. Stuart will look at the cyber kill chain and run through the various stages.
  • Preparing for a crisis – Understanding the typical threats, vulnerabilities and mitigating controls so that you can understand the cost of perfect security.

The contents of this article are meant as a guide only and are not a substitute for professional advice. The author/s accept no responsibility for any action taken, or refrained from, as a result of the material contained in this document. Specific advice should be obtained before acting or refraining from acting, in connection with the matters dealt with in this article.

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About the Author

Courtney Price is a content creator for CPDStore UK. Courtney joined us during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been involved in the ever-evolving world of accounting ever since. Her passion for reading and writing, coupled with her degree in copywriting from Vega School has allowed her to channel her creativity and expertise into crafting engaging and informative content.


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