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The Fight Against Cybercrime

In analysis / By Mark Flynn / 31 July 2018

In recent months I’ve highlighted how big business and inter-government agencies need to work smarter and collaborate better if they are to successfully fight cybercrime. Therefore, it was good to hear this week that the UK Government is investing £300m in a purpose-built City of London court to fight cybercrime.

Susan Acland-Hood, chief executive of HMCTS stated that the new facility will be a world leading centre for fighting cybercrime. While Raj Samani, chief scientist and Fellow at McAfee added: “it will ensure concentrated expertise to support the prosecution of online offences and position the UK as a global leader in the crackdown on cybercrime and making the UK the safest place to do business.”

As detailed in the Guardian, the government is determined to protect London’s status as a leading international legal and financial centre after Brexit, reinforcing the City’s reputation as the number one place to do business.

Staying with cybercrime, cybercriminals operate exactly the same way as car thieves - the bad guys are only looking for the unlocked cars. Doing the basics such as making sure all your servers are backed up, that users can identify simple phishing attacks and that an adequate password policy is in place can make all the difference.

Let's stretch that analogy to the super rich like Abramovich and their super toys. A superyacht is not something that you expect to get hacked, however cybercrime expert Campbell Murray proved how vulnerable they really are when he took just 30 minutes to gain control of a ship.

This may sound like an odd example to mention, but it helps to underline the risks every business is exposed to, issues like open wi-fi networks, continuing to use default passwords, key business systems, and data being left wide open to attack and staff being unaware of the value their activity on social media networks is to hackers for example.

The owners of your business might not be as wealthy as the Abramovich’s of this world but cybercriminals are looking for any high net-worth individuals to defraud.

AI seems to be positioned as the answer to all our business needs at the moment. One very real example of how AI is changing how organisations protect themselves from cybercrime is using Machine Learning to build profiles for all employees within a company and monitoring for changes in behaviour e.g. big data downloads in the early hours of the morning that might indicate unusual or perhaps threatening behaviour.

With most applications of AI, we will not see 100% pure AI based security solutions, instead cybersecurity specialists aided by a number of AI assistants forming a 'bots and bodies strategy' to protect their business will become the norm.

Sticking with the topic of AI, it is useful to look at examples of where AI can deliver true business value. One example that is top of all business leaders minds is how to keep hold of top talent within their business.

Businesses could use AI to analyse data from exit interviews, performance management reports, surveys, discussion threads and social media data from employees of businesses in their sector to help build a real-time picture of the health of a business.

AI can then be used to identify people at risk of leaving the business so you can in theory, proactively fix personnel issues.

Finally, the summer holiday season is in full swing and the big question is should you check your work email while on holiday?

We all do it and most of us are not proud of it. And the worst thing is we promised our families before we left that this time we wouldn't.

Here are three tips to a guilt-free holiday while checking your work email.

Firstly, make sure everyone knows you are going away, that does not mean calling around your colleagues and customers as you are boarding the plane to leave.

Put an Out of Office in your email and smartphone (I always forget this one) letting people know that you will not respond until your return.

Agree some rules when you are on holiday for when you will check your emails, limit it to 15mins per day before everyone wakes up and prioritise the emails you will respond to in that daily activity - only the urgent and important stuff.

Always try to be brave and don't take your work mobile on holiday because on your return you will feel a million dollars, refreshed and ready to start ripping up trees for your company.

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Mark Flynn

Mark Flynn

Mark Flynn is Head of Sales for Nasstar. Mark has wealth of knowledge & experience within the IT industry & plays an instrumental part in defining our long-term sales & go to market strategies.

London, England
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