Guest-blog: Simon Rycroft discusses the importance of basic cyber security hygiene and the 5 inalienable truths

In today’s ever-changing threat landscape, it is more important than ever to use a cyber hygiene routine to help prevent hackers, intelligent malware, and advanced viruses from accessing and corrupting your company’s data.

Cyberattacks are growing in both frequency and impact. The repercussions of security mistakes often end up being headline news and can cause significant harm to the victim organisation.

However, there is a perception that only big, global, corporations are at risk and, as a result, thousands of attacks against the Small-Medium business sector go largely unreported. Most successful attacks leverage well-known security problems.

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Cyberattacks continue to mount during COVID-19 pandemic

Because many are using the internet more than ever as a communication channel, this is turn has significantly increased our dependency on digital communications and has impacted the way we work with many businesses adopting remote working. As a result, social interactions have been interacting with businesses communications making remote workers more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and depriving access to devices as well as important and confidential information.

If left unchecked, broad base cyber-attacks can cause infrastructure fail that could take many businesses offline by destroying and infecting vital data. which is a shanghai based statistics website reporting on the coronavirus, has reported that since the pandemic they have been victim of increased cyber-attacks.

Because cyber criminals are focused on exploiting human fear, they are particularly active in situations where people are searching for information on an emerging, high risk topic. For Example, a global cyber-attack targeted people looking for visuals of the spread of COVID-19. Hackers were able to attack ser databases through a malware application simply by capitalising on popular topics and trends.

Cyber Major not only assesses the integrity of your systems and network infrastructure, but we also provide comprehensive audit of your internal company policies and processes, ensuring that all staff are operating to robust processes in the face of an ever-evolving risk landscape.

Free Support During the Covid19 Crisis

During these uncertain times, your safety and wellbeing and the survival of your business are more important than ever.  However, there are those who are taking advantage of this situation and are launching targeted cyber attacks on businesses around the world and we are here to help you fight back.

Please contact us if you have any concerns regarding cyber security or GDPR and we would be happy to provide you with free guidance and advice.

If you need direct support, we will put you in touch with the appropriate Regional Cyber Crime Unit who will be able to assist.  RCCU Officers can assist with guidance and support in the following areas:

  • cyber threats and mitigation
  • risk, governance
  • compliance
  • organisational resilience
  • data protection
  • policy and procedures
  • business continuity and recovery
  • awareness training
  • physical and digital security

If you require further assistance beyond that of what is provided by the Regional Organised  Crime Unit, please feel free to come back to us and we will be happy to assist.

Contact us now by filling out the form below or by emailing us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be in touch to assist you.

We are all in this together and so we are on standby to assist you if you need it at this difficult time.

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Government to strengthen security of internet-connected products

Government to strengthen security of internet-connected products

New legislation to improve security standards of internet-connected household devices

new law will protect millions of users of internet-connected household items from the threat of cyber hacks, Digital Minister Matt Warman announced today.

The plans, drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will make sure all consumer smart devices sold in the UK adhere to the three rigorous security requirements for the Internet of Things (IoT).

These are:

  • All consumer internet-connected device passwords must be unique and not resettable to any universal factory setting
  • Manufacturers of consumer IoT devices must provide a public point of contact so anyone can report a vulnerability and it will be acted on in a timely manner
  • Manufacturers of consumer IoT devices must explicitly state the minimum length of time for which the device will receive security updates at the point of sale, either in store or online

The sale of connected devices is on the rise. Research suggests there will be 75 billion internet connected devices, such as televisions, cameras, home assistants and their associated services, in homes around the world by the end of 2025.

Digital Minister Matt Warman said:

We want to make the UK the safest place to be online with pro-innovation regulation that breeds confidence in modern technology.

Our new law will hold firms manufacturing and selling internet-connected devices to account and stop hackers threatening people’s privacy and safety.

It will mean robust security standards are built in from the design stage and not bolted on as an afterthought.

The measures were developed in conjunction with the business industry and the National Cyber Security Centre and set a new standard for best practice requirements for companies that manufacture and sell consumer smart devices or products.

Following on from the consultation, Government’s ambition is to further develop legislation that effectively protects consumers, is implementable by industry and supports the long term growth of the IoT. Government aims to deliver this legislation as soon as possible.

Nicola Hudson, Policy and Communications Director at the NCSC, said:

Smart technology is increasingly central to the way we live our lives, so the development of this legislation to ensure that we are better protected is hugely welcomed.

It will give shoppers increased peace of mind that the technology they are bringing into their homes is safe, and that issues such as pre-set passwords and sudden discontinuation of security updates are a thing of the past.

This follows the government’s voluntary Secure by Design Code of Practice for consumer IoT security launched in 2018. The Code advocates for stronger cyber security measures to be built into smart products at the design stage, and has already been backed by Centrica Hive, HP Inc Geo and more recently Panasonic.

The Government is working with international partners to ensure that the guidelines drive a consistent, global approach to IoT security. This includes a partnership with standards bodies. In February 2019 the European Standards organisation published the first globally-applicable industry standard on consumer IoT security, which is based on the UK Government’s Code of Practice.

Matthew Evans, director of markets, techUK said:

Consumer IoT devices can deliver real benefits to individuals and society but techUK’s research shows that concerns over poor security practices act as a significant barrier to their take-up. techUK is therefore supportive of the Government’s commitment to legislate for cyber security to be built into consumer IoT products from the design stage.

techUK has been working on these three principles for the past four years. We support the work to ensure that they are consistent and are influencing international standards.

We look forward to working closely with Government and industry to ensure the implementation of the legislation provides protection for consumers whilst continuing to promote innovation within the IoT sector.

John Moor, Managing Director, IoT Security Foundation said:

Over the past five years, there has been a great deal of concern expressed toward vulnerable consumers and inadequate cybersecurity protection. Understanding the complex nature of IoT security and determining the minimum requirements has been a challenge, yet, after a thorough and robust consultation, those baseline requirements have now been universally agreed.

Published 27 January 2020


Department for Digital, Culture, Media & SportNational Cyber Security Centre, and Matt Warman MP

What are Special Categories of Personal Data under the GDPR?

The GDPR identifies certain types of personal data as ‘special categories’ of personal data meriting specific protections, as the nature of these categories means their processing could create significant risks to individuals’ fundamental rights and freedoms. These are ‘personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation’.

Genetic data is defined as ‘personal data relating to the inherited or acquired genetic characteristics of a natural person which give unique information about the physiology or the health of that natural person and which result, in particular, from an analysis of a biological sample from the natural person in question’.

Additional guidance is also given on the meaning of data that relates to health, a phrase clearly meant to be given a broad interpretation. It means personal data ‘related to the physical or mental health of a natural person, including the provision of healthcare services, which reveal information about his or her health status’ and includes ‘all data pertaining to the health status of a data subject which reveal information relating to the past, current or future physical or mental health status of the data subject’, including:

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