Category Archives: Cyber Security

Preparation makes perfect – how to pass Cyber Essentials PLUS first time

How to pass CE+ first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As anyone who’s ever run a race will know, it’s all about the preparation. As the saying goes, ‘if you fail to plan – you plan to fail’. The Government’s Cyber Essentials (CE) scheme is no different, especially at the Cyber Essentials PLUS (CE+) level where more work is involved.

Ascentor is an accredited certification body for CE, licensed by the IASME Consortium. In every case where clients have followed our advice at CE+ level, they’ve passed first time. So, we thought we’d share some of our preparation tips and give an insight into our process. Continue reading “Preparation makes perfect – how to pass Cyber Essentials PLUS first time” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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The OT and IT debate – is our critical infrastructure safe?

Power station critical national infrastructure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in 2011, GE coined the phrase “the Industrial Internet”. They were referring to how the gap between the operational technology (OT) that controls our critical infrastructure facilities and traditional enterprise information technology (IT) is closing. In the quest for smarter enterprise data, we are connecting our OT to our IT. Smart as that may seem, there can be unintended consequences – rather than a controlled ‘coming together’, it can be more of a fatal collision if the associated risks are ignored.

Seven years on, OT and IT are becoming more and more connected every day. Yet, there seems to be a level of denial that such connectivity exists. This can mean that critical cyber security controls are being ignored – a dangerous place to be. Continue reading “The OT and IT debate – is our critical infrastructure safe?” »

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Measuring and understanding cyber security effectiveness – where do you start?

Cyber Security Measurement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

Peter Drucker

This classic quote from management guru Peter Drucker is equally applicable to the measurement challenge we face in information security. 

If we can’t (or don’t) measure, how can we identify if we’ve been successful with our security initiatives? For example, is a lack of security incidents an indication of success? If so, how can we demonstrate it? Likewise, without evidence of what is working (and where) – how can we justify often significant security expenditure – or indeed, make effective security decisions?

In this article we’ll take an introductory look at the use of metrics to measure cyber security effectiveness (sometimes also referred to as ‘security maturity’) with dashboards and benchmarking. We will also reference existing frameworks and models and provide links for you to explore in more depth. Continue reading “Measuring and understanding cyber security effectiveness – where do you start?” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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What can you do when a patch goes wrong?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your systems are updating… and new patches are being installed. In theory, your security is being updated to optimum performance levels – or is it?

In our work as cyber security advisors (including as accredited Cyber Essentials (CE) and Cyber Essentials Plus (CE+) assessors), we carry out a range of technical tests to determine if clients’ systems are adequate to protect them from the vast majority of low level cyber threats. One of these tests covers patch management – a patch being a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data.

Although meant to fix security vulnerabilities and other bugs, patching can sometimes introduce new problems or, in worst case scenarios, server failure. Whether you are a large organisation or a small or medium enterprise (SME), this can be damaging. So, to help you do what you can to prevent patching problems, we share some of our experiences and offer some prevention tips. Continue reading “What can you do when a patch goes wrong?” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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A look back at cyber security in 2017

2017 cyber security year in focus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If ever there was an article that started with a prediction that came true – it was our very first post of 2017, looking at the year ahead.

We quoted John Chambers, CEO of Cisco who had recently said “There are two types of organisation: those that have been hacked and those that don’t know they’ve been hacked.” We predicted it would increasingly be a case of ‘not if but when’. And, as we all know by now, this year it was very much ‘when’.

So, join us for a look back at some of the cyber security issues and incidents we covered in 2017. Continue reading “A look back at cyber security in 2017” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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BIM, Security and the Building Lifecycle

Building Information Modelling, London skyline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our previous articles on Building Information Modelling (BIM) we have explained how information security should be part of implementing BIM for construction projects.

In this latest article we look at how the risks to information on construction and refurbishment projects change over the course of the building lifecycle, and what measures can be put in place to manage those risks. Continue reading “BIM, Security and the Building Lifecycle” »

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Steve Maddison

Director and Principal Consultant

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Seven steps to designing a resilient Cyber Security Programme

Cyber attack, data breach image in shape of an eye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reality for most organisations is that, despite their best cyber defences, they are going to experience a cyber-attack at some point. A resilient cyber security programme is all about the ability to not only deter and resist attacks – but also to detect and recover from them, returning to normal operation with minimal downtime.

Government has urged all sectors of the UK business community to improve their resilience to cyber-attacks and has introduced several initiatives to support this – such as the Cyber Essentials Scheme (CES). Of necessity, these initiatives are supportive in nature – it is still down to individual organisations to put into place the necessary strategy and technology to improve their resilience to cyber-attack. Continue reading “Seven steps to designing a resilient Cyber Security Programme” »

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Peter Curran

Principal IA Consultant at Ascentor

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Are you sure it’s just an RMADS you need?

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The case for a considered approach to Information Assurance on MOD projects

“Just get a contractor in to write an RMADS when we’ve finished testing the system.”

How many times have we heard those fateful words?  And how many times have we put our heads in our hands and almost cried?

“What’s the problem?” you may ask. Well, in this article, we’ll explain.

We’ll make a balanced case for why your approach to Information Assurance (IA – making sure your information stays secure) would benefit from a more holistic approach. Continue reading “Are you sure it’s just an RMADS you need?” »

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Dave James

Information Risk Management expert and Managing Director of Ascentor

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The one-stop guide to cyber security advice (Part 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last month we published the first of a two-part series on the best cyber security guides and articles on the web. It covered advice on educating your employees about cyber security, guidance for the board and tips for small and micro businesses.

The article was written for anyone increasingly concerned about the threat to their data and looking for advice – you can re-visit part-one here.

This month, in part-two, we point our lens at ransomware, the insider threat, guidance for suppliers to HM Government and there’s even a plain English guide to all that cyber security jargon. Continue reading “The one-stop guide to cyber security advice (Part 2)” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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The one-stop guide to cyber security advice (Part 1)

Best cyber guides reviewed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always the big cyber security attacks that steal the headlines, but dig a little deeper and there are everyday stories of hacker inflicted misery – many of which could have been prevented.

So, if you are increasingly concerned about the threat to your own data and are looking for advice, this guide is for you.

It’s part one of a two-part series reviewing the ‘best of’ the many respected sources of cyber security advice available, with some of our most popular articles included. Continue reading “The one-stop guide to cyber security advice (Part 1)” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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