Category Archives: Information Risk and Technology

An introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM) Part 1 of 2

Building Information Modelling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you run your own construction business or manage large building projects, you will know about the many professions and trades that need to come together to contribute to a modern building or refurbishment. But does information risk and cyber security come into your thinking? If not, it should.

Such projects require detailed information to be transferred between partners such as designers and architects at the planning stage, followed by the construction teams.  A variety of software tools are available to support this process such as 3D modelling packages, CAD software and project management tools.

All of this generates large volumes of data that must be accurate and which has to get to the right people on time. What’s more, it has to be safe from threats – and remain that way. Continue reading “An introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM) Part 1 of 2” »

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Steve Maddison

Director and Principal Consultant

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Ransomware – Back up or Pay up – Top Tips for SMEs

Ransomware

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2 in a series of blogs on ransomware. In the first blog we covered some basic cyber hygiene as well as providing 6 top tips for single home computer backups. This second blog takes it up a level and is aimed at Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Ransomware is the installation you really don’t want – it’ll encrypt your files and you’ll be blackmailed in to paying a ransom for the recovery key. What’s more, it’s a fast growing menace. New data from Intel Security shows a 24 per cent increase in this kind of malware in the first quarter of 2016 alone.

By restricting the ability of systems to operate, ransomware has the capacity to cause long-term damage to the reputation and profitability of any business. However, due to their size, SMEs don’t always have the resources to counter the damage that an attack can cause. We hope that, by following these six tips, SMEs will be better prepared to prevent attacks or respond with confidence, should the worst happen. Continue reading “Ransomware – Back up or Pay up – Top Tips for SMEs” »

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Paddy Keating

Director and Government Service Manager at Ascentor

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Passwords? It’s enough to give you a headache

Password headache

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life was so much easier when all we had to remember was a 4 figure PIN to get money from the cashpoint machine. Nowadays we need passwords for almost everything we do online and most people have many accounts and registrations that require passwords, which we are meant to remember – it’s enough to give you a headache.

We are told by every budding security geek that our passwords need to be strong or complex, that they should be at least so many characters long, that we shouldn’t re-use them, that we shouldn’t write them down, that we should change them regularly, that we should… STOP – rewind that last bit… We are now being told we don’t have to change passwords regularly – HOORAH! Continue reading “Passwords? It’s enough to give you a headache” »

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Bert Curtin

Senior Information Assurance Consultant at Ascentor

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Preparing for the NIS Directive – a new cyber security baseline for Europe

New EU Cyber Security Regulations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In December of 2015, European Union (EU) law makers reached a draft agreement on new cyber security regulations after nearly two years of negotiations. The Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive will increase co-operation between member states and lay down cyber security obligations for operators of Essential Services and Digital Service Providers (DSPs).

The NIS Directive will require qualifying organisations to implement appropriate security measures to protect their networks and data against cyber security incidents and to report serious breaches to regulators. It will certainly affect companies in the UK, barring an EU exit in the summer referendum. Continue reading “Preparing for the NIS Directive – a new cyber security baseline for Europe” »

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Steve Maddison

Director and Principal Consultant

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IA15: Public trust in networks and data depends on security

IA15 UK Government's Cyber Security and Information Assurance event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascentor’s Steve Penny and Paul Trethewey attended the IA15 event in London on the 9th and 10th November where Ascentor was also an event sponsor. Hosted by GCHQ, it was HM Government’s principal event for briefing the UK’s information security leaders. In a year that has seen bigger and more frequent security breaches, the event focused on a topic at the core of Ascentor’s work – the implementation of effective cyber security in our public services.

This high level event drew a number of prominent speakers from government, academia and industry. We were expecting to hear high calibre and thought provoking debates, and that’s exactly what we got, starting with the opening keynote address by Matthew Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General.  Continue reading “IA15: Public trust in networks and data depends on security” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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The Human Face of Information Risk Re-visited

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 12.45.52

Back in July 2012, Ascentor published our own research into employee behaviour and how it relates to Information Risk. We called it ‘The Human Face of Information Risk’.

One of the most alarming findings was that over half the respondents (57%) said that there were circumstances in which they would deliberately sabotage or compromise their employer.

With the additional potential for unintentional data loss through employee negligence and error – the impact of what has become known as ‘the Insider Threat’ poses a huge issue for information risk.

Were we right to focus on the insider threat in 2012?

Fast forward to 2015 and there has barely been a week without a data breach involving some aspect of human involvement. For all the security measures that might be in place, the incidents of real people causing costly and embarrassing data compromises are still all too common. Continue reading “The Human Face of Information Risk Re-visited” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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Ascentor joins the Cyber Security Supplier to Government list

HM Govt Supplier to GovtWe are delighted to announce that Ascentor have been granted ‘Provider of Cyber Security Solutions’ status in recognition of supplying cyber security services to the UK government.

The Cyber Security Supplier to Government scheme is administered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and supports UK companies pursuing export business opportunities worldwide in ensuring cyber security capabilities.

Continue reading “Ascentor joins the Cyber Security Supplier to Government list” »

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Ben Wheeler

Ascentor marketing and content editor.

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VPNs – a secure way to call home?

iStock_000035084458_MediumMost business users are familiar with the VPN, the must-have reach-back mechanism that allows us to work from home, a train, a coffee shop.  The VPN allows us to securely connect to our company’s network and access email, documents, applications – even VOIP and video conferencing. But how secure are the low-cost, consumer focused providers and the transition tools on every network?
Continue reading “VPNs – a secure way to call home?” »

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Peter Curran

Principal IA Consultant at Ascentor

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Which cyber security breach could cause you the most pain this year?

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 16.30.19“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…” must be one of the most parodied film lines of all time. Surely things couldn’t get any worse for the citizens of Amity back in the 1970’s – but they did. Fast forward to December 2014 and the executives at Sony Pictures must have felt the same way. But cybercriminals, like sharks, are lethal hunters and it did get worse, much, much worse.

As it turned out, what was initially thought to be commercially damaging really only scratched the surface. Far worse was to come in terms of leaked employee data and embarrassing internal memos – not to mention a diplomatic tussle with North Korea.

Continue reading “Which cyber security breach could cause you the most pain this year?” »

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Dave James

Information Risk Management expert and Managing Director of Ascentor

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Generation Y and information security – a cyber criminal’s dream?

Tech savvy doesn’t always mean security savvy

Tech savvy doesn’t always mean security savvy

There has been much recent coverage of the impact of Generation Y, or Millennials, on information security.

The lack of security awareness of younger workers (typically aged 18 to 30) is widely seen as a growing cause for concern – and it should be. By 2020 Generation Y will account for 50% of the working age population.

The topic was also covered at Infosecurity Europe 2014 in April which Ascentor attended – an entire session was held to explore ways to engage Generation Y with information security – suggesting that Generation Y worries less about information and IT security than the generations before them. Continue reading “Generation Y and information security – a cyber criminal’s dream?” »

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Dave James

Information Risk Management expert and Managing Director of Ascentor

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    • Barry Harvey: It is perhaps surprising to hear that a generation we think of as being tech savvy is anything but....
    • David Conway: I can imagine that, even at this stage, many businesses will still be blissfully unaware of this...
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    • Dave James: @Colin Robbins: Yes, Its really illumintaing isnt’t it. Provides a bit of context to the recent...
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