7th June 2017

Fighting cyber crime in the South West

The South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit in Bristol covers the five Police forces in the region consisting of Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

The unit is made up of a Cyber Crime Investigation team and a Cyber Protect Team who provide information and presentations on Cyber Crime and Cyber Security.

An important part of their role is to contact influential companies and those that stand to suffer most from financial, data and reputational loss as well as providing input on cyber crime in respect of law enforcement set-up and response, current trends, noticeable threats, basic protection measures and directing people to organisations that can help.

The aim is to do away with hi-tech jargon and simplify things for businesses so they can fully understand the types of cybercrime taking place and how they’re being investigated by the Police.

The biggest threats in the South West region at the moment are network intrusion, ransomware, phishing, and DDOS.

The good news is that 80% of known attacks would be defeated by embedding basic information security practices for your people, processes, and technology.

The largest enablers of these attacks are:

1. Poor Cyber Security

Businesses need to implement technical controls such as up to date Anti-virus, Anti-malware, firewalls, software updates and patch management.

2. Poor Security Awareness

Staff may need security awareness training including e-learning, security policy reviews and cyber risk discussions with staff.

3. Lack of personal responsibility

It’s more than just an IT Problem, it’s everyone’s problem. Information security should be dealt with at board level. Everyone has a part to play in when it comes to preventing cyber-attacks at home and in the workplace. Whether it is changing default WI-Fi passwords at home or not clicking on an unexpected link in a work email.

There are also a number of government initiatives that can help businesses protect themselves against cyber-attacks including:

Get Safe Online, Cyber Essentials, Cyber Aware and the NCSC Websites.

CiSP is a joint industry and government initiative set up to exchange cyber threat information in real-time, in a secure, confidential and dynamic environment, increasing situational awareness and reducing the impact on UK business.

Sign up for cyber briefings in your area

You can sign up to fortnightly Regional Cyber Briefings to receive the latest threats in the South West as well as advice on how to protect yourself against them and other news and events in the region. To be added to the mailing list, please email: swcyberprotect@avonandsomerset.police.uk

Alternatively, you can view it on the website here: www.swcybercrimeunit.co.uk

You can also follow the unit on Twitter @SWCyberProtect.

*Find out how to protect yourself from ransomware attacks in our other blog about this topic.