PGI Weekly Cyber Bytes

The A TO Z of Cyber -C is for…

As part of our 2018 series, ‘The A to Z of Cyber’ we give you…

 

C is for…

  • Cat5
  • Cloud
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Cryptography
  • Cyber

Read the full descriptions here

Missed A and B? Fear not! They are on our website.

Bedroom hackers bigger threat than Russia, regulator says

“Government departments should be more worried about teenage bedroom hackers than state-sponsored cyber terrorists, the Information Commissioner has warned.

In a speech to the heads of the civil service and other public bodies, Elizabeth Denham said that most breaches are preventable and bosses should consider the reputational damage as well as financial losses.

“We make a mistake if we throw up our hands and worry about state sponsored attacks – we know those are rare,” Ms Denham said, “You should be worrying about the malicious kid in his bedroom who hacks into your system because he can. Or the opportunistic thief who understands the value of the data you hold and knows how to get his hands on it. Because you left the door wide open.”…

PGI says…

There are two main approaches to consider when tightening up your cyber and information security: technical, and staff awareness. The two go hand in hand as without one, the other will be significantly less effective.

PGI offer certification in the GCHQ/Nation Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus scheme, which is a bit like an MOT for your IT security and offers a nationally recognised certification. PGI also offer consultancy to help you through the certification process for either the basic or “plus” level, and to take your security further once you pass.

When it comes to staff awareness, good security practice is best handled when senior-level staff buy into it, and for this purpose we offer our short Cyber Security Fundamentals training, which is a great eye opener to what’s really possible and how frighteningly easy it is – as Elizabeth Denham talked about above.

Click here to read more

Over 700,000 bad apps removed from Google Play store in 2017

“There were a number of stories last year about malicious apps, or those with massive security holes, making their way to Android phones via the Google Play store.

It seems like those high profile stories were just the tip of the iceberg. In an announcement last week, Google said that last year alone it removed 700,000 ‘bad apps’ and stopped 100,000 bad app developers from sharing their apps on the Google Play store. If the app number sounds high, it is: It’s a 70% jump from 2016.

Google classifies ‘bad apps’ as those that have inappropriate content (like pornography), install malware on target operating systems or steal data, or are copycats of other legitimate apps”…

PGI says…

Android has become the most widespread mobile platform, but is not without its flaws. Even if you only ever install apps from the Play store you’re still not guaranteed to be safe from harm, as the article above demonstrates. As with all software, even legitimate apps can have security flaws, so ensure you keep automatic app updates turned on via the Play Store: Menu, Settings, Auto-update apps.

The Operating System update process in Android is also less than ideal because, unlike Windows, security updates don’t usually come direct from the OS maker. Instead they have to filter down from Google to the device manufacturer and then sometimes also via the mobile phone network operator. Many handsets only ever get one or two Android updates in their entire lives.

As with other OS providers, Google release security updates for Android on a monthly basis, see here.

Check your security patch level by going to Settings, System, About Phone. If you’re not up to date there’s little you can do other than to try and contact your phone manufacturer and ask if or when a security update will be released. PGI therefore recommend investigating what the security release policy is for any Android phone before purchase

Click here to read more

Check Your Password Security 

Ever wondered how easy or difficult your password could be discovered?

Why not try our online service to evaluate the strength of your password. Click here to try 

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