‘When not if’ for cyber attacks

“It’s not a case of if you’ll suffer a data breach, but when,” was the stark warning to local businesses from a visiting cybersecurity expert.

Barry O’Connell, General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Trustwave, a managed security services provider, was addressing the audience at the Chamber of Commerce lunch event and outlined the threats facing global and local businesses.

“We’re living in a world where everyone is a target and anyone can be a victim of a cyber-attack,” said Mr O’Connell. “There are targeted attacks on individuals or organisations but what is far more common are untargeted attacks that aim to deceive as wide an audience as possible into giving up their data or allowing access to secure systems.”

Trustwave data shows that they alone witness eight billion security and compliance events a day globally – including instances of users, processes and technology logging into systems and platforms. Each of these has the potential to be compromised and cause significant damage for the operations and reputation of businesses.

Legislation such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has increased business leaders’ awareness of the serious implications of cyberattacks but there is still a worrying skills gap in the cybersecurity space.

“Most organisations don’t have the right level of skills or the right number of highly skilled experts,” Mr O’Connell told guests. “This is understandable as the pace of change in the cybersecurity arena is so dynamic and the threats change every single day.

“Organisations need to face up to this landscape and make sure they have the best systems in place to try and stop an attack in the first place. The other thing they can do is train their staff to recognise threats and act with caution online. Basic education goes a long way in combatting cyber-threats.”

Earlier this year Trustwave announced its partnership with local telecoms company Sure. The two organisations have developed a platform that is deployed within Sure’s Channel Island data centres to analyse and correlate customer data against known and unknown threats while monitoring and identifying incidences as they happen.

The alliance addresses data sovereignty and other challenges organisations face to help ensure offshore data is properly housed, handled and protected.

Alistair Beak, Sure’s Chief Marketing Officer, told the audience what the telecoms company does to help protect local businesses: “At Sure we work closely with the States of Guernsey and Guernsey Police as well as unique partners such as Trustwave or Mimecast.

“The partnership we have developed with Trustwave provides a highly rated global cyber security solution in a way where local businesses can be guaranteed that their data remains on island, which is unique for this type of solution in the channel islands”.

Find out more about Sure and Trustwave's partnership here