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Finagle’s Law and the importance of business continuity plan testingThursday, September 19th, 2019
When it comes to Business Continuity Plan testing, we should all consider Finagle’s Law. Similar to Murphy’s Law, Finagle’s agrees that anything that can go wrong will go wrong...
Cyberfest 2019: you don’t have to play the victimTuesday, September 10th, 2019
The second annual Cyberfest is a great opportunity for the North East cyber community to come together, share best practice and generally make some noise about information security. I’m..
Katie McMillan: on achieving ISO 27001 and QSA qualifications and the challenges facing women in ITMonday, September 9th, 2019
Katie McMillan stands out in the world of Information Security. Not only does she represent one of the growing number of women working in the sector, she also gained..
So, you want to work in cyber security?Wednesday, August 21st, 2019
There are no stereotypes in cyber security. But what is an information security consultant, what do they do and why might you want to be one?
The top 3 sectors embracing the ISO 27001 framework as their biggest weapon against a security breachTuesday, July 30th, 2019
These days, you don’t have to look very far to find the latest data breach story to hit the news. At the same time, we are also seeing more..
Phishing attacks and the perks of purple teamingMonday, July 1st, 2019
Cyber criminals are like magicians; they rely of sleight of hand. Like theatrical entertainers, they misdirect so that the trick occurs when the audience least expects it. So while..
The evolution of cyber crimeFriday, June 21st, 2019
Ever since Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution in 1859 we have been aware of the continual process of change in the natural world. Things are no different..
Pen testing: putting a price on peace of mindMonday, June 10th, 2019
When it comes to securing appropriate budgets for pen testing, the key thing is not cost, but value. Yet there is sometimes an uncomfortable dichotomy between what people want..
What’s up with WhatsApp?Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
Despite its end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp was found to be vulnerable to a precisely targeted attack earlier this month. But as the news emerges, we should not necessarily focus on..
PR: how a well-managed data breach can help limit the impact on your reputationTuesday, April 2nd, 2019
We have all seen the headlines about data breaches. They make for uncomfortable reading. Even more uncomfortable, however, is the fact that it’s often through these sensational headlines that..
What is a vulnerability assessment and how should you use it?Friday, March 29th, 2019
If your business is a house, with all that you hold precious contained inside it, then a vulnerability assessment is the regular checking of doors and windows to ensure..
A reactive mindset is today’s biggest threat to data securityTuesday, March 26th, 2019
What constitutes a cyber-mature organisation? Here’s a clue: it has nothing to do with size or age, sector or niche specialism, whether it is online or has a physical..
It’s not a Dark Art: how we demystify cyber securityFriday, March 15th, 2019
It’s easy to see why many people think cyber security is a mysterious Dark Art. After all, it has a language of its own, full of acronyms, jargon and..
Virtual CISO: too good to be true?Tuesday, March 5th, 2019
There are some things in life that are simply too good to be true: miracle diets, offers of millions from Nigerian princes and free lunches to name but a..
PCI DSS compliance is like car maintenance: it’s not just an annual eventFriday, March 1st, 2019
PCI DSS compliance is like car maintenance; to ensure your vehicle remains roadworthy throughout the year you need to practise an ongoing programme of routine repairs, regular servicing and..
eDisclosure: getting best value in a big data worldTuesday, February 26th, 2019
By Gerard Thompson Law firms have had to do some serious evolving when it comes to eDisclosure. The reason for this is driven by necessity. For, although the use..
eDisclosure Managed Service: a case studyTuesday, February 26th, 2019
Case background SRM was recently involved in an eDisclosure litigation case involving two large companies in the service industry. Engaged by one of the legal teams, the case involved..
Putting 2019 into sharp focus – the benefits a fresh set of eyes brings to information securityTuesday, February 19th, 2019
For many, 2019 started off in a state of partial blindness. GDPR took up so much attention that some of the other aspects of their organisation’s information security has..
Digital Forensics: detectives of the digital age and the issue of Access Control PoliciesMonday, February 11th, 2019
Sherlock Holmes could identify the state of mind, occupation and personal history of those he met by observing miniscule detail, drawing insight into crimes from information overlooked by others...
ISO 27001 – Top 5 challenges to becoming certifiedTuesday, February 5th, 2019
By Katie McMillan – Senior Information Security Consultant “Life is more fun when you treat its challenges in creative ways” – Bill Gates There is nothing more frustrating..
Don’t be complacent because GDPR has yet to show its teethTuesday, December 18th, 2018
When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was first discussed, there were headline figures about the size of fines. Where fines levied by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) under..
Free live webinar: 5 signs you need a new QSAWednesday, October 31st, 2018
5 signs you need a new QSA – Thursday 22nd November 3pm – 3.45pm (GMT) In this free live webinar Paul Brennecker and Laura Chatton will be discussing the..
5 signs you need a new QSAWednesday, October 31st, 2018
PCI DSS compliance is no longer an annual project. New requirements this year are ensuring that businesses are monitoring their compliance on a continuous basis. So, is your QSA..
Why is a Business Continuity Plan important?Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Why is a Business Continuity Plan important? It’s simple: because a business’ ability to recover from a cyber breach hinges on its ability to react quickly. Since the enactment..
Pen testing: why businesses need to be proactive not reactive ahead of the peak retail periodWednesday, October 3rd, 2018
A breach at any time of the year is bad for business. But with the highest volume of sales – both retail and online – occurring between Black Friday..
Why get ISO27001 certification?Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
We are sometimes asked the question, why get ISO27001 certification? The answer is that the ISO standard, and ISO 27001 compliance in particular, demonstrates that your organisation takes information..
Protecting your cyber soulFriday, September 7th, 2018
By Tom Fairfax, Managing Director If you were asked to sell your soul to a stranger…. what price would you ask? The ancient Egyptians believed that a person’s soul had..
Why the prioritisation of breach identification and containment are crucial elements of every cyber defence strategyTuesday, September 4th, 2018
One of the most significant elements of the current cyber threat landscape is the amount of time it takes to actually detect and contain a breach. In a study..
Schools are being targeted by cyber criminals: 6 ways to shore up online defencesFriday, August 31st, 2018
In 2017 the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA), which supports over 1,000 senior management staff in schools, stated that cyberattacks in schools can no longer be considered ‘isolated incidents’...
GDPR and data security in the gambling industryTuesday, August 21st, 2018
This article first appeared in the Q3 edition of Casino & Gaming International (CGi ) and appears here with their kind permission. As the implications of the General Data..
Pen testing: seeing both the wood and the treesTuesday, July 24th, 2018
If recent well-documented breaches tell us anything it is that even organisations with large budgets and skilled cyber security teams can miss something. In spite of their best efforts,..
Cyber insurance may be null and void without ‘due care’Tuesday, July 17th, 2018
There is a worrying trend in the world of cyber safety. Many companies believe that cyber insurance will protect against any damage associated with a breach. It is vital..
Retained Forensics & Incident Response Service: how planning for the worst can add value to your businessTuesday, July 10th, 2018
By Paul Brennecker, Principal Security Consultant and Lead QSA Paul Brennecker gave a presentation at PCI London on 5th July 2018 and this article first appeared in that event’s..
The Industrial Revolution v4.1: with increased opportunity comes increased vulnerabilityTuesday, July 3rd, 2018
If history teaches us one thing it is that there is no going back. It started with the First Industrial Revolution which used water and steam power to mechanise..
How phishing scams are getting schools into deep waterTuesday, June 26th, 2018
While many schools are concerned about the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and what it means for the collection and holding of data, permissions and consent,..
Incident Response & Forensic Expertise Webinar – Would your business survive a cyber-attack or security breach?Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
As organisations endeavour to be as proactive as possible to protect themselves from a cyber attack or security incident, do you have access to the correct Incident Response expertise..
Wondering where DPA and GDPR overlap? The Yahoo! ruling by ICO can provide some clarityTuesday, June 19th, 2018
A recent investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) highlights an interesting aspect of the current system. Although the ruling against Yahoo! was announced on 12th June 2018, three..
The GDPR compliance fallacyFriday, June 8th, 2018
There is a curious irony that the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), drawn up to protect the rights of individuals and their right to online privacy,..
The A to E of cyber maturityTuesday, June 5th, 2018
In a recent report, the Philippine government’s Department of Information and Communications Technology (created in 2016) outlined a scale of cyber resilience based on an A to E grading..
eDisclosure: some real life examples of the benefits of a Managed ServiceTuesday, May 29th, 2018
eDisclosure (sometimes known as eDiscovery) is a complex process. With automated tools available some opt to manage these in-house but, unless highly skilled and experienced personnel are involved in..
The key to GDPR is common senseThursday, May 24th, 2018
by Tom Fairfax, Managing Director It is not often that EU-wide legislation is likened to a children’s story. Consider, however, the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. When..
How PCI compliance puts you on course for GDPRTuesday, May 22nd, 2018
For a long time the General Data Protection Regulation has been looming on the horizon but in just a few short days it will arrive; a permanent aspect of..
Webinar Wednesday 30th May 3pm: Incident Response & Forensic Expertise – would your business survive a cyber attack or security breach?Tuesday, May 15th, 2018
Register for the free SRM Incident Response and Forensic Expertise webinar here. As organisations endeavour to be as proactive as possible to protect themselves from a cyber attack or..
Business Continuity – what we can all learn from the NHS response to WannaCryTuesday, May 15th, 2018
To be truly resilient against potential attacks, it is not enough to simply look at patching the last one, but to anticipate the next. When commenting on the news..
Three stages to building a robust defence against external threatsFriday, April 27th, 2018
The news has been full of concerns that foreign powers are using state-sponsored hacking as a means to undermine the infrastructure of foreign powers. While it is irresponsible to..
Cyber resilience: it’s a board level issueFriday, April 20th, 2018
The problem with cyber resilience is in the name. When it comes to managing the risk posed by potential hackers and the requirement for robust testing and defence protocols,..
How attack is the best form of defence when it comes to protecting against the rising trend in phishing and social engineering attacksMonday, April 16th, 2018
The recent April 2018 Trustwave Global Security Report reveals new global trends in the world of cyber hacking; most notably a move away from smaller high volume point-of-sale (POS)..
PCI DSS: With charities gearing up for contactless payments what could possibly go wrong?Thursday, March 29th, 2018
More than 40 organisations, including McMillan Cancer, the NSPCC, the RNLI and the Church of England, have introduced technology which means that donations can be made with a quick..
eDisclosure webinar: seven reasons why your firm should consider a managed serviceWednesday, March 28th, 2018
SRM is hosting a free eDisclosure webinar on Wednesday 18th April at 3pm. We find ourselves in an ever changing eDisclosure landscape. Join us for our upcoming webinar during..
Penetration testing: man vs machineFriday, March 16th, 2018
We already know that the concept of thinking like a potential hacker is the basis of penetration testing. But merely thinking like a hacker is not enough. We must..
GDPR: 10 key issues facing UK higher educationTuesday, March 13th, 2018
The world of higher education is about to be turned on its head. This is due to the imminent enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will..
How does GDPR differ from the UK Data Protection Bill (DPB)?Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Discussions with clients in recent months have revealed that there is some confusion over the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the new UK Data Protection Bill (DPB) which..
GDPR: 10 key issues facing UK retailersWednesday, February 28th, 2018
The law regarding personal data will change on 25th May 2018 when the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect. Replacing the UK Data Protection Act 1998,..
The NIS Directive: who does it apply to and what will it mean?Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
May 2018 is a big month for cyber security. Not only will the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) come into effect but a new UK Data Protection Act..
Free live webinar: GDPR – the roles of manual and automated penetration testingTuesday, February 20th, 2018
15:00 – 15:45 Thursday 8th March 2018 Have you tested to check your GDPR compliance? A key aspect of GDPR compliance is demonstrating that your systems are secure. Penetration..
Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018 – shows that size matters and that numbers never lieFriday, February 16th, 2018
As with any statistical report, the numbers in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018 provide a dizzying variety of analytical options. However,..
Coinhive attacks and how to prepare for the (almost) inevitableWednesday, February 14th, 2018
This week’s report that more than 5,000 websites, including that of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have been hacked, shows that it really can happen to anyone. Other affected..
GDPR compliance: key issues facing law firmsMonday, February 12th, 2018
GDPR compliance: key issues facing law firms Only 25 per cent of law firms consider themselves to be compliant with the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which..
Penetration testing: if prevention is to be an achievable goal we cannot rely on static defencesThursday, January 25th, 2018
SRM is at the PCI London event in London on 25th January, presenting on The Synergy Between Automated and Manual Penetration Testing. How a responsive Test and Exercise strategy..
GDPR: the world will not stand still on 25th May 2018Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
The 25th May 2018 is not an end date. Far from it. It marks the beginning of a new era in data protection but one that will continue to..
Are you ready for GDPR?Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
It is one thing knowing that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming and that compliance is mandatory from 25th May 2018. It is quite another to know exactly..
GDPR: a question of confidenceThursday, January 18th, 2018
In a recent interview with SC Media, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Stephen Schmidt explains how his organisation is set up for full General Data..
Gibson & Co launches eDisclosure serviceFriday, January 12th, 2018
(left to right: Mark Nordstrom (SRM), Jane Gibson, James Hopper (SRM), Toby Gibson, Tom Fairfax (SRM), Alan Batey (SRM) (Press release 11/01/18) Leading North East litigation practice Gibson &..
The global growth of the eDisclosure marketWednesday, January 10th, 2018
The global eDisclosure market is forecast to rise from $6,000 million in 2016 to $13,000 million by 2023. Law firms across the world are therefore increasingly looking to develop..
Shipping news: how to manage a ransomware attackWednesday, December 13th, 2017
Disproving the idea that there is no such thing as bad publicity, the shipping company Clarksons is doing its level best to limit the PR damage caused by a..
What is the password?Monday, December 11th, 2017
By Gerard Thompson, Information Security Consultant With over 3,500 MPs, lords and staff, being a computer security administrator in the Houses of Parliament must be a stressful job. They..
Law practices are prime targets for criminalsThursday, December 7th, 2017
PWC’s 25th Annual Law Firms Survey found that 73 per cent of respondents had suffered a security incident in 2016. These ranged from insider threats to the phishing of..
GDPR has been developed to protect us from breaches like UberWednesday, November 29th, 2017
The term ‘reputational apocalypse’ has been used about the recent news of the Uber data breach cover-up. It’s no exaggeration. 57 million sets of customer and driver data were..
UK research highlights the lack of Chief Data Officers at C-suite levelWednesday, November 22nd, 2017
Research by the data science and marketing services company Profusion has revealed that UK businesses are falling behind their European counterparts. The report highlights the lack of Chief Data..
Women in ITTuesday, November 21st, 2017
SRM’s GDPR specialist Melanie Taylor explains some of the challenges faced by women trying to get into the world of IT ‘I don’t understand why a woman with a..
After GDPR, what will happen to ICO notification fees?Tuesday, November 21st, 2017
When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May next year it will not require organisations to notify the ICO about what data they hold or..
eDisclosure: the issues facing law firms and solicitorsTuesday, October 24th, 2017
by Alan Batey Information Security Consultant and Forensic Investigator In today’s world, evidence in legal cases is sourced from the vast quantities of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) that exists..
Can Decision Cycles help us maintain the initiative in cyberspace?Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
As our world gets increasingly complex we must choose the levers we use to influence it with care. One way to look at this is through the lens of..
PCI SSC Europe Community Meeting: free one to one meetings with PCI DSS industry thought leadersSunday, October 22nd, 2017
Delegates at the PCI SSC Europe Community Meeting in Barcelona this week will have a lot on their minds. Changes to compliance, the security of customer payment card data,..
What is Red Team engagement?Friday, October 20th, 2017
By Andrew Linn, Principal Consultant The news this year has been full of high profile hacks on large organisations. These have included viral and ransomware attacks which have brought..
eDiscovery and eDisclosure: why, what, how and who?Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
For many years the terms eDiscovery and eDisclosure have been used interchangeably. The general rule was that eDiscovery was a US term while eDisclosure was more commonly used in..
Win a free day’s consultancy: October offer to celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)Saturday, October 7th, 2017
Security Risk Management is offering a free day’s consultancy in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. October may, for many, be associated with the ghouls and ghosts of..
PCI – Europe Community Meeting Barcelona 24 – 26 October 2017Saturday, October 7th, 2017
James Hopper and Paul Brennecker of SRM will be attending the Europe Community Meeting in Barcelona 24th – 26th October. Organised by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council..
Client files on home computers must be encryptedTuesday, September 26th, 2017
Barrister fined by ICO for data protection breach A recent ruling by the Information Commissioner’s Office highlights the responsibility of professionals to safeguard client data held on their home..
It’s not a question of if, but whenWednesday, September 20th, 2017
Why board level commitment is a vital part of cyber defence It is difficult to defend against an attacker who only needs to succeed once. Security systems might defend..
Today: new UK Data Protection Bill publishedThursday, September 14th, 2017
The new UK Data Protection Bill, published today, will come into force next May. As part of the multi-million pound National Cyber Security Strategy, the new legislation will effectively..
The Equifax breach and how it impacts the UKTuesday, September 12th, 2017
Cyberattacks do not recognise national boundaries, as the latest breach concerning the US credit rating firm Equifax proves. So although the company has now reported the breach of 143..
University CISOs face tough challenges in the next academic yearThursday, September 7th, 2017
University Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) have had a tough time lately. According to information acquired under the Freedom of Information Act by The Times newspaper, some of the..
US statistics warn of new trends in cybercrime: how a retained PFI can mitigate the risksTuesday, August 29th, 2017
Statistics provide useful evidence of the trends developing within the world of information security. Figures compiled from reported attacks in the United States for July 2017 give us a..
Government 2017 cyber security health check reveals many FTSE 350 companies are not preparedMonday, August 21st, 2017
Monday’s Government survey of Britain’s FTSE 350 companies has revealed some worrying statistics. The report analyses how the boards of the UK’s largest businesses deal with cyber security and..
How poor data-stripping can expose organisations to Spear Phishing attacksFriday, August 18th, 2017
A survey for the BBC has discovered that poor data-stripping on websites leaves information in place which provides valuable intelligence for Spear Phishing attackers. By not removing key metadata,..
How US internet giants are tackling the issue of GDPR complianceTuesday, August 15th, 2017
It is rare that anyone ever feels much sympathy towards the behemoths of the internet, Facebook and Google. But spare a thought for these giants when it comes to..
GoT2: What the Game of Thrones HBO ransom reveals about White Hat HackersFriday, August 11th, 2017
As Game of Thrones fans watch the unfolding drama in Westeros on their TV screens, corporations around the world are equally riveted by the now public battle for HBO’s..
Security by Design.. a little thought can save a great deal of expense!Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
Security consultants talk about “Security by design” … and to be fair, most of us believe in it! The trouble is that to much of society, it is at..
Summer holidays: don’t take your eye of the PCI DSS ballMonday, August 7th, 2017
The summer months are traditionally a time when hard-working people take a break. Those left in the office can end up feeling over-stretched or less-motivated than normal. But it..
Game of Thrones: data theft and pen testingWednesday, August 2nd, 2017
‘Hi to all mankind’. Thus began the email sent to journalists by hackers who have reportedly stolen 1.5TB of files and videos from entertainment giant HBO. What has made..
Network intrusions are on the increase: time to engage a Retained Forensics specialistMonday, July 31st, 2017
This month Visa has reported an increase in the number of network intrusions involving service providers. It also reports increases in re-breaches of merchant payment environments and skimming incidents..
Time running out for GDPR complianceFriday, July 28th, 2017
Time is running out for UK businesses. By 25th May 2018 every business, charity and organisation needs to be ready for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Because from..
What does GDPR mean to SMEs?Monday, July 24th, 2017
by Melanie Taylor, Information Security Consultant “With less than a year to the deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, all companies should have assessed what they..
Not all publicity is good, especially when it comes to data breachesWednesday, July 19th, 2017
While most businesses are pleased to receive free publicity, spare a thought for Berkshire-based Boomerang Videos. Not only did the firm’s website suffer a cyber attack in 2014, but..
The new Data Protection Bill and GDPRFriday, July 14th, 2017
It’s official. It was widely expected that the EU data protection rules contained within the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) would be implemented by the UK, regardless of the..
NotPetya – does society need to start thinking differently?Monday, July 10th, 2017
By Tom Fairfax Talking to a well-respected and hitherto successful businessman at an event recently, he mentioned the NotPetya malware attack and then dismissed it as “another one of..
Phishing and GDPR complianceTuesday, June 20th, 2017
By Paul Brennecker, Principal Consultant, CISM | PCI QSA | PCI PFI | PCIP There is a saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This,..
Ransomware – Could it be you?….Sunday, May 14th, 2017
Complacency has always been the enemy of safety; in today’s world, we are all vulnerable! The digital (cyber) environment may sometimes be opaque and difficult to understand, but it..
No breach too small – the ICO takes action against charitiesFriday, May 5th, 2017
In December 2016 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined a historical society £400 after a laptop containing personal data was stolen while a member of staff was working away..
Data protection – the gap widens across the AtlanticMonday, April 24th, 2017
Data protection is a global issue. Yet it is being approached in very different ways on either side of the Atlantic. While Europe and Britain will embrace the more..
A data breach damages more than your reputationThursday, April 20th, 2017
Being known as the source of the largest data breach in history is probably not how Yahoo would like to be remembered. The reputations of eBay, Linkedin, MySpace, Talk..
How to protect your business from account data compromise (ADC)Thursday, April 13th, 2017
The fact is that all too often the first someone knows that their system has been breached is when they receive a call from their acquiring bank. Someone has..
Does Open Source Code make programs more vulnerable?Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
By Paul Brennecker, Senior Information Security Consultant & Principal QSA There is something of the Tim Berners-Lee about open source software. Unlike proprietary software, where the code is a jealously..
Prevention and cure: working out an information security budgetWednesday, April 5th, 2017
The Chancellor recently announced a £425 million government investment in the NHS over the next three years. While pundits speculate on what this will actually mean for our vital..
Does outsourcing card processing make you PCI compliant?Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
By Paul Brennecker, Senior Information Security Consultant & Principal QSA The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) lists a number of myths relating to PCI compliance. One of..
Who’d want to be a University CISO?Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Spare a thought for the University CISO: ‘As a group, CISOs live on a knife’s edge and do not sleep very well. They know that a breach is inevitable.’..
The uncertainty of Brexit, the certainty of GDPR and the responsibilities of the CISOThursday, March 9th, 2017
As Britain navigates its way through the choppy waters of Brexit, there is a great deal of uncertainty about exactly what form our new relationship with Europe will take...
QSA: new face in cyber crime investigationTuesday, March 7th, 2017
There is a new face at the forefront of investigating cybercrime in the UK. Newcastle-based Security Risk Management has achieved another success for its SRM Academy Programme. With over..
The technology gap which leaves organisations vulnerable to attackMonday, March 6th, 2017
While all of us are aware of the need to protect our organisation’s technology from potential threats and security breaches, few are fully aware of the gaps that exist..
If Brexit means Brexit, what does GDPR mean?Friday, March 3rd, 2017
Politicians do tend to favour soundbites and Theresa May is no exception. So when she said that “Brexit means Brexit” some nodded their heads as if this simple statement..
Calling in the Red Team: going above and beyond the vulnerability scan and penetration testWednesday, March 1st, 2017
By Kane Cutler In the world of information security which is riddled with acronyms, the deceptively simple ‘Red Team’ may take a little explaining. Breaking down the initial letters..
The flaw in the plan: business continuity managementFriday, February 24th, 2017
When is a plan not a plan? When it is an out-of-date plan. The latest research from the industry-respected Ponemon Institute, reveals that 26 per cent of IT and..
GDPR: the impatient tigerWednesday, February 22nd, 2017
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an impatient tiger. That is, it has many more teeth and much less patience than its predecessor, the comparative kitten that is..
Do not wait until it’s too late – engage a PFI company now!Friday, February 3rd, 2017
‘Do not wait until it’s too late – engage a PFI company now!’ That is the advice given by Jeremy King, International Director, PCI Security Standards Council in his closing..
Changes to the Issuer Identification Number (IIN) standardWednesday, February 1st, 2017
The numbers on payment cards are going to become longer. This is because of changes which are being made to the international standard (ISO/IEC 7812) under which Issuer Identification..
What is an Incident Response Plan?Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
Information security breaches can and do happen, even to the best prepared organisations. Every year, companies that have demonstrated ongoing PCI DSS compliance will still fall victim to an..
Hot water and PCI complianceWednesday, January 18th, 2017
There are a lot of online registers for reputable tradesmen. Many of these provide contact details for reliable plumbers in any given area, together with ratings and personal recommendations...
What is the difference between a penetration test and a vulnerability scan?Thursday, December 29th, 2016
Penetration testing and vulnerability scanning are sometimes confused. After all, they sound as if they might do a similar job. But there are important differences. Also known as..
A Cautionary Christmas TaleTuesday, December 13th, 2016
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, Not an iPad was stirring, nor PC or Mouse; The shopping had been done on the internet..
Grey Monday and the importance of the penetration testMonday, November 28th, 2016
How a correctly-scoped penetration test will future-proof your organisation from real world cyber attacks. In the aftermath of Black Friday comes Grey Monday. The day of reckoning. Because although..
The Internet of Things and how your doorbell might just be attacking AmazonThursday, October 27th, 2016
We hear a lot about the Internet of Things (IoT) on the web nowadays and the TV is full of adverts for Central heating systems that you can control..
How a CISO can exert influence at board levelFriday, October 21st, 2016
Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” As he is perhaps best remembered for his infamous ear-biting antics, he is unlikely..
The buck stops here: advice for the new CISO on campusWednesday, October 19th, 2016
As Universities return for the beginning of a new academic year, never has the role of Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) been more important. Some will be continuing an..
VirtualCISO: the philosophy of product developmentFriday, September 30th, 2016
The Dalai Lama said: ‘When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new’. It is, of course, doubtful..
Multi Factor Authentication – why is this something that is so commonly misunderstood?Friday, September 16th, 2016
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” said George Bernard Shaw. This can be true in so many aspects of life and unfortunately,..
Promoting and Protecting your Identity on social mediaThursday, June 9th, 2016
How much control is too much when it comes to social media? Organisations spend millions on their marketing campaigns in the hope and expectation of raising brand awareness and..
If the UK votes to leave the EU, will we still have to comply with GDPR?Monday, June 6th, 2016
The 23rd June referendum is fast approaching and it is getting increasingly difficult to get simple answers to simple questions. As we think about how we will vote, just..
The Unreliability of TechnologyMonday, June 6th, 2016
“Technology is so unreliable” is a phrase you often hear following something going wrong at a critical moment. One of the greatest misconceptions is that our day to day..
Up to £1,500 available to Scottish SMEs to develop Cyber ResilienceWednesday, May 25th, 2016
Businesses in Scotland can receive up to £1,500 to help develop their cyber security as part of a Cyber Resilience Programme. The Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership (DSBEP) has..
Home grown talent makes SRM European leader in cyber securityWednesday, May 25th, 2016
Newcastle-based Security Risk management (SRM) Ltd is addressing the national shortage of top level qualified cyber security consultants by employing individuals with potential and then providing training in house...
EU Cyber Security Directive on Essential ServicesWednesday, May 25th, 2016
Whatever the result of the EU Referendum, there are some aspects of our relationship with Europe that are unlikely to change, as long as we continue to engage in..
What are the common failure points of repeat info-security assessments?Friday, May 13th, 2016
Maintaining Compliance with any Information Security Standard is often a long and winding journey. You never quite know what is over the horizon or around the bend, so what..
Cyber Security Accountability Does PayWednesday, May 11th, 2016
Cybercrime in 2015 was nothing short of epic. No one could have anticipated headline news stories such as Sony Pictures Entertainment hacked by a group allegedly sponsored by North..
The Digital EconomyThursday, May 5th, 2016
Decentralized cryptocurrencies and Dark Web cartels challenge the effectiveness of legislation, jurisdiction and law enforcement. This poses the question, when the economy is becoming more and more dependent on..
PCI DSS Version 3.2 is released today – so what has made it through to the final cut?Thursday, April 28th, 2016
The eagerly anticipated update to the global Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) has been released today, Thursday April 28th 2016. This update to the standard has..
The Emerging Market of Cyber-crime as a ServiceWednesday, April 27th, 2016
One of the greatest misconceptions about cyber-crime is that you need to be a computer geek to be a cyber-criminal. The truth is the cyber-crime industry is starting to..
Navigating the minefield of info-security complianceFriday, April 22nd, 2016
A company trying to navigate the minefield of info-security compliance may think of it as a daunting task. On one side is PCI DSS and Data Protection while on..
The reputational benefits of being a Cyber Essentials UK companyTuesday, April 19th, 2016
Gaining Cyber Essentials certification protects a business’ reputation as well as its cash flow. With over £50 billion in annual online retail sales in the UK, it is becoming..
The real risk of ransomwareWednesday, April 13th, 2016
“We do not negotiate with terrorists” is a patriotic statement used by many countries. Does this notion still hold when you risk losing your data? The short answer is..
PCI DSS, Vulnerability Scans and the Trouble with SSLMonday, April 11th, 2016
With the PCI Council set to release version 3.2 of the PCI DSS imminently, the subject of migration away from weak session encryption protocols is becoming a hot topic...
The Dark WebWednesday, April 6th, 2016
Search Engines like Google and Safari only have access to about 4% of the information on the web. The other 96% is what is referred to as the Deep..
Does Bitcoin threaten economic and business security?Wednesday, March 30th, 2016
Bitcoin is arguably the biggest shift in digital enterprise since the beginning of E-commerce – and has proved to have the potential to make even bigger changes to our..
Who are the cyber criminals – hackers or attackers?Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
There was a time – back in the halcyon days of the 1990s – when cyber criminals and cyber security was so much simpler. At that time, anti-virus software..
PCI DSS is a useful tool in GDPR complianceMonday, March 7th, 2016
By Paul Brennecker, Principal QSA, PCI PFI, PCIP The countdown to European-wide data protection is on. But while some businesses will be anxious about how to ensure compliance with..
The penetration test – a test of faith?Friday, February 26th, 2016
By Kane Cutler, PCI QSA, Tiger QSTM, CEH Although statistics show that skydiving is a relatively safe pastime, things do sometimes go wrong. Since 2004 653 people have lost..
Learning to love the new EU cyber security regulationsTuesday, February 16th, 2016
2015 ended on a bombshell of legislative changes creating an air of unwelcome uncertainty for businesses. Yet, they need not be a cause for concern. The announcement of the..
Children’s web usage increasesFriday, February 12th, 2016
by Michelle Ali Time spent online exceeds time spent watching TV -2016 Statistics on Children’s use of the Web The year 2015 was described by the research agency Childwise..
PCI Breach Trend Report September 2015 – January 2016Friday, January 29th, 2016
The period September 2015 – January 2016 is covered in this issue of SRM’s breach trend report which looks at businesses that had a requirement for a PFI investigation...
PCI Breach Trend Report June – August 2015Friday, January 29th, 2016
The period June – August 2015 is covered in this issue of SRM’s breach trend report which looks at businesses that had a requirement for a PFI investigation. The..
PBX fraud costing millionsThursday, January 28th, 2016
In spite of awareness of the enormous financial implications of PBX fraud since 2013, cases continue to come to light. Police force cyber crime teams have recently been dealing..
Landmark US legal case to make cybersecurity specialists accountableTuesday, January 26th, 2016
In a landmark case, Affinity Gaming is seeking $100,000 in damages from its cybersecurity provider Trustwave over how the company allegedly handled a data security breach which cost the casino..
Kane Cutler: youngest PFI in the worldWednesday, January 13th, 2016
Newcastle-based Kane Cutler becomes youngest cybercrime expert drafted into exclusive Payment Card Industry investigation team Newcastle-based Kane Cutler has been accepted by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council..
RansomwareMonday, January 11th, 2016
As with any black hat related activity, innovations are always emerging to circumvent security and exploit vulnerabilities. Older forms of ransomware was mostly kept by specific groups of hackers that..
Cyber Security health tips for the New YearWednesday, January 6th, 2016
As New Year resolutions go, enhancing personal cyber security may not be as high on people’s lists as that resolution to take out a new gym membership or embark..
LinkedIn phishing scamsWednesday, December 23rd, 2015
By Chris Ince, Information Security Consultant, Security Risk Management Ltd LinkedIn recruiting scams are not a new threat to most. Many users of the professional network face this ever..
Understanding the role of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Making a case for the VirtualCISO Few company directors have a deep knowledge of corporate law, or a detailed understanding of investment planning or tax implications. They employ offsite..
GDPR and the strengthening of individual data protection rightsThursday, December 10th, 2015
By Chris Ince, Information Security Consultant “The processing of personal data should be designed to serve mankind.” (Council of the European Union, 2015) On 8th December the European Parliament, Council..
The Weatherspoons Breach – and why you should ensure historic personal data is securedMonday, December 7th, 2015
By Paul Brennecker, PCI QSA, PCI PFI, PCIP, Principal QSA, Security Risk Management Ltd Last week we saw another significant breach of over 650,000 records of customers’ data from..
Security AwarenessThursday, November 12th, 2015
WHAT DOES GOOGLE KNOW ABOUT YOU? “Knowledge is Power” – well Google have taken this phrase to a whole new level. Google is one of the biggest driving forces..
Extra Security for Black Friday and Cyber MondayWednesday, November 11th, 2015
As major retailers across the country announce the recruitment of additional security staff to safeguard shoppers on Black Friday, it is also time for online businesses to ramp up..
Magento Exploits – a technical reviewFriday, November 6th, 2015
By Mustafa El-Jarrah Information Security Consultant, Security Risk Management Ltd Exploits appear in trends with the magnitude and duration of these trends exacerbated by the community edition download zip not..
Zen and the Art of PCI MaintenanceFriday, October 30th, 2015
By Paul Brennecker, PCI QSA, PCI PFI, PCIP, Principal QSA, Security Risk Management Ltd “Is it hard?’ Not if you have the right attitudes. It’s having the right attitudes..
The TalkTalk Breach – A Lesson for Us AllFriday, October 23rd, 2015
By Tom Fairfax, Managing Director, SRM Whilst everyone has a responsibility to manage their Cyber Security to the best of their ability, no-one is completely safe and despite their..
Email fraud – how to protect yourself from cyber criminalsThursday, October 15th, 2015
There have been a number of news reports in recent days about people erroneously transferring large sums of money to fraudsters who have intercepted their email traffic. In one..
Improving the oddsThursday, October 15th, 2015
Data security in the gambling industry by Paul Brennecker, PCI QSA, PCI PFI, PCIP, Principal QSA, Security Risk Management Ltd Complying with the mandatory security regulations within the gambling industry may appear..
The Impact of the Safe Harbour RulingThursday, October 8th, 2015
This week the European Court of Justice ruled that the transatlantic Safe Harbour agreement, which lets American companies use a single standard for consumer privacy and data storage in..
Small businesses represent ‘low hanging fruit’ for cyber criminals: indicators that you may have been compromisedMonday, October 5th, 2015
Small businesses are targeted deliberately by cyber criminals because they frequently lack effective defences or even the ability to detect an attack. But those who do not have adequate..
How to protect your data in free public WiFi hotspotsMonday, September 28th, 2015
In an ‘ethical experiment’ conducted earlier this year, a primary school child hacked into a free public WiFi hub in just over ten minutes. The young hacker, a seven-year-old..
Online Training to Support Local Businesses to Use Superfast BroadbandTuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Local MP praises e-safety contract for iNorthumberland project As superfast broadband is rolled out across the region the iNorthumberland Business Support service has appointed Northumberland-based firm Security Risk Management..
FFA 2015 Annual Review Reveals UK Card fraud worth £479 millionFriday, September 11th, 2015
by Brian Fenwick, Operations Director Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) has published its 2015 Annual Review. The organisation, which is ‘responsible for leading the collective fight against fraud..
Ashley Madison and Morrisons: lessons learnedFriday, August 21st, 2015
When a group calling itself the Impact Team decided to release all customer records, including profiles of the 37 million users of the adultery-themed dating site Ashley Madison, they..
27001:2013 An outlineMonday, August 10th, 2015
Ian Armstrong briefly outlines the facts about the new ISMS standard 27001:2013 What is it? 27001:2013 27001:2013 is the updated information security management system (ISMS) standard which was published on..
The advantages of P2PE V2Monday, August 3rd, 2015
by Paul Brennecker Merchants can enhance data protection and simplify compliance efforts by adopting the PCI-approved point-to-point (P2PE) Standard v 2. Simpler to adhere to than the original version,..
PCI-DSS Penetration Test RequirementsMonday, July 13th, 2015
By Paul Brenneker Those who have had involvement with PCI Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) will know that Penetration Testing has been mandatory since the PCI standard was first issued...
PCI Breach Trend Report June 2015Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
In the last twelve months, Security Risk Management (SRM) ltd has been contacted by over 65 companies legally required to seek assistance in securing data breaches. The largest number..
SRM delivers Managing Cyber Threat lecture to City lawyersMonday, June 8th, 2015
Last month, Tom Fairfax, Managing Director of Security Risk Management Ltd joined forces with Robert Newcombe, Barrister with Dere Street Barristers, to deliver a talk on Managing Cyber Threat...
Smart TV vulnerabilityFriday, May 29th, 2015
The simple television is a thing of the past. The Smart TVs of today have much more in common with devices like smart phones and tablets than with the..
Snapchat data scandalMonday, May 18th, 2015
by Michelle Ali This blog first appeared within the VE-SO Portal in March, as one of the regular updates for school E-Safety Officers. It now appears here for general information. The impact..
What does PCI DSS Version 3.1 mean to you?Friday, April 17th, 2015
By Paul Brennecker, Principal QSA at Security Risk Management Ltd On Wednesday 15th April 2015 the PCI SSC (Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council) published the PCI DSS Version..
North East Cyber Security ClusterThursday, April 16th, 2015
By Mustafa El-Jarrah, Information Security Support Consultant at Security Risk Management Ltd The North East Cyber Security Cluster was launched on the 12th February 2015 at the Digital Skills..
Why community intelligence modelling is vital when dealing with the ‘digital native’Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
When it comes to e-safety, schools are faced with a conundrum: the vast majority of today’s school-age children could be termed ‘digital natives’ but those who are tasked with..
Five steps for an effective school e-safety policySunday, April 5th, 2015
The Internet has brought unprecedented access to a world of learning opportunities. Yet, recent reports show that the widespread use of technology in education comes at a price. A..
Lessons in War Series – The Role of Computer ForensicsFriday, March 27th, 2015
By Tom Fairfax Traditionally, computer forensic investigations are seen as reacting to historic incidents and understanding what went wrong retrospectively. But in the cyber world, forensic investigation is a..
Doctrine or Dogma – will the Government hold its nerve?Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Government hates a policy vacuum. So, while CESG, the UK government’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, has brought about changes to the management of Internet Security within government..
The Importance of Sustaining PCI DSS ComplianceWednesday, March 18th, 2015
In 2015, the good news is that businesses are getting better at achieving full PCI compliance. In fact, fully compliant organisations rose from 11.1% in 2013 to 20% by..
Phishing attacks come in from all angles – sometimes when you least expect them…Monday, March 9th, 2015
As a fairly seasoned security professional, I’ve seen a few ingenious ways of trying to separate unsuspecting members of the public from their personal data. Everything from shoulder surfing..
The UK Cyber Security Strategy – UpdateThursday, February 12th, 2015
The latest document published by the Cabinet Office in relation to the UK Cyber Security Strategy provides an update of progress throughout 2014, and the plans moving forward in..
Why is agility a critical part of e-safety?Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
Last month dozens of images of British children were discovered on a Russian website used by paedophiles. Until they were tipped off, the parents of the children involved had..
Virtual E-Safety Officer to Safeguard SchoolsTuesday, February 10th, 2015
Internet safety specialist Security Risk Management Limited (SRM) is today unveiling its bespoke on-line Virtual E-Safety Officer (VE-SO) portal for schools. The portal will provide access to resources and..
Top Ten Tips on how schools can keep students safe onlineMonday, February 9th, 2015
by Michelle Ali 1) Have a defined protocol to report and resolve incidents that have occurred With more and more students being more active on the internet, naturally the number..
Cost of crime to businessFriday, February 6th, 2015
by Michael Dick, Director The opinions expressed in this blog are Michael’s own and not those of SRM. I was addicted to the Sopranos, the story of US gangsters,..