SHIELD View on Cyber Risks Security

In the recent event “Edge of Networking Security Forum” that took place on the 26th of October 2017 at Club Quarters’ Hotel Lincoln’s Inn Field, London, where I was invited by Jon Moss from the British Bodyguard Association, I had not only the opportunity, but mostly the pleasure to attend at one of the Security risk we are continually facing. The Cyber Risks Security!





One of the topics for the day was about the Internet of Things, where SHIELD, will always strive to keep an awareness and secure their clients on their daily business tasks. Mike O’Neil, Managing Director, Optimal Risk Management, the Moderator and Conference Chairman, introduce us to a world where most of the public are not aware.

Of course, everyone heard about hacking, but probably few have experience and knowledge of Martin Overton, Cyber Specialist EMEA, AIG, or Mark Harrison from PenTest Partners, to name a few spokesmen. Not to mention that most of the public don’t have a clue on what cyber threat it really is.



 Internet of Things


In the century of readily available information and inter-connected devices, the needs of fast and reliable knowledge have become a necessity. This doesn’t apply only for an entrepreneur or a business, but also for any individual with any fundamental needs. The interaction with all kind of devices, significantly increase the impact of consumerisation.  From computers and smartphones to our home TVs and electronic devices that now have a great influence in our lives. Any electronic device or any software system which is connected to the Internet for the purposes of communication, data collection, analysis and forecasting, can be defined as the Internet of Things (IoT). To do so, every device is provided with an identity. This can be:

  • a numerical label known as Internet Protocol (IP) address,
  • a Media Access Control (MAC),
  • Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID).

According to Bernard Marr, there are 87% of the global population who never heard about the term Internet of Things. Furthermore, Marr states that in 2015 more than 4 billion smartphones were delivered. It is expected that in the next 5 years, there will be added to 6.1 billion smartphones users. The world-wide marketplace for interconnected devices has grown with 223% in the last year. This increase was because of 4.4 million Fitbit devices, and 3.6 million Apple Watches sold.

We can agree that the technological evolution of the Internet of Things is an endlessly developing process.



Cyber Risks Security


Cyber refers to the virtual reality. Where cyberspace is the environment where virtual networks work together to store, alter and transfer data.

When referring to those threats the most common are malwares, phishing, SQL injection attack, credential reuse, and hijacked attacks.

Where there is a weakness, a cyber criminal will try to exploit it. His malicious intention is to gain unauthorised access to any networks. The only purpose of a such attack is theft of payment cards, personal data, or organisational secrets. Organisations are often targeted to pay a ransom for not disclosing their data or unlock them.

No standalone establishment can protect against the risk on its own. It is vigorous that we labor together to comprehend the challenges we face.


Edge of Networking Security Forum


A very interesting and reliable solution presented at “Edge of Networking Security Forum” by Andrew Tsonchev, Cyber Security Specialist under the title “The Machine Fights Back: AI and the Future of Cyber Defence” was Darktrace. And no, this is not a fictional title of the well-known series “Terminator.” However, this is a plug and play software solution that is able to learn your entire network. After that, Darktrace will monitor any data it in real time . The software itself will give the organisation the means to identify and expose any visible cyber risks security in the Network. And empower them to fired up a defence, countering the ongoing cyber-attacks.

Another positive mention is that Lord Evans of Weardale, Former Director General, MI5 is one of the Darktrace Advisory Board. His excellencies very well note, “we are undoubtedly living in a new era of constantly-evolving threats, which force us to re-think our defence plan. The old idea of being able to protect your data behind a wall, and block all ‘bad’ influences, is over. Businesses are global, networks are expanding, people, by nature, are unpredictable.”


WASHINGTON, DC – FEB 06: The Darktrace cybersecurity software demonstration showed how a global problem (instrusion) can start with just one employee’s work station. Jim Penrose is a former NSA employee who is now part of Darktrace, a cybersecurity software company that is opening up an office in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images



Michael Goedeker, CEO and Founder of HakDefNet, discussed about Cyber Risk Security Intelligence. His knowledge in the field with over 19 years of experience offer him the opportunity to  train and consult the top companies in the world. HakDefNet will offer CyberNsight service – a risk intelligence platform engine. This will use real research of the network and develop advanced analyses to overcome any breaches in the system. Stolen data will be traced and users will become more aware of the threats they expose themselves.




How many are considering the layout of a building when designing the scope of their business core? Or utility of a control room?

As very well pointed by Chris Aldous, Director, Security Design Ltd., their clients approach them after fencing risk, breaches and threats into their building or residential areas because of a bad design. And redesigning the physical Security countermeasure for a better infrastructure is an arduous path and very expensive. Their experts team can offer an impartial advice consultancy to diminish risks and strength proprieties.

So always consider an area of advice from:

  • DOCO -Design Out Crime Officer,
  • CPDA – Crime Prevention Design Advisor,
  • CTSA – Counter Terrorism Security Adviser,
  • Installers.

Keep in mind that police advisers (DOCO/CTSA) are not liable for their advice.




The Edge Between Physical Security and Technological Security


It may seem a boring subject, and we can all live without knowing it. But when things go wrong what you’re going to do?

What you’re going to do when your daughter asks Amazon’s Alexa for dollhouse and cookies and ends up with a delivery purchase that you’re not aware and consent it? What if, by mistake, your child ends up watching a porn channel or could order drugs or ammunition and get a visit from the counter terrorism unit at your door?

Remember the virus Wannacry who infected over 230.000 computers in 150 countries and demanded a ransom payment in bytcoins? The estimated damage value of WannaCry was at $1 billion. A similar type of ransomware can infect your network as well.

Cyber risks security are becoming more common due to the advanced technology that continues daily to improve our comfortable living.

How many of the general public considered that iKettle can be easily hacked to take over your WiFi Network as pointed out by Mark Harrison from PenTest Partners?

Take into contemplation that you’re working as a Close Protection Operative. Let’s say you’re getting outside the vehicle and prepare to open the principal door and escort him out. Suddenly, all doors lock down and the vehicle drives off with the principal inside. What will happen then?




Cyber risks security are everywhere, every day and where you least expect it. That doesn’t mean we can’t rely on technology anymore, nor that we can dispose it. However, it should trigger a signal of awareness. We should start changing our behaviour where we humanly lacks to tackle any breaches.

Every organisation should consider training their staff in cyber risk security. Most of small-medium businesses consider that they aren’t a target. They can’t be a target! Too small to raise attention, but in fact, they are more vulnerable for the same reason. That’s a wrong excuse not to consider an adequate training for their employees. And those who actually do it, don’t followup with going forward updates of cyber risks security.

Others claim the lack of time, but this reason will cost them in a ransomware scenario. Just one open attachment could infect the entire network and damage, delete or lock down encrypted files. So it really worth training staffs few hours per month to be more aware of this cyber risk scourge.

Before regretting that you didn’t realise the value of something until you lose it, now is time to act. Private sector should join hands and work together with cyber risk security specialist to put into practice viable solutions. The ultimate goal is to pro-actively defend against any threats either physical or technological.


Posted by Alexandru Zamfir

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