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Ask Edmondson's IT - Episode 1: Understanding Cyber Security With Amber Hargill


I'm here with Amber from Edmondson's IT.

Today we're going to chat about cybersecurity and how it might affect you and your business, and we're going to hopefully get some tips from the experts.

If you can just start by telling our listeners a little bit about Edmondson's IT.

So, Edmondson's IT look after small to medium sized businesses.

We look after the aspect of IT support phone systems, broadband, CRM systems.

We basically look after anything that you can turn on and look after.

We try and help the companies understand how they're set up and how they're able to future-proof their business to stop themselves from being attacked from cyber essential exploits data.

Lovely. So that brings us nicely into sort of the cybersecurity landscape.

Obviously there's been a lot of changes over the last years and we're constantly hearing the news about sort of like big organisations like governments and banks being hacked.

Are there any trends that you see happening in the near future that you might be able to give a bit of insight towards?

From what I've seen over the last couple of years is that definitely AI has taken a massive contributor loads to it.

Cyber attacks that we've personally seen, they kind of sit and hibernate on people's infrastructures and they sit there and asleep and adornment for a while, but they're learning how these companies are set up and then they'll find out the best time to actually then exploit the company.

They could be sat in the network for months, days, years, and then eventually they will take tap.

Half the time that a lot of companies aren't aware of this happening.

They sit there and the base are just chilled up until they can see something to take over.

So that's probably quite a scary thing for a lot of people to be aware of that.

I think there's a perception that if you get hacked, somebody comes in, it hacks, it's obvious and we all panic.

But the idea that it might just be sitting there learning all this information for its prime opportunity to attack is quite scary.

So is there a way that you can look on sort of like your computers or your networks to see if a hack is sort of in place?

And are there any steps that you can take to try and sort of deal with it?

So initially, how we used to see hacks take places, like Abby just said, is the fact that you can see it instantly on the workstations.

So the usual behaviour for this is if you, for instance, you turn on your computer on the morning and you see that there's an unusual login that isn't you, if this is not normal behaviour for you, then that's something that you need to raise red flags on straight away.

You more than likely will have an antivirus that's on your workstation that will give you constant alerts.

Well it should do anyway on that, something's not either running right or it can't scan a certain folder, which normally means that there's been some sort of compromise in that area.

And one of the red flags is like more that you've got documents on your desktop or your document folder.

When you load the book, they don't open.

And when you can see them, they've normally been, you can see that have been encrypted with a virus that you can't normally get into them with regards to, obviously the AI side of things or the dormant sort of comptonizations, is you have to have a lot of things in place to stop that from happening initially, like strong passwords, two FA enabled, but that stops them from being able to get in in the first place.

And if people have got concerns that something is on their computer or their network is the best thing for them really to do is to contact their it support or somebody like yourself.

So the initial thing that I'd say is probably just disconnect it from the network.

So if you're on a laptop, turn off the Wifi, if you're on pc, just disconnect the network cable.

First thing is obviously stopping that comptonization from exploiting the rest of your network.

It might slowly be our workstation, so the quicker you get that off the network, the quicker you can stop it from getting onto everything.

Great advice.

So we've been hearing a little bit about the phrase zero trust.

So can you sort of explain that sort of like concept and its importance in sort of like modern cybersecurity strategies?

Yeah, so the server trust aspect is that a network will not trust anyone no matter what user location or anything.

Basically they will have to have certain steps to authenticate themselves into the network.

It basically says what it is on the same it doesn't trust anyone up until you've authenticated yourself in with certain areas.

So you've got like the two FA, you have also got.

VPN access, but they also need to have the two step authentication to get in there.

But half the time you're also devices and everything that you're on needs to have a step of authentication.

So if that being with Microsoft intune where they're being compliant, so you're not able to get into the servers, access the data until you're on one of those devices.

That's how the server trust aspect kind of comes into play.

Just explain to our listeners what does two Fa mean?

I always get this wrong, but it's two multifactor authentication.

So things you put your password when you log on, you'll always need that second step.

So it's either a pass and pin to your mobile or it'll be through the authenticator app on your phone or it will be an email account, like a pin to your email.

There's always that second step.

The password is never good enough, you always need something else to let you in. Lovely.

So it's obviously difficult, isn't it?

Sort of like businesses are trying to get on with their daily routine of running their businesses and sort of like maintaining that and everything else that goes along with it.

So how can companies sort of strike that balance between maintaining robust security, ensuring privacy and data collection and storage whilst actually running their business?

My thing would always be to speak to someone who actually knows what they're talking about and get in tune actually what's happening.

So having a system in place that you kind of understand but also someone is looking after it for you would take the headache away from half of this.

Companies think they can do it all on their own and half the time they can't.

There's always going to be areas within there that's going to stop them from being able to fully cover their network and make sure it's fully safe.

Ensuring that all the data that you also collect is that you can have it encrypted.

So it stops obviously, allowing obviously your customers and your external parties to cover the fact that their data has been encrypted and it's not going to get exploited, but there's multiple ways you can do it.

Opt in and opt out.

But for a lot of companies, half the time in this day and age, they don't have the time to run it on their own.

So having somebody who's an expert in that field is really quite important.

And I suppose as well as things change and things evolve, having somebody that's always embedded in that industry is quite important.

Can you recommend resources or tips for individuals who want to try and sort of stay up to date, even if it's not practically doing things themselves,

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