The Week In Review : 3rd February

I’ll let you into a little secret here, just as long as you promise not to tell too many people.

It’s that many IT ‘types’ from IT managers, to code warriors to those tireless individuals who man help desks around the world, all share one thing in common. That they like to think of themselves is low level super heroes!

They can master complex technology and tame it to do as they command, or using complex unnatural languages communicate with non human devices and get them to undertake their wishes. Just the sort of skills that various masked and caped individuals have been doing in comic books and movies for generations.

So it was welcome, but not surprising, that a new approach to cyber security was being described by the technology editor of the BBC as emulating a ‘superpower’. The solution being discussed is from a company called Bromium who believe they can use a new technology called micro-virtualisation to prevent malware wreaking havoc on desktops, laptops and wider IT infrastructures.

This technology works by creating a tiny protected virtual environment for each task it undertakes and preventing any malicious activity from spreading. Just like in the animated superhero movie ‘The Incredibles’ when one character could place a protective force field around objects and individuals to protect them from danger.

Many in IT will have used virtualised environments, or protective sandboxing techniques in the past, to ring fence certain computing operations. Therefore this concept will not be new to them but might provide a new approach in their continuing fight against this criminal tide.

One weapon against cyber security that can be overlooked is that of communication. When an attack hits, effective, clear and non-panic inducing communication is key to both reassure those effected and to prevent the outbreak of panic.

The website of PR Week, recently ran an interesting story on how it is now a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ companies become a victim of cyber crime and how communications cannot afford to be an afterthought. They point out that crisis communications is by its nature reactive, so preparedness is everything and urge that 2017 should be the year that every comms team puts cyber security high on its watchlist.

For anybody who has even the most casual interest, or responsibility for cyber security, will quickly become aware that it is not purely an IT issue, but one that encompasses all aspects of a business. The website Network World discussed how companies need to “zoom out and getting a bigger perspective on what’s going on in an IT environment” in order to understand how to effectively protect themselves.

They suggest that by adopting this concept and “thinking like a detective” companies can ask themselves difficult questions about how a potential adversary may attempt to attack them, why they may attack them, and what they may be looking to steal or disrupt.

Now that to me sounds like the start to a super hero comic book! Told you, IT folks all think that they are super heroes and are all starting to focus on their one true nemesis “The Evil Dr Cyber”. Let’s just hope that like all good super heroes they win in the end!

For links to all these stories and more, or to contribute with some comments join us by searching for the National Cyber Skills Centre on our social channels of FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter, or just click the relevant links from our website.

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