Gateway Systems Provides Cybersecurity Tips

May 22, 2021

The recent ransomware attack on the U.S. Colonial Pipeline acts “as a stark reminder about the threats businesses and governments face today from all over the globe,”  Gateway Systems said.

A Gateway Systems spokesperson said, “The ransomware attack sparked widespread fuel shortages across the U.S., resulting in panic buying and fuel pumps running dry. The business disruptions from fuel shortages are beyond the original attack on the pipeline.

“But it is not just organisations with critical infrastructure that are attractive to cyber criminals. Industries that process high volumes of Personal Information have also become a target. The more sensitive the information, the higher the ransom.

“A Global Insurance giant was recently hit via their Thailand office by attackers using a ransomware variant called Avaddon. In a post on their darknet leak site including some document samples, they claim to have stolen 3 terabytes of data including medical records, customer IDs and privileged communications with hospitals and doctors.

“The number of high-profile Cyber Security breaches is increasing. Statistics show a 62% increase in ransomware attacks globally and a 158% spike in North America since 2019 [Source: sonic wall cyber threat report] This points to cyber criminals becoming increasingly organized, sophisticated, and frequent in their activity.”

Ruben Teuling, Director of Technical Services at Gateway Systems said, “The trend of cyber-attacks has amplified since the pandemic as businesses increase their online presence and employers are working more remotely than before. Working from home and ‘Bring your own device’ to work policies has introduced new vulnerabilities into many organizations. We believe this worrying trend will likely continue in the future. Cybersecurity is now a frequent topic of concern from our clients.”

“As we all know in Bermuda, our island has a strong reputation as a trusted place to do business for many high-net-worth individuals and large financial corporations. However, many of our teams here are small and based on our experience, Bermudian businesses have not invested as much in security as needed to keep up with the arising threats.

“Here are some tips that Gateway Systems has summarized for you to think about how to best prepare for future threats.

  • Put in place firewalls and Advanced Threat Protection

“Blocking malicious files before they can enter your network is the first layer of protection, we would recommend to anyone. These services are constantly updated in real-time to identify known malicious IP’s, files, and code, to scan traffic before it enters your network.

  • Cloud & Endpoint Protection

“To secure your network devices. Whether your data is stored locally or in the cloud, you should ensure you have solutions to protect the environment it is stored in.

  • Network Monitoring

“We have seen examples of network penetration using: CCTV cameras, vending machines, and even a smart fish tank. Any ‘smart’ device with an IP address is an opportunity to enter your network. There are solutions in the market that use Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to give transparency to all activity on your network.

  • Regular Health Check

When was the last time your IT network was reviewed to see how it holds up against best practice for security & efficiency? What is the impact to your business if your network goes down? It’s good practice to regularly review and perform a health-check to ensure your network is both secure and performing reliably.

  • Regulatory Compliance

“Are you up to speed with emerging regulatory obligations? Bermuda’s Privacy Legislation [PIPA] now requires all organisations to treat Personal Information in a special way and there are requirements beyond purely securing the data. Do you have a legal basis for processing certain Personal Information? Do you provide it to 3rd parties, and did you know that if they had a breach, you would remain responsible?

Michael Harding, Senior Consultant at Gateway adds, “The direct costs and reputational damage of a cyber incident are obvious but if sensitive customer data is leaked, this disruption can cripple a business permanently. Prevention remains the best strategy in this new environment. This can all seem very daunting but there are security consultants in Bermuda such as Gateway that can help you navigate this journey.”

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