Jul 2021 – IoT Security Assurance Certification

We’re pleased to announce that Consult MB Ltd based in Somerset has qualified as an Internet of Things (IoT) Security Assured Certification Body.

The UK Government is planning to bring in legislation to compel IoT device manufacturers to provide basic security, and the ‘IoT Security Assured’ scheme is expected to be selected by the Government as the required standard.

IoT Security Assured certification is available in three tiers: Basic, Silver and Gold. The Basic level is aligned with proposed UK legislation and covers the top three requirements of the ETSI standard. The Silver level is aligned with the ETSI mandatory requirements and Data Protection provisions. The Gold level is aligned with the ETSI mandatory requirements as well as all the additional ETSI recommended requirements and Data Protection provisions.

The cost of the certification is the same (£500 + VAT) across the tiers. For more information please check out the IASME IoT webpage, or contact us.

Jun 2021 – NCSC Training

NCSC Training for Small Organisations and Charities

In May the NCSC launched a new training programme aimed at small organisations and charities which covers five key areas:

1.            Backing up data correctly

2.            Protecting against malware

3.            Keeping devices secure

4.            Strong passwords

5.            Defending against phishing

The training has been deliberately designed for a non-technical audience who may have little or no knowledge of cyber security.

Consult MB Ltd also provide cyber security awareness training, please get in contact if you’d like to discuss your awareness training needs.

May 2021 – Cyber Essentials Readiness Tool

NCSC and IASME have announced a new tool that can be used to discover how ready your organisation is in terms of applying for Cyber Essentials. The tool asks simple questions about your use of hardware, software, and boundary devices such as firewalls, as well as use of passwords and anti-malware. Based on the answers, the tool provides a customised action plan that outlines the steps needed to prepare for the Cyber Essentials certification process.

Please try out the tool here:

If you need any more information please contact us. Consult MB Ltd is a licensed Certification Body for Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus serving customers in Bristol, Somerset and throughout the West Country.

Apr 2021 – SOCTA

The EUROPOL Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) for 2021 was released this month.

It’s an interesting high level read. The first topic discussed in the section about the main criminal activities is cybercrime which EUROPOL say is on the increase both in terms of the number of attacks but also the sophistication of attacks.

Mar 2021 – Cyber Action Plan

Last week the NCSC launched a cyber security self-assessment tool to help sole traders and micro businesses evaluate their cyber security profile and create a cyber action plan. The self-assessment only takes a few minutes to complete and produces recommended actions at the end. The scope of the self-assessment is similar to what is covered by the NCSC’s Small Business Guide and its associated videos.  If you’d like support with your own cyber security assessment, please get in contact with Consult MB Ltd, we’d be glad to help.

Jan 2021 – Happy? New Year

Numerous recent reports and publications are predicting the cyber-crime trends for 2021. Top of the list is a forecast of increased ransomware attacks and, unsurprisingly, home based working is also assumed to be under the threat of increasingly sophisticated attacks.

The Acronis Cyber Readiness Report has various interesting stats from 2020. 31% of companies reported a cyber-attack at least once a day, and over 1000 businesses had their data leaked after a ransomware attack. It isn’t clear whether any of those companies paid up the initial ransom, and then saw their data leaked anyway…

Supported by industry, and backed by the Government’s National Cyber Security Centre, Cyber Essentials is designed to help organisations, of all sizes, to guard against the most common cyber threats. Please have a look and get in contact if you need any more information.

Dec 2020 – Cyber Business Booming

Here at Consult MB Ltd, despite COVID-19, we’re still doing OK serving our customer base in Somerset, Bristol and the South West. Elsewhere though, we hear cyber business is booming, unfortunately the wrong type of business. The “Hidden Costs of Cybercrime” report by McAfee says the global cost of cybercrime is now around one trillion US dollars, up 50% on their 2018 estimate. It comes as no surprise that the most costly types of cybercrime are: malware & spyware, phishing, ransomware, financial cybercrime and cryptocurrency theft.

The McAfee report also makes the sort of common sense recommendations that we endorse and can assist you in adopting. These include, implement basic security measures, provide awareness training and develop prevention and response plans. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.

Nov 2020 – Small Business Guide

We’re a tad late on this one, but in October the NCSC issued a revamped cyber security guide for small businesses. It outlines five key aspects:

  1. Backing up data
  2. Protecting from malware
  3. Keeping smartphones safe
  4. Using strong passwords.
  5. Avoiding phishing attacks

You can download your copy of the NCSC guide here.

Consult MB Ltd offers staff awareness training, based on NCSC guidance, to small-medium sized organisations throughout Bristol and the South West. Please contact us for more details.

Oct 2020 – Charities Campaign

Following the headline-dominating ransomware attack on Blackbaud earlier this year, the threat charities are under has never been more real. With employees increasingly working from home, ensuring charities are cyber secure is now more important than ever.

With this in mind, the IASME Consortium, the recognised partner for the Government-backed Cyber Essentials certification scheme, is launching a week-long campaign in November aimed at encouraging registered charities to improve their resilience to online threats.  Alongside their participating licensed partners, the IASME Consortium is offering discounted certifications on two of their schemes, Cyber Essentials and IASME Governance, which will help charities demonstrate that they have effective and recognised best practice and protections in place.

As a licensed certification body, Consult MB Ltd is pleased to be offering a discount on both certifications to charities for the week 2nd-6th November 2020. The discounted rates are as follows:

Cyber Essentials          – £225 plus VAT (a 25% discount)

IASME Governance     – £250 plus VAT (a 37.5% discount)

Through this campaign, we are hoping to raise awareness to charities of the cyber threats they may face and how they can combat them by putting the right procedures in place for their organisations. To find out more and to register your interest, please contact us directly for more information.