Firms stockpiling bitcoins to pay for ransomware attack

Mark Cutting Analysis, Investigation, Ransomware, Risk, Security, Training 0 Comments

Firms small, medium and large are becoming increasingly aware of the rising threat that ransomware presents. So far ranging is the fear factor and associated implications that several have begun the process of stockpiling bitcoins as a mechanism to counter any potential attack. But is this response wise, and does it provide a cast iron guarantee that the targeted institution …

The real driver behind cyber crime and it’s success

Mark Cutting Analysis, Investigation, Network, Ransomware, Risk, Security 2 Comments

What would you consider to be the primary driver behind cyber crime ? It should not come as a surprise that the number one reason for it’s existence is money. It certainly does make the world go round. But how does money align itself to an article about cyber crime, and the associated security that is somehow sidestepped on a …


Is a Managed Service sufficient to reduce cybercrime ?

Mark Cutting Analysis, Budgets, Cooperation, Governance, Management, Planning, Risk, Security, Strategy 2 Comments

One particular threat vector on a steep incline is small businesses being subjected to increasingly frequent cyber attacks. This activity is exponential in scale, but why target a small business ? Are Managed Service Providers doing enough to help bolster the necessary knowledge within their client base to reduce the risk of cyber attack ? Small businesses tend to be …


Leveraging propaganda as Social Engineering

Mark Honeycutt Compliance, Governance, Investigation, Management, Network, Risk, Security, Strategy 10 Comments

Editorial preface The below article was written by Mark Honeycutt, and is the first in a series of what already promises to be an excellent read. Mark is the owner of Shark Cybersecurity and is a Social Engineering expert who specialises in Social Engineering penetration testing engagements which are followed up with employee training.  He has a Master’s Degree in …


How a cyber criminal can steal your identity

Mark Cutting Analysis, Investigation, Ransomware, Security, Strategy 4 Comments

This article is number three in a series of three that I’ve been asked to write by one of my followers. The first article in the series can be found here, and the second, here. As always, feel free to ask me any questions ! Given the recent announcement in the news around the 711 million email addresses and passwords …


Is using DNA for ancestry a biometric security risk ?

Mark Cutting Analysis, Governance, Investigation, Management, Risk, Security, Testing 2 Comments

This article is number two in a series of three that I’ve been asked to write by one of my followers. The first article in the series can be found here. As always, feel free to ask me any questions ! It’s bizarre how some ideas for articles come from the most unlikely of sources. On one of the rare …

Learning how simple identity fraud techniques work

Mark Cutting Analysis, Risk, Security 2 Comments

I’ve been asked by one of my followers to write a couple of articles based around identity theft from a variety of sources – some (as detailed in this article) common, and others “not-so-common” but incredibly effective nonetheless. In these articles, I will describe the best possible ways to secure your identity using both technology, and seemingly basic (yet overlooked) …


Think you can spot a hacker ? Think again.

Mark Cutting Analysis, Investigation, Network, Patching, Risk, Security 3 Comments

Preface Before we proceed on this article, let’s set the record straight. I’m potentially throwing myself to the lions here, but here goes….. After posting a previous version of this article on Peerlyst (in it’s original format) last September, the “local hood” got somewhat upset at my portrayal of the word “hacker” – see here. This caused upset with some …


Lifeline or lacklustre – What does it take to be a leader ?

Mark Cutting Analysis, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Staff, Strategy 2 Comments

What exactly is involved in being a leader ? What qualities do you need to possess in order to provide mentoring and make the whole experience a valid one for the recipient ? This is an interesting debate and often the fuel for intense discussion around how this exercise should be conducted, and what is often (unfortunately) the real world …


Be a leader, but also be part of the team

Mark Cutting Leadership, Management, Strategy, Training 0 Comments

Over time, in fact, for most of my career, I’ve placed myself in the firing line in terms of infrastructure design and support. Whilst this works very well from a career and job security perspective, it is also the origin of important factors that are the key to success or failure in running a department, the formation of an effective …


Avoid the “bulldozer to find a china cup” scenario

Mark Cutting Analysis, Cooperation, Investigation, Management, Planning, Testing 0 Comments

Once in every while, you encounter a repetitive issue that no matter what you try to do to resolve it, the problem manifests itself over and over again – sometimes, even on a daily basis. Much of how the issue is remediated really depends on the person assigned to the task. You might be puzzled at why I’d write about …


Addressing the issue of Social Engineering

Mark Cutting Management, Risk, Security, Testing 11 Comments

Security is often relaxed when a level of trust exists between two (or more) parties. But what happens if the entity you trust is not who they say they are ? Social engineering‍ is a psychological technique and attack vector used by cyber criminals to trick victims into providing sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, and other personally identifiable information. …


Is the evolution of Ransomware an unstoppable force ?

Mark Cutting Analysis, Patching, Planning, Ransomware, Risk, Security, Training 6 Comments

In today’s evolving technology space, the exposure to cyber threat is an everyday occurrence, and unfortunately, the chances of running into one of the many threats at some point has increased from a possibility to a certainty. Ranging from crude and simplistic in their approach to powerful and advanced in their design and payload potential, these threats pose a significant …


Moving to the cloud ? Be sure you’re compliant

Mark Cutting Analysis, Cloud, Compliance, Governance, Management, Security, Strategy 2 Comments

Businesses small, medium and large have all at some point considered the possibility and eligibility of moving to either a hybrid or full Cloud model. Adopting this approach has obvious business benefits – not only around cost, but also the greater flexibility in terms of data and application and information accessibility. A cloud business strategy and model allows you to …

Lock it or lose it – harden your WordPress installation

Mark Cutting Management, Network, Security, Strategy 14 Comments

In order to effectively reduce costs, several businesses are moving away from complex designs and bespoke hosting to a simpler platform based on WordPress – often self-hosted. According to WordPress, “Code Is Poetry”, and literally anyone with a basic knowledge can create a website within a short space of time. With a potentially massive reduction in cost, who can blame …


The love/hate relationship collectively known as Devops

Mark Cutting Consolidation, Cooperation, Devops, Management, Planning, Strategy 3 Comments

Pretty much everyone in information technology has heard the various buzzwords and terms that are attributed to the consolidation of collective technologies and practices between teams to create an intersection of skills that are vital to success. Leveraging strategic and technical partnerships, businesses small and large can harness a greater knowledge and talent pool to increase their scope and overall …


Can big data reliably predict a cyber attack ?

Mark Cutting Analysis, Governance, Management, Security 4 Comments

After the fallout of the WannaCry attack that infected and effectively disabled machines located in 150 countries around the world, one question rises to the surface of every security think tank. ……..Is it possible or practical to utilise big data and machine learning to accurately predict the next cyber attack ? Given the extent of available intelligence and information around previous …


Sweating assets is ok – but not with a flamethrower

Mark Cutting Inventory, Management, Network, Security, Strategy 3 Comments

If there’s one thing that exposes devices and other assets significantly to increased vulnerability, it’s stretching their lifetime way beyond that was originally intended in their original development and subsequent release. Like humans, these assets are not designed to go on forever – similarly, gone are the days when you could buy a domestic appliance, and have it last 20 years. The manufacture process …


Increase efficiency and response using consolidation

Mark Cutting Consolidation, Management, Strategy 4 Comments

Is it possible to use several information sources all at once from the one central location ? Information these days is usually widely available, but typically all over the place with most IT staff relying on bookmarks and hundreds of username and password combinations to gain access to data. How much time and effort does your department waste on a …


Factoring contingency into your migrations

Mark Cutting Management, Planning, Strategy 3 Comments

One of the most important safety nets in IT Operations is contingency. Every migration needs a rollback plan in the event that things don’t quite go the way you’d expect, and with a limited timeline to implement a change, or in some cases, a complete migration, the rollback process is one that is an essential component. Without a plan to …