New malware means it’s time to beef up your cyber security

We’ve seen distressing reports from Ukraine 🇺🇦 over recent days with news of the Russian invasion. On the cyber scene, we’ve also seen the increase in cyber crime activity, with a report published by intelligence agencies in the UK and US attributing new malware to a notorious Russia-backed hacking group “Sandworm”.

One example is “Cyclops Blink” which targets firewall devices made by WatchGuard.  Whilst neither Wessex IT or any of its customers use WatchGuard products it once again reminds us that we need to continually monitor our IT and protect ourselves and our businesses from cyber attacks.  The threat landscape is always changing, and so should one’s defences.

The Basics

Enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

Also known as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), 2FA requires two methods of verifying your identify before you are able to access your system, which strengthens access security.

There are usually free options so everyone should have it, but we do also provide more comprehensive options from our partner DUO – discuss with us if you think you would benefit from additional access security.

Laptop encryption

Encryption helps to protect sensitive information, reduce data breaches and support GDPR compliance. We encrypt new laptops by default but have also begun rolling it out retrospectively and free of charge to Windows devices (where they support it) as part of our Support Agreement service.

On Windows this is delivered by a feature called “BitLocker” and on Mac it’s “FileVault”.  If you’re not sure if your device is encrypted please let the Service Desk know and one of the team will be able to check for you.


Security requires a layered approach. Most clients have our Security³ (“Security Cubed”) bundle which provides 3 important layers:

  • Antivirus software – We’ve all heard of it. It’s the software that works in the background on our computers and servers to prevent viruses, malware and help stop attacks.  Security³ includes our standard protection from Webroot but we also offer more advanced protection from Sophos as well.
  • Email filtering – The email vector remains the most common source of cyber incidents.  We run our own system in house using SpamTitan software to filter out most email-based threats before they even hit your inbox. We’re also soon rolling out a new link protection feature so that email links are scanned when you actually click on them (rather than just when the email was received).
  • DNS Protection & Web Filtering – The base filtering of the Cisco Umbrella service has long been a standard feature of our Support Agreement but when customers also have the Security³ bundle it unlocks some extra goodies.  These include the roaming client which protect devices whilst they are away from the company network and also content filtering (e.g. blocking social media, pornography, gambling sites).

Ask your account manager to find out if you have all these protections in place.

What else can you be doing?

Even with the best security measures in place, the weakest link is always the human factor. One click on an infected link is all it takes, so its worth considering staff security awareness and education.

Security training is a two-part process.

Firstly, we can simulate a phishing attack which sends your staff a ‘fraudulent’ phishing email to see if they can spot it’s a scam. We try to make this as real as possible to understand the level of awareness across the business.

Secondly, based on the outcomes of the simulation we tailor a regular stream bite-sized online training modules to raise security awareness and educate your team about dozens of different topics like GDPR, good password practices, PCI compliance to name just a few.

Next-generation firewalls

Next-gen firewalls are far more intelligent than their predecessors and they integrate intelligent cyber security directly into the firewall. By using a firewall with next-generation defences and antivirus software built-in, your business is better equipped to identify and stop traffic that poses a threat.

Read our blog about next-generation firewalls.

If you have any questions or concerns please talk to us – we’re here to help.

Let us tame your IT

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