Apr 2020

COVID 19 risks for IT Infrastructure and how security risks can be mitigated

Peter Job 4 min read

One of the critical areas which have been severely tested during this terrible crisis has been our ability to manage and support our national IT infrastructure. Not only have standard working conventions been turned upside down, but the pressure on IT support staff and the smooth running of utility services has been more significant than ever.

Notwithstanding this, I have been hugely impressed by how the majority of services (Internet, Telco, etc.) have been able to support an entirely different way of working. For those of us lucky enough to have a home-working set up correctly, we have been able to continue to operate relatively seamlessly as we have all taken to using Teams, Zoom, WebEx, etc.

A Cloud-First Organisation

At Intergence, we have counted ourselves as being incredibly lucky as we set up our entire operation to be a “Cloud-first” organisation two-and-a-half years ago. We migrated our on-prem IT into the cloud, including accounting, sales ledger, and CRM. But most importantly, we were one of the first organisations to install a full cloud-based Contact Centre. We did this as part of the Intergence We did this as we had deliberately designed our Business Continuity Plan just-in-case of a major we had a significant outage at our Cambridge service centre. Even more importantly, it allowed us to deliver a much better service to our clients, as well as enabling us to operate our shift rotas remotely when required.

So, for the team at Intergence, we have never been so busy as we manage many client’s infrastructures from our service centre., Aalbeit that this is now done entirely remotely with our teams all working incredibly hard and efficiently from the safety of their homes. However, we are starting to see an increase in Cybersecurity incidents, and this is something which we are managing very successfully with our own in-house designed and built Stratiam platform.

 

As Ciaran Martin recently said, “Technology is helping us cope with the Coronavirus crisis and will play a role helping us out of it, but that means cybersecurity is more important than ever” Only recently, the National Cyber Security centre reported the following:

  • 2,000 online Coronavirus scams which they removed online last month alone
  • 471 fake online shops selling fake Coronavirus -related items
  • 555 malware distribution sites set up to cause significant damage to visitors
  • 200 new phishing sites seeking personal information such as passwords and credit card details
  • 832 advance-fee frauds where a large sum of money is promised in return for a set-up fee

While we manage a lot of our client’s security infrastructure, we have seen increased volumes of traffic, but no more incidents. We would recommend to any client worried about increased risk, to do the following:What we would recommend any client who is worried about any increased risk would be to do the following:

  • Carry out a Cybersecurity risk assessment- only 30% of organisations have completed one in the last 12 months according to a recent Government report
  • Look to outsource and automate as much of your security infrastructure as you can to Managed Security experts. Specialists are in short supply, and more data means automation is becoming a critical imperative.
  • Make sure that your end-point security is robust with good access to statistics for things such as MalwareSpam attacks
  • Use services that can quickly identify blacklisted IP addresses so that there is less likelihood of an unexpected security breach from within your organisation
  • Where possible, apply 2-factor authentication to as many processes as you can, where sensitive data could be at risk and you think there may be a potential vulnerability
  • Where possible apply 2-factor authentication to as many processes as you can where you think there may be a potential vulnerability

Fundamentally, the adage “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”, applies here; there are a number of tools that you will need to manage effectively to minimise the impact of potential COVID 19 cybersecurity attacks. Automating multiple software solutions with something such as Stratiam can really help give peace-of-mind over the coming months and provide extra visibility across the whole of your infrastructure.

Fundamentally, the old adage that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it, and there are many tools that you will need to operate effectively to minimise the impact of potential COVID 19 cybersecurity attacks. Automating multiple software solutions with something such as Stratiam can help give peace-of-mind over the coming months and give extra visibility across the whole of your infrastructure.
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Peter Job CEO

As founder and CEO, Peter has spent 16 years helping IT executives retain control of their digital ecosystems. After starting Intergence in 2003 Peter went on to create Hyperglance, the world’s first 3D visualisation tool for IT infrastructure and application process flows. He has brought that expertise to bear in the creation of Stratiam – Intergence’s cornerstone technology platform. Previously Peter held senior sales and management positions at Gandalf, Alcatel, ThruPoint and Omnetica. Outside of technology, his passions include sport and if he wasn’t running Intergence he would love to be part of an F1 pit crew.