3 Cyber Security Insights (and one about gin)
Scott Dodds
Chief Executive Officer

I recently had the pleasure of hosting a virtual event for Ultima’s customers and partners, in which we examined the biggest emerging global cyber threats and discussed the technologies and best practices for thwarting them.

We also had breaks between each panel chat in which we were joined by a gin expert to lead us through a gin tasting. Is cyber security and gin a wise cocktail to mix? Not in the execution, of course, but for discussion purposes only it was a welcome social aspect at a time when that interaction has been so limited for us all – and it made for some lively views!

Ahead of the event, we asked delegates to share the biggest cyber risks their organisations are facing today and the security trends they are most interested in.

On the day, my colleague Chris Watkins – Ultima’s Head of Security – discussed three of the biggest and most pressing topics raised and our perspective on the best strategies for approaching them. Here’s a short summary of those insights:

1. End users – make educating them fun

A majority of our delegates identified their end users as the biggest source of vulnerability to cyber attack. In response, Chris said: “No matter what we do, the weakest link in any organisation is still going to be our user base.

“One of the key things we’re identifying which organisations need to progress and develop is spending more time and effort on educating them. This could be through virtual training labs, or a more traditional webinar session, however, whichever approach you choose, try to make it fun!

“In the past a lot of training was pretty dull – death by PowerPoint! But these days there’s award-winning content out there worthy of Netflix to educate users on phishing and other aspects of security awareness. We see that as being a hot topic for the year ahead.”

2. Remote working problems, cloud managed solutions

Like many people worldwide, our customers have faced intense operational and security challenges due to the rapid switch to remote working implemented at the onset of the pandemic. Addressing the issues this has created, Chris said:

“Almost a year ago to the day, everyone flicked to a model of mostly being remote-based. I was involved in our transition internally – from very much an office-based company with flexibility, to 100% remote working.

“We’re lucky that we were well suited to doing that and the change wasn’t a big deal for us, but a lot of our customers struggled. So things like cloud-managed solutions suddenly became very high on the agenda for a lot of people – the traditional on-premises solutions they had in the past just weren’t really fit for purpose anymore.

“I’m now seeing a lot of interest, activity and questions around ‘how can I develop what I already had in place for some time and was working well for me, into a different model to suit this new way people are looking to work?’”

The best strategy for protecting data and systems when switching to such a working model? That brings us nicely to a third key trend…

3. Automated security is the future

The automation of security is a topic our customers are becoming increasingly aware of and interested in. Chris said this is being reflected in wider market research:

“There are some interesting articles and briefs going around at the moment about priorities – where people see their spend and effort is going to be focused in the next year – and a lot of the analysts in the market believe that’s going to be around automation.

“The concept of trying to just hire people is something that not many companies can do. Everyone has the same challenge: IT teams are lean and trying to get new heads is never simple.

“So automation is a good way of responding to that – the market we’re in now, the new infrastructure available to us, cloud and so on, means that’s very doable. Automation is something we’re heavily invested in – where we can automate [a solution for our customers], that’s definitely key.”

So there you have it – end user vulnerability, new remote working models and the rise of automation to address both. As for the gin insights? Well who knew Plymouth gin went well with Mediterranean tonic? Here’s raising a glass to a more cyber secure future.

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