LCCI Cyber Security Series Part 1: The smartphone

Recent government figures show that nearly half of all businesses suffered at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.  Cybercrime truly entered the public consciousness in May this year, when a global ransomware attack on thousands of private and public sector organisations crippled NHS services in some parts of the country.  Concerningly, despite the risk at LCCI we know from our polling that there remains relatively low levels of awareness amongst individuals and businesses about how they can protect ourselves from cyber attack.

LCCI is committed to doing our bit to put a spotlight on the importance of cyber security, and to flag to businesses practical help and advice on how to secure the key pieces of technology they use every day.  To that end, figure 1 strives to capture the various pieces of endpoint equipment and infrastructure upon which we rely to conduct our personal and business affairs, and some of the dangers associated with these devices.

Figure 1 (please click image to make bigger) 

Figure 2 – the first in a planned series of graphics – picks out perhaps our most immediate everyday device – the ubiquitous smartphone.  In effect a palm sized computer, today smartphones have all the technical capability and connectivity that was in the past associated only with desktop PC or laptop.

The smartphone is ‘the’ way we interact with our friends, family, business colleagues, customers, competitors and increasingly scams and scammers. These phones are designed to be secure, but as scammers become more innovative in the way they penetrate our defences, we must be ever more careful in the way we safeguard the sensitive information we hold on our smartphones and the way we use that device.

Figure 2 highlights where some of the more obviously exploitable weaknesses in a modern smartphone are located, the threat they represent to you and your data, and some of the ways you can reduce the risk.  The information is not exhaustive, given the number of scams and the complex ways in which technology can be used to carry them out.  Rather, its purpose is to highlight the need to take steps to become cyber safe and businesses are urged to visit the National Cyber Security Centre’s online advice pages at www.ncsc.gov.uk for the most up to date information.

Figure 2 (please click image to make bigger) 

These materials have been developed by LCCI though its business member-led Cyber Security Working Group, established in 2016, whose primary aim is to support the capital’s SMEs so that the capital becomes the safest place in the world to run a business.  Working Group members:

Mike Britnell, BeCyberSure
Graeme McGowan, Optimal Risk
Sarb Sembhi, Virtually Informed
Ross Thomson, Amethyst Risk Management
Stuart Laidlaw, Cyberlytic

For more information on the working group members visit www.londonchamber.co.uk

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