• 27 May 2024, 06:19 AM

Category Archives: Cyber Security


Cloud and Cybersecurity Insights: Trends & Best Practices

Building a cybersecurity strategy has never been more challenging – the rapidly evolving threat landscape,

combined with the acceleration of digital transformation and a workforce distributed beyond traditional office networks to the home have radically altered how IT teams defend their network, data, users and applications.

The astonishing value of the cyber crime industry and move towards cyber crime as-a-service via online dark web marketplaces and commoditisation of malware has not just seen more advanced and complex threats, but an increasingly lower barrier for entry. Anyone can now gain access to the tools needed to deliver ransomware and take payments via anonymous cryptocurrency, while tactics have evolved to include PR and extortion threats that have further muddied the waters of how organisations can respond – further ramping up the potential financial returns.

The last two years have seen the added complexity of an accelerated shift in the infrastructure and strategy of many organisations, as distributed workforces and working from home became the default. This necessitated migration to the cloud at unprecedented speed and digital transformation that helped keep businesses going, but created new risks and opportunities for threats to exploit.

As we move into 2022, we’ve commissioned a survey across hundreds of CTO, CIOs, CISOs and industry leaders to get their perspective of this changing threat landscape, how much cloud has become the core of today’s network, and the priorities from the boardroom to the SOC in defending against the next threat.

To view the full report and results, download your complimentary copy below.

Managed Services

6 Benefits Of Using Managed IT Services

“By giving IT staff more time to focus on progression and increasing productivity, a managed IT supplier offers businesses the support and room they need to grow.”

While new technologies present powerful opportunities for enterprises, they also introduce challenges. The pace of change in IT is unprecedented. IT departments can no longer survive on one or two computer models, a single operating system, and a short list of approved applications. The mobile devices and cloud-based technologies that have brought so much possibility have also introduced a multitude of devices, platforms and apps for IT departments to manage and secure.

For many organisations those challenges add up to significant expense: the cost of hiring and training qualified workers, purchasing the infrastructure to support emerging technologies, and keeping systems up to date. Rather than struggle to keep pace with technology, many organisations turn to managed IT providers for help. By trusting a third party such as DSM to handle cloud deployments, data center solutions, mobile initiatives, collaboration tools and security, organisations can focus their time and resources on their core business objectives.

IT service providers take a pragmatic approach to IT solutions resulting in a higher standard than many organisations are able to achieve in-house. Top service providers also offer ongoing management and maintenance of the underlying infrastructure, along with end-user support and service guarantees.

The benefits of managed IT services are clear: In 2014, only 30 percent of organisations used managed services, but within a year, that figure had nearly doubled. Managed services can cut IT costs by as much as 40 percent while doubling operational efficiency.

Turning to a trusted IT partner offers several advantages, including:

1. Freeing up IT staff

Most internal IT departments are at capacity. Outsourcing back-end functions or complex, rapidly changing technologies to a managed service provider, organisations can dedicate their in-house technology experts to projects that will further their core objectives and promote innovation.

2. Keeping pace with the demands for IT expertise

Organisations around the UK are struggling to fill IT positions, particularly in cybersecurity and cloud solutions. Outsourcing these functions to a partner with technically skilled and specialized engineers in new and emerging technologies alleviates these pressures.

3. Greater scalability

IT organisations spend weeks, even months, deploying massive systems. Many organisations are finding it more effective to start small, move fast and expand as needed. DSM’s modular approach to managed services makes it easy for enterprises to scale up or down depending on demand, such as a retailer increasing capacity around peak periods or a startup experiencing sudden growth.

4. 24/7 availability

The 9-to-5 workday is as outdated today as the phone booth. When users work around the clock, so must the network. With a managed IT provider, help is always available — days, nights, weekends or holidays — to support users.

5. Shifting the burden of compliance

In addition to regular audits, many organisations are obligated to meet standards and requirements with their IT initiatives. Reporting and security are imperative in the healthcare, education, financial services and retail industries. DSM understands the regulations that organisations are bound by and can provide the systems, processes and reports to guarantee that organisations meet their requirements — without placing that burden on in-house staff.

6. Predictable monthly costs

Every IT investment comes with peripheral costs. Organisations need adequate networks, storage, and security. They must train staff, deploy systems and manage equipment. Unexpected costs arise at any time. By outsourcing initiatives to a managed IT provider, organisations can break down their costs into fixed monthly payments. Instead of the large capital expenditures that come with managing systems in-house.

To discuss your requirement or book a free IT review please contact us @ support@dsmgroup.co.uk or call 03333 22 11 00


A quick guide to effective pen-testing

Do you want to uncover vulnerabilities before a Cyber hacker exploits them? Maybe you are already aware of your network’s vulnerabilities, but need a third party to argue that your network security needs additional investments? Or does your Business need penetration testing services to comply with a certain security regulations.
Here is guide that explains the best practices to be used before, during and after network penetration testing.

 1.)  Pre-Test Stage

This section lists the activities to pay attention to before penetration testing.

  • Define the scope. Regardless of the pen-test type, list the number of networks, the IP address range within one network, subnets and computers to avoid any misunderstanding. Otherwise, pen testers might leave some network systems unattended or worse, hack some third party systems.
  • Define the time frame. Penetration testing shouldn’t disrupt your company’s everyday operations. Imagine if a pen tester used a technique involving heavy network traffic. If used at peak times, it could overload the network and crash it.
  • Decide if you want your IT security and technical information to be in the know. Unannounced penetration testing is good to assess the status of your security team. Yet, it may slow down the process or even block it, for example, by cutting access from internet for pen testers.

2.)  Test Stage

This section covers practices followed by pen testers while conducting network penetration testing.

  • Gather as much customer information as possible. Pen testers use the customer’s website, WHOIS databases and web search engines.
  • Conduct a network survey. This process provides pen testers with server names and domains, the range of IP addresses owned by the organisation, information about closed and open network ports, running OS and services.
  • Determine existing vulnerabilities. At this stage, pen testers scan the network looking for vulnerabilities to use for penetration attempt. Vulnerability scanning can be automated and manual. A combination of the two methods will boost the effectiveness of the process considerably.
  • Identify suitable targets. Pen testing will always be conducted within a time frame set by you. So, out of the list of vulnerable targets on your network, it’s essential to choose the proper ones not to waste time and effort doing unnecessary job. It would be sensible to choose the servers, as the primary targets for penetration testing.
  • Attempt penetration. To exploit vulnerabilities, pen testers use specialist, customised tools. These tools categorise vulnerabilities based on the severity. This helps to provide a customer with a report of vulnerabilities that need to be fixed immediately.

3.) Post-Test Stage

Network penetration, as such, is over. But the penetration testing procedure isn’t. Two stages are left: cleaning up and report generation.

  • Report generation. A well-structured report is a welcome hand in risk management. It should start with an overview of the penetration testing process followed by the most critical network vulnerabilities that need to be addressed in the first place. Afterwards, fewer critical vulnerabilities should be highlighted.
  • Cleaning up. Pen testers’ code of practice doesn’t allow to leave any surprises in your network. To keep it clean, pen testers should maintain a detailed record of all actions performed throughout the stages of penetration testing.

What is a Man-in-the-Middle Attack and How Can You Prevent It?


This type of cyber crime is very common and on the rise, so here’s what you need to know about MITM attacks, including how to defend yourself and your business against them.

What is a man in the middle attack?
The idea behind a man-in-the-middle attack is straight forward: Intercept traffic coming from one computer and send it to the original recipient without them knowing someone has viewed, and potentially altered, their traffic.
MITM attacks give the perpetrator the capability to steal funds, redirect a browser to a malicious website, or steal information to be used in later cyber crimes.

These are three popular types of MITM attacks your business will most likely encounter:

1. Email Hijacking
Hackers target and gain access to important email accounts, they will then monitor activity and transactions to make their eventual attack a lot more convincing. For example, they could wait for a scenario where the customer is sending money and respond, spoofing the company’s email address, with their own bank details instead of the company’s. Unfortunately, the customer thinks they’re sending their payment to the company, but they’re really sending it right to the hacker.

2. Wi-Fi Eavesdropping
Most MITM attacks rely on Wi-Fi connections. Hackers will set up a Wi-Fi connection with a legitimate-sounding name and all the hacker has to do is wait for you to connect and they’ll instantly have access to your device. Alternatively, the hacker can create a fake Wi-Fi device disguised as a legitimate Wi-Fi access point to steal the personal information of everyone who connects.

3. Session Hijacking
When you log into a website, a connection between your computer and the website is established. A hacker will then hijack your session with the website through various ways. One option they use is stealing your browser cookies. Your cookies store small pieces of information that makes web browsing convenient. It can be your online activity, login credentials, pre-fill forms, and in some cases, your location. If hackers get hold of your login cookies, they can log into your accounts and assume your identity.

“Who is the typical target of a man in the middle attack?”

Any person or any business could be the target of a MITM attack.

How do I prevent man-in-the-middle attacks?
There’s no simple ‘quick fix’ to protect yourself against MITM attacks, however here are a few to help you:

  1. Only connect known, trusted devices to your Wi-Fi networks. Don’t allow devices to automatically connect.
  2. Make sure all access points are secured and encrypted. Attackers that rely on physical proximity can be kept off a network by good security.
  3. Keep an eye out for phishing emails that request you to click to log in to a website.
  4. Train your staff to become a ‘Human Firewall’
  5. Make sure operating systems are patched and updated to prevent attacks that exploit weaknesses.

How would your business stand up against a Cyber attack?

6 Reasons Why Office 365 Backup is Critical

While you are reading this, you may be thinking “Doesn’t Microsoft take care of Office 365 backup?”
It’s important to remember that SaaS platform providers, like Microsoft Office 365, take on the responsibility of application uptime and the underlying infrastructure. But it is the customer’s responsibility to manage and protect their vital business data.

We’ve identified 6 reasons why backing up Office 365 is critical:

  1. Accidental deletion: If you delete a user, whether you meant to or not, that deletion is replicated across the network. A backup can restore that user, either to on-premises Exchange or Office 365.
  2. Retention policy gaps and confusion: Office 365 retention policies are hard to keep up with, let alone manage. A backup provides longer, more accessible retention all protected and stored in one place for easy recovery.
  3. Internal security threats: Many businesses are experiencing threats from the inside, and they are happening more often than you think. Having a high-grade recovery solution mitigates the risk of critical data being lost or destroyed.
  4. External security threats: Malware and viruses have done serious damage to organisations globally in just the past year alone. A backup can easily restore mailboxes to an instance before the attack.
  5. Legal and compliance requirements: Ensure you can retrieve mailbox data during legal action and to meet any regulatory compliance needs.
  6. Managing hybrid email deployments and migrations to Office 365: Whether you are migrating to Office 365 or have a blend of on-premises Exchange and Office 365 users, the exchange data should be managed and protected the same way, making the source location irrelevant.

It is always nice to hear how our customers and partners are validating our solutions. IT Manager at Egelim Lojistik A.S.
Before this product I thought my emails were safe. Now, I am sure they are safe.”
Every customer can be confident that as they move to the cloud and expand their infrastructure, Veeam is there to protect and ensure Always on Availability.

Read the May 2017 Gartner Report: Adopt Microsoft Office 365 for Damage Control and Fast Recovery After Malicious Attacks. We believe this Gartner report can provide more information on Office 365 Backup.