Firms may need IT support services in Essex for many reasons, but the issue of cyber security can never be underestimated, for attacks can happen unexpectedly.
Often those targeted might not have anticipated that they might have been vulnerable, but the motives of attackers can vary from simple attempts at extortion through ransomware to spyware that can steal important data.
Member of Parliament Stewart McDonald has revealed that he has become one of the latest victims, through a spear-phishing act believed to have been carried out by a Russian-backed group.
Mr McDonald, the member for Glasgow South, found his details compromised after clicking on an email to his private account from one of his staff – except it turned out it wasn’t. Moreover, the message was blank, which aroused suspicions. He then contacted the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which has already warned of active Russian and Iranian hacking groups.
Although as a Scottish National Party member he is not part of the UK government. The MP has links to Ukraine and has received the Order of Merit from the Ukrainian government.
He told the BBC: “If it is indeed a malicious state-backed group, then, in line with what I’ve seen elsewhere, I expect them to dump some of the information online,” adding that he expects his words to be manipulated in an attempt to discredit him.
Companies, particularly any with links to Ukraine, the defence sector or anything else that may be regarded as significant by Russian operators, could find they are targeted. The NCSC has recently warned about two groups in particular, SEABORGIUM and TA453.
However, firms should note that organised criminals do not just include Russian organisations aiming to attack those they see as allies of Ukraine. Often firms will be targeted by more basic criminal operators simply trying to make money.