Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, our bi-weekly round up of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

Coronavirus research lab at oxford university falls victim to cyber attack

In mid-February, Oxford University experienced a cyber-attack at the Division of Structural Biology which has been carrying out research into the virus. The incident was identified and contained with no impact on clinical research. However, it gives light to the rising problem of digital espionage targeting health bodies, vaccine scientists and drugmakers during the pandemic as hackers attempt to secure the latest information on the outbreak.

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Insurance industries struggling to keep up with surge in cyber attacks

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven greater digitalization and remote working and as a result cyber vulnerability has intensified significantly. According to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2020, only 26% of the firms have stand-alone cyber insurance policies. The majority of firms rely on generic insurance policies which do not explicitly include or exclude cyber cover, giving rise to 'silent cyber' losses. S&P Global has suggested there needs to be further development of stand-alone cyber insurance products which would offer more efficient and optimized control of accumulation risk.

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5 cyber threat trends that will remain prominent in 2021

In their Cyber Threats Retrospective report, PWC highlight that over the last 12 months, the five most prolific cyber threat trends were ransomware, using current affairs as bait, supply chain attacks, social engineering and a rise of the defenders. Additionally, the report explores their wider impact on organisations, business and society.

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Npower app to be removed after login data was stolen

It is believed that personal contact details and partial financial information may have been obtained, but those affected were immediately alerted and had their accounts locked. The energy provider, which is owned by E.ON, has reinforced that protecting customers' security and data is their top priority and it was thanks to their robust threat detection and other cyber defences that the attack was identified.

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Bridewell Consulting reports on aviation's cyber security vulnerability

88% of UK aviation companies have detected cyber attacks in the last year, despite 78% stating their systems are secure according to research by Bridewell Consulting.

They posit that the aviation industry is facing an increased risk of cyber-attacks due to ageing infrastructure, a complex supply chain and the accessibility of operations systems both from corporate networks and over the internet.

The data shows that 28% of companies have reduced their infrastructure budget since the start of the pandemic and the industry is being urged to review and update its security before it is too late.

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The different flavours of cyber resilience

In an article on cyber resilience - the ability to anticipate and withstand cyber-attacks - internationally recognized IT security author, Torsten George, offers his insight into best practices.

The steps needed to effectively implement cyber resilience strategies, will vary from business to business but these strategies are essential to ensure organisations can improve their data protection strategies, as well as survive a cyber-attack. To be effective, it must be applied to all cyber resources, namely networks, data, workloads, devices and people. Cyber resilience can also help prevent cyber incidents which may happen due to human error or outdated software.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.