On the 4th of March, simply welcomed Andrew Fitzmaurice from Templar Executives, an international award-winning cybersecurity company, for our latest TechShowcase.

Andrew joined us to talk about his favourite subject – cybersecurity – and explain how this topic is more important than ever for the internal communications industry.

“You will have to have been living in a cave not to realise the importance of cybersecurity, especially in the way it’s been going over the last three or four years. In the UK, we’ve had an active defence battling cybersecurity since 2007, and we’ve been really quite successful.” 

However, in 2017, there was a large scale cyber-attack, called ‘wanna cry’ – a state level attack that almost happened by accident. It was thought to be engineered by a group called the Lazarus Group, based in North Korea, using a piece of malware originally from the National Security Agency in the US.

The malware had ransomware attached to it, which was aimed at South Korea, but ended up impacting organisations around the world, including the NHS.

Andrew explained that because of the connectivity of the malware, it affected anyone who hadn’t installed a particular Microsoft patch: “The best way to think about it, is it came through the connecting wires at the back of the computer, as opposed through an information layer in an email. It really froze up the NHS and affected many organisations around the world within about 40 minutes.”

Cybersecurity amongst a pandemic

Last year was an eventful year for many reasons, including being the busiest year in cybersecurity, with medium to large organisations experiencing about 670,000 attacks on their systems in 2020 – an increase of 19%.

This is in part because of the Covid-19 pandemic which left organisations vulnerable, and because we undoubtedly spent more time online last year than ever before, providing more opportunity for attack.

Andrew also spoke about the impact of online terrorism and warfare. “Terrorism isn’t just what we associate with groups like the IRA or Al Qaeda. It’s about disseminating fear and doubt. There’s an estimated 140 misinformation campaigns coming to the UK from external sources, sowing distrust around the Covid-19 vaccine. Social media is awash with scare stories and quite a lot of them are run to destabilise our democracy.”

When thousands of people around the world embarked on the unknown journey of remote working on the 23rd of March 2020, many cybersecurity and online safety policies were left behind.

These policies were in place at the office – or other workplace – including controlled entry, ID badge requirements and ‘clear desk’ policies. Suddenly, employees were thrown into working from home, possibly on a family or shared computer without the necessary security protection.

Want to know more? simplycommunity members can read the full case study here. Not a member but would like to be? Join us!

THE AUTHOR

Laura Riaz

Laura Riaz is simply’s content creator. With a strong background in copywriting and social media management, she thoroughly enjoys writing about the wonders of internal comms.

What we’re talking about…

Browse the type of content you can expect as a member of our community

View All Resources

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Analysis & Metrics

Advice and guidance on undertaking analysis and measuring success of your digital workplace.

Browse >>

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Culture & Engagement

Creating inspiring and positive workplaces by powerfully combining technology and people.

Browse >>

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Project Management

Practical advice, templates and support to help you design and deliver a world-class digital workplace.

Browse >>

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Diversity & Inclusion

Workplaces excel when they embrace diversity. Get guidance to help you build truly diverse businesses at all levels.

Browse >>

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Strategy & Leadership

Helping you deliver a strategically-driven approach accross all aspects of your digital workplace.

Browse >>

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Channels

Maximise the impact and reach of your communication channels with case studies, research and tips.

Browse >>

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Content

Ideas and the latest trends for delivering content with an impact.

Browse >>

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Technology & Platforms

Members get a wealth of information, case studies and insight on how others have made different platforms work.

Browse >>

MEMBERS CHANNEL 

Technologies of the future

What do we need to be planning ahead for? Everything you need to know about workplace technology of the future.

Browse >>

Get content for IC professionals, leaders and IT specialists direct to your inbox

Sign up to our newsletter