There is an ever-growing threat to Scottish based businesses of cyber attacks both originating domestically and overseas.

So serious is the issue, The National Cyber Security Centre published a recent advisory, sharing insights around the techniques and tactics increasingly being used by Russian and Iranian based threat actors on UK organisations and individuals.

One recent victim of such a targeted attack was the Royal Mail, whose computer systems used to dispatch overseas deliveries were targeted by criminal gangs linked to Russia. A ransomware attack, the demand was reported to be in the millions. Although the incident took place in January 2023, the resulting disruption and downtime has meant Royal Mail services along with its reputation are continuing to be affected.

They join a list of UK organisations from a range of sectors which have been targeted by threat actors in recent weeks including JD Sports, The Guardian and Arnold Clark. These attacks saw threat actors gain access to critical personal employee and customer data or key networks and infrastructure, leading to significant operational disruption and potential financial damages.

It is important for organisations to strengthen their security postures to defend themselves from these increased threats. Time is the enemy when it comes to cyber threats. When a cyber incident or breach occurs, faster detection and containment is paramount to protecting critical assets and infrastructure, with lengthy investigation processes having potentially huge repercussions for organisations, not only in financial terms but also from a reputational standpoint.

Three factors hampering your threat detection and response efforts

There are many factors that make it more challenging for organisations to monitor their infrastructure for incidents and breaches. One of the most significant is that their cybersecurity processes, instead of becoming efficient and streamlined in recent years, have become time-consuming and complex. 

A key factor is that the acceleration of digital transformation during the pandemic resulted in sped-up projects and fast-tracked systems for many organisations, but what is now lacking is the necessary cyber skills and resources to support this. Instead, organisations have resorted to layering security tools on top of their existing tech stacks, using on average 45 different tools with coordination across 19 tools required during each incident. This creates unnecessary noise from a high volume of alerts, and significantly increases the time it takes to detect and respond to threats. 

Such an approach makes identifying, prioritising and correlating threats much more difficult. Organisations should look to invest in a well-managed and coordinated detection and response strategy to avoid fire-fighting numerous incident alerts that might not actually pose a serious threat. 

A further challenge has been that the shift to hybrid and remote working has left organisations with considerably more endpoints to manage, stretching their cyber resources and opening their attack surface – making them more vulnerable to threats.

Finally, cyber threats are constantly evolving, becoming much more advanced. In addition to this we are also currently experiencing a heightened threat level in a wider geopolitical context. Considering all this, organisations should proactively look to adopt strategies and solutions which improve their security posture and enhancing threat detection and response times is a particularly effective way of doing so. 

There are no shortage of cyber security solutions

Often highly targeted, cyber threats can impact organisations at any time, so as potential attacks continue to increase due to accelerated digital transformation and remote working models, organisations must equip themselves with an appropriate and effective solution. A solution that rapidly detects and responds to threats, effectively manages and mitigates risks to infrastructure, and prevents breaches and threat actors from infiltrating business-critical assets.

Services like Managed Detection and Response (MDR) streamline processes through a multi-layered approach that protects enterprise assets spanning cloud services, endpoints, applications, data and more. This ensures infrastructure is fully monitored and provides an integrated protection against sophisticated attacks. The good news is there are no shortage of cyber security solutions and experts out there to help. The bad news, however, is that most of them aren’t very good.

That’s why Brightsolid have developed an MDR service, in collaboration with Microsoft (who have committed to invest $20 billion in cyber security over the next 5 years) to provide organisations with a best-in-class security portfolio that builds security into their core technologies. With scalable, cloud native SIEM and SOAR capabilities, Brightsolid MDR is equipped to deliver intelligent security analytics and threat intelligence. Rapid threat detection and response is achieved through triage and analysis, proactive threat hunting, threat visibility and automated response. In addition, expert security analysts from Brightsolid’s in-house SOC continuously safeguard assets and infrastructure with 24/7 monitoring of potential threats, so organisations are not impacted because of undetected threats.

To reiterate, time is of the essence. The speed at which an organisation can identify and respond to breaches is crucial to their recovery resulting in minimal impact to their business continuity and reputation. With Brightsolid, buying into an MDR solution also buys critical time, enhancing security posture and allowing organisations to focus on what they do best.