A note from our CEO, Jamie Akhtar, on Covid-19 and business continuity


As the Covid-19 virus outbreak continues to escalate across the planet, I would like to update you on how the situation is being addressed at CyberSmart

First and foremost, our thoughts are with all who have been affected by coronavirus, especially the ones who have contracted the virus and to their families that support them. Our team wishes you a speedy recovery.

Our team, customers and partners

The safety of our employees, their families, and our partners and our clients, is our greatest priority. That is why we have transitioned the business to fully remote operations, effective as of Monday 16th March. 

Remote working is a practice that has been tried, tested and encouraged since the beginning of our business – we are “remote by design”. With team members across the globe, the ability to work remotely has always been an integral part of our business continuity strategy, and we are grateful for that now. This experience allows us to continue delivering our services to the highest standard, and uninterrupted, even in unprecedented times like these. 

We will be releasing these very practices we follow, alongside tips from our team, on our new dedicated small business resilience page .

We hope this information helps our customers, partners and any other members of the business community to take on remote working safely and productively.

Business as usual

CyberSmart’s daily operations are carrying on unaffected and we foresee no impact on our operations. With information security at the core of what we do, our team is particularly well-prepared to maintain business as usual, and continue to serve our customers with the highest quality of service.

Because of our remote capabilities, we are now delivering all certification fully remotely. This includes Cyber Essentials Plus which is normally conducted by an in-person auditor. However, our team of assessors is able to use the CyberSmart app to remotely test all devices who have it installed and help you achieve certification. Remote audits can be conducted regardless of if your team is in the office or working at home. We support both company provided and users own devices (BYOD) so all situations are catered for. As always, we commit to rapid turnarounds – we will get you certified in as little as 24 hours for Cyber Essentials and 7 days for Cyber Essentials Plus. 

Be aware of your security

I’d like to urge our customers and the public about the importance of cybersecurity to businesses right now as we are seeing an increase in opportunistic people using these ambiguous times to make gains for themselves through phishing and cyber breaches. 

We urge you to take a look at our content for all the tips to make your business safe and, should you have questions, please contact our team. We are here to use our in-house expertise to aid and advise, free of charge.

We urge you to take a look at our content for all the tips to make your business safe and, should you have questions, please contact our team. We are here to use our in-house expertise to aid and advise, free of charge.

CyberSmart is here to help

These are unprecedented, challenging times and I believe we will only make it through by bringing the business community together and supporting each other. As we become more socially distant, it is more important than ever that we stay connected. 

Please feel free to reach out to me and our team on hello@cybersmart.co.uk if there’s anything you think we can support with.

Stay positive, stay healthy and remember – together we are stronger.

Jamie Akhtar

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Cyber attacks already adding up for 2020

The number of cyber attacks have been increasing year on year. So far, 2020 doesn’t look much better.

January proved ominous, with a series of successful cyber attacks on organisations across the globe. Here are just some of the attacks over the first month of 2020:

Royal Yachting Association (RYA)

The UK’s national organisation for the yachting community became aware of a digital attack on 17th January. Online user account data was compromised and as a result, all members of the organisation had to change their passwords immediately.

A statement issued by the RYA said: “On 17 January 2020 we became aware that an unauthorised party accessed and may have acquired a database created in 2015 containing personal data associated with a number of RYA user accounts.

“Our investigation into this matter is ongoing and we have engaged leading data security firms, including forensic specialists, to assist in our investigation.”

Mitsubishi Electric targeted by Chinese hackers

One of Japan’s largest defence and infrastructure groups, Mitsubishi Electric, was also hit by a colossal cyber attack in the first month of this year. The attack was blamed on a Chinese group, who may have gained access to information on government agencies and business partners, as well as the personal data of 8,000 employees and job applicants.

Chief Cabinet Secretary of the group, Yoshihide Suga said in a statement that the Japanese Government was informed, while also confirming that “there is no leak of sensitive information regarding defense equipment and electricity.”

Detroit data breach exposes workers and residents

The email system of Detroit City Government was breached on 16th January. Although less than 10 email accounts were affected, some of the accounts contained sensitive information that could be exploited by cyber criminals. Luckily, most of the email data was encrypted.

The city’s Chief Information Officer, Beth Niblock said: “At this time, there is no evidence – and it is highly unlikely – that any of this personal data was accessed. However, out of an abundance of caution for privacy and security of our employees, the city will be offering credit monitoring services for a period of one year.”

Make a cyber security New Year’s resolution

If your company’s New Years resolutions didn’t include improving cyber security, then these attacks should provide a wake-up call. Being cyber resilient is critical to company health.

A surefire way to prove your house is in order is by achieving cyber security accreditation. The UK National Cyber Security Centre’s cyber essentials or cyber essentials plus accreditation schemes are the best way to do this.