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Businesses and organisations in the Cheshire area can now get access to an enhanced version of Police CyberAlarm, an award-winning free tool funded by the Home Office which you can access through your local police force.
The enhanced version of Police CyberAlarm works alongside an organisation’s current cyber security products, such as the firewall, Network Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Protection System (IPS), Anti-Spam and Network Anti-Virus to help members better understand the cyber threats they face.
Data received by the Police CyberAlarm Server is then used to create regular reports on potential malicious activity seen by individual members as well as reports containing threat trends seen across the member network. Members can then use this reported intelligence to update their defences to better protect themselves from cyber threats.
Vulnerability Scanning can be added and used to scan an organisations website and external IP addresses, providing regular reports of all known vulnerabilities.
Since launch, Police CyberAlarm has identified over a billion potential suspicious events resulting in reports and advice being given to members, enabling them to take action to prevent a successful attack.
In one case Police CyberAlarm detected a UDP amplification attack, a very potent attack method that turns an organisation’s own equipment against it, causing the member organisation infrastructure to attack itself. Working with the Police CyberAlarm team, the member was able to mitigate the effects of the attack stopping it from having any effect on its network.
In another case a company, which was not a Police CyberAlarm member, fell victim to a ransomware attack which forced it to shut down business critical systems. After contacting the police, Police CyberAlarm was installed immediately by the company, which was able to identify the method of the attack, which was communicated to the company to allow it to close the vulnerabilities that existed. The company’s next Police CyberAlarm report indicated that almost 1.3 million attempts to gain access had been made in the week after the attack.
As well as the data collected by Police CyberAlarm helping members to better protect themselves, the information gathered also helps regional and force cybercrime teams to build a much better understanding of the scale, types and clusters of cyber threats being aimed at members across England and Wales. Policing has been able to use the information collected to enable the local and regional cybercrime teams to proactively warn members of new emerging, recent and zero-day threats.
Sgt David MacFarlane from Cheshire Constabulary's Cyber Crime Team said:
“We know that cybercrime impacts businesses and organisations in our region on a daily basis. Our dedicated Cyber Crime Unit is working hard to prevent attacks as well as catching those responsible but having robust cyber security defences in the first place is the only way to mitigate the risks of a successful attack on your business.
“Police CyberAlarm is an effective tool to have as part of your cyber security tool box and it’s free. The more members we have, the more data we get which will provide law enforcement with a much richer intelligence picture about the current and emerging threats businesses are facing. Our officers and staff can then use the data collected to provide relevant and targeted advice at a local, regional and national level helping member organisations better protect themselves.”
To coincide with the launch of the enhanced version of Police CyberAlarm, a new website has also been unveiled to make it easier for potential member organisations to get further information about the benefits of becoming a member and sign up for free. https://cyberalarm.police.uk/