Free Police CyberAlarm tool to help protect SMEs from cyber attacks

  • A new, free cybersecurity tool has been launched by police in the UK to help small businesses and the public sector monitor any suspicious activity in order to minimise their vulnerabilities.

    Police CyberAlarm firstly acts as a “CCTV camera” monitoring the traffic seen by a member’s connection to the internet.

    It will detect and provide regular reports of suspected malicious activity and members of Police CyberAlarm will receive weekly or monthly reports detailing activity discovered on their devices, providing details of potential attacks for further investigation.

    Created by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), the data collected by the system does not contain any content of the traffic. The system is designed to protect personal data, trade secrets and intellectual property.

    Police CyberAlarm identifies suspicious activity as network traffic which is blocked by the member organisations firewall or that is believed to be unwanted. This will include activity where the suspect is attempting to scan for vulnerable ports or making repeated attempts to gain access to an organisation’s system using known attack methods.

    RELATED: A third of UK adults feel more vulnerable to cyber-attack since lockdown began

    Research from the cybersecurity team at the British Standards Instituion last year showed that nearly half of all organisations are not prepared for cyber attacks. One in six of the companies they examined had suffered a data breach or cyber-attack related to Covid-19 in the six months prior.

    Members of Police CyberAlarm will become part of the wider UK cyber defence network, sharing collected data with police for analysis at local, regional and national levels to identify trends, react to emerging threats and identify, pursue and prosecute cyber criminals.

    The data collected is viewable only by police and may be shared with other law enforcement agencies including the NCA (National Crime Agency) and partners including the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre), which defended the UK from more than 700 cyber attacks in 2020.

    Vulnerability Scanning can be added and used to scan an organisations website and external IP addresses, providing regular reports of all known vulnerabilities.

    RELATED: Phishing revealed as number one organisation cyber attack, says BSI

    Find more info on Police CyberAlarm and how to register here

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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