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Cyber attacks - what do they mean for businesses?

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Media coverage of the recent 'WannaCry' ransomware attacks - infecting more than 200,000 systems across 150 countries - has thrown IT security into sharp relief.  The attacks have surprised analysts in a variety of ways.

Firstly, their apparent simplicity - the attacks exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software that if up-to-date will already have been eliminated. 

Secondly, their modest financial demands - despite being termed ransomware, their total accumulation so far is estimated at $55,000, a fraction of what a sophisticated, financially motivated attack might hope to achieve.

The more damaging impact has been the disruption to public services, such as healthcare and transport.  Disruptions to programmes of acute care, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, are causing distress to families.  This reinforces the importance of investing in situational awareness to constantly monitor threats to operational security.

We spoke to Michael McCabe, CEO of Intelligence Fusion, about the effects of such attacks; effects that corporations need to consider in protecting their people and assets, both physical and digital:

WannaCry has been described by Europol as ‘unprecedented, requiring a complex international investigation to identify the culprits’. Law enforcement agencies and security services from around the world have been trying to work out who was responsible for an attack which wreaked havoc across the globe. Researcher’s initial indications appear to be pointing towards a hacking group called Lazarus, believed to operate under North Korean government control. If proven, this cyber-attack was conducted the same weekend as Kim Jong Un’s regime launched a new type of ballistic missile, which showed a level of performance never seen from a North Korean rocket. Both incidents risk escalating an already tense situation in Southeast Asia, which could lead to a pre-emptive strike by the United States, if it feels it is at risk of being targeted both by military and cyber means.

In a world which is already witnessing great economic, political and civil uncertainty, cyber criminality and warfare are just additional risks that businesses and organisations have to be aware of and prepare for. Business travellers to Europe are currently crying out for better information on the deteriorating security situation on the continent, to help protect their people and assets. Sadly, if conflict was to break out in North Korea following the WannaCry attack, this will lead to widespread instability in a region which is growing economically, but is already witnessing tensions over the South China Sea dispute. The key to business resilience in uncertain times is better intelligence, which is why Intelligence Fusion 2 is such an important project, as it will provide the information businesses require to operate safely in emerging and threat-rich environments across the globe.

Intelligence Fusion is an Intelligence and Risk Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that provides situational awareness information globally within the security and risk management sector. The co-founders have deep sector knowledge and experience in both the public and private sectors, beginning their careers in the British Armed Forces and specialising in the protection of people and assets.

Currently raising their second round of growth capital, all of the investment details, including an explainer video around Intelligence Fusion's platform, can be found by clicking here. Please note your capital is at risk and the value of your investment can go down or up.

Driving Growth.
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Growth Capital Ventures (GCV) is backed by funds managed by Maven Capital Partners, one of the UK’s leading private equity and alternative asset managers.