Businesses urged to sign up to new cyber security scheme

Police CyberAlarm is a free tool created to help English and Welsh business members understand and monitor malicious cyber activity.

Businesses in England and Wales are being urged to sign up to a new cyber-security scheme.

The Police CyberAlarm scheme has been designed to help businesses and police better understand and monitor cyber threats. 

Police CyberAlarm 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, enabling organisations to minimise their vulnerabilities. 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.

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.

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

Police CyberAlarm members install a CyberAlarm Virtual Server on their premises which will be used to collect and process traffic logs from their firewall/internet gateway. 

Once a CyberAlarm Virtual Server has been installed it will securely collect, analyse and feed data back to the Police CyberAlarm Server. The data sent only includes metadata (logs) from internet facing gateways and devices such as External Firewalls.

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.

Finally, this data is also used by the Police Cybercrime Units to enhance the UK cyber crime threat picture, enabling them to identify, pursue and prosecute cyber criminals.

Commissioner of City of London Police, Ian Dyson, described Police CyberAlarm as “a great example of what can be achieved when policing and private industry work together”.

Midlands rollout

The scheme is currently being rolled out in the Midlands and detectives from Warwickshire Police’s Cybercrime Team are encouraging firms in the area to sign up to the Police CyberAlarm scheme.

Det Sgt Martin Metcalfe from the Warwickshire Police Cyber Crime Team says: “The more businesses that sign up for this scheme, the better picture we’ll get of cyber threats in the county and the better able we are to protect the wider business community.

“The system is free and does not see any of the content of network traffic. It monitors traffic logs and identifies suspicious activity. We can reassure businesses that it is designed to protect personal data, trade secrets and intellectual property.”



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