How to Navigate Cyber Threats Targeting Government Agencies

44% of government agencies have said they experience cyberattacks daily, with the pace of breaches accelerating, according to researchers.

While cybersecurity remains the biggest IT challenge and area of investment for government agencies, cybercriminals are leveraging the vulnerabilities and targeting poorly secured systems to attack critical services.

Essential public services like 911 operations and police and fire departments, could be shut down if a ransomware or malware attack occurs. Additionally, even if you pay the ransom, you may not get your files back, and if you’re an agency in a state that prohibits paying a ransom, then you won’t even have that option. This can hinder the accessibility of vital emergency services that communities rely on.

The following are the main risks to government agencies:

  • Lack of affordable cybersecurity talent
  • Outdated legacy IT systems
  • Malware attacks
  • Phishing and social engineering attacks
  • Regulatory compliance requirements
  • Lack of basic cybersecurity training

Cloud security can help combat these threats with a set of policies, controls, procedures, and technologies that work together to protect cloud-based systems, data, and infrastructure.

Thrive has experience helping agencies and organizations in the SLED sector mitigate critical threats.

  • Thrive’s 24x7x365 Security Operations Center is staffed with cybersecurity engineers to protect your mission-critical infrastructure.
  • To avoid data loss, Thrive advises your organization to back up its data to an impartial third party.
  • To reduce susceptibility, Thrive collaborates with your organization to detect security flaws.
  • To identify cybersecurity threats, Thrive builds a long-term strategy by learning about your organization’s goals, people, procedures and technologies.
  • Thrive delivers tailored security-managed services to protect your organization while reducing cyberattacks.

At Thrive, we have 700+ technical resources and IT experts with a cumulative 3,000+ years of experience managing security for educational institutions of all sizes, using the best technology to safeguard your network from online threats.


Don’t wait, contact us to learn more.

5 Key Pillars to Protect Health and Care Organisations from Cyber Attacks

Recently, the UK government outlined a new strategy to build cyber resilience in health and care organisations by the year 2030. The Cyber Futures programme takes the lead in bringing forward important Cybersecurity initiatives that protect health and adult social care services the nation relies on.

The comprehensive strategy for a cyber-resilient health and social care sector will ensure health services are better protected from cyber threats, further securing sensitive information and ensuring patients can continue accessing care safely. The plan includes strategies for identifying areas in the most vulnerable sector to utilise resources across the country to defend against cyber attacks.

Creating a cyber strategy of this magnitude would have been challenging for a large public sector giant like the NHS. As a result of this action plan, smaller private businesses are better equipped to follow this roadmap and adopt the same security mindset.

By embedding the same Cybersecurity framework and ideology of emerging technology as the NHS, other organisations can minimise the impact and recovery time of a cyber incident.

However, it’s not an easy road to go alone. That’s why it’s imperative to have a trusted Cybersecurity partner like Thrive to navigate the journey.

Here’s a breakdown of the five critical pillars of the UK government’s Cybersecurity strategy for the NHS that Thrive can also implement to fill in the gaps for your business.

  1. Focus on the greatest risk and harm. Health and care organisations must be able to identify and secure their most vital assets and systems. This includes conducting regular risk assessments and implementing appropriate security controls. The first pillar focuses on identifying the areas of the sector where disruption would cause the most significant harm to patients, such as sensitive information being leaked or critical services being unable to function. Thrive conducts a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment led by Thrive’s (ISC)2 certified Strategic Consultants. The Thrive team reviews your organisation’s technology infrastructure and processes to identify potential vulnerabilities. Thrive then builds a strategic roadmap to future-proof your operations without compromising compliance.
  2. Defend as one. The second pillar is uniting the sector to take advantage of its scale and benefit from national resources and expertise, enabling faster responses and minimising disruption. Health and care organisations must collaborate to share threat intelligence and best practices and develop coordinated incident response plans. The Thrive team is composed of technical and industry experts dedicated to ensuring that customers can optimise their business performance through the strategic design and implementation of a NextGen IT environment. Thrive’s unrivalled Cybersecurity services give you the experience, resources, and expertise to protect your essential data, SaaS apps, end users, and critical infrastructure.
  3. People and culture. The third pillar engages leaders, grows and recognises the cyber workforce, and provides relevant cyber basics training to the general workforce. Health and care companies must foster a security culture with senior leaders actively engaged in cyber risk management. Additionally, organisations must invest in training and development for their staff, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to identify and respond to cyber threats. Thrive’s Anti-Phishing and Security Awareness Training service provides ongoing security testing and training for your users to raise awareness of phishing, spear phishing, malware, ransomware, and social engineering attacks through targeted user campaigns and responsive training. Improving user awareness of these threats reduces the risk of human error resulting in security breaches and ransomware.
  4. Build security for the future. The fourth pillar is embedding security into the framework of emerging technology to better protect it against cyber threats. Health and care organisations must be vigilant and adaptable to avoid cyber threats, with security measures continuously being monitored, tested and updated. To meet the highest security and compliance standards, health and care organisations must stay current on regulatory requirements and industry best practices. Thrive’s Managed Cybersecurity solutions leverage automation for speed and reactivity, experienced people for intelligent problem-solving, and durable solutions 24x7x365 from its Security Operations Centers (SOC). The Thrive security team builds and offers security solutions for the entire IT environment, from endpoints to the Cloud. Thrive’s customised Cybersecurity solutions protect customers’ systems and data end-to-end, relieving IT personnel.
  5. Exemplary response and recovery. The fifth and final pillar is supporting every health and care organisation to minimise the impact and recovery time of a cyber incident. Hospitals, health systems, and doctor’s offices cannot afford critical infrastructure failure, security breaches or human error. Data backup and security and a disaster recovery plan (DRP) are essential. When networks go down or cyber attacks occur, Thrive offers NextGen IT business continuity solutions to resume your IT operations rapidly with minimal or no loss. Thrive’s Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) protects your critical business technology infrastructure, meeting the most stringent Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs).

The Road to Cyber Resiliency with Thrive

By using the UK government’s five pillars, health and care organisations can significantly reduce cyber attack vulnerability and improve response and recovery. Working together and investing in the right people, processes, and technologies can create a cyber-resilient system that protects patient data and critical services.

As business systems grow in complexity, there is an increased risk of vulnerabilities, exploits and security breaches. Thrive’s comprehensive and customised holistic Cybersecurity solutions protect your business, uncover and mitigate risks and meet stringent regulatory requirements.

Thrive’s security-first Cloud approach is flexible and economical, provides specific, actionable information and is backed by a 24x7x365 Security Operations Center that monitors your operations with industry-leading security technology.


Contact the Thrive team today to learn more.

Breaking News: Microsoft Azure Outage Wipes Out Teams, 365, and Outlook – Caused by Network Issues

We spoke with Chip Gibbons, CISO at managed services firm Thrive, to discover mitigation plans post-outage. Here are the highlights:

  • Planning is imperative for companies of all sizes – Many businesses can leverage a comprehensive data backup and recovery plan with relative ease. Larger organizations might require more details to be addressed, specifically how systems are to be recovered, as well as applications and working conditions. However, certain aspects of data recovery always need to be addressed, such as understanding how a backup system works, who is in charge of it, what the responsible recovery point objective (RPO) is, and the amount of data you need to back up. This can dramatically reduce the time it takes to get back in business following a disaster to help you meet your specified recovery time objective (RTO).
  • Routine testing of DR strategies – Testing is a must, but it can interfere with your business operations and potentially even cut into productivity. Whenever systems are tested, IT teams will be bound to find something wrong with the DR strategy and would have to adapt it over time as you address these issues. If these issues are appropriately addressed during the testing phase, organizations will have a better chance when they need to truly utilize a DR strategy.
  • Remember that IT infrastructure is governed by people – So a DR strategy must take human behavior into account. For example, if a company’s location is compromised by a disaster, organizations need to check if they can get employees to access the data they need to effectively do their jobs.
The age old battle between social engineering and banking

Chip Gibbons, CISO at Thrive, sits down with Dave to talk about how to defend against social engineering attacks in banking. Dave starts us off this week with a story about Amazon opening up its selling market to Pakistani residents, and what consequences that led to for the organization’s business. Joe’s story follows a scam targeting soldiers in the Army. The Army warns against unknown individuals purporting to be noncommissioned officers that are calling said soldiers and asking them for money to fix a “pay problem” and, if questioned, threatening them with a punishment. Our catch of the day comes from listener Manie who writes in about a scam found when trying to download a HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image). The scam involves a fake ad asking for people’s cell phone numbers as soon as they click on a button that reads “download here”. Manie shares how after she clicked the ad, she realized the mistake and immediately researched more before proceeding further.

How to Defend Against Social Engineering Attacks in Banking

Cybersecurity has fundamentally altered the security landscape of financial institutions. Of the very many threats and tactics, Business Email Compromises are the most common and the most compromising. Banks and financial institutions, now more than ever, need to implement habitual practices to strengthen their cyber defense against BEC, before it is too late.