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Expert Says Yesterday’s Royal Mail cyber incident a ‘prime example of optimal distraction’

Following news of a potential cyber attack targeting The Royal Mail, cybersecurity specialists have been keen to explain how malicious attackers take advantage of distraction to create severe distraction and how to prepare a critical event management plan, respectively. 

The incident was reported yesterday and Royal Mail told the BBC that computerised systems for sending letters and parcels abroad had been “severely disrupted.”

A investigation has been launched and the incident has been reported to The National Cyber Security Centre, but experts are querying whether the timing was deliberate given recent strike action and struggles during the festive season.

Keiron Holyome, VP UKI, Middle East and Africa at BlackBerry, explains why he believes the Royal Mail was targeted:

“Cybercriminals exploit confusion and uncertainty. Recent strike action at Royal Mail, paired with the bustle of the festive season, have created ideal conditions for launching cyberattacks on the organisation’s systems. When resources are tightened, it is absolutely critical that organisations focus efforts on identifying any gaps in their security posture, and apply additional cybersecurity defences, to ensure they are fit to stop incidents if they happens – whether malicious or accidental. To enable this, it is important that security teams rely on intelligent systems and processes as reinforcements.

“A recent industry report stated that cyberattacks in the UK grew by 77% in 2022 compared with 2021. As such all organisations should revisit and test their cybersecurity plans to ensure that they still provide a robust defensive posture. Using next generation tools that help automate systems and processes will be critical in the fight against cyberattacks as we do not see the scale and sophistication of attacks abating.”