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Free Cyber Resilience Tools for the Food and Retail Sector

With the ability for customers to shop 24/7 online it is no surprise that cybercrime is trending upwards. It is highly anticipated that online sales will remain strong throughout 2023 across the Eastern region.

blurry store

But there is a price to pay for the convenience of online retail - the rate of cyber-attacks on UK retail businesses has been steadily increasing in recent years.

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021, which is conducted by the UK government, 38% of UK retail businesses reported experiencing a cyber-attack in the past 12 months, which is up from 19% in 2019.

Luckily, there are lots of free tools available to help you build your cyber resilience.

Free Tools to help build your cyber resilience.

The NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) is the UK's leading authority on cyber security. With its advanced technical capabilities and expertise, the NCSC provides valuable insights and practical guidance to businesses and the public. It is a trusted resource for the most up-to-date cyber security advice.

To make it easier for businesses to access these resources, the ECRC has compiled some of the best resources created by the NCSC, law enforcement agencies, and ECRC. Simply click on the headings for more information.

Non-technical free tools

The ECRC has created an free short guide into the threats, statistics and top tips for the retail sector.

Guidance for independent retailers on how best to protect your business from cyber threats and cyber attacks.

Cyber Essentials is a simple and effective Government-backed scheme, supported by industry experts and the Cyber Resilience Centre Network, that will help you put measures in place to protect your organisation, regardless of size or sector, against a range of the most common cyber-attacks. This includes protecting against threats such as malware, ransomware, and phishing.

Learn how to protect yourself or your small business online with the Cyber Aware Action Plan. Answer a few questions on topics like passwords and two-factor authentication, and get a free personalised list of actions that will help you improve your cyber security. This is a great place to start your resilience journey and quickly identify areas that need improvement.

To help you minimise the impact of a cyber-attack we have created a Cyber Incident Response Plan for you to use. Create a plan and then use Exercise in a box to test its effectiveness.

Sign up for our free membership and receive our “Little Steps” emails giving easy to understand guidance about steps you need to implement to achieve Cyber Essentials. You can also access our a monthly newsletter, affordable student services and our Forum where you can meet other professionals with the same questions as yourself.

Boards are pivotal in improving the cyber security of their organisations.

The Board Toolkit has been designed to help board members get to grips with cyber security and know what questions they should be asking their technical experts.

exercise in a box

These are online tools which helps organisations test and practice their response to a cyber-attack. There are a range of scenarios to encourage discussion about how your company would react, to allow you to understand if the right policies and procedures are in place. If you are not comfortable with running this exercise yourself, your local police protect officer can guide you through this for free and our affordable student service can conduct a policy review beforehand to ensure you are in the best place.

Cyber Security questionnaire to be completed by Chambers to share with Legal Firms (as their clients) to provide assurance about the safety of data shared with Chambers.

staff members

Your staff are your first line of defence against a cyber-attack. The NCSC has developed an e-learning training package ‘Stay Safe Online: Top Tips for Staff’ to help educate your staff on a range of key areas including phishing, using strong passwords, securing your devices and reporting incidents.

Technical free tools

The Police CyberAlarm is useful to help your business understand and monitor malicious cyber activity. Police CyberAlarm acts like a "CCTV camera" monitoring the traffic seen by a member's connection to the internet. It detects and provide regular reports of suspected malicious activity, enabling organisations to minimise their vulnerabilities. Vulnerability Scanning can be added and used to scan an organisations website and external IP addresses.

This is a NCSC service that sends you high level alerts, in daily and weekly summaries, based on your IP and domain names, containing:

  • Incident notifications suggesting an active compromise of your system. This might be a host on your network being infected with malware.

  • Network Abuse Events suggesting your assets have been associated with malicious or undesirable activity. This might be a client on your network found scanning the internet.

  • Vulnerability and Open Port Alerts suggesting vulnerable services running on your network, or undesired applications are exposed to the internet. This might be an exposed Elasticsearch service.

Assesses email security compliance, helping implement anti-spoofing controls (SPF, DKIM and DMARC) and email confidentiality (TLS).

Web Check provides regular automatic scan of your website and alerts you to common website security issues and advises on how to fix them. This can be used in conjunction with vulnerability testing by our affordable student services.

You might ask what the difference between Web Check and a vulnerability test is. Our vulnerability assessment uses the OWASP methodology which is regularly reviewed for the top ten most common threats to web applications. Students use automated as well as manual tests to investigate the different processes such as looking at what file uploads were permitted.

web check screenshot

This is a collection of NMAP Scripting Engine Scripts, designed to help system owners and administrators find systems with specific vulnerabilities. The script will output simple-to-read results including a description of the vulnerability and a link to the vendor security advisory. Running this script often and following the linked vendor advice will help to keep your network secure.

Further guidance & support

The Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre is a not-for-profit organisation, run by policing, with the intention of increasing cyber resilience of SMEs within the East of England.

Our members can benefit from a range of services, from helping you improve your cyber resilience through our “little steps” programme to being notified about the threats relevant to you.

Why not join our community today?

Reporting a live cyber-attack 24/7

If you are a business, charity or other organisation which is currently suffering a live cyber-attack (in progress), please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 immediately. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Reporting a cyber-attack which isn't ongoing.

Please report online to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You can report cybercrime online at any time using the online reporting tool, which will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened. Action Fraud advisors can also provide the help, support, and advice you need.

Policing led – business focused.

The contents of this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us.

The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this document. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the East is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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