Author: Paul McGinnity

Ho ho, oh no! Santa’s got a sack full of cyber attacks

An illustration of bugs and warnings on a computer.

In the run-up to the Christmas festive period, one thing we see is an increase in cyber attacks. With people in the festive mood, using up the last of that annual leave and enjoying the sugar rush can take precedence over cyber awareness and make us more susceptible to attacks. 

Here, Ceme’s Head of IT Chris George explains what you can do to help prevent attacks to your business. 


Phishing is when criminals use scam emails, text messages or phone calls to trick their victims. With companies trying to process their work before Christmas and individuals buying more online, the flood of e-mail receipts might mean we are less vigilant than usual and click on that rogue link.

At this time of year, it more important than ever that your business has a cyber incident response plan. This is a set of instructions designed to help a company prepare, detect, respond and recover from a cyber incident. These plans typically outline the recovery process so that all staff know what is required of them during a cyber incident, and this needs to be understood by everyone in your business.

Many of the electronic devices that we use today hold some form of personal or financial data, which is why it is so important to secure these devices with strong passwords or PIN codes and, where available, encryption should be enabled. We should ensure that these devices are kept up to date with regular software updates. Vulnerabilities found in software are fixed by updates, which can be controlled centrally for large organisations. But for smaller businesses, reviewing the security settings on all devices so that they are regularly updated is a good practice.


Ransomware has been an ever-growing cyber security threat, which could affect any organisation that does not have the right line of defence. Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to data from either your device or at the network level, locking out your device or stealing, deleting or encrypting the data. The best way to protect against this is with regular backups of your systems and data. There are many types of backup solutions, with the best dependent on your business size, requirements and budget. For more information, the National Cyber Security Centre has a Small Business Guide offering some simple steps to significantly protect your business and staff from cyber security risks.

Jobs and investment boost for Thames region as Freeport gets green light

High-quality jobs and much-needed investment for the Thames Estuary region have been unlocked, as the Thames Freeport receives final government sign off.

The Freeport will now receive up to £25 million seed funding from government and
potentially hundreds of millions in locally retained business rates to drive growth in the UK’s
advanced manufacturing, biomanufacturing, logistics, and low carbon industries.

It will help drive investment into sectors including automated and electric vehicles,
renewable energy and battery storage, generating thousands of jobs and boosting the local

Read more about the Thames Freeport

CEME secures Cyber Essentials recertification

Ceme is delighted to have passed Cyber Essentials recertification for 2023.

Simply being certified can reduce a business’s cyber risk by up to 98.5%. And defending ourselves against data breaches reiterates to our customers and partners that we take cybersecurity seriously.

The Cyber Essentials framework has been designed as a strong security baseline for every business in every industry, mapping against five technical controls:

  • Access control
  • Firewalls and routers
  • Malware protection
  • Secure configuration
  • Software updates.

Head of IT Chris George said: “In today’s digital age, cyber security has become an essential component of any organisation’s operations. With the growing threat of cyber attacks, it is critical for businesses to ensure they have the necessary measures in place to protect their systems and data from potential breaches. The way CEME has done this is by obtaining the Cyber Essentials certification.

“This will be the fifth consecutive year that CEME has obtained Cyber Essentials Certification. It is a way for CEME to monitor and benchmark our internal IT performance against industry standards which change in relation to the emerging cyber threat landscape. Over the last five years we have seen much more emphasis on password complexity and management, MFA and 2FA, and the security of cloud services – all topics that CEME has done lots of work on over the years.”

Our certification has been awarded by Cybersmart, the UK’s leading provider of Cyber

Essentials certification, overseen by the IASME Consortium Ltd.