Police CyberAlarm Monitoring Tool Goes Live with Major Upgrade

Following the successful national launch of Police CyberAlarm in 2020, the National Cybercrime Programme has today (12/7) gone live with an enhanced version of the police-led system, bringing additional functionality to help businesses and organisations better understand the cyber threats they face.

The enhanced version of the award-winning free tool works alongside an organisation’s current cyber security products, such as the firewall, Network Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Protection System (IPS), Anti-Spam and Network Anti-Virus.

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.

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

Since launch, Police CyberAlarm has identified over a billion potential suspicious events resulting in reports and advice being given to members, enabling them to take action to prevent a successful attack.

In one case Police CyberAlarm detected a UDP amplification attack, a very potent attack method that turns an organisation’s own equipment against it, causing the member organisation infrastructure to attack itself.  Working with the Police CyberAlarm team, the member was able to mitigate the effects of the attack stopping it from having any effect on its network.

In another case a company, which was not a Police CyberAlarm member, fell victim to a ransomware attack which forced it to shut down business critical systems. After contacting the police, Police CyberAlarm was installed immediately by the company, which was able to identify the method of the attack, which was communicated to the company to allow it to close the vulnerabilities that existed. The company’s next Police CyberAlarm report indicated that almost 1.3 million attempts to gain access had been made in the week after the attack.

Commissioner of City of London Police, and National Policing Lead for Cyber and Economic Crime, Angela McLaren said: “Due to the success of Police CyberAlarm, we have been able to secure extra funding from the Home Office to improve the system through additional functionality.

“We see alerts everyday of potential vulnerability or suspicious activity via Police CyberAlarm to its members. It is a key tool in an organisation’s cyber resilience toolkit and the additional functionality will enable policing to help businesses better protect themselves.

As well as the data collected helping members to better protect themselves, the information gathered also helps regional and force cybercrime teams to build a much better understanding of the scale, types and clusters of cyber threats directed at members across England and Wales. Policing has been able to use the information collected to enable the local and regional cybercrime teams to proactively warn members of new and emerging threats”

As well as the data collected by Police CyberAlarm helping members to better protect themselves, the information gathered also helps regional and force cybercrime teams to build a much better understanding of the scale, types and clusters of cyber threats being aimed at members across England and Wales. Policing has been able to use the information collected to enable the local and regional cybercrime teams to proactively warn members of new emerging, recent and zero-day threats.

To coincide with the launch of the enhanced version of Police CyberAlarm, a new website has also been unveiled to make it easier for potential member organisations to get further information about the benefits of becoming a member and sign up for free. https://cyberalarm.police.uk/

About the National Cybercrime Programme

The National Cybercrime Programme forms part of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) economic and cyber-crime portfolio led by Commissioner Angela McLaren and supported by Assistant Commissioner Pete O’Doherty. The programme was initially established to deliver the local capabilities project, establishing force level dedicated cybercrime units across England and Wales. The remit has widened with the programme currently working on over 30 live projects, including national training, Cyber Resilience Centres, Cryptocurrency training and tools, Police CyberAlarm and the Cyber Digital Specials and Volunteers program. The programme team are here to support the Team Cyber UK Network to build a word leading cyber policing capability with access to the best training, tools and technology available.



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