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Data Defence: Shielding Your Business Against Cyber Threats

Yet another data breach was revealed this week in the national press; this time the MoD, where sensitive military data has been compromised. Our CEO Martin Greenfield commented in the i news stating that “what we see time and again is that the challenge is exasperated by the presence of silos in cyber security monitoring, which can lead to gaps in threat detection and response”

So, in light of this news and the fact that it is clear that the UK is being very specifically targeted, how can businesses build their data defences and shield against those cyber threats?

What are the next steps in cyber protection that businesses can take?

The number one thing that any business must start doing is to stop looking at cyber security in silos. This is where for too long cyber security has been viewed through a very narrow lens and in isolation of the components that are necessary to interact. This can no longer be the case, and in order to prevent large-scale data breaches, a multi-faceted approach that involves technology, organisational policies and employees is imperative.

How do organisations eliminate the silo working to ensure these steps have maximum effect?

CISO’s and cyber security teams really need to create the unification of departments for the greater good of overall cyber security effectiveness. CISO’s now have to be the strategic partner and align their goals to overall business objectives. This means they need to talk the business talk to bring people on board and align any cyber security measures to that of overall business goals.

With that in mind, how do CISO’s and cyber security teams foster that unified approach?

A single orchestration layer pulling all disparate technologies together: Technology and systems should be pulled together into a single orchestration layer that will allow for complete continuous monitoring of an organisations entire infrastructure. This will result in quicker detection of threats and risks and allow for immediate remediation.  Many regulatory frameworks now insist on continual monitoring as a way of remaining compliant, for example, NIST, the new impending DORA and ISO 27001.

Communication is key: Cyber security teams need to remove the jargon and create open dialogue between teams, cross-departmental meetings, email updates or collaboration platforms where teams can share information and discuss cybersecurity issues. This is communication that needs to be managed from the top down to the operational teams.

Develop a Unified Cybersecurity Strategy: Work together to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that aligns with the overall business objectives and addresses the specific needs of each department. Bring everyone into the conversation to foster that alliance and accountability in all.

Integrate Security into Business Processes: Embed security into the organisation’s business processes and workflows, ensuring that security considerations are taken into account from the outset of any new project or initiative.

By fostering collaboration and breaking down silos between departments, businesses can create a more cohesive and effective cybersecurity strategy that addresses the evolving threat landscape and protects the organisation from cyber threats.

General business: What are the cyber security strategies that all organisations should ensure are implemented:

Check there are strong security measures: Run a check to ensure that you have encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and EDR software to protect your network and data. However, whilst these tools are critical, organisations must ensure that there is 100% coverage that each asset is using the correct version, configured correctly and critically that any vulnerabilities are patched. Without doing this, you will have invested in tools that lack the performance required to secure your business and you will be lulled into a false sense of security.

Do those software updates and patches: It’s imperative you keep all software and systems up to date with the latest security patches to ensure there is no exploitation of any vulnerabilities that hackers can utilise for their benefit.

Strict controls for access and authentication: Multi-factor authentication and strict user access will ensure that only authorised personal can access any sensitive data.

Review the data you hold: Ensure that you are only holding relevant data that is necessary for operational purposes. This will limit and reduce the potential of any breach.

Secure your data: Use secure protocols for storing and transmitting data, such as encryption, and secure connections (e.g., HTTPS).

Perform regular security audits and risk assessments: This will focus your cyber security teams on the risks your organisations hold and how to address these effectively.

Ensure you have an incident response plan: Review or create a comprehensive incident response plan that defines the steps that the business has to take in the event of a breach, including any legal obligations and communication protocols that have to be adhered to.

Review how you manage your 3rd parties: You need to review how your 3rd parties view Cyber Security. Place a cyber lens on their practises and extend your due diligence on the suppliers you use to beyond cost and convenience but how seriously they take their own cyber security practises. f you have interconnected systems, you can insist they adhere to strict security measures for your own cyber protection.

Data back up and recovery: Robust recovery plans should be in place, as well as regularly backing up any critical data; these are imperative to ensure any business continuity in the event of a breach.

Regulatory Compliance: Stay updated with relevant regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS and ensure compliance with data protection laws to avoid legal repercussions and financial penalties.



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Will has spent the last 9-years embedded in Cyber Security working with global, household names and innovative start-ups.

Passionate about bringing people and technology together, Will has worked in various settings, helping build high-growth organisations across multiple sectors. During this time, he has built an extensive network with access to some of the best talent out there.

Outside of QO, his young daughter keeps him well on his toes!

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Mark Hudson

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Mark works with SMEs and charities to develop strategies to help them grow and access development capital. He is a NED, charity trustee and mentor to a wide range of people. His plural career started in 2017 after 16 years at pwc as a Deals partner working with large corporates and PE houses; at pwc he also ran the Retail and Consumer practice and was Chairman of the pwc UK Supervisory Board. Prior to pwc he was an executive director at Welcome Break and Iceland Group, and a partner at Bain and Company. He trained as an engineer at Imperial College and has an MBA from INSEAD. 

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Eamon Flavin

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Eamon is a highly regarded and massively respected technology career professional as well as serial entrepreneur. He has started, grown and successfully taken to market three technology business.

Genuinely expert in technology, Eamon has enjoyed long-term working relationships with many of the world’s top companies and organisations in finance, banking, government, manufacturing, engineering, technology and the charities sector.

He draws on unparalleled contacts and experience and provides advice, solutions and recommendations, as well as helping respond to emergencies. Eamon has grown in-house and client teams and has a gift for hiring great people.

Peter Martin

Non-Exec Director -

Peter has the ability to do what many fail to and that is to consistently bring together highly professional teams and build a business environment that is supportive, agile, professional and where everyone enjoys coming into the office.

Bringing a unique blend of business acumen and technical knowledge to the role of non-exec director, Peter has already demonstrated his ability to bring an exceptional flair for dealing with complex situations with a clear, considered approach.

Personally, Peter brings humility and a strong moral compass to the team. His disarming and self-deprecating approach wins everyone over.

Anwen Haynes

Head of Marketing -

Anwen has worked in B2B and B2C marketing for over 20 years. From transforming end-to-end customer journeys in retail with strategic customer-centric plans to target driven focused strategies for B2B sales. With extensive experience in digital marketing including SEO, as well as Brand development, she loves to develop a cohesive approach to brand image and communications to drive and develop the business proposition and perception.

Alice Walker

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Alice has worked in the IT industry for 20 years. Starting in Procurement, she moved into Software Asset Management before transitioning into Customer Success Management. Working across a variety of roles for different industries as both a customer and a service provider has given her a great understanding of what makes a great service. She has always been passionate about building and maintaining great customer relationships and helping her customers achieve their goals.

Owain Rowley

Lead Developer -

Owain has spent nearly a decade building software solutions and products within the cyber security sphere for the likes of government entities, large telecommunication companies, banks and card transaction companies.

This level of experience allows him to swiftly identify business and security processes that can be streamlined with automation, increase the efficiency of existing processes, as well as generate insightful data visualisations and models for members of an organisation at each different level.

Ami Penolver

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Ami is a finance sector career professional, with many years’ experience working in financial services, both in London and throughout the UK. In addition to financial control, she looks after HR and legal for the company.

Being a mother of two also equips her with the basic skills required to manage a senior team of management and technology consultants.

Ami’s sense of balance and perspective is an essential ingredient of the Quod Orbis culture.

Alastair Dickson

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Alastair has spent the last 20 years working in Cyber Security and Risk Management. He is a passionate believer that security solutions should enable a business to take advantage of all the benefits of the digital world, while not putting the organisation’s data or productivity at risk.

Alastair has developed high-performing teams in some of the industry’s most competitive markets and launched new innovative technologies to market.

Being a rugby coach, and also having four sons at home, means he has lots of experience in keeping a passionate team in order but always has time for some fun!

Gary Penolver


Gary has 15 years’ experience in senior technology roles, and has already been closely involved in starting and taking two technology companies to market.

Totally comfortable with a fast-moving, state-of-the-art technical landscape, he helps his clients maintain and improve security and compliance.

He has a reputation for delivering pragmatic and easy to maintain solutions – business owners and managers enjoy knowing that the security and compliance is well managed and automated, properly instrumented and reported at a competitive cost point.

Honest, open, unflappable and very social, Gary is trusted by many household-name organisations to protect their, and their client’s data.

Martin Greenfield


Martin is an experienced technology and organisational transformation specialist and an excellent, proven leader and communicator in mission-critical operations, particularly in security technology.

Over the past 20 years, multi-billion pound commercial organisations, including global banks, utilities and major investment funds have trusted Martin to transform their operations to meet financial, operational and compliance targets.

Martin optimises operations, managing and transforming operational teams of between 50 and 500 people, to deliver the highest levels of audit compliance, risk management and financial efficiency.

Often working with other major consultancies and suppliers for new global corporate owners or management teams, Martin will help integrate and streamline operations on a global basis.

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