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Ransomware: how Continuous Control Monitoring can provide protection against attacks

Quite rightly, many businesses—and their IT security specialists—are concerned about ransomware attacks. 2021 saw a number of high-profile attacks, with the threat showing no sign of abating in 2022. And, locked out of their systems, their data, and their networks, businesses have few easy choices left open to them. Many seriously consider paying up.

However, look in detail at incidents where ransomware attacks have succeeded, and many have a common thread. Which is this: those attacks didn’t succeed because security measures weren’t in place—they were—but instead, because those security measures weren’t operating as expected.

Security systems had been deactivated, or their sensitivity turned down, or they simply weren’t visible. (Yes, it happens.) They weren’t all-encompassing, thereby providing an opening for an attacker. They hadn’t been properly configured. They hadn’t been updated. And so on, and so on.

The weakest link

Simple little things, to be sure. But easily overlooked among the complexity and detail of the typical business’s security landscape. That is, until disaster strikes, and systems become inaccessible

And, as we at Quod Orbis always remind our clients: your security is only as good as its weakest link. Put another way, a ransomware attacker only has to get lucky once. But businesses have to stay lucky always, if they don’t want to find themselves locked-out of their systems.

Helping those businesses to achieve that: a different way of thinking about security, known as Continuous Controls Monitoring, is surely mandatory.

Up to the minute insights

At its simplest, Continuous Controls Monitoring is easily understood. In essence, it is continuous, near-real-time monitoring of all of a business’s security controls and systems, via telemetry.

Rightly, Continuous Controls Monitoring has been described as a game-changer. At a very granular level, businesses using Continuous Controls Monitoring obtain near-real-time monitoring of all their security controls and systems.

And it’s this near-real-time monitoring that ‘plugs the gap’ through which ransomware attacks compromise a business’s security posture, and through which their security measures fail.

Namely, it’s not that businesses haven’t invested in security controls and systems—it’s that those security controls and systems have had their effectiveness compromised, either deliberately or accidentally.

What Continuous Controls Monitoring delivers

So what, specifically, would Continuous Controls Monitoring look for in a business? Your business, say?

And what impact might it have on the security posture and security effectiveness of your business? Specifically, in the context of not just ransomware, but serious security threats of any comparable nature?

You don’t have to guess. Imagine how useful it would be to have near-real-time insight into the answers to questions like these:

  •  How many controls are in place, versus how many controls should be in place (think of SOC / SOAR)?
  •  Who or what has visibility of those controls?
  •  Have the controls been configured effectively (think of email gateway, protection of public facing services)?
  •  How long has elapsed since the controls were put in place or switched on?
  •  Are they operating at optimum effectiveness, or has their sensitivity or scope been reduced (think of vulnerability scans or anti-virus deployment)?
  •  Under what versions of software or firmware are they operating?
  •  Which areas of the business are they protecting?
  •  How well is the business performing against the regulatory / security framework / compliance requirement of choice?
A better approach

And remember, these are questions to which the answers appear in near-real-time, all day, every day, all year.

The contrast with less effective approaches to security—such as periodic audits—couldn’t be greater.

And if your business is serious about the ransomware threat, then we believe that equally-serious discussions about Continuous Controls Monitoring should be on the agenda. Because when ransomware strikes, it’s too late.

Want to know more? Please get in touch by calling Agwu Nwoke on 020 3962 2206.


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Liam Flavin

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Mohamed Mohamud

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Will Tonge

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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!

Shaun Barnes

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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

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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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