Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsImagine if you always believed you were safe and then one day something so drastic happened that it tore down the very walls you built to protect yourself. Andy Whitworth, a plumber in White Haven in the West of England first noticed something was amiss when his bank card was declined at the local food store and then it became more evident at different cash machines on the high street. Andy immediately checked his bank account. The monthly salary from his work as a plumber with Bailend Borough Council had not been credited into his account.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsSo he found his line manager and demanded: Hello, why have I not been paid, what's going on? Now that was precisely the question his line manager was dealing with throughout the day.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 secondsFrom Plumbers, Masons ,Builders, Bin Collectors. Nobody not even the council's top bosses had been paid their wages. Over the next three days the council staff woke up to the fact that they had lost all access to their records. And then came the message they feared, a ransom note demanding a hefty fee in bitcoins in exchange for their files. How could this happen to us? Bailend Borough Council kept asking themselves. Didn't we do everything in the book to prevent this? that brings us That brings us to the question "How and why are security environments impacted in a rapidly changing digital landscape?" Welcome to your course on digital security risk.

Skip to 1 minute and 39 secondsHere you will identify the risks that you face as an individual and as an organisation. Here you'll gain comprehensive knowledge of digital information and security concepts. Get an understanding of how they are applied using internet and mobile technologies. You will learn about threats, the cyber security landscape in the UK and understand vulnerabilities, including phishing, ransomware, software vulnerabilities and come to grips with what happens when cyber security fails at large organisations that believe they were safe from such attacks. It took months for Bailend Borough Council to recover from their zero-day attack. They lost years of data, while the leadership team struggled to keep morale up after the attack. The attackers remained unknown to this day.

Skip to 2 minutes and 25 secondsSo if you were the head of digital security how would you safeguard your organisation from the next zero-day attack?

The cyber security landscape

Welcome to our course on the cyber security landscape, where we will explore cyber security management and look at the risks facing individuals and organisations.

Cyber attacks and threats are among the biggest challenges we face today. With advancement and transformation of our digital world, organisations need to focus on managing risks and reducing the cost of cyber crime.

In recent times, however, cyber attacks have become more specialised and criminals are focusing now on using deceptive techniques to target individuals. This growing trend of attack patterns have significant damages to an organisation that not only include financial losses and operational disruptions, but also significant reputational damage.

In the light of current regulations (eg the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation), these risks become particularly relevant for organisations that store financial, health or other personal information about an individual. Digital security risk management and strategies are therefore vital in aiding the readiness to detect, prevent, contain and respond to evolving threats in the digital environment.

Your journey here begins with the identification of some of the risks that you, as an individual, face and the organisation you work for. We will explore some of the key terminology used – such as phishing, ransomware, zero-day exploits or attacks – and find out what happens when cyber security fails.

This week

In the first week of this short course you will:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of security concepts and protocols and their application to contemporary internet- and mobile-based solutions and technologies.
  • Critically evaluate the role of a security policy for protecting information assets and demonstrate self-direction in designing security policies to defend those assets within the context of global communication and the web.

This open course is the introductory two-week course for the program in Digital Security Risk that forms part of the online MBA Cyber Security from Coventry University.


Meet the team

Dr Rob Milford Rob Milford is a lecturer in leadership for Coventry University, specialising in the cyber infrastructures that enable collaborators to share information.
Dr Anitha Chinnaswamy Dr Anitha Chinnaswamy is a senior lecturer in cyber security management at the Business School in Coventry University

The Coventry Way

Coventry University believes that a good student experience is central to learning at a world-class standard. To reflect our success, we were awarded the title of University of the Year by Times Higher Education (2018) and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (2015).

We aim to produce learning that is both innovative and cutting edge, with a supportive environment to ensure student success.

For that reason we have created these courses that offer students a chance to learn in a flexible manner. Through online delivery we offer an engaging and dynamic experience.

We have teamed up with FutureLearn to offer students world-class courses with all the rigour and support offered in our face-to-face courses, but with the ability to study in a manner best suited to your needs.


Checking your progress

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, select the ‘mark as complete’ button. This will update your progress page and help you to keep track of which steps you’ve completed. These completed steps will turn blue on your to-do list.

You can check the ‘progress’ by clicking the icon at the top of each step. This will show the percentage of course steps you’ve marked as complete.


Your task

Consider your home and work environment. What aspects are connected to the internet and what risks can you already identify?

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This video is from the free online course:

The Cyber Security Landscape

Coventry University