This month, we also spoke to Mark Bird, who leads Incident Response in Pragma Europe.
You have a background in cybercrime investigations with the UK Police. How has that shaped you as a person?
“I performed a considerable amount of investigations and prosecutions on computer-related offences when I was a Detective in the West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime Unit. At that time, I recalled running joint investigations with foreign law enforcement and dealt with high volumes of cyber incidents every day. Having gone through that, I would say the experience has given me a chance to gain invaluable insights into cybercrime, especially being able to think from threat actor’s standpoint while carrying out cyber investigations and remembering the effects it can have on the victim. Over the years of solving complex cases, it has taught me to be an excellent decision-maker and to remain calm in difficult situations, skills which fit in ideally in Incident Response.”
Were there any significant moments during your time with the UK Police?
“There was once when I attended the Europol Headquarters at the Hague to present my findings from a complex investigation involving the Global Provision of Denial of Service Tools. After that, International investigations were launched and resulted in coordinated arrests and conviction of several individuals. It was certainly a unique experience to represent UK law enforcement on a stage as grand as the Europol conference room.”
Tell us about your role in Pragma.
“I am extremely excited to be part of the expansion of Pragma into the European and UK market. I will be leading the Incident Response team in the UK and Europe, as an extension of the established Singapore operation, with each region providing mutually support which gives our clients the benefit of a follow the sun, 24/7 operating model. Pragma has been highly successful in the Asian and Australian market. Our European operation will leverage and build on that excellence for the local market.”
How do you think companies will approach cybersecurity in the months or years to come?
“Cybersecurity should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, whether you work with businesses, charities, academic institutions, or any other organisation. No one is exempt from the immense threat caused by the cyber threat actor. In the wake of the recent global Covid-19 pandemic, the benefits of remote working have become a lifeline for many businesses. Remote working for most organisations had to be configured very quickly, and this has created many new vulnerabilities and opportunities for cybercriminals. Many companies are already planning to retain an element of remote working for many months to come, so there are still some inevitable cyber implications that we will need to support, and respond to, over the foreseeable future. Our team has full UK coverage so we can conduct site visits if necessary and provide support throughout an incident. At the same time, we can provide remote service and support our clients through every aspect of an incident and the subsequent security enhancements which may be required.”
Is there anything else you are working on now?
“In my own time, I am working towards obtaining the GIAC Certified Incident Handler qualification and hope to have that under my belt very shortly. The next challenge on my list after that will be to keep abreast of the ever-changing qualifications across our industry and then pick the next exam to focus on.”
About Pragma Incident Response
Pragma provides Incident Response services to organisations from diverse industries in over 135 countries globally. If you require immediate assistance, please email [email protected]