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The Increase in Cyber Attacks

Social distancing has meant that in the workplace, reliance on technology has never been greater. Some would even go as far as to say that we are lucky the pandemic has emerged in a world where we are so equipped at handling the long-distance working relationship, but are we aware of the dangers?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in cyber attacks targeting the public at large. Cyber attacks have leveraged against key global pandemic campaigns to utilise their malicious campaigns, in what has been described as a ‘gift’ for cyber criminals. With the majority of professionals relying on the internet to stay in touch with the outer world, these attacks are becoming stronger and more creative to exploit remote work practices. With Netwrix’s 2020 Cyber Threats Report reporting a 63% increase in cyber attack frequency due to the pandemic, it is crucial to be aware of and take action against modern cyber risks.

Covid 19 protected hands picking up a gift. Displaying how cyber criminals viewed the pandemic.

Were We Prepared?

The fact is, organisations were largely unprepared for such a shift at the start of the year and how quickly COVID-19 would alter our world. There was a major rush to adapt and provide employees with remote homeworking equipment, to the extent where 85% of Chief Information Security Officers admitted to sacrificing cyber security procedures to enable remote practices. Considering the risk this will have put businesses at, it is no surprise that so many businesses experienced a change to their threat landscape.

Even the most central agent of them all during the crisis, the World Health Organisation (WHO), fell victim as they faced a fivefold increase in cyber attacks. In April, 450 active WHO employee email addresses and passwords were leaked online. Fortunately, this attack was targeted towards outdated information however since this breach, WHO have put new measures in place to secure their systems.

Serving as a reminder that cyber attacks do not discriminate against business size or importance.

What Went Wrong?

As a result of poor adaption to cyber security in the remote setting, it does not come as a surprise that security within organisations was compromised. However, what was suprising is that this increase in cyber attacks was in part enabled by the employees themselves. With 58% of IT professionals reporting that employees did not follow cyber security policies and guidelines when at home, this enabled attacks to skyrocket.


As seen through the malicious attack on WHO, cyber initiatives often start from within. How can you expect to achieve external cyber security without securing the internal foundations first? Everybody has a role to play in cyber protection, from employees to directors. Organisations should be urged to host appropriate cyber security training to ensure that everyone is aware of the increased dangers collectively faced by businesses around the world.


The problem is that without cyber risk management and mitigation technologies to determine when you will be or if your system has been compromised, it can take months to realise an attack has already occurred. In fact, a recent report by IBM determined that on average, it takes 280 days to identify and contain a data breach. Hence, reiterating the importance of having the right internal knowledge and cyber protocols in place to proactively prevent attacks before they can occur.


To improve cyber knowledge within your organisation, we recommend going above and beyond standard tick-box exercises. We partner with CybSafe, a cyber security training company which differentiates itself from competitors by focusing on psychological behaviour change to really change habits. This is crucial when working within a world which relies on efficient homeworking.

Kurt Schrauwen



Kurt Schrauwen is a Director of the Riela Group of companies which includes Riela Yachts, Riela Cyber and Riela Tech. 

Kurt brings more than 20 years of leadership experience having been an early part of the global success of Microgaming in becoming a market leader. Kurt was responsible for the commercial, contractual, and technical sales for Microgaming and with this experience will complement the company’s growth strategy.

Kurt is passionate about business optimisation and prides himself in having an intrapreneurial outlook to maximise staff potential, reduce inefficiencies as well as identifying and maturing revenue growth opportunities.

Paul Cocker

Service Delivery Coordinator

Paul Cocker joined the Riela Group in late 2021, after spending just under 20 years with his previous employer.

Paul is responsible for the Riela Tech service levels, working on both the dispatch function and SLA management. Paul carries out a variety of duties across the Network Operations Centre and works closely across the wider team to deliver professionally tailored solutions for our Riela Tech clients.


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Murat Guner

Infrastructure Engineer

Murat Guner joined the Riela Group in the Summer of 2021 as an Infrastructure Engineer.

Murat began his career in Turkey as a computer teacher for primary and secondary schools before migrating his skills into IT infrastructure. After honing his IT experiences throughout a colourful career path, Murat gained numerous qualifications which he is now excited to apply to the management of our Riela Tech infrastructure.

Andrew Clucas

Senior Network Engineer

Andy is a qualified Network Engineer with in-depth knowledge of architecting, implementing and supporting networking solutions in the SMB, Enterprise and Service Provider environments.

He has over 20 years of experience working across multiple vendor operating systems, including Cisco, Juniper, Linux and Microsoft, and has also been responsible for implementing a variety of large scale network services deployments, taking projects from design to rollout and support.

Andy also has experience of deploying and migrating a range of virtualisation technologies including VMWare, Hyper-V and KVM based systems.

Marc Dorey

Infrastructure & Managed Services Lead

Marc is our Group’s Infrastructure and Managed Services lead with over 18 years’ experience in delivering infrastructure projects across multiple industry verticals and international jurisdictions.  From projects in Aerospace and Engineering through to Banking and Insurance, from Europe, China, Africa and Australia.

This experience is matched with a varied list of certifications from leading industry vendors such as Hp, Cisco, Microsoft, Ruckus, CompTIA and more.  As a qualified technical trainer Marc is comfortably able to take complicated technical concepts and deliver them in simplistic terms to key decision makers and end users alike.

Most of Marc’s experience has been gained working for managed service providers, both large and niche and as such is able to take real world experience and blend it with industry standards to help align our service delivery with our clients values and processes.

Alexandria halsall

Marketing Executive

As a Marketing Executive, Alex is responsible for all marketing duties spanning the Riela Group.

Alex joined the Riela Group in August 2020, shortly after graduating with a Psychology degree from Nottingham Trent University.

With past work experience in content marketing, event management and web design, Alex is able to apply her creative and analytical skills into the Riela strategy.

Matthew Roberts

Head of Sales

As the Head of Group Sales at the Riela family of companies, Matthew leads the company’s sales strategy, execution, and growth.

Matthew has a successful record building trusted client relationship and delivering upon set expectations. An accomplished sales leader, he delivers a sales process that provides clients with the information and support they need to make the right decisions for their organisations and their constituents.

Matthew has significant experience within the maritime industry having previously worked across various sectors including insurance, security, satellite communications and managed IT. Matthew’s most recent experience encompasses almost 5 years spent with the leading satellite communications and managed IT provider in the maritime industry, focusing on their superyacht clientele.

Christian Goelz Riela Cyber

christian goelz


Christian is involved across the Riela family of companies with particular attention to the technology businesses, Cyber and Tech.

Christian gained a postgraduate Master in Finance degree at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and completed his MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Before joining us, Christian worked for six years at Argosy Capital, an Isle of Man-based private equity and venture capital business focusing on early-stage growth businesses. At Argosy, he focused on managing investment companies, research and financial analysis and served as a director on several boards.


Riela Group Managing Director

Robert Tobin is the Managing Director of the Riela Group of Companies and is responsible in overseeing our business operations, our people and driving excellence in all we do.

Rob brings over 25 years’ of successful leadership and entrepreneurial experience across a range of industries including Family Office, corporate services, construction engineering, Superyachts, cyber security and information technology development to our Group, and to our customers.

In the past 15 years Rob has gained a prominent reputation within the Superyacht industry for his passion, integrity, innovation and achievements to date.

“Being part of an awesome, capable and forward thinking team that have a shared passion for Superyachts, people and the environment is the highlight of my career and puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step everyday”.

Peter Astell Burt


Peter is an experienced technology consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the IT and cyber security industry.  Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), IT Strategy, Start-ups, Regulations, and Online Gaming. Strong consulting professional with a DPhil focused in Natural Sciences from ChristChurch, Oxford.

Tim Bliss

Tim Bliss


Tim Bliss, Managing Director of Riela Tech since the company foundation in 2015 and Director of Riela Cyber, brings over 20 years’ of successful leadership experience across a range of industries including finance and banking, software development, and manufacturing, as well as cyber security and information technology. Prior to forming the company he led the technology for Manx Financial Group PLC, where he was instrumental in business systems transformation.

“It is our hugely capable team of experts that drives our business – it is fantastic and rewarding to be able to use technology, intelligence, and great customer service to help make our clients’ business and staff progressively more efficient resilient and secure”