The Importance of Cyber Security in the War on Data
The fact you’ve landed on this page means you’re at least thinking about cyber security.
The next thing to do is to digest some of the information below.
You’ll learn about the importance of cyber security solutions and the impact of cyber crime.
Cyber crime can easily affect your business negatively if you don’t have certain procedures in place.
In addition, think about what your reputation as a business means to your customers, your standing in your particular sector, your turnover and potential sales.
That hard-earned reputation can be left in tatters if your cyber security is compromised.
And with remote working becoming the norm, cyber security is even more vital to your business.
Types of cyber threats.
Cyber security, cyber crime and cyber threats are broad terms.
Let’s drill down a little deeper into just a few of the cyber crimes out there.
Malware encompasses various types of cyber attacks including spyware, viruses and worms.
Malware breaches a network when a user clicks on a dangerous link or email attachment.
It then installs malicious software inside the system.
The most common types of malware include:
- Viruses. These infect applications, replicating themselves, infecting code and attaching to executable code or files.
- Trojans. A malicious program hiding inside a useful program, often establishing a backdoor for attackers.
- Worms. Often installed through email attachments, worms send themselves to every contact in the host’s email list, propagating across networks and often used to overload servers.
- Ransomware. Used to deny access to the victim’s data unless a ransom is paid.
- Spyware. A program that’s installed to collect information about a victim’s system, browsing habits etc. The information is then used for blackmailing or to install other malicious programs.
You’ve probably received a phishing email. They attempt to have the appearance of an email from a reliable source but actually link to a malicious script or file.
Often set up using phishing or malware attacks, an attacker exploits security vulnerabilities in a network, inserting themselves between 2 victims, for example, unsecured public WiFi and a user’s device. The attacker can then interrupt the traffic between the 2 victims, stealing or manipulating data.
Sometimes called a drive-by download, this attack requires the user to click on a link, usually through an advert or pop-up, that redirects them to a malicious site or infects the user’s PC directly.
The site the user gets taken to could be a legitimate website that has already been hacked and compromised by the cyber criminal, or a malicious website set up by the hacker.
Increase in cyber crimes.
In the 2021 Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA), Europol says “virtually all” criminal activities have an online aspect to them and many have completely migrated online.
The shift to digital services, the increase in remote working and online shopping and increased availability of cyber crime services online, for example, have all been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The growth of social media has also led to a growth in identity fraud.
Then you also have the growth of data, including sensitive information, being stored in cloud services.
You can see why cyber crime is booming.
And you can see why assessing your cyber security is absolutely vital.
Protect your data and protect your reputation.
Impact of cyber crime.
Cyber attacks can be financially devastating, disruptive - let alone deeply upsetting – to people and businesses large and small.
A recent cabinet office report estimates that the cost to the economy of cyber crime is a staggering £27bn and is likely to be growing.
And you may remember the WannaCry ransomware campaign a few years ago that affected the NHS and many other organisations worldwide - leaked personal data on a huge scale and even lives put at risk as services were damaged.
The NCA (National Crime Agency) states that young criminals are often driven by kudos, whereas organised UK cyber crime groups are driven by huge profits.
And, as awareness of potential profits grows, off-the-shelf tools mean that the world of cyber crime becomes even more attractive to criminals.
On top of this, the NCA says there is significant under-reporting and “the level of sentencing is not commensurate with the seriousness of attacks”.
Another massive incentive for cyber criminals.
You can end up spending huge amounts of money repairing the damage from a cyber attack. There may be penalties and compensation payments to customers or contractual compensation, including GDPR regulatory fines. There may be loss of intellectual property, service and employment disruptions too.
In addition, a cyber attack can also create long-term damage to a company’s reputation and can stifle growth.
How cyber security protects you from cyber crime.
It’s not all doom and gloom though.
There are steps you can take, and most cyber attacks can be prevented quickly and simply.
Make your staff aware of some best practices. For example:
- Don’t give out business or personal information, financial details or passwords to an unexpected email, phone call or text message.
- Think before responding to emails, opening attachments, or clicking in links in text messages if they’re from an unknown source.
- Use strong passwords. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recommends using 3 random words to create a strong, unique password that’s easier to remember.
- Review privacy settings on business social media accounts.
- Make sure your data is backed up.
Then there are cyber security services you should explore with a cyber security consultant, including:
- Cyber security assessment.
- Data security.
- Network security.
- Application security.
- Identity and access management.
- Remote working.
- Bespoke cyber security development.
Pop over to our cyber security services page for more information on how we can help and guide your cyber security.
You may also find this article useful too – ‘Cyber security services for business.’
Hopefully, this article has highlighted the importance of effective cyber security, for any size business.
Cyber crime is only going to increase and become more intelligent and cunning.
But by using a specialist cyber security consultant like BlueFort Security, you can protect your business, your customers and your reputation.
This article has come from part of our research that has uncovered some key findings that every UK CISO will want to know. We will be hosting a hybrid, interactive event that will be broadcast on the 15th October, 3:30 pm from a studio in London, UK to a live audience of CISOs and CTOs - Bluefort Live
Get in touch with any questions or requirements by calling 01252 917000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form.