Cyber security and its impact on UK businesses
There is a reason why the government has set aside £650 million for a four-year cyber security plan: namely, the estimated £26 billion that cyber crime has cost the country. The initiative has focused not only on direct prevention, but on educating British businesses on the steps they can take to tackle cyber crime, link up with academics and seek out expert advice in order to form a united front in the battle against the threat. So what are the specific threats that companies in the UK currently face and what could be the solution?
Information assets can be worth a lot of money. These are things such as business strategy, market reports and confidential information, as well as intellectual property. Companies which leave these assets vulnerable to malicious threats intending to acquire them are putting their livelihoods in danger.
Physical assets, too, are at risk from disablement or theft, with potentially disastrous consequences.
The same goes for the IT infrastructure which keeps a company operating, including its servers.
The government has gone to great lengths to quantify the threat in terms of the damage it could cause to businesses, bringing the importance of the issue home in tangible terms. It has also made an effort to use non-technical language, so as to make the subject of safe and secure online practices accessible not only to those with an IT background.
Convincing employees that they have a crucial part to play when it comes to the front line of the battle against cyber crime is certainly an important part of the initiative. Protecting corporate information should come as second nature to employees, but unfortunately it is an area which is sometimes overlooked. For this reason, steps have been taken to remind them to be vigilant in areas such as password security, using laptop locks and being careful with client information and similarly sensitive data.
Who are the hackers?
In order to nullify the threat of the individuals found to be behind the biggest cyber attacks, it seems that the government needs to pacify the group to some extent. The talented young computer whizz kids who are often found to be conducting malicious attacks can actually be used as part of the fight against cyber crime, so long as they can be identified and spoken to.
An open dialogue
In order for the government to take a lead role in the cyber crime fightback, it needs to be communicating and collaborating with the private sector to try and ensure compliance. In many cases, businesses may be reluctant to share their information with the government, even as part of the process of reporting cyber crime, so some foundations of trust certainly need to be built in order to create the united front that experts believe is the best response to the problem.
Research reported in Computer Weekly last year shows that cyber crime in the UK is "growing exponentially" with ransomware, phishing and social media among the areas of concern - let us hope that the work put in by the government bears fruit in 2017 and that businesses safeguard themselves against the multitude of threats more effectively.
At Eventura, we excel in cyber security solutions, and can help you identify which of the issues detailed above are most pertinent to your organisation. We don't just put together short and long term plans which can safeguard you against future risks, we can eliminate threats to day to day operations and your reputation.
Get in touch with us today if you'd like help with identifying the risks to your business.