In a world where so much communication takes place online, our personal and business security is constantly under threat. We store so much information online and often pay insufficient attention to putting in place and updating security measures that protect our personal and business data. What are the real risks and do we really need to services of cyber security companies?
In September a case was held at The Old Bailey where job hunters applying for positions at London’s Harrods store were targeted by cyber criminals. The position appeared to be posted by well-known recruitment company Blue Arrow, but this was a fraudulent cover. When the job hunters downloaded the job descriptions and application forms, they infected their computers with a bug. The hackers then retrieved personal details that enabled them to clear the job hunter’s bank accounts, totalling over a million pounds.
This may seem a relatively small scale target, which has no relevance to you. So, imagine the detrimental effect if your company’s computers were targeted. Not only could your business data and finances be stolen, but in most cases valuable information regarding your clients, suppliers and partner organisations. If it is worth stealing the bank accounts of job hunters, imagine the value of your business to a competitor if a hacker were to sell your client database, intellectual property and profits.
PWC were commissioned by the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to conduct a cyber-security survey with UK companies. The aim was to identify trends, specific threats and to build awareness of the risks to business. The results showed that security breaches were growing, particularly amongst SME’s. Large businesses were facing a significant attack every few days, leading to losses of funds and data. Despite this, most businesses were struggling to keep up with updates to security measures.
The biggest cause of security breaches come from employees, who are often unaware of the potential outcomes of simple actions. These include transferring information between home and work computers via USB sticks, using weak passwords to access restricted data and logging onto social media sites on a work computer. The PWC survey suggests that 36% of the worst breaches were a result of human error. Despite this 42% of the large organisations surveyed didn’t provide security training for their staff.
So consider what security protection you have in place. Is it regularly updated? Technological developments are constant, as are the skills of those with the IT skills to either hack, or protect against hackers. Security protection needs to be updated regularly to remain effective. If you installed a package a year or two ago, it is going to need an update. Do you have separate back up files? If data is lost, you need measures in place to retrieve it, so the loss doesn’t mark the end of your business. Are your employees aware of security measures such as the importance of strong passwords?
If you understand the value of investing in insurance for your business, then it may be time to find out more about the services of cyber security companies. By ensuring you have adequate protection in place to provide you with reassurance that your business is minimising the risk of fraudulent online activities, cyber security companies offer peace of mind. In addition to initial audits, recommendations and installation of suitable software, they will ensure that the products are kept updated as upgrades are introduced. Cyber security companies can also provide training for employees, so everyone within your organisation is aware of the importance of their role in minimising security risks.
Security solutions are continuously being sought, at the moment quantum physics are being explored as they may offer coding solutions that can’t be broken without the human error factor. Hacking will continue to pose a threat in our online world, so protection is a valuable investment for your business. Providing the highest levels of security assurance, companies such as ECA Ltd has specialist consultants and engineers who work with government and commercial organisations to protect secure strategic information assets.