Around 80% of businesses are exposed to cybercrime in one form or another. While the victims used to be the larger businesses with the deep pockets today every enterprise is potentially under threat. That’s because this is big business for those who are able to do it successfully – cybercrime costs the UK around £24 billion every year. Cybercrime is an ever evolving concept as those behind it look to take advantage of gaps in security and a lack of knowledge and understanding to defraud and threaten businesses in order to achieve some financial gain. If you want to be able to protect your business against cyber-security threats then it’s essential to understand what’s involved.
What do you need to be aware of?
The range of cyber-security threats increases by the day but these are just a few of the most common ways in which your business could come under attack.
- Hacking. This is where a third party will break in to gain control over a network, system or website. The purpose of hacking could be to gain access to information or data, to compromise privacy or to cripple systems and websites; the methods are changing every day.
- Ransomware. Now one of the most frequently seen types of cyber-security attack, ransomware uses malware to encrypt files and information within a system so that you are locked out of your own information. You will then be issued with a financial demand - or ransom – before you’re able to gain access to it again.
- DDoS attack. This stands for Distributed Denial of Service attack and uses a form of malware to interrupt servers and networks so that a website becomes completely inaccessible to users for an extended period of time.
- Phishing. This type of cyber-security threat usually arrives via email and looks like it has come from a legitimate business. Usually, it requires a link to be clicked on and personal data provided or a file (containing malware) to be downloaded and this will give the malicious third party access to information they can use for their own gain.
What can you do to protect your business?
- Train your people. Awareness is half the battle where cyber-security is concerned. If your staff know what a phishing email looks like then they are unlikely to fall victim to it. And if your employees understand what to look for as the early signs of a hack or ransomware attack then you may be able to deal with this more quickly as a result.
- Invest in your systems and software. Choose the right level of software security for your business and invest in protection that will be adequate for your systems and the data that you hold. Make sure that you download updates and maintain networks so that you’re not leaving gaps where potential predators can get in.
- Take out insurance. Despite all your efforts your business may still be a victim of cyber crime – where that happens, cyber crime insurance can help to ensure a swift recovery.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to cyber-security threats today but this is a good place to start.