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Cyber security: Understand the threat to your business

July 31, 2018

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Right now, a business is being attacked. And while the criminals behind the attack might never be identified, they’re absolutely professional in their approach – and they can cost you a fortune and your credibility. Last year alone, 17million British people were victims of cyber crime, yet incredibly, not everyone gives cyber security the consideration it demands. 

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The facts are simple – businesses need to take cyber security more seriously. And to do this, we need to modify how we think and approach this growing crime. 

The three culprits you need to be aware of

Nigel Houlden, Head of Technology Policy at the Information Commissioner’s Office identified the biggest security threats to UK businesses, and they make for uncomfortable reading. These three culprits could bring your business to its knees – so you need to be aware of the facts: 

  1. IoT vulnerability. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks will continue to become more prevalent, particularly on businesses that use devices with poor to non-existent security. Perimeter security is vital.
  2. Email scams. It’s the oldest trick in the book. Staff receive an ‘innocent’ email that contains ransomware, a phishing scam or a high-level (C-level) impersonation. While many staff know not to open these emails, somebody will inevitably accidentally open such a message.  
  3. Being unaware. Preparation is key. If you stay abreast of these challenges, you can better prepare for the devastating effects they can wreak on your business. Many organisations don’t have the relevant level of protection needed to prevent a cyber-attack.

The three big security solutions

Cyber crime is a daunting prospect. But with the right support in place, you can be ready to tackle it head on: 

  1. IoT vulnerability solutions: It’s important to defend at the network perimeter. Take adequate steps to prevent unauthorised traffic from crossing your perimeter - this will help keep you protected with devices such as IoTs with poor security/update cycles. This will typically involve focussing on the ability to identify real web traffic from abnormal application traffic, DDOS and the capacity to deploy firewalls to prevent sophisticated application attacks.
  2. Prevent email scams: Use an email security solution such as Barracuda Email Security to protect your email. The Barracuda service scans email and also provides email back-up, giving you protected recovery points.
  3. Be aware – ignorance isn’t bliss: Take ownership of your security by instilling a ‘security first’ policy at home and at work. Whether you’re a business owner or team manager, make sure those around you know the risks and understand what is at stake. And crucially, make sure they have the knowledge and the skills to protect both themselves and the business. 

Make security a shared problem

The more people that are aware of the cyber security risks in your organisation, the better. After all, an effective cyber security plan isn’t just a challenge for the IT team – it’s something that every member of your business should embrace. As such, layered security should be a top priority.

Furthermore, with GDPR now live, it’s more important than ever to keep your data safe – particularly as the commercial ramifications could be crippling. With fines potentially as high as €20 million or 4% of your annual global turnover, this is a mistake you can’t afford to make. 

Think about it: €20 million or 4% of your annual global turnover!

Change your behaviour, or have it changed for you…

Andre Vaux

About the author

Andre is Managing Director at claireLOGIC - a business which delivers IT and Communications services to businesses in the UK.

IT Support Oxford

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