A recent estimate by McAfee valued the damages associated with cybercrime at an incredible $400 billion, up from $250 billion just two years ago, with the costs incurred by UK businesses also stretching into the billions.
In a bid to protect themselves from this new wave of cybercrime, organisations are investing increasing amounts into their cyber security, escalating their digital frontiers and security protocols.
Despite this, many organisations remain reluctant. This can be as a result of the associated costs, or the overwhelming range of tools and services available.
Here are five reasons that cyber security is now more important than ever, for any organisation.
1) The rising cost of a breach
Cyber attacks are hugely expensive for an organisation to endure. A recent study suggested that the average cost of a data breach was, for a larger firm, £20,000. However, in many ways, this still underestimates the true cost of a successful attack against an organisation.
In addition to the direct pecuniary costs, such as financial damage or the cost of remediation, a number of indirect costs can also be applied to a breach, namely in the form of reputational damage. A cyber attack can cause customers to lose trust in an organisation and take their business elsewhere. Likewise, a reputation for poor security following a breach could hinder an organisation’s success in winning new contracts in the future.
2) Increasingly sophisticated hackers
Almost every organisation has a website, or some other externally exposed system, which could create vulnerability in providing a hacker with an entry point to internal networks.
Hackers have a lot to gain from successful breaches and this has led to countless instances of well-funded and co-ordinated cyber attacks against some of the largest organisations in the UK. For example, even Deloitte, one of the world’s largest cyber security consultants, was subjected to an attack in October 2017.
With highly sophisticated attacks becoming increasingly common, it is now recommended that an organisation assume that its systems will be breached at some point, and subsequently implement the necessary controls to detect and combat any malicious activity before it causes any widespread damage or disruption.
3) The widespread availability of hacking tools
Whilst well-funded and highly-skilled e-criminals pose significant risk to modern organisations, the widening availability of hacking tools and programmes on the internet means that there is a growing threat even from lower-skilled individuals.
The commercialisation of cybercrime has provided a platform for anyone to obtain the necessary resources to launch malicious and potentially very damaging attacks, from ransomware through to cryptomining.
4) The proliferation of IoT devices
Nowadays, more smart devices than ever are connected to the internet. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becoming commonplace in homes and offices throughout the country and, whilst on the one hand these devices can speed up and simplify tasks and provide greater control and accessibility, their newfound proliferation can pose a significant problem.
If IoT devices are not properly managed, they could easily provide an e-criminal with a gateway to an organisation’s internal systems. With Cisco predicting that, by 2021, there will be approximately 27.1 billion connected devices globally, IoT is likely to become even more of a threat to cyber security in the coming years.
IoT devices can introduce a variety of weaknesses, therefore it is recommended that an organisation conduct frequent vulnerability assessments, in order to identify and address any risks presented by these devices.
5) Tighter regulations
It is no longer the threat of criminal attacks alone that means organisations need to be investing more into their cyber security. The introduction of GDPR has meant that organisations are required to hold their security in much higher stead, or risk heavy fines.
The General Data Protection Regulations were introduced by the EU in order to force organisations into taking better care of any sensitive data that they may hold. As a part of the wider regulations, organisations are required to implement the necessary technological and organisational solutions to protect sensitive data, to regularly review these systems, and to detect, investigate and report data breaches as they happen.
4C Strategies – Cyber Essentials Certified Consultants
4C Strategies has received Cyber Essentials Certification, demonstrating our ardent commitment to cyber security. Not only that, but our consultants underpin this commitment with the necessary skills and experience to ensure that an organisation’s ICT infrastructure is rigidly protected from the proliferation and sophistication of modern cybercrime.
To find out more, call 4C Strategies today on 01858 438938, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.