Fight Back – Protect Your Company From A Hack Attack

Fight Back – Protect Your Company From A Hack Attack

07 February 2016

Possibly the biggest threat to our economy.”

 

That’s how cybercrime was recently described by a British Government Minister.  And it’s true.  It’s costing UK plc tens of billions of pounds each year.

 

A few well-documented cases have hit the headlines over the last couple of years.  There was the Talk Talk hack where customers’ bank account numbers and contact details were stolen and used to con unsuspecting members of the public into handing over life savings. 

 

There was also the Sony Pictures case, where emails between some of the media giant’s top executives were leaked online.  These embarrassingly revealed notes between senior staff sniping about movie stars, details of pay disparities between male and female actors, and derogatory comments about Barack Obama’s race. This correspondence is still available via Wikileaks and will, most likely, forever remain online.

 

Not great for business.

 

Cybercrime can be extremely damaging.  A DDOS attack or hack can incur a loss of assets such as customer account numbers and details as well as secret designs and sensitive employee information.  As a result, your company may face costly litigation and hefty expenditure in implementing protective measures to prevent a repeat of the action.  You may lose business whilst the attack is happening and being resolved and you may ultimately have to change your business methods.  And that’s all before you take into account the short and long term reputational damage to your credibility.

 

Whilst only serious beaches of security tend to make the news, cybercrime is constantly happening.  It’s a side effect of the digital age and no company, regardless of size, is immune.  The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a reality and virtually everything on the internet is potentially hackable.

 

It’s often thought that it is enough just for IT professionals to be aware of the issue but, in reality, business leaders also have a responsibility to be clued up.  Too many top executives still believe their organisation has no valuable data and will not be targeted.  But, put simply, being connected to the internet exposes you to risk and, if you’re not paying attention, you’re a vulnerable target.

 

More and more devices all using WIFI create more opportunities to relay information over the Internet.  Your digital communications tools, such as websites, email databases and social media platforms, can be targeted.  Your information being stored in the cloud can be more open to attack than, say, a server in your office.  And then there’s your employees – potentially your weakest link.

 

With new kinds of technologies, new risks develop.  And companies need to be better prepared to face these challenges.

 

So, where to start?  Should companies have a data breach response plan in place?  Maybe buy cyber insurance? Or perhaps just stick with the simple things like encryption of data, using virus software or using a password manager?

 

Whichever method you opt for, it would be advisable to start with cyber training

 

Once the real-world risks that those esoteric cyber technologies can introduce to our daily lives are grasped, the rationale for cyber-security awareness training becomes more obvious.

 

Not only do police officers need to become better at spotting and investigating cybercrimes, but managers in all industries and sectors, and at all levels, need to start factoring cyber-security and cybercrime risks into their normal planning and decision-making processes.

 

It is a topic with that brings with it implications for everything from product design to insurance and from marketing to payment processing.

 

Cybercrime is here to stay and the time to develop your own level of awareness is now.

 

 

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