Don’t allow your business to be the next victim of cyber crime

Don’t allow your business to be the next victim of cyber crime

Nigel Griffiths, chief operating officer at Certus TG takes a look at the increasing threat cybercriminals pose for businesses

There’s no denying it – the threat of online fraud and identity theft is on the rise for individuals.

In a recent BBC article Cifas, the UK anti-fraud organisation, warned that identify theft had reached “epidemic levels”, with a total of 89,000 cases recorded within the first six months of the year, during which cybercriminals had stolen personal information and pretended to be an individual by applying for loans in their name.

The increased thirst for connecting on social media networks – and the information we share within them – coupled with a lax attitude to protecting our computers with the relevant software, has helped the worrying statistic that half of all crime in the UK is now fraud or cyber-related.

But what about the world of business?

The government’s most recent Cyber Governance Health Check Report found that one in ten FTSE 350 businesses had no plan in place to deal with the risk presented by hacking; moreover, almost 70 per cent of respondents reported that their directors hadn’t had training in responding to a cyber-attack.

Perhaps, then, it comes as little surprise that businesses remain exposed to cyber threats, in spite of there being protection available.

Earlier this year ransomware ‘Wannacry’ spread across the globe in what Europol termed an ‘unprecedented’ attack, hitting businesses and service providers, in particular in Europe and Russia. Closer to home, many English and Scottish NHS trusts fell victim to the security breach, resulting in cancelled scans, X-rays and operations, although the government stressed at the time that no patient data had been accessed.

Businesses, of course, are hugely reliant on having safe access to their systems and their data every minute of the day and so a cyber-attack can be disruptive if not disastrous.

Computer hacking is an ever-constant threat to firms but there are simple and effective methods of protection against attacks. Companies can take some straightforward steps to minimise the threat such as ensuring that internal passwords are strong, ensuring all data is backed up and importantly, up-skilling employees on data protection and in identifying potential threats.

In addition to what might seem like common sense, there are a number of specific software products on the market which can reduce the risk of a system hack.  In June this year, Certus TG launched C-Assure 365, an all-round protection product specifically aimed at Office 365 users and providing 100 per cent data back-up, replication and recovery.