Cyber security – on the rise?
If you follow the news at all, you will surely have seen many references to the threat posed by cyber criminals. Technology is at the highest level it has ever been, and cloud computing is being used by more and more businesses. However, with advances in technology comes the downside: advances in cyber crime. Over the years, this has increased in both volume and sophistication. Multinational corporations and small businesses have all fallen victim to cyber crime. Nobody is immune. Therefore, it is important to know the facts regarding cyber crime, and what you can do to reduce the risks.
Experts have theorised that there are three distinct groups of culprits who might engage in cyber crime:
These could be teenagers with a talent for IT, meddling in systems they shouldn’t be. There are many thousands of self taught ‘hackers’ who can break into any number of systems and cause untold damage – whether for fun or more malicious reasons. Another individual threat is that of the disgruntled employee. If a member of staff has an axe to grind, with the right permissions and know how, they can cause very real and long lasting damage to a business.
- Crime gangs
A very serious threat to cyber security can be found in dedicated crime gangs. These groups of people are organised, sophisticated and highly skilled in cracking cyber safety measures. They will be more likely to carry out attacks on a large scale, attacking the bigger corporations. These gangs are generally motivated by money when carrying out cyber attacks.
- Rogue states
Much has been made in the news about rogue states and their threat to cyber security. The media has touched on these issues, with Russia and North Korea being viewed as potential culprits by some. A massive damaging cyber attack on one county from another would likely be viewed as an act of war.
How to protect your company
In this modern age, it should be at the forefront of a business owner’s mind to ensure cyber security measures are in place. If you haven’t thought about it yet, here are some simple steps to make a positive start in protecting your company:
- Take care of the basics – ensure you have multi level security systems in place.
- Look within your organisation – every office has an IT whizz kid, that go to person for any computer issues. Use that person! If they enjoy IT they will likely relish the opportunity to gain more in depth knowledge on this subject. Furthermore, they can become a valuable asset to your business.
- Have security in mind all the time – whether you’re launching a new website to promote your company or opening a new social media account, always have security on the brain! If you think about it from the start rather than as a quick afterthought, you’re far more likely to better prepared in the event of a breach.
- Cloud security – most forward thinking businesses are already using the cloud. Make security for this a high priority! For a more in depth look at cloud security and what you can do to protect yourself, view our blog here.
In conclusion, we must stress that nobody is immune to cyber attacks. As widely reported, there have been several high profile incidents in recent years, involving the NHS, Yahoo and many more. It is important to ensure that you are being as cautious as possible. Always be mindful of security and wary of scams.
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