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19 May 2017 | Filed under: Cyber security

The hackers are closing in…

Am I at risk from a cyber attack ?

Yes.  Nearly two thirds of medium/large UK businesses suffered a cyber attack last year.

Who is being attacked ?

At present, businesses with over 100 employees are much more likely to be attacked compared to their smaller counterparts.   However – as larger enterprises respond by improving their online defences the criminals will increasing attack smaller, less well-defended targets.  You might be on borrowed time.

So should I be concerned ?

One year from now the EU’s new mega law on data protection – the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) – will come into force.  This wide-ranging shakeup will affect almost every organisation that holds client data and includes a mandatory requirement to inform individuals of any data breach ‘likely to result in a risk for their rights and freedoms”.  Companies involved in data processing will be required to appoint a suitably qualified Data Protection Officer.  Fines for those in default of this new legislation are huge – up to 4% of worldwide annual turnover.

And it’s not only regulators who punish inadequate security protocols.  Investors shy away from companies with lax security.  FTSE100 companies who disclose a data breach see an average 2.7% fall in share price.

What should I do ?

A British Chambers Of Commerce survey discovered that only 24% of businesses hold cyber security accreditations, and in companies with less than 4 staff this falls to just 10%.  This is surprisingly important, as some simple housekeeping can significantly lower your risk.  The recent The Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2016 from Europol stated: “It should be noted that the majority of reported attacks are neither sophisticated nor advanced. While it is true that in some areas cybercriminals demonstrate a high degree of sophistication in the tools, tactics and processes they employ, many forms of attack work because of a lack of digital hygiene, a lack of security by design and a lack of user awareness.”

The National Cyber Security Centre offers good basic advice – ’10 Steps to Cyber Security’ – which can be accessed here, and information on obtaining Cyber Essentials Accreditation which can be found here.  And for a “belt and braces” approach you may like to consider Cyber Liability Insurance Cover (‘CLIC’) – a basic guide can be found here.

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