Businesses wake up to the risks of cyber attacks

A recent Government report showed that around stated that 60% of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK have experienced some kind of cyber breach, with the worst breaches costing on average between £65,000 to £115,000 per company.

A cyber-attack may appear in many forms including a hacked server, a virus taking over your network and a loss of sensitive or personal data. The celebrity iCloud hack is still probably the biggest example of a data breach to date with personal photos released of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton.

This startling figure highlights the increasing risk of cyber-attacks and firms are starting to pay attention. The potential costs can be catastrophic including the need to hire IT specialists to fix the problems, the interruption to your business, extortion costs, loss of client information and PR needed to rescue your image.


How firms are protecting themselves from potential cyber breaches

 Protecting your data and information in the workplace has always been a priority. But the rising number of IT in the workplace and Internet related businesses has made the need for security even more important.

Several websites have been adopting the https secure to add extra protection to their websites, including Google and Facebook making the move in 2011 and 2012. The secure server adds extra encryption to any private data, making it harder for external attacks to retrieve private information.

Elsewhere, companies are getting used to have in-house IT security teams, with some specialising in building firewalls and extra protection. The debate still remains as to whether it is more secure to have a server in-house or a cloud server, but this will certainly become more transparent in the future.

The increase in cyber-crime has alerted many to the need for cyber liability insurance, something that is already compulsory in 46 out of 50 states and is something that is being discussed in the EU. (Source: Computer Weekly)

Whilst some business owners might be reluctant to pay for more insurance, cyber cover can be purchased for as little as £15 per month for small companies and can cover up to £5 million per year including legal fees, business interruption and damages. (Source: Be Wiser Business Insurance)


What you can do as an employee

Employees should be wary of cyber breaches and how they can prevent any potential damage. It is something that should be encouraged by senior staff and made part of regular training.

Examples include keeping individual passwords safe and unique, using different passwords for each login so that a hacker knowing one email address and password does not leave you exposed.

Subordinates should be encouraged to turn off their monitors when away from their desks, including toilet, lunch breaks and end of day – to hide sensitive information from any onlookers.

In addition, staff should be encouraged to back up their computers and personal laptops regularly so any data can be retrieved in the event of a potential loss.