Cyber security is a field that often gets overlooked by SMEs as more attention is paid to software development.

While it can be tempting to plough more resources into the technical coding aspects that consumers can actively use, cyber security is an equally important consideration for any business.

With cyber crime on the rise, here we look at the most important reasons for upping your cyber security protocols as soon as possible.

The Increase In Cyber Crime

Global cyber crime has risen by 63% in the past three years, with the number of significant attacks going up by 50%. The scope of said cyber crime is vast, with some attacks reportedly co-ordinated by entire nations, and other small scale instances of denial of service attacks or blackmail using hacked information.

Furthermore, the concept of cyber crime is also changing, with traditional systems-based attacks not the only means of disrupting a target..

Whether the threat is large or small, what’s clear is that in the coming years, the risk of cyber crime affecting people and their business interests is sure to increase.

Being unprepared given that so many of these threats are avoidable is not only inadvisable but irresponsible as it puts your entire business, your employees and your customers at risk.

Biggest Cyber Security Threats

The 2017 breach of the NHS’s cyber security defences with a somewhat straightforward ransomware attack highlighted the need for more awareness of the importance of cyber security.

In total, “WannaCry” affected over 70,000 NHS devices, showing how even some larger organisations are vulnerable to attacks. With this in mind, here are some of the most common cyber security threats that you need to be aware of when looking to improve your cyber security.

Data Leaks

Data leaks are one of the most recognisable forms of cyber crime, as hackers infiltrate a database and look to exploit the data for their own ends. Sometimes, the data is leaked to the public at large, compromising the privacy of the organisation and its consumers or users, or the information is collected, and the owner held to ransom.

Ransomware

Rather than procure information, ransomware looks to compromise operating systems of individuals or a business. Once a device has been afflicted, the company may then be asked to pay a ransom before the device is made usable.

Spyware

Spyware monitors web browsing and secure information such as credit card numbers or passwords to use for pernicious purposes. Spyware is often installed using a technique called Trojan horsing, where the program attaches itself to another piece of software.

Phishing

A somewhat antiquated means of cyber crime that has been around since the invention of email, this technique involves sending a fraudulent email to a person or business asking for sensitive information such as bank details. Phishing is still reasonably prominent with 2,244,312 such emails sent in 2017 alone according to the APWG.

Cost Of Cyber Security

In terms of estimated costs, every cyber security breach is suggested to cost larger firms £20,000, although this figure can vary dependent on the type of attack. It must also be mentioned that the intangible costs should be considered, as the cost in terms of future revenue lost due to damage to a brand can be enormous.

After a cyber attack exposed data from TalkTalk in October 2015, the company lost over 101,000 customers in just four months. The attack also closed its online sales platform, costing the business around £15m according to a third quarter statement.

Contrasted to this, the average salary for an experienced cyber security professional is £72,500, meaning even a team of ten would cost less than 5% of the total amount lost by TalkTalk as a result of the data breach.

How To Improve Your Cyber Security

The figures mentioned above can seem daunting, but for the majority of businesses, finance shouldn’t be an issue when looking to improve cyber security. Starting salaries for cyber security professionals fall between £25,000 and £35,000, meaning that a small team shouldn’t take too much from an annual salary budget. Furthermore, this work can be outsourced to freelancers or specialist agencies if you still feel like it’s too much.

Building a cyber security team of any sort is imperative, although the skills gap in the sector can make it harder to find new employees. Fortunately, Code Nation are committed to training new cyber security professionals with skills tailored to your business, and our courses help prepare your potential new employees for the rigours of dealing with cyber crime.

Want to find out how we could help improve your cyber security measures? Get in touch with us today!

Email: hello@wearecodenation.com

Call: 0333 050 4570

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