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Cybersecurity

by Tony Richardson CISSP

THINK YOUR BUSINESS IS TOO SMALL TO BE A VICTIM? THESE STATS WILL MAKE YOU THINK AGAIN…

You might think that your small business is too insignificant to be a target for cyber criminals, but you would be wrong. In fact, most small businesses have been the victims or targets of cyber attacks. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your business has adequate cybersecurity protections in place. Without them, you could be risking not only your data, but also your customers’ trust. Your entire business could be brought to a standstill or unravel in the blink of an eye. Check out these stats for some sobering food for thought.

1. 27% of organisations say they experience security incidents at least once a week

It’s becoming difficult to stay secure in the ever changing digital world. The number of cyber criminals is rising steeply, armed with techniques that are more sophisticated with each passing day. Sometimes these criminals target people personally by trying to take personal information, however attacks on business are just as frequent; if not more common than you probably think. 

More than a quarter of businesses reporting incidents is a huge amount; considering that tons of companies don’t even monitor cybersecurity and their systems sufficiently.

2. The UK has encountered 14.6 million ransomware attack attempts this year alone

Ransomware attacks are a big culprit in this cybercrime surge and are markedly up this year on the back of the remote workforce model propagating and the increasing attractiveness of using cryptocurrency for ransoms. We talked about this here.

14.6 million per year is equivalent to 44.9% of working adults experiencing attacks if they were distributed equally across the 32.5 million workers in the UK. Of course they aren’t distributed like this but we thought that it would be fun to see what the figure is. At almost half, it’s shocking.

3. 94% of malware attacks originate within emails

The common use of email among businesses has made it one the most popular ways to communicate. This can be both an asset and liability if not handled with care, as emails are sometimes used by cybercriminals for malicious intent like sending them attachments full of malware.

Without the appropriate email cybersecurity measures implemented, your business email accounts can be a source of massive vulnerability. Secure them promptly and solidly.

4. Human error accounts for 95% of data breaches

Security is tough. It’s not just a matter of preventing people from getting into your system, it also involves stopping attacks or mitigating impacts. And because humans make mistakes sometimes these errors can lead to breaches that let hackers take advantage of the victims or the business –whether innocently downloading malware-infected attachments or failing to use strong passwords properly (and thereby putting themselves at risk).

5. Don’t take our word for it, excel at finding the truth about the power cybercriminals have when attacking your critical points

Did you solve our riddle/secret code? 

Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Powerpoint. These are the most common attachment formats, which can contain malware, scams, nasties and a whole gamut of infectious files. They’ve been around for a while now which means they’re likely to be familiar in your organisation or computer system – even if you don’t use them regularly yourself.

6. 73% of UK businesses experienced phishing in the last 12 months

It is a well-known fact that many employees have been tricked into giving up their login data through fraudsters. This allows them to breach corporate systems and steal everything from money, personal information including passwords – even company secrets.

World events are providing criminals with golden opportunities to launch new phishing scams. The data here suggests that as awareness and concern for an issue grows, so too does its chances of being targeted by these scammers in hopes it will compromise victims’ information or funds, don’t let your guard down! It is likely there’ll be more attacks to both organizations AND individuals alike with COVID still in the background it’s a perfect pretext for attackers.

7. Large companies lost an average of £13,400 from Data breaches

According to Gov.uk “where businesses have faced breaches with material outcomes, the average (mean) cost of all the cyber security breaches these businesses have experienced in the past 12 months is estimated to be £8,460. For medium and large firms combined, this average cost is higher, at £13,400. There are too few charities in the sample to report average costs in this way…overall costs recorded for businesses and charities follow a similar pattern.”

8. On an annual basis, more cyber attacks have taken place in 2021 than any year in history

As a consolidation of the trend last year, the upward rise in the number of attacks has continued, reaching new heights amid the heightened sense of emergency around the world. 

Conclusion 

On that happy bombshell, let’s stop with the dreary list! The cybersecurity landscape is changing daily and hackers will always find new ways to access data for their own gain. Even if you think you’re too small to be targeted by cybercriminals, it’s important to take action now before they target your company.
If you’re a small business, don’t slip into thinking hackers will ignore you. The reality is that any size of company may become a target and data from recent hacks show how devastating cyber attacks can be to businesses big or small. It’s important to take proactive steps every day in order to protect your organization by implementing cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, antivirus software and spam filters for example.