The importance of cyber security – How can you protect your business against a growing threat?
Almost half of British businesses have experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last year. Kirsty Davey of the Corporate and Commercial team at Coodes Solicitors asks what businesses can do to protect themselves against a growing threat.
“The Government has just published the Cyber Security Breaches Survey for 2017 and there are some pretty stark findings. The one that stood out to me was that 46% of UK businesses have discovered at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last year. The other key finding for me was that the majority – 72% – related to staff receiving fraudulent email.
“The results of the survey highlight the fact that this is a growing threat and one that all businesses face. While previously perhaps cyber attacks were associated with big corporations, it is clear that this is something that can affect businesses of any size.
“Software has previously been seen as the key but this will go only go some of the way to protecting your business. The fact that nearly three quarters of attacks came through fraudulent emails to staff shows just how important it is empower people to recognise threats. Staff awareness and training on cyber security needs to be a priority for all businesses.
“Another interesting point made by the survey is that so many breaches go unreported. Apparently only a quarter of businesses report an attack to an external agency. If your business suffers an attack, it is really important to report it. I suspect the reason that so many do not is that they feel embarrassed about being fooled by a fraudulent email. In fact it is so easy to be taken in, especially when we are all busy and do not always look closely at emails before clicking on links. Businesses should report the matter to the police and also contact Action Fraud. It is important not to wait to try and deal with the matter yourself but to involve the police immediately.
“Cyber attacks can cause huge losses for businesses. Having the right insurance and software is clearly important but educating and empowering staff will be the key to tackling this growing threat.”