In a world in which more and more devices and systems are connected via the internet, the awareness of the importance of data security has grown but illegal ‘hacking’ has become an internationally organised crime, cyber security is an imperative for all businesses. Here are four reasons why.
1. Breaches are expensive
Cyber attacks can be expensive for businesses. The Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study found that data breaches cost UK organisations an average of £2.48 million. Aside from financial damage, a data breach can inflict untold reputational damage. The consequence of this is that customers who lose trust in your business will spend their money elsewhere. A reputation for poor security will also lead to the loss of new contracts.
2. Sophisticated and well funded hackers
Almost every business has a website and other online systems which expose them to hackers. Cyber criminals are well funded and increasingly sophiscticated in their techniques. The growing number of entry points and the financial rewards from hacking have increased the number of attacks over time. There are many examples of coordinated cyber-attacks against some of the largest companies. The Identity Theft resource centre records over 8,854 breaches since 2005 and attacks involving cryptojacking increased by 8,500 per cent in 2017.
3. More IoT devices
Internet of Things devices and are increasingly common in homes and offices. These devices are very useful and help to speed up a range of functions, as well as offering greater levels of control, but they present a problem. Each IoT device that is connected to the internet offers cybercriminals a way into your business. Regular vulnerability assessments to help identify and address risks are now essential.
4. Tighter regulations and fines
The introduction of legislation and regulations such as the European GDPR means that a failure to take the security of customers date seriously can lead to public censure and potentially heavy fines. Among the requirements of the GDPR is the need for organizations to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data. There is also an expectation that businesses regularly review their controls and detect, investigate and report breaches.