Cyber crime

How do I... stop my business becoming a victim of cyber crime?

This year we have experienced some of the biggest ransomware attacks in history, which have affected businesses and individuals across the globe. This means that putting cyber fraud at the top of your IT agenda and investing the time to understand the risk to your business is a very wise strategy.

The scale of the threat is significant as these facts relating to the current cyber crime landscape in the UK show:

  • £21.2bn – the cost of fraud to the private sector in the UK.
  • On average it is 231 days before you know you’ve been hacked.
  • CEO fraud has been known to cost up to £18.5m in one instance.
  • The average cost of a security breach is £75k – £311k.
  • 23% of recipients open phishing emails and 11% open attachments.

The types of risk are ever changing and different strategies are required for protection.

There are various types of threat such as social engineering, CEO impersonation and phishing emails where fraudsters pass themselves off as legitimate suppliers or clients and make demands for payments or similar.

There are also direct attacks at your hardware and software such as Malware, Trojans and Ransomware. These attacks normally have malicious software in an email attachment that masquerades as something innocent. Once opened, it can infect and log your keystrokes to capture sensitive data such as passwords or encrypt the data on your hard drive, making it impossible to retrieve important documents and files.

Cyber fraud is in increasing risk and all businesses should ensure they are prepared. So how can you protect your business?

My top tips are:

  1. Educate your team about the threat of email ‘phishing attacks’. Vulnerability testing via ‘white hat’ phishing campaigns can test employee knowledge of scam emails and provide awareness training and reporting.
  2. Avoid Ransomware – secure your workstations, servers and mobile devices with industry leading anti-virus protection.
  3. Encrypt your data for security and GDPR compliance - a simple and extremely effective action you can take.
  4. Finally, people are potentially the greatest weakness and the easiest to exploit. It is said that if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it, so understanding the risk and some simple steps you can take to mitigate it could make all the difference and mean that attackers move on to a softer target.

We are holding a FREE breakfast seminar entitled 'cyber crime could damage your business', on Tuesday 10th October at 8am at Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham. The event is run jointly by Clive Owen LLP, Barclays, Erimus Insurance Brokers and ESET who provide industry level anti-virus protection.

The event outlines the types of fraud, the implications and simple strategies for protection. It’s FREE and you can sign up here

For more information on any of the topics covered here, please contact Lee Huck, Director, Clive Owen Technology Services on 01325 349700 or