Making cyber security a priority

Making cyber security a priority

As the bill for cyber security breaches around the world mounts up, are smaller firms paying enough attention?

Over the last few years, cyber security has been propelled to the forefront of the public eye. With cyber-attacks and breaches becoming more prevalent and severe than ever before, it’s a concerning issue.

Research by Beaming for Savoy Stewart revealed that 2.9 million UK firms suffered cyber security breaches last year, at a cost of £29.1bn.

With 83% of UK businesses online, the consequences of a cyber-attack/breach can be devastating. According to security professionals consulted by networking hardware company Cisco, operations of an organisation (36%) are most likely to be affected by any potential cyber-attack/breach. Finances (30%), brand reputation (26%), customer retention (26%) and intellectual property (24%) are also affected.

Matthew Yates, a senior IT consultant said:  “Cyber security cannot be ignored. The implications of a cyber-attack or breach can be detrimental towards any company’s reputation and finances. Key decision makers therefore need to put an emphasis on cyber security by placing it at the top of their agenda. In doing so, they can effectively improve their cyber protection against potential threats. More importantly, establish a companywide precedent on embracing cyber security and its everyday importance”.

Darren Best, managing director of commented: “The calamity caused by recent cyber-attacks/breaches emphasises the need to take cyber security very seriously. With threats, likely to intensify as cyber criminals become more ruthless, businesses cannot rest on their laurels.

“Business leaders cannot afford to be just concerned or treat it as another risk management exercise. They need to effectively understand, carefully manage and thoroughly assess the security of their IT estate to continually get the basic defences right.

“On top of this, adequate governance and employee education on cyber security can go a long way in protecting a business’s key capabilities and functions”

Businesses can take simple steps to protect themselves online.

The Introduction to Cyber Security course, developed with the Open University and FutureLearn, offers a comprehensive introduction to cyber security and how to protect your digital life online. Anyone with an interest can take part, and study is around two hours per week over eight weeks.

Get Safe Online offers businesses and the public a wide range of free expert advice, including a tool for asking questions about online security.

Find IT and cyber security companies in the UK - this directory lists UK cyber security companies by name, by services or by products so you can find the help you need.

The Cyber Security Incident Response scheme provides details of certified companies which can help you clean up after a cyber attack.

You can find a full guide on the website.