Cybercrime – Why Does It Really Matter to You?

Date March 20, 2017 Author Comments Leave your thoughts

business cybersecurity

‘Cybercrime’ and ‘online threats’ seem to be the buzz words of the day, but what does it really mean for you, your business and your customers?

Sobering hypotheticals

Imagine, whilst sat at home, you get a call from the office saying “we are locked out of all of our systems; we can’t get access to the supply system; the customer database or our finance and accounts”.

What would you do if you could not access all of your critical business systems and were being offered a “get out” by paying a ransom in “bitcoins” to a cybercriminal?

Would you pay up…or would you fall back on your contingency plan and restore your systems from your backups, through a tried and tested business resilience plan?

Would you have a way to establish how this attack infiltrated your systems and do you have a playbook or business resilience plan for such a crisis?

What would be the impact of your website or mission-critical network going down for an hour, a day, a week? How would it affect your business? What if, all of a sudden, access to your online systems were offline…who would you call?

Cyber-attack recovery

I have no doubt that, in time, you would find a way of solving any issues and would be on the road to cyber-attack recovery. However, the damage from such an incident can be lasting and, in the worst cases, irreparable.

Tarnished reputations, particularly where data privacy is concerned, can be difficult to salvage as customers and clients look to alternative suppliers and new business becomes harder to find.

Resulting internal investigations into the root-cause of cyber-security breaches can often be divisive and a challenge to manage without becoming a “witch-hunt” – seeking someone to blame can drive your staff to look for new jobs and the stress of recovery can have a negative impact on your health and family life.

Overdramatic?

I understand that all of the above sounds very scary and possibly a bit overdramatic – it is worth noting that this is a ‘worst case’ scenario – but if you implement plans to protect yourself from cybercrime now and have a game plan for when disaster hits, you can in some way try to avoid the all-to-frequent misfortunes of others.

You never think it’ll happen to you

If you still believe you could never become a victim of cybercrime, then consider the facts and figures.

This month the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released a number of statistics on the impact of cybercrime to the industry:

  • An estimated 5.8m fraud and computer misuse offences were recorded by the Office of National Statistics in 2016
  • Cybercrime represents at least 5% of the total direct cost of crime to retail business
  • According to the UK Cyber Breaches Survey, 25% of large firms breached are attacked at least once per month
  • According to Institute of Customer Service Data – 30% said they would change suppliers if the company they are using becomes a victim of a cyber-attack

The BRC has published a ‘cyber security toolkit’ that provides retail businesses with a step-by-step guide to prevent and manage cyber security threats and protect the customers they serve. It is useful in that it not only brings all the resources available together in one place, but provides a breakdown of who is doing what in Government and Policing and how they can help you; http://brc.org.uk/media/120731/brc-cyber-security-toolkit_final.pdf

What’s your next move?

So, we have been through a number of hypothetical – but very possible – cyberattack scenarios.

If, at the very least, this article has made you think about your current approach to cybersecurity for a moment, consider your next move.

I am not suggesting you halt all business and look towards the latest, greatest, and most costly, cybercrime defences on the market – often small improvements to cybersecurity can be the most effective.

You may have been left with more questions than answers – why not give the Ensign Communications Network Security team a call on 01929 556 553 to discuss your concerns and requirements.

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Author Kevin Williams

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