Cyber Security

The internet has become central to our economy and our society. Started in only 1991, today at least a third of the world’s population are on the internet. The internet is revolutionising our society, transforming businesses and making them more efficient and effective.

Yet our increasing reliance on cyber space brings not only new opportunities, but also new threats. In the National Risk Register, the Government identifies cyber-attacks as a high-priority risk. Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing areas of crime, with the impacts felt in our economy, in our critical national infrastructure and in our society.

The Cost of Cybercrime

The internet-related market in the United Kingdom is now estimated to be worth £82 billion a year. The overall cost to the economy from cybercrimes is £27 billion per year, with a total estimated cost of £21 billion felt by businesses, the 2011 Cabinet Office report, ‘The Cost of Cybercrime’ found.

Cyber security is important for not only businesses, but individuals too as our lives tend to be online these days. Cyber security is about protecting your computer-based equipment and information from unintended or unauthorised access, change or destruction.

Cyber-attacks fall into two categories:

  • Attacks on confidential or sensitive data.
  • Attacks on infrastructure.

To secure against attacks, The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure recommends considering the flowing questions:

  • Who would want access to your information and how could they acquire it?
  • How could they benefit from its use?
  • Can they sell it, amend it or prevent staff or customers from accessing it?
  • How damaging would loss of data be?
  • What would be the effect on your operations?

Protecting a Business

Many players pose a risk:

  • Cyber criminals.
  • Industrial competitors and foreign intelligence services.
  • Hackers.
  • Employees.

Prevention of data loss should be a key part of any business's IT strategy. The consequences of data falling into the wrong hands can include breaches of confidentiality, non-compliance penalties, industrial espionage, financial losses (to your business, employees and customers) and compromised reputation. Carelessness is the cause of many cyber failures; for example, failure to encrypt a USB or staff ignoring corporate procedures regarding external emails.