Locking Down Cyber Security

Many operations are failing to manage the cyber security basics, and this is leaving businesses highly vulnerable.

Why is it that even well-run organisations seem unable to take the critical steps needed to protect themselves? In part it can be attributed to a failure to update ageing IT systems, rendering resilience to hacking, ransom and accidental data loss progressively weaker over time. Innovative IT systems installed 10 years are now archaic.

Furthermore, the different ways in which organisations operate, often using a mixture of new and old (sometimes incompatible hardware alongside complex and frequently poorly updated unpatched software renders many operations more vulnerable. These weaknesses are made worse by the trend to hybrid and remote work and BYOD policies.

In the last year, 39% of UK businesses reported cyber attacks, of which phishing attempts were the most common (83%). This figure has decreased slightly from 46% in 2020, although one in every 3,226 emails an executive receives is a targeted phishing attempt, also known as whaling attacks. 

With only a quarter (26%) of small business professionals considering cyber security to be a top priority, there is real scope for improvement if organisations are to limit the threat that fraud and other online crimes present to their operations. For many, the world of cyber security is a confusing one and it can be hard to know where to start. So what threats do companies face, and what can they do to maintain a secure and thriving ecosystem?

Complacency is the biggest threat to a business’s safety. Just 54% of UK businesses acted to identify cybersecurity risks in the last year and IT teams are often delayed in their response to fixing misconfigured technology and protective tools, leaving their companies open to attacks.

The problem is that most businesses are more focused on their profitability than security, with little consideration for the potential cost of an attack. Employees often use weak or repetitive passwords, or specific teams may employ processes that diverge from their company’s safety regulations. These transgressions can have a huge impact on the entire business;…