Cyber Criminals have been around for as long as the internet came into conception. They have made the need for cybersecurity a necessity rather than a luxury or a choice. The frequency of cyber attacks have made the need for advanced cyber security much more imperative. Consequently, the talk of having advanced internet security has moved to the boardroom. This is due to cyber breaches and incidents costing upwards to £25,700 in costs related to ransoms paid to hackers and hardware replacements.
The frequency of Cyber Incidents & Attacks in the UK
According to a press release by Hiscox in October 2018, small businesses in the UK get targeted by 65,000 cyber-attacks per day; although most attempts fail. What’s more, small online business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds.
Last year global internet security breaches impacted over 200,000 computers in 150 countries costing companies millions of dollars. Making it clear that cyber security impacts the entire business and not just the IT Department. In addition, threats facing businesses are rapidly changing as hacking software is becoming more sophisticated and efficient. These upgrades increase the impact that hackers are able to have on online businesses.
Cyber hackers have evolved to more sophisticated agendas such as cyber espionage, spreading disinformation, manipulating markets and disrupting infrastructure.
Nevertheless, the usual threats still remain as well and include data theft, cyber extortion and website vandalism.
Having the ability to mitigate these threats requires online businesses to not only consider cybersecurity as a potential business risk but to act swiftly on it too. Now a business must plan for cyber risks. They must also consider what an attack means for the business as a whole and for their customers.
Facing the Threat to Cyber Security Head on
Facing cybersecurity as a threat to business, and not merely a technology threat, is not as daunting as it sounds. Following simple guidelines and implementing the right measures can help a business to do just this. Online businesses need a methodology that integrates cyber protection into all facets and levels of the organization, from the IT department to employee training and awareness to security policies. Having an iron clad Cyber Security Framework entails ensuring cyber security is treated as a whole-business framework by covering four areas: business context, security capabilities and controls, policy and standards, and the business environment.
5 Industries with the Highest Susceptibility
Virtually all internet real estate is susceptible to cyber breaches and attacks. Regardless of how small or large an online website is you are vulnerable online. However, some industries are more prone to attacks than others.
- Small Businesses & E-Commerce Sites
- Education & Online Course Websites
- Financial Institutions and their Online Platforms
- Technology Companies & Internet Hosting Providers
- Government Agencies
Small Business and E-Commerce Cites
Small businesses include bloggers, freelancers and E-commerce websites small and large. Information technology is vital for today’s retailers, freelancers, and bloggers. Online retailers, bloggers and freelancers, restaurants with e-stores deploy and utilize an array of technologies. These include online shopping, supply chain management to online integrated point-of-sale systems, in order to provide consumers with goods and services in an approach that meets their demands for quality, convenience, value and choice.
Recent highly publicized disclosures of cybercrimes have revealed that well-organized hackers are targeting e-retailers for the confidential information. In many instances, the breaches have resulted in the release of over a hundred thousand credit card numbers and other personal information used for identity theft. After a security breach, companies experience substantial financial losses due to extortion, fines, lawsuits and unbudgeted expenses.
The damage to an e-retailer’s reputation is also exorbitant and monumental with companies experiencing customer losses up to 10 per cent following a security breach, according to Forrester Research, Inc. Although there have been no definitive measurements of revenue lost as a result of a cybersecurity breach (recent Forrester estimates range from $90 to $305 per record), it is clear that protecting sensitive customer information is crucial to an e-retailer’s reputation and bottom line.
Education & Online Course Websites
Naturally, Universities and Online Learning Platforms depend heavily on technology. Thus IT Security is and should be a top priority. Would be hackers can target these websites in order to steal confidential information. So what are they after? Well, they search for credit cards, banking details, and identity databases for students and faculty alike and related items. Institutes are mandated to protect their sensitive data and their networks from possible threats.
Financial Institutions and their Online Platforms
Financial institutions are constantly under pressure to manage the bottom line while providing increasingly expedient online services and upholding personal and intimate customer relationships. Customer reliance on the bank’s ability to secure and encrypt personal financial information is a prerequisite for employing the integrated services that ultimately provide satisfaction and cost-effectiveness to their customers.
There are certain compliance requirements all financial institutions must meet. Therefore, implementing information security programs is a must. This safeguards customer’s information, and protects it against potential cyber threats or potential theft of personal information (such as by means of a cyber-attack). It also prevents unauthorized access to or exploitation/use of a customer’s personal information.
Technology Companies & Hosting Providers
While it may seem that this industry may be well equipped to safeguard itself from malicious cyber-attacks they remain vulnerable and targeted by hackers. Competing firms might pay hackers to launch an attack in order to soil another company’s the reputation or to gain access to the client database. These companies also house sensitive and confidential information including financial details of their clients, not to mention trade secrets that can give the other company a leg up.
In addition, when hackers target website hosting companies, the results can be catastrophic. It can affect all of the websites housed on their servers. Likewise, when a website is targeted on one of their shared servers it can affect the entire server. Security measures must be in place to mitigate all threats and prevent them from happening.
As governments expand their “e-governance” initiatives. Today, government institutions use technological software to collect, store and possibly make available, confidential and personal information through Ministry and Agency websites. Constituents expect ministries and agencies to protect and encrypt private information like driver’s licenses, and residential information. Many government entities are concerned about the online securing of courthouse systems, law enforcement systems, e-government websites, constituent information, other databases and employee identity.
What is quite apparent is that the need for advanced cybersecurity is more important than ever before. Regardless of what type of industry you are in, if you own a website online you must ensure that your web hosting provider has a robust arsenal included for your website’s security. Educating your staff on cybersecurity and monitoring trends is also crucial to mitigating and cyber breaches. Constantly update and redefine your cyber security plan and always remember to back up your website in the event that an attack does happen.