UK Businesses And Cybersecurity: A Troubled Relationship
24th September 2020
Security company Carbon Black released a report showing that 88% of UK businesses suffered from a data breach during a 12-month period. It also revealed the average number of breaches per organization: 3.67. A recently released study also found that 96% of UK businesses suffered a cyberattack in the last year.
The threat of cybercriminals has never been higher. Businesses in every country suffer from a lack of cybersecurity awareness, including the UK itself. What are a few of the cyber-threats facing the UK? And how can businesses protect themselves?
Cyber-Threats Affecting UK Businesses
The Threat of Ransomware
Ransomware attacks involve a hacker or group of hackers infecting a device with malware that, when activated, encrypts all the data on the device. Afterwards, the program will request the user—the victim, in this case—to pay a large sum of money to unencrypt the data.
Rarely do these payments unlock the devices in question, and ransomware attacks cause large financial strain on any business it hits.
The Danger of Data Breaches
A data breach is when data is stolen or leaked from a system/database/company/etc. without permission. For example, the U.S. Equifax incident is considered a data breach—a large-scale one, at that.
Like mentioned in the Carbon Black report, data breaches are extremely common and affect many UK businesses. Worst part? Data breaches can sink a business, due to reparations and a loss of trust with customers.
How to Protect Against Cyber-Threats
1. Install a VPN
A VPN, a term standing for Virtual Private Network, actively encrypts data going to-and-from a device. This layer of encryptions means that cybercriminals or any malicious person that wants to snoop on your network is unable to intercept and read any data being sent out, significantly reducing the risk of a data breach.
2. Be Protective of Personal Information
Websites encourage users to give out as much personal information as possible—including social media. However, giving out said personal information only makes it easier for hackers to gather it, increasing the risk of fraud or identity theft.
Refrain from handing out too much personal information, and limit the amount of websites that have it.
3. Use Strong Passwords
Two-factor authentication might be the new standard for account security, but passwords are still considered the most important part of accounts. Figure out the password, and it's only a matter of time until someone breaks into the account. Using strong, unique passwords for each account will increase account security tenfold. Windows Server even lets the IT team enforce password rules for employees!
4. Pay for Account Breach Monitoring
Account breach monitoring services allow you to know when your or your employees' accounts have been exposed in a data breach. Firefox offers monitoring services for free for users, and data breach detection services give organizations widespread monitoring.
Image from Pixabay.