Stay safe from cyberattacks

11 May 2017

The internet is as much a threat as it is an opportunity. It matters not whether one is a private individual or the largest retailer in the UK. Even the odd political party or two has fallen foul of the dreaded hackers.

Some of the higher profile victims of cyberattacks include:

  • Yahoo admitted to one billion user accounts being compromised in 2013, making it the largest breach in history
  • Tesco Bank: over £2m taken from just under 10,000 accounts
  • Three Mobile: hacked with the information of nearly six million clients put at risk

Under 10% of UK SMEs have cyberattack insurance and RSA reported that just under 30% of respondents to a recent survey said that they could not survive a substantial loss arising from a cyberattack. Substantial loss was defined in the survey at £50,000.

Hackers are looking at SMEs right now and SMEs are less likely to have cyber security or protection in place.

Increasingly, ransomware is a new addition to the hacker’s arsenal. This type of malware freezes a computer system and this access denial is lifted when money is paid to the hackers.

If you have sensitive personal data on clients or staff and you don’t have sufficient safeguards in place, then the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) may well fine you.

Protect your business

Install appropriate anti-malware and keep it up to date. The Financial Conduct Authority fell victim. Ouch.

Provide staff with training on changing passwords and the dangers posed by phishing emails, as well as why passwords must not be shared. The ICO will regard this as a major factor when considering whether or not to fine a company which has not taken sufficient steps to guard confidential information.

Further reading

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Commercial law specialist Liz Gillingham provides a summary of recent developments in data protection law
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