Cybercrime in 2017 has increased by 91%, culminating in this year’s outrageous ransomware attack on multiple global systems, including large international businesses and the UK’s NHS. Unfortunately, security breaches are a regular occurrence with up to 37% of UK companies falling victim. On average, every nineteen seconds a company is hacked into. The impact on customers can be catastrophic with many preferring to purchase from businesses with reliable data protection. Yet an astonishing one in three businesses are still using outdated security systems.
How Attacks Occur
Using outmoded software such as Microsoft’s XP, which has been unsupported since 2014, leaves companies vulnerable to hackers as there are no longer updated patches issued to amend any security lapses in the system. With many employees now working remotely, businesses are largely unaware exactly where or how they are working. Using free WiFi in a local cafe or at the airport leaves their devices open to attack from cybercriminals who regularly haunt such locations. Smartphones in particular are easy targets with hackers using malware specifically designed to infiltrate mobile devices.
Only by regularly updating software and passwords together with formulating a stringent policy on cyber security can a business of any size be confident of computer systems remaining secure. Appointing a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is seen as a cost-effective measure in the fight against cybercrime. However, around 30% of businesses don’t have a dedicated CISO to facilitate a comprehensive security policy. Cybercrime is a relentless tide that is often several steps ahead in terms of developing sophisticated mechanisms. Only through a continuous security policy organised by a CISO, can companies hope to utilise the benefits of digitalisation without the cyber risks.