Is your business blissfully unaware of Cybercrime?
Far too many businesses ignore the world of cybercrime and are blissfully unaware of how badly it can affect them, are you one of those businesses?
Cybercrime is defined as a crime in which a computer is the object of the crime (hacking, phishing, spamming etc) or is used as a tool to commit an offence (child pornography, hate crimes). Cybercriminals may use computer technology to access personal information, business trade secrets, or use the Internet for exploitive or malicious purposes. Criminals can also use computers for communication and document or data storage. Criminals who perform these illegal activities are often referred to as hackers. (https://www.techopedia.com/definition/2387/cybercrime)
Technology has become a largely ingrained part of our daily lives, from the humble alarm clock that is now taking a back seat to smartphones and alarm clock apps, through to home automation, the question that needs to be asked before adopting any new technology is “how safe is it”?
Many argue “why should I be bothered by it, it will never affect me” if you are considered the luckiest person alive then this could be true, however, with the right education and the right tools put in place, it can be much harder for hackers to attack or use you. As technology becomes more and more sophisticated hackers or cybercriminals are becoming more adept at using each piece to get a glimpse into our daily lives and use it for profit.
74% of small businesses and 90% of large businesses have admitted to being breached, either directly or by a virus infection, these are just the figures of those willing to admit the breach. It is estimated that 50% of those breached were directly related to human error, often by means of Phishing,
Phishing is attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card information, often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in electronic communication (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing) (usually email), most of us receive these sorts of things daily, however, I must urge you not to click on any links or open any attachments. If you have done either intentionally or by accident please contact a professional for advice.
Educating staff to tell someone in the IT department or contact your friendly neighbourhood IT guy when something like this happens could mean the difference between keeping your business alive or going broke.
Regulations on reporting cybercrime breaches are set to change, at the moment it is optional whether or not a breach is reported (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/), this is about to become mandatory for any business owner to report. Things like a loss of data can be devastating to any company, however, the real problem comes with the loss of client data, for each data entry relating to client-sensitive information, such as name, address, telephone numbers and especially payment information such as card details, will now carry a fine of up to £75 per entry. Meaning if you have a bank of 2000 clients you could stand to be fined £150,000, which for most small businesses would mean closure overnight. It is rumoured that the fines can be reduced if significant evidence of preventative measures is put in place prior to the breach, now here comes the real kick to the teeth for small business owners, you (the directors or owner) are directly responsible for your employee's actions, so if an employee clicks one of those phishing emails and infects your network you are the only one liable.
Cybercrime insurance is starting to become more popular, however, one major drawback is: most insurance policies will only cover the cost to secure the breach, it will not cover the fine!
So while it is a positive move to have cyber insurance, there are much better mechanisms to put in place, such as the use of firewalls, anti-virus, anti-malware and most importantly staff training that will prevent the breach from occurring in the first place.
If you would like to know more about cybercrime insurance and where to get a good policy, get in touch.
My next blog will cover the top tips for the small business owner to keep themselves safe, at little or no cost!!!!