Cybersecurity in Today’s World
Cybersecurity used to be considered a very niche area of computing, one that was an afterthought for most businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, no business can afford to adopt such a casual attitude towards cybersecurity today. Not only have the number and sophistication of the threats facing businesses increased dramatically over the last decade, the potential ramifications for businesses are also much more severe than they used to be.
The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) earlier this year has significantly increased the potential financial liability for businesses who don’t take appropriate steps to safeguard their user’s personal data. This is in addition to the serious damage done to a business’ reputation when it falls victim to a cyberattack. It has, therefore, never been so essential that businesses, especially SMEs, work with an IT consultant to ensure they have adequate security in place.
Keeping your IT systems secure, and ensuring that you are practicing good software security, should be a priority for any business operating today. Here are some of the key reasons you should take your cybersecurity very seriously.
High Profile Data Breaches
To understand the damage that lax cybersecurity can do to a business’ reputation, it is helpful to look at some examples of large corporations who have fallen victim to cyber intrusions. These high-profile data breaches illustrate the vulnerability of businesses as targets and highlight the lengths that attackers will go to in order to breach corporate networks if they think there is something to be gained by doing so.
The WannaCry attack that took place in May highlighted that even government institutions, such as the UK’s NHS, are vulnerable to cyber attacks. In this case, it was determined that the NHS’ cybersecurity measures were far below the standard expected. The attack bought the entire network to a standstill, requiring NHS hospitals to resort to using pencil and paper to maintain records. Since the attack, the NHS has committed tens of millions of pounds to upgrading its cybersecurity infrastructure.
Another prominent attack, one of the largest of all time, was directed at Equifax. The consumer credit reporting agency took two months to come clean and admit that the records of more than 145 million people across the globe had been stolen by cybercriminals.
It’s hard to quantify the exact damage to a business’s reputation caused by falling victim to these cyberattacks. But while titanic organisations might be able to survive, in spite of the short-term damage, SMEs might not be able to weather the storm of bad press and mistrust that follows a cyber intrusion.
Prior to GDPR, the fines levied against huge corporations were a drop in the bucket compared to their annual turnovers. They were considered pretty ineffective as deterrents, and near useless as punishments. However, GDPR has completely rewritten the rules by introducing fines which are levied as a percentage of a business’s turnover.
The potential fines depend on the nature of the GDPR violation. While the primary purpose of GDPR is to force businesses to take their obligations to their customers’ privacy seriously, lapses that result from negligence or carelessness, which includes not implementing appropriate security, can result in fines.
Ensuring Your Security
Cybersecurity is a complicated subject. There are lots of user-friendly cybersecurity and network monitoring tools out there, but you need a professional touch to use them to their full advantage. NECL can provide SMEs with IT consultancy services and IT security reviews. These will help you to get a better understanding of your current network security situation. We also offer general IT support, or we can work with your existing IT team to ensure that they have the tools they need to keep your corporate network safe.
With the introduction of GDPR, businesses such as accountants and solicitors, whose entire business relies on being trusted with their customer’s sensitive information, are particularly vulnerable should they face cyberattacks. The best offense here is a stellar defence. NECL can help you set your network up to be as secure as humanly possible.
Regardless of the field or industry your SME operates in, contact us today to see how we can help you with your IT security needs. We have years of experience to draw upon and are proud of our track record of keeping our customer’s networks safe.