by Romana Shah
The rate and severity of cyber-attacks and data breaches have risen significantly in the last few years, to the point that we now even have a holiday dedicated to safeguarding online data called Computer Security Day. This is an annual event which is celebrated on the 30th November to raise awareness and promote best practises in Information Security.
Just last week, we heard of two hackers being jailed over the 2015 Talk Talk data breach which saw 156,959 accounts accessed. Nowadays it seems like all it takes is a tech savvy hacker with a keyboard to bring a multinational conglomerate to its knees.
The reality is that there is a high volume of increasingly sophisticated attacks which require businesses to adopt a holistic, proactive and agile information security approach to protect themselves, their partners and customers from data breaches.
However, many businesses are not confident that they have a sufficiently robust information security strategy. A study by Tanium which surveyed over 1,000 UK business decision makers found that over half of respondents believe they are not resilient enough to protect against cyber-attacks.
With cyber breaches frequently hitting the headlines, leaving reputations and finances in tatters, the responsibility of information and cyber security falls on everyone’s shoulders - governments, corporations, and individual people. On average, cyber-attacks and data breaches cost UK firms approximately £857,000 to rectify, according to a report by PwC.
Technology and skills are two barriers which can affect the implementation of efficient cyber security. Along with investing in the latest technology to combat increasingly sophisticated cyber breaches, businesses need to ensure their staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to gain an understanding on how to better safeguard their organisations most valuable asset - information.
Cyber security knowledge needs to transcend IT teams. They are not solely accountable for being the frontiers to protect a business’ assets. In this digital age, every department and employee will be managing, as well as processing or tracking sensitive information, therefore these people need to be trained to ensure they can be on the front-line against hackers.
The best companies are responding by integrating cyber security as a fundamental part of how they grow their business. As a business scales and grows, it is important to recognise how data flows through departments so businesses can have visibility of the vulnerable aspects within their IT infrastructure and knowledge set so they can adapt accordingly.
Although Computer Security Day shines a spotlight on this ever-growing threat to businesses, there is no doubt that this issue needs to be at the forefront of every business decision. Prevention is always better than the cure and so it is important businesses leader shift from corrective measures to more proactive strategies.