The importance of cyber security for businesses and individuals
The importance of cyber security for business and individuals is only set to increase as we move further into a digital world.
Today, our lives exist online – we leave a digital footprint with almost everything we do from a food shop to commenting on social media. A survey found that millennials spend nearly one day a week on their phones. However, unlike in the offline world, those footprints do not wash away.
Businesses and organisations sit on a wealth of data about who interacts with them, such as who visits their website through to the purchases people make. Names, addresses and financial details pass freely, and we trust those companies to look after our data. So, the importance of cyber security and how to protect this sensitive information should not be underestimated.
What is the importance of cyber security?
For any company, it is vital that they realise the importance of cyber security and ensure their information and the data of their customers is protected.
From a business point of view, your intellectual property needs to be kept under a digital lock and key. If left exposed, cyber criminals could try to sabotage your business. This is what hit Lloyds Bank last year with a denial of service attack.
Companies also have a legal responsibility to protect the data of their customers, and this will only increase this year when GDPR comes into force in May. Furthermore, identity theft of individuals has hit a new record high. Nearly 89,000 cases were recorded in the first six months of 2017, according to UK anti-fraud organisation Cifas. This could affect your customers if their data gets into the hands of fraudsters. Cyber criminals are smart, so you and your business need to be smarter.
Who is at risk?
To put it simply, anyone and everyone is at risk. A series of high profile breaches last year highlighted the importance of cyber security for small businesses to large multinationals. There are bank breaking repercussions should a cyber attack hit your company. A cyber attack can mean facing regulatory action, negligence claims and the inability to continue with business as usual in both the short and long term.
This is simple when you are in good hands.
Your database and accompanying infrastructure need to be watertight. You need a plan for disaster recovery. You need to educate your users about the risks and how not to fall foul of a potential cyber attack. A handy checklist of what you should also consider implementing within your business is available here. It covers everything from what you can start today, such as upskilling your staff on how to spot a potential threat. It also looks at long-term plans, such as proactively monitoring your network to protect your IT from malicious malware.
The Government-endorsed Cyber Essentials certification will also show that your business takes IT and data protection seriously.