Businesses of all sizes need to take cyber security seriously. In the digital age, businesses are collecting and storing more information about customers, employees and partners than ever. But this only increases the risk of suffering a breach or compromise.
It is a fallacy to believe that your business is immune to the latest cyber threats. The fact is, the only way you can minimise the risk of cyber-attacks and protect the valuable data you hold is to continually assess and improve security controls and processes. Here are five important reasons that your cyber security is in need of continual improvement.
1. Your business is increasingly digital
Businesses of all sizes have embraced digitisation and it is rare to find a company that does not rely heavily on IT. Advancements such as Big Data, IoT and Cloud Computing have created a huge range of positive ways to streamline and improve business operations, however as organisations become more dependent on digital technologies, they become simultaneously more vulnerable to attacks.
As more of your company’s services and products are connected to the internet, there are more opportunities for cyber criminals to attack. This means that cyber defences need to constantly evolve to ensure that all aspects of your organisation are protected.
2. Threats are becoming more sophisticated
Cyber criminals and hackers are becoming better equipped and more experienced in finding ways to infiltrate the defences of businesses. As cyber security professionals devise solutions to better defend companies and individuals from one type of attack, hackers will find ways to exploit new, previously undiscovered, weaknesses.
Commissioning a specialist security firm to regularly assess your organisation’s IT infrastructure can help to identify and address any security exposures. Investment in the latest technologies, such as behavioural analytics and AI, can also help to improve detection and response capabilities. To get the most from these technologies can require you to employ or hire internal or outsourced experts to help manage, monitor and optimise these systems.
3. Prevention is no longer enough
It seems that every week there is another news story about a successful cyber-attack against a well-known business. When you examine the numbers, they are even more shocking than the media coverage would suggest: over 40% of all UK businesses suffered some form of cyber breach or attack over the past year.
Technology research firm Gartner is among a number of experts to suggest that preventative measures are no longer enough to keep businesses safe from cyber-crime. If your business relies upon traditional perimeter security solutions such as firewalls and anti-virus software, you should consider investing in behavioural monitoring technologies such as SIEM to help to detect sophisticated threats that reside hidden within your network.
4. Breaches can be costly
Another reason that it is essential for you to invest in cyber security upgrades is that you can’t afford not to! Cyber-attacks can be extremely costly for a business, not least because you could stand to lose hours of productivity, be faced with a large repair bill, and suffer severe reputational damage.
Additionally, new rules brought in by the GDPR means that businesses can now be heavily fined if they fail to implement appropriate security measures to prevent, detect and report, security breaches. The GDPR has provided regulators with powers to fine companies a maximum of €20 million or 4 per cent of global turnover, whichever is greater.
The sad fact is the majority of businesses do not survive the financial burden of a cyber-attack, so investing in upgrades to your cyber security now can actually save your business in the long-term.
5. Cyber security is a competitive differentiator
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, businesses have a need to demonstrate that they prioritise cyber security. Organisations that fail to take appropriate measures risk customer attrition and missing out on important businesses deals.
For instance, it is now a requirement that organisations bidding for public sector contracts that involve the handling of personal and/or sensitive information must have first obtained government-backed Cyber Essentials certification.