There has been an increase in the number of cyber crimes in recent years. In fact, there are around 65,000 attempts to hack small-to-medium-sized businesses every single day in the UK. Each year there are around 1.6 million of these business types that are affected by a successful hack, and this can cause all sorts of problems. If you are a business in London IT support is crucial to implementing security and protocols to ward off cyber attacks, as well as ensure there is a process to recover from such as scenario.
What is a cyber attack?
There are two types of cyber attack, both aimed at disrupting, destroying, or disabling a businesses cyberspace. Whether targeted or untargeted, cyber attacks can cause problems with business infrastructure, destroy the integrity of data, and steal information.
Untargeted attacks are where techniques are used to take advantage of how open the internet is. This can be seen with phishing emails, ransomware, scanning attacks, and water holing (where a fake website is set up to exploit users).
A targeted attack on the other hand is where a specific company has been targeted. This can be achieved through targeted phishing emails where attached malicious software can disable a network, DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, or equipment and software is attacked to disrupt the supply chain.
How does a cyber attack hurt a business?
Cyber attacks hurt a business in several ways:
· Increased costs – both the cost of disruption to the business and the cost of future protections against cyber attack starting from a position of weakness
· Operational disruption – cyber attacks can cause massive disruption to daily processes and directly cause lost revenue
· Overhaul of systems – starting from scratch to replace weak internal processes with robust systems can be time consuming and costly
· Damaged reputation – there is no easy way to quantify this, but reputational damage can be incredibly hard to recover from
The UK industries most at risk to cyber attacks
There are five industries in the UK that are particularly in danger of suffering from cyber attacks.
The healthcare sector is vulnerable due to the large quantities of often sensitive and personal data. Medical records contain so much information, including dates of birth, home addresses, medical histories, and much more. As healthcare facilities continue to digitise historical patient records and data, it has become easier for hackers to target them. The NHS is under immense strain in all areas, and the creaking infrastructure includes out of date machinery and equipment that make it a top target for cyber criminals.
2. The legal sector
Alongside the medical sector, legal firms hold large amounts of personal and sensitive data and information about clients. This can cover everything from custody battles and divorce proceedings to medical negligence cases, mergers & acquisitions, or intellectual property rights, to name just a few legal areas. Remote working since the pandemic in 2020 has made it even more difficult to protect sensitive data from getting into the wrong hands.
3. Financial institutions
Banks and lenders within the financial sector are vulnerable to attack from cyber criminals for very obvious reasons. Server attacks and theft of data are of the utmost concern to financial institutions, but the threat to sensitive personal and financial information is also a real concern. As the world has experienced a sharp increase in the use of mobile banking, the threats of cyber attacks have increased with it. App-based trojan attacks are difficult to defend against, but with the right IT support company your business can guard against attack.
4. IT and Telecom
Large, complex networks with vast stores of data make IT and Telecommunication companies a top target for cyber criminals. Whether it’s targeting the companies or the customers of those companies, there is a lot of data out there to target and steal. State-sponsored attacks on this industry is believed to be popular as a way of infiltrating entire networks and to corrupt large infrastructures of industries and sectors to destabilise a country.
Technology is everywhere within the education sector. It is used for both teaching and learning, with so many remote tools now used since home-schooling became the norm for so many school and university students during the various lockdowns of the last two years. Spam and adware are the main culprits for cyber attacks on the education sector, shutting down education systems that can affect millions of students at a time.
If your company works within one of the industries above, or you are just worried about cyber security in general, it is important to find the correct type of IT support company to help you prepare for the worst. Devising and implementing a robust cyber security protocol for your business should be paramount. Without this, you are leaving yourself at risk of attack and all of the problems that follow.