First steps in cyber-security - are you cyber-secure?

20 May 2016

Big business - big problem

The cost of cybercrime to the global economy is around $445 billion annually, with the U.K. alone losing $11.4 billion last year, according to cyber security company McAfee.

CB Insights, a consultancy, says the worldwide cybersecurity industry has received $5.2 billion across 807 deals in the past five years, and cybersecurity investment has been steadily increasing in terms of both funding dollars and number of deals.

But is it making a difference?

Every week, a new cyber breach of a major retailer, bank, or organisation hits the headlines. The list is long, impressive, and growing; and it includes big names like eBay, Google, Home Depot, Target, and JP Morgan.  Cyber-attacks are getting more sophisticated, and their scope seems to be expanding. New attack vectors are being opened with the adoption of wearable devices, automated cars, smart cities, mobile payments technologies, and the coming of age of the Internet of Things.

Cyber-attacks are also becoming part of international conflict, where some lines between crime and nationally-motivated attacks are being blurred.

Businesses are underestimating the pervasive impact of cyber security as only 28% of cyber attacks are being reported to the police, according to research by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in a survey of 1,000 UK businesses. A massive 49% of these businesses have experienced damage and interruptions to their business operations from cyber attacks.

There is an increasing gap between the risk of cyber attack, and business preparedness. Of the businesses surveyed by the IoD:

•   91% said cyber security is important to their business…

•   …but only 57% have a formal strategy in place

Only 1% said that their business is not reliant on that popular portal for cyber attack, the internet.

Surely not an issue for a Kent SME!

Government figures show that data breaching costs SMEs an average of £310,800, according to research by Experian UK.

The businesses surveyed estimated the average cost to be £179,990, a shortfall of over £130,000. SMEs are clearly underestimating the costs associated with data breaching which could damage reputation and trust for both business and consumers.

Here’s a shocking statistic - almost a third of SMEs don’t have a data breach response in place, while only 29% of businesses with plans in place update them quarterly.

However, 95% of consumers say they’d take action if their data was stolen, while 64% would discourage from using a company’s  services following a data breach!

Just like an accountant to point out the problem– but what’s the solution?

MHA MacIntyre Hudson has signed a deal with technology commercialisation company Crossword Cybersecurity to offer Crossword’s new Rizikon cyber threat risk analysis tool to its clients.

Rizikon is a new cyber risk assessment tool based on research undertaken by Professor David Stupples and his team at the Centre for Cyber and Security Sciences at City University, London.

Rizikon is targeted at busy bosses running growth enterprises, and is particularly valuable to financial and legal services businesses where there is a regulatory requirement to demonstrate effective cyber security.

Among Rizikon’s benefits are its jargon-free summaries of a company’s existing security, broken down into the areas of greatest risk.

Tom Ilube, founder of Crossword, said:

“We developed Rizikon as tool for the real world. It doesn’t demand technical expertise, hours of form filling and it works in tandem with existing online protections to maximize their effectiveness. We are delighted to be partnering with MHA MacIntyre Hudson and look forward to bringing the benefits of Rizikon to its clients.”

Of course, we want to look after our clients, but even if you haven’t worked with us before, we can help you now. Rizikon is a grand way to check your cyber-protection, for little cost.

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