Don’t allow your business to become a target for cyber criminals19 May 2017
The recent ‘Wannacry’ ransomware attack caused disruption in 150 countries. In the UK, NHS hospitals, pharmacies and GP surgeries were the worst-affected.
A statement by the National Cyber Security Centre advised that a ransomware attack of this type and on this scale could happen again and urged businesses to follow the guidance issued on their website.
In a press release by Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, it was stated that the European Cybercrime Centre, EC3, at Europol is working closely with affected countries cybercrime units and key industry partners to mitigate the threat and assist victims. They describe the recent attack as ‘unprecedented’ and that it will require a complex international investigation to identify the culprits. The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (JCAT), a group of specialist international cyber investigators, will play an important role in supporting the investigation.
Cyber Crime attacks are increasing, with businesses of all sizes and sectors coming under threat from hackers, fraudsters and overseas cyber criminals. Cyber Crime groups now target everyone including individuals, SMEs and large multi-national organisations to acquire personal information in order to profit from illegal activities. Figures collated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that fraud and computer misuse accounted for 5.8 million crimes last year, 2.5 million of which were bank and credit card fraud. Computer virus attacks affected 1.4 million people and almost 650,000 people reporting that their email or social media profile had been hacked.
Most businesses have some form of rules or controls in place around cyber security, although these can often fall short of best-practice standards. It’s important to remember that cyber security is not just about virus protection and firewalls. Significantly, nearly two thirds of cyber attacks occur due to human error, not just for technical reasons. That’s why its essential for any employer to make sure that their people are aware of what to look out for in terms of potential risks and that the organisation has appropriate policies and procedures in place for people to adhere to.
Overall, businesses must ensure that stringent measures are in place to avoid the risk of falling victim to Cyber Crime. All employees should be kept up to date about of the techniques used by fraudsters and be alert at all times. Businesses should also advise their clients to protect their confidential data and be aware of risks such as using open Wi-Fi.
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