Cyber crime is on the rise, with 2.9 million UK organisations being hit by a cyber attack last year at a cost of £29.1 billion (Beaming).
Cyber crime is a criminal activity that involves a computer or digital media and a network – in most cases, the Internet.
What’s behind the rise?
Graham Day, author of December’s book of the month, Security in the Digital World, says: “Attackers are slowly discovering all the ways that devices can be used to attack others. As this knowledge develops, the number and sophistication of attacks also increase.”
Beaming’s report found that phishing was the most common type of attack – affecting almost 1.3 million organisations – followed by computer viruses and hacking. Phishing is a type of scam in which the attacker tries to get sensitive information by impersonating a known entity or person in an email or other media.
Why do cyber criminals attack?
It doesn’t matter if you are working in the most mature enterprise environment, unemployed, retired or still at school, whether you often have a smartphone in your hand or only use an e-reader, you are at risk.
Understanding why cyber criminals attack is the first step to protecting yourself. There are three key reasons why:
- Financial gain: This is the primary motivation for the majority of attacks. The cyber criminal is looking for either an immediate or indirect financial gain.
- Corporate information: Attackers who target corporate information are also looking for financial gain. Home users and offices are a good starting point for cyber criminals looking to get corporate information. Cyber criminals will target home networks to see how much information they can get, which they could then use against the company or in another type of attack.
- Egotistical: The attacker is not seeking financial gain but recognition, acknowledging that they have the skills and knowledge to defeat the security. This reason is far less common than the first two.
How you can protect yourself
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself and your organisation from being a victim of cyber crime.
Security in the Digital World features simple explanations, examples and advice to help you be security-aware in the digital age. Learn how to:
- Keep your information secure;
- Put the necessary controls on your home network to protect your family from cyber crime;
- Prevent identity theft when shopping online or using contactless payment; and
- Keep your children safe when using the Internet.
Make your staff aware of the dangers quickly and cost-effectively by enrolling them on our Phishing Staff Awareness Course. Employees will learn how to identify and understand phishing scams, are advised what would happen if they fall victim and are shown how they can mitigate the threat of an attack.
Secure your IT infrastructure with our Infrastructure (Network) Penetration Test and identify your network vulnerabilities before cyber criminals do. Book before 22 December to save 10%.