The importance of online security
News stories about high-profile data breaches, cyber attacks, ransomware and phishing campaigns targeting both large organisations and SMEs, bring the importance of online security to the attention of the general public, but for millions of unsuspecting home owners and small businesses, it is often too late.
Being secure online doesn't have to be a burdensome task and it doesn't have to take up much time. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money either, as long as a few basic rules are implemented and maintained.
The costs of cyber crime
- 90% of large organisations and 74% of SMEs had a security breach in 2015, as the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills’ 2015 Information Security Breaches Survey revealed.
- According to Get Safe Online, UK businesses reported a total loss of over £1bn in 2015. This figure could be even higher, as it doesn’t include unreported losses.
- Action Fraud received over 37K online crime reports, a 22% increase from 2014.
- Gemalto’s Data Security Confidence Index shows what companies faced as a result of being breached: 92% suffered negative commercial consequences that impacted 4 key areas: productivity, reputation and clientele, business, and legal.
- Since January 2016, 557,964 unique phishing attacks have been reported, according to the APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report – the largest volume ever tracked by the company.
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Online security for SMEs
In 2014, the UK Government launched the Cyber Essentials scheme with the aim of providing a clear statement of the basic controls that all organisations should implement to mitigate the risk from common internet-based threats. Implementing the scheme’s five security controls can protect organisations from around 80% of cyber attacks.
The UK Government is urging SMEs to adopt basic cyber security hygiene to secure their most valuable assets – namely, information, data and reputation.
According to KMPG research, UK SMEs are careless when it comes to cyber security. Half of them think “it’s unlikely or very unlikely that they’d be a target for an attack”. But, in reality, they are undervaluing their commercial value.
Find out more about the Cyber Essentials scheme >>
Online security for individuals
Online security is essential for individuals and businesses alike, but without adequate knowledge and awareness security will always take a back seat in favour of other priorities, such as maintaining adequate cash flow (in the case of the smaller business) or feeding the children (in the case of the homeowner).
There is a direct correlation between the level of security people have at home and the level of security they have at work. It is often the case that when an organisation implements an information security awareness programme, people take the information on board and follow through at home.
Find out more about information security awareness >>