In 2020, UK businesses faced nearly 700,000 attempts to breach their systems, that’s an attack nearly every 46 seconds, and a 20% rise from 2019. Reported by internet provider Beaming, this increase is largely attributed to COVID-19 and remote working.
With record numbers of cyber attacks affecting organisations of all sizes, it is critical that you take steps to prepare your organisation for the inevitable cyber attack.
Your cyber security strategy should at a basic level outline the steps to be taken to reduce the risks of a cyber attack and to contain any damage in the event of a breach.
Benefits of a robust cyber security strategy
A robust cyber security strategy will protect your systems, your processes, your data, your customers, and your brand.
Here we take a look in more detail at the top 10 benefits of having a comprehensive and robust approach to cyber security:
1.0 Fills in the gaps in your internal resources and skills
With the rise of cybercrime coupled with businesses continuing to invest in technology to support remote working and growth, there has never been a greater need for cyber security expertise. However one of the most pressing issues confronting business leaders today is a shortage of cyber security skills. Perhaps you need strategic CISO input to scope your cyber strategy and policies. You may be looking for additional expertise for a business project, to monitor networks during unsociable hours, or for extra expertise to call upon in the event of a breach. You may be struggling to fill roles and require some short term resource whilst you recruit, or even to minimise costs. This is where an MSSP (Managed Security Services Provider) can support you. A genuine MSSP will offer a full range of specialist security services, including cyber-consultancy and managed cyber security.
2.0 Safeguards business critical information
Do you know what your ‘crown jewels’ are? Your mission critical assets? From customer data, to employee records, to research reports, intellectual property (IP) assets and confidential business information, there’s a wealth of valuable data within your organisation. These need to be identified and prioritised, with security solutions designed and implemented to protect them.
3.0 Inspires customer trust and confidence
The global pandemic saw a rise in cyber threats and scams, with many consumers undertaking a fast and steep learning curve to keep up with the evolving threats. As a result, consumers are more cyber aware than ever and they want reassurance that you are handling their data securely. The reality is that if you can’t keep their data safe it will impact your reputation and in turn sales. Recent research by PWC, 34% polled said that one or more companies that have their data already have had a breach and 60% said “they expect the companies they do business with to have an eventual data breach”, so it’s not surprising that 84% of consumers will take their business elsewhere if they don’t trust how a company is handling their data. Further research shows that 90% of business leaders recognise that customer trust is a competitive advantage of the future, but less than half of business leaders consider privacy and security to be a top priority for firms.
4.0 Is flexible and scalable
With the rise in staff numbers, flexible working, BYOD, IoT technology, connected environments and smart devices, your network will be attacked if all entry points are not adequately monitored and protected. A robust cyber security strategy has the capacity and capability to extend visibility and threat hunting across all endpoints within your network as it evolves and grows.
5.0 Keeps up with emerging threats
Cyber crime is progressing at an incredibly fast pace, with new trends constantly emerging. Cyber criminals are increasingly agile, exploiting new technologies with lightning speed, tailoring their attacks using new methods, and cooperating with each other in ways not seen before. A comprehensive cyber security strategy needs to keep pace with the threat landscape.
6.0 Raises staff awareness
Our cyber security training partner Cyber Risk Aware reports that over 90% of security incidents are caused by lack of staff awareness. With attacks becoming ever more sophisticated, it’s important that you keep training up to date to include emerging threats.
7.0 Avoids legal consequences and large fines
You may find yourself facing legal action, plus hefty fines, if you’re the victim of a data breach and you didn’t have adequate policies in place to help prevent it, or to swiftly respond to an attack.
- In 2018, hotel chain Marriott was fined £18.4 million by the ICO for failing to protect customer data after around 339 million guest records were exposed as a result of a 2014 cyberattack. The investigation showed they should have done more to safeguard their systems with a stronger data loss prevention (DLP) strategy and utilised de-identification methods.
- In October 2020, the ICO fined British Airways (BA) a record-breaking £20 million after it ruled the airline failed to protect customers’ personal data after it failed to detect a major 2018 security breach for nearly two months. According to the ICO, the attack was preventable, but BA didn’t have sufficient security measures in place to protect their systems, networks, and data.
- And in November 2020, Ticketmaster was fined £1.25 million for a 2018 data breach after they failed to implement appropriate security practices to prevent a cyber-attack on a chat-bot installed on their online payment page. The ICO investigation revealed that, despite repeated warnings over fraudulent activity, Ticketmaster took nine weeks to identify and address the problem.
8.0 Limits damage to your organisation in the event of a breach
It’s a case of not if but when you will come up against a cyber attack. How quickly can you respond to an incident? With no robust strategy in place, a cyber-attack can bring your business to its knees. If you cannot access your own networks, you will be unable to do business. If customers can not access your systems, they can not do business with you. It is therefore essential to invest in the right kind of cyber strategies to not only protect your business but to ensure detection and fast containment of a breach. By having a culture of being prepared, and by acting swiftly, you limit financial, reputational, legal and operational damage. And if you don’t have the inhouse resources to act quickly, you may want to consider a Managed Incident Response Service.
9.0 Reduces potential costs
There’s no denying it, cyber security requires investment. However, can you really afford not to invest considering the risks of lost business, downtime and fines? The cost of a breach goes beyond the amount of data lost or disclosed, it also depends on the time it takes to find and contain it. According to IBM, on average companies take about 197 days to identify and 69 days to contain a breach and companies that contain a breach in less than 30 days save more than $1 million in comparison to those who take longer. In addition, major fines increase if organisations take too long to do so. In essence, the faster the data breach is identified and contained, the lower the costs.
10.0 Protects your bottom line
From employee downtime and blocked access to systems and digital assets, to the long term effect of reputational damage, heavy fines, and customer mistrust, cyber attacks can destroy your business. If you are looking to minimise costs and maximise efficiency, now might just be the right time for you to re-evaluate your cyber security arrangements.
Stop cyber criminals in their tracks
Here at Infosec Partners we live and breathe by our 3 golden mantras; Protection, Detection and Reaction. With more than 15 years experience in implementing mission-critical data security, risk, and compliance programs, we believe that a culture of preparedness is the only way to be cyber resilient.
Get in touch with the Infosec Partners team to discuss how our security services can minimise the cyber risks to your business.