Why Take A National Approach To Cyber Security?
Although we primarily deal with SMEs, at Aura we like to think in terms of a national UK cyber security strategy. Why? Because that’s how the hackers themselves think. When deciding whether or not to launch a cyber attack, a hacker must weigh up the quality and quantity of data that they could gain access to versus the level of resistance they’re going to face from carefully considered cyber defences.
As a whole, UK businesses contain a lot of lucrative and valuable data. As cyber security experts it is our job to improve the quality of their cyber protection to a point where hackers don’t consider it a worthwhile use of their time to attempt a cyber attack, and instead turn their attention to another country which typically has weaker defences. For example, is a UK resident more likely to fall for a phishing scam than someone from another country? Once they’ve had the chance to complete some cyber security training, we would hope not!
Advanced cyber security acts as a deterrent against would-be hackers worldwide.
Another reason to focus on the UK cyber security strategy as a whole is because the hackers themselves are highly organised. In fact, many cyber criminal groups have developed out of former drug cartels, who have spotted a more lucrative opportunity and capitalised. The individual actually carrying out the cyber attack on your business is likely to have received direction and instruction from someone operating outside of the country and who has the required connections to sell on any stolen data. The buying and selling of confidential information now forms a major part of the global black market.
How Cyber Security Strategy Is Like A Neighbourhood Watch
If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around what a cyber security strategy is, think of it as being a bit like a neighbourhood watch. If someone is intent on burgling a house, they will almost certainly case the street beforehand in order to find the easiest, most attractive option. They’ll be looking for things like open windows, a lack of alarms and even a calendar hanging in plain sight. A burglar isn’t going to start with the house that has CCTV, window locks and expensive possessions hidden away.
To make the area even more secure, many residents will come together to form a neighbourhood watch. By each taking responsibility to improve their own home security, the area as a whole loses interest amongst criminals. Neighbours who work together are more secure than those left on their own.
The UK’s digital space is much like that neighbourhood. For it to remain secure, businesses need to work together to create a stronger and more robust defence. The more businesses that are involved, the more secure the UK’s cyber security will be.
This is because of how intertwined UK businesses have become, both large firms and SMEs. Few companies exist in isolation. Some companies have very extensive supply chains through which they source materials, whereas others might only interact with their lawyer, accountant and utilities provider. Either way, you are still transferring data digitally between two parties e.g. invoices. It is those connections which can be targeted by hackers to attack multiple companies at once, causing a domino effect of cyber breaches.
However, if both companies have taken steps towards improving their cyber protection, those attacks are less likely to succeed. If every link between businesses in the UK was strengthened in this manner, the nation as a whole would reap the benefits.