What is Cyber Security?

Improving Cyber Security Awareness

All businesses, no matter how big or small, should have a true awareness and understanding of how their businesses could be at risk from cyber threat or a breach. In the UK, we have more technology at our fingerprints than ever before and we all work across multiple devices; desktops, mobiles, laptops, tablets. We handle personal data, passwords, logins and payment information. All this means we are now spread more thinly and are therefore more vulnerable than ever before.

Cyber security should be given the same consideration, thought and preparation as any other potential threat to your business. Chances are, your office building will never burn down in a fire but that doesn’t stop you from taking the precaution of arranging building insurance. You should take the same approach with cyber security.

Why don’t people feel they need cyber security? A lack of cyber security awareness

When it comes to cyber security for SMEs, there are a lot of misconceptions flying around. Like yourself, people question ‘why do I need cyber security?’ You might think it’s an unnecessary expense that you’ll never need, whilst others mistakenly believe that only companies which process payments online will be targeted. In fact, few SMEs are aware that they are more likely to be caught up in a passive cyber attack than a targeted one.

There is no such thing as a business too small to be hacked.

To learn more about why none of these reasons hold water, check out our cyber security myth-busting guide.

Why do I need cyber security? Because it’s not worth the risk

If you’re wondering ‘why do I need cyber security?’, you probably haven’t seen the statistics surrounding SMEs and their digital protection. Government research has revealed that in 2017, almost half of UK firms (46%)  were on the receiving end of a cyber attack. The impact on each business is unique, but the survey categorised the effects into the following groups:

  • 23% experienced a temporary loss of digital files or network access
  • 20% had software or systems corrupted
  • 10% lost access to third party system
  • 10% saw an impact on their website

In order to deal with such effect, you need time and resources. That means taking people away from their other responsibilities, reducing the company’s productivity and impacting revenue. Of the 46% of UK businesses who experienced a cyber attack in 2017, the average cost was £1,570. Typically, the larger the company, the higher the costs. Harder to measure is how a cyber security breach will impact on your client’s trust and confidence in the company. This can take years to claw back.

Why do I need cyber security? To guard against multiple forms of cyber attack

As an SME, you are most likely to fall victim to a cyber attack through a fraudulent email, known as phishing. 72% of businesses who suffered a cyber attack in 2017, were targeted in this way. A fraudulent email is one which encourages readers to provide personal details, log ins and financial information, or asks them to download an unsafe document. In such cases, both a lack of advanced technological defences and human error have a role to play.

Ideally, you would have sophisticated email scanning software that is able to distinguish between harmless and malicious emails. However, this is not always the case and there is the ongoing risk that fraudulent emails will slip through the net. To combat this, we recommend educating all employees on cyber security awareness and how to spot the signs of a dangerous email, like dodgy links. If everyone is vigilant about cyber security, your business will be much better protected.

After fraudulent emails, UK businesses are at greatest risk of cyber attack through:

  • Viruses, spyware and malware (33% of businesses)
  • People impersonating the organisation in emails or online (27% of businesses)
  • Ransomware (17% of businesses)
  • Unauthorised use of computers, networks or servers by outsiders (10% of businesses)
  • Hacking of online bank accounts (9% of businesses)
  • Denial-Of-Service attacks (8% of businesses)

How can I improve my cyber security awareness?

Simple! You just need Aura. Our comprehensive cyber security check shows businesses whether they need to be concerned about their current level of protection, highlighting what needs to be fixed and where you can guard against future threat.

Reveal your digital aura today to get a simple colour indication of how your business’ cyber security stacks up. You don’t know how to improve until you know where you stand.