Cyber attacks are on the rise and it isn’t just the large corporations who are targeted, anyone who does anything online is at risk of being exposed or hacked.
The problem with digital crimes is that the culprit could be continents away. However, it isn’t just the hackers that you need to be wary of. You need to be vigilant against fraudsters as well. Therefore, there is a growing importance of cyber security skills that everyone who does anything online needs to acquire.
In the UK alone, cybercrimes accost billions of pounds every year. To put it into perspective, nearly 43% of businesses, regardless of size, reported at least one cyberattack during last year.
Of these companies, 74% stated that cyber security was a high priority issue for them. These numbers begin to look even more gloomy when one takes into account that these businesses are owned and run by individuals with low levels of digital sophistication.
It was calculated that the average cyberattack of a larger firm would cost a company over £20 000. However, that is underestimating the loss seeing that the figure does not account for reputational damage and the cost of remediation. Data breaches seriously damage a company’s trustworthiness and repel investment.
Hackers are getting smarter
As if hackers weren’t smart enough, they are getting even more crafty and trying to apprehend a culprit is a near impossible task. However, don’t think that these individuals act alone. On the contrary, many of the bigger data breaches and cyber attacks on large firms have been coordinated by a team of hackers that orchestrate the hit.
Sarah O’Connor who is an IT consultant for EduBirdie says, ‘’What’s a big worrying factor here is that there’s an acute shortage of cyber security talent. The demand outweighs the pool availability by a huge margin. While most corporate openings receive 60 to 250 applicants, 59% of companies say that the cyber security openings receive around 5 applications.’’
Deloitte, one of the largest cyber security consultants, reports that even the best of the companies are caught off-guard when it comes to hiring cyber security talent, allocating budgets, and cyber sensitizing the employees in an organization. Therefore, it would be wise to prepare for the inevitable and not think that it won’t happen to you.
Businesses need to assume that their security will be breached at one stage and they need to have a contingency plan ready to respond to the threat and stop further damages.
Tools for the masses
If you haven’t realized it yet, hackers are a special breed of people and are not always in it for the money. For many of them, the thrill of the chaos is more than enough to get them going. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that there are hundreds of hacking tools available on the internet.
To a degree, cybercrimes have been commercialized and the number of less skilled hackers are growing. This is because the tools to do some damage, like ransomware and crypto mining, can be obtained by anyone who is looking for them.
A simple internet search could yield some devastating results and figuring out what to do with the tools is also not the most difficult thing to do.
The device boom
Whether you run a small business or whether you are a housewife, the chances are that you will have a smart device of some sort. The problem is that these devices don’t offer the best online security just yet and what was intended to be a tool to make things easier, could become a weapon used against you.
When these devices aren’t managed well, they become a target for cybercriminals to break into and wreak havoc.
It is estimated that there will be over 21 billion connected devices by 2021, which means that the pool from which cybercriminals can work only increases every year. In short, the problem is only going to get worse.
Recently, the EU introduced the GDPR regulations, which makes businesses to sharpen up their cyber security. If their security isn’t up to standard, they could face heavy fines.
These regulations force companies to protect their personal data by implementing the right technical measures to ensure that cyber-attacks are detected, monitored and when a breach was identified, it should also be investigated.
The average user
The greatest concern regarding cyber security is the level of knowledge of the average user. People are naïve and don’t imagine that their information is at risk. However, there are some simple cyber security skills that every user should know.
The first thing is to change your passwords regularly. Secondly, never open emails that don’t trust. Finally, keep away from anything on the internet that seems illegal.
The internet has never been more volatile and cybercrimes have never seen such levels as what they are today. You cannot go on and think that your information is safe because you aren’t rich or own a company.
The threat is real and you should do your best to read up on security measures that you can take to make your information a little bit safer. You might ask why is cyber security important and the simple answer is that no one is immune to an attack.