As digital technology continues to shape the business landscape, bringing with it a wave of new opportunity and resources, these technological changes also continue to bring an alarming host of new threats.
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Businesses today face a barrage of daily cyber attacks, from spam and phishing to ransomware and malware, risks that are growing at a rapid and alarming rate.
With an increasing number of high profile organisations having made headlines due to significant data breaches and security failures, many smaller businesses who previously believed they were too small to be targeted, are now realising that in reality they have never been more at risk.
We only have to look at the recent WannaCry ransomware attack to understand the significance of a cyber attack, which saw 150 countries and tens of thousands of computers and networks affected, simply because they were unpatched and exposed to the internet.
Richard Lane, Managing Director of managed services provider EBC Group comments ‘‘small businesses may think they have nothing to worry about, however these threats do not discriminate based on company size. Whether you’re an accountancy firm, manufacturer, retailer or any businesses, no matter the size or industry, you are at risk.’’ He adds ‘’what SME’s commonly fail to realise is the goldmine of customer and employee data they hold, from online banking credentials to social security numbers, making them an attractive target.’’
Businesses that frequently use the Internet, as part of their day-to-day operations without adequate protection will almost certainly acquire some form of malware or computer virus, with more than 317 million new pieces created last year alone. In addition, businesses that fail to address cyber security put themselves at risk of major financial loss and damage, which could prove detrimental to the stability of their operations.
As cybercrime continues to make front-page news, the fallout from such attacks as ‘WannaCry’ have left many considering the state of their own cyber security and what can be done to improve their existing systems.
Often cyber attacks are successful because businesses are using out-dated systems and processes that haven’t been updated or maintained. Too often a business will implement a ‘fit and forget’ policy, where once they have purchased anti-virus software, software patches and firewalls, they simply install and neglect. This means regular checks and updates don’t take place, and eventually programmes will stop providing the sufficient protection needed against evolving threats.
Businesses must now look to address and review their existing cyber security, via the aid of strategic security solutions if they are to remain secure and safe. A good cyber security company will help provide the correct solutions, policies and procedures to identify and reduce the risk of an attack as well as providing a Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy.
Faisal Iqbal, Technical Director at EBC Group comments “As cyber-attacks become harder to prevent it is also important that businesses implement a robust data backup and DR solution. A true DR solution will replicate your systems, applications and data to a secure datacentre, which means in the event of a disaster the systems can be back online quickly, with minimal disruption.”
He adds “As a total solutions provider EBC Group provide multi-layered network security and disaster recovery solutions that add that vital layer of protection to companies of any size. EBC Group partner with a number of leading global security experts, including Kaspersky Lab and WatchGuard, which allows them to provide the very latest in cyber security solutions.“
Businesses across Hereford and Worcester are realising the benefits of properly implemented and monitored cyber security solutions. Rebecca Widdowson, Managing Partner at Hallmark Hulme comments ‘Cyber security is massively important to a business like ours. We hold a lot of personal and confidential information about our clients; we also handle substantial sums of money through our business on a daily basis. Businesses like ours are seen as a soft target to criminals. EBC Group has provided us with a series of firewalls and anti-virus protection as well as Disaster Recovery solution which means that our info and client data is much more secure and protected from cyber criminals.”
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