Recent figures show that hackers stole more than £4.5bn from the British population alone, with over 17 million victims hacked. Reports recently have indicated that almost half of UK businesses have now been subject to a security breach or hack. Whilst fresh figures indicate these statistics may rise again this year, it’s worth considering whether hackers are becoming smarter or individuals and businesses are failing to protect themselves appropriately. Perhaps we haven’t considered the worst case scenario?
Hackers typically target access or log-ins for various websites, apps and banking sites. They can use credit cards to make fraudulent transactions and to steal identities and personal information. On average, a clean-up of these types of hacks can take 2 working days, yet it can take longer depending on the severity. So, what if by accessing your personal information, the hacker gains information for, or worse, obtains access to the company that you work for?
As prevalent now as it has ever been, hackers target businesses of all sizes for a multitude of agendas. If a hacker breaches a business’ IT network, they may gain access to customer information, potentially exposing sensitive data. If a business falls victim to ransomware, they’re pressured into paying off the hacker in order to regain control of their data.
Worse still, hackers may steal, delete or leak intellectual property, which could cause reputational damage, huge financial losses and CEO, director or staff dismissals. Ultimately, a large-scale hack could push a business into insolvency regardless of size or stature. If, say, your business deals with public money, assets or information, what could the consequences be?
The Nation and Beyond
Potentially, hackers could use your business as a gateway to take down power grids or networks, entire sectors of commerce, critical energy or financial services infrastructure, possibly inciting terrorist threats or attempting to influence public agendas in elections, campaigns or ideology.
Terrifyingly, this could all be started by clicking what seems to be a legitimate link in your personal email inbox. Ciaran Martin, head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, posted that a serious cyber-attack on a national scale is a matter of when not if. Are your business and its employees shrewd enough? Will you be ready should a major attack occur?