In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, organised by the National Cyber Security Alliance, this is the second in our blog series in October on cyber security in the workplace.
Cyber security is part of our daily lives. The first thing that is important to point out is that cyber security isn’t just a job for the tech professionals, it’s a job for everyone, and this month gives us chance to shine a spotlight on the importance of the topic.
Cyber security affects every single one of us who owns an electronic device, such as a smartphone, PC, iPad or smart TV. It is more commonly thought of in the workplace simply due to the number of these devices in operation. For more information on how to ensure your workforce are cyber security aware, read our previous blog here. However in this post, we’ll take a particular look at how to raise the profile of cyber security with your Board of Directors, ensuring you gain their buy in for investment in order to protect the needs of your organisation.
Latest cyber security statistics show that in 2016, cyber crimes in the UK accounted for almost half of all crimes committed. Cyber crime has cost the economy in excess of £30 billion, as now almost half of all UK firms have been hit by a cyber attack suffering expensive damages, some of which never recover. It’s statistics like this you will need to put in front of your Board – how much would you be prepared to spend (or lose) to keep your business running? Once you have that number, you’re starting to understand what your cyber security budget should be.
Many smaller businesses believe they are not a threat when it comes to cyber criminals, as they see larger corporations with seemingly more valuable data and more lucrative bank accounts as a greater target. However research would suggest that this is not the case, and no matter what the size of your business is, you are a target. A lot of cyber attacks are not even specifically targeted at the company or brand, but just on a vulnerability that allowed a bot to get into your network. Cyber attacks are not always about who you are, but about how well you protect yourself.
Alarmingly, 60% of small businesses that have suffered from a cyber attack have gone out of business within only six months of suffering the attack. This is a grave figure and highlights the extreme impact a cyber attack can have on an organisation’s operations. Smaller businesses tend to be more at risk of going out of business as they simply don’t have the financial support to recover after an attack, but this is still a valuable lesson for larger enterprises.
Why should the Board pay attention?
There are a number of detrimental effects that a cyber attack can have on an organisation, which we’ve broken down for you in the graphic below. These are split into short to long term costs that can impact an organisation.