(c) Cassie Ward
(c) Cassie Ward

Merseyside Cyber Security Programme suggests that cybercrime affects nearly one-third of businesses each month, with an average cyber-attack costing a business more than £15,000.

Cybercrime is a term for lots of different crimes which take place either online or where technology is a means and/ or target for the attack. It is one of the fastest growing criminal activities across the world and can affect both individuals and businesses.

The Government’s recent Cyber Security Survey found that a third of businesses and a quarter of charities suffered a cyberattack in the last year. For medium-sized businesses, this figure rose to 59%, and for larger businesses it was 69%.

Only 30% of businesses say that they use tools for security monitoring, leaving 70% of business at risk of suffering a cyberattack.

Eddie Lamb, Cyber Education and Advisory at Hiscox, says that prevention is key: “I think there’s some good things that every business can be doing no matter what size they are, endpoint detection and response.

“So having a more modern form of antivirus software, having a good endpoint detection and response software installed on your devices is a really good way to prevent hackers from remotely accessing your device or taking control of the device itself.

“A self-multifactor authentication is a very powerful tool that breaks the cycle that cyber criminals go through to compromise email accounts.”

Phishing is a phrase used for when an attacker tricks someone into doing the wrong thing, such as clicking a harmful link that will download malware or direct them to an untrusted site.

Phishing can be conducted by text and social media however is commonly used for describing attacks that arrive by email. This technique can reach millions of users’ inboxes instantaneously, and therefore, is vital for businesses to filter or block emails like this.

Mr Lamb said: “Business email compromise is still the hackers’ weapon of choice. So that is coming into a business through the mailbox itself, perhaps through impersonation or intimidation, and maybe dropping some sort of malicious virus into a user’s mailbox itself. So, protecting the mail services is really important for all businesses.

“A really useful tool for that is multi factor authentication, where a user is inputting a username and password, in combination with another factor like a token that’s being delivered to an app on their phone, or perhaps via text message.”

A few small changes in your online behaviour can decrease your chances of falling victim of cybercrime.

What you can do to prevent a cyber-attack:

  • Use strong passwords that people will not guess and don’t record them anywhere. Use a reputable password manager that can randomise passwords.
  • Never open attachments in spam emails. This is one way that a computer can get infected by malware attacks, never open attachments from senders you don’t know.
  • Using anti-virus software is a smart way to protect your devices from attacks. Make sure it is updated to receive the best level of protection.
  • Use multi-factor authentication. This is a good way of protecting your devices, as it requires an additional step to access your information. This can be done via an app, phone, email, or text. This means if someone has access to your passwords, you will be protected by this additional step.
  • Never give out your personal information, especially if you aren’t familiar with someone’s number or email. People aren’t always who they say they are.

Featured image by Cassie Ward 


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