The time is ripe to optimise your online defences

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Here’s a stat to boggle the mind – 925,633,824 records were breached in September 2018. That soundbite alone should have all CEOs scrambling to fortify their company’s online defences, and with National Cyber Security Awareness Month taking place this October, there’s never been a better time to prepare yourself against this unseen enemy.

The campaign is now in its 15th year, though the 2018 edition surely promises to be more mainstream and imperative than any that have preceded it. What was once the realm of cyber security professionals and software developers has now become a tangible concern for the man on the street. As these virtual threats spill into our daily reality, it’s barely possible to turn on the television or open the newspaper without hearing another warning or concern over cyber security.

Threats from abroad

Latterly, the hoo-ha surrounding cyber-crime has concentrated on the threat from the north in the shape of Russia. With UK-Russian relations at a dramatic low after the Novichok nerve attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, the British government has identified the country as a major source of online attacks.

Indeed, Britain isn’t the only country to have pinpointed Russian hackers as a concern for private and public security. Earlier this year, the US Treasury implemented sanctions against six Russian operatives believed to have attempted to influence the Presidential election. Meanwhile in 2017, the White House blamed the Russian military for the NotPetya malware, which has been widely described as the most malicious, destructive and costly cyber-attack in history.

More immediate concerns

Of course, to assume that Russia bears sole responsibility for the online threat facing individuals, businesses and governments would be foolhardy in the extreme. Russia and other antagonistic nation states might well pose a problem at the upper echelons of government, but the average SME faces much more immediate threats of extinction. In fact, the top dog at Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre recently took to the airwaves to deliver that exact message.

“There is a lot more to the cyber security challenge in the UK than the Russian state,” explained Ciaran Martin in an interview with the Financial Times. “They are not always associated with the large-scale disappearance of personal data, but other states and criminal syndicates are and that does huge damage to confidence in individual organisations and confidence in the digital economy as a whole.”

Loss of control leads to lack of confidence

That last point should resonate with business leaders of all stripes and sizes. Whether you’re a multinational corporation or a fledgling operation looking to gain a foothold in the industry, maintaining customer confidence is absolutely crucial to prosperity and success. Traditionally, this has taken the form of delivering impeccable services and quality products to achieve a reputation of trustworthiness and reliability.

With the evolution of the cyber threat, those characteristics alone are no longer the hallmark of a reliable enterprise. A company might be able to deliver unparalleled quality and display unimpeachable integrity, but if they can’t guarantee the safety of their most valuable assets – namely, their customer’s sensitive data – from malicious attackers, they’re as good as dead in business terms. The nationality of those attackers matters little when your company’s reputation is on the line.

Defences not commensurate with danger

Despite this stark reality, the stats show that business defences still aren’t up to scratch. Last year’s FTSE 350 Cyber Governance Health Check Report revealed that more than two-thirds (68%) of the country’s top businesses do not receive training to prepare them in case an incident occurs, while one in ten admitted they did not have a plan in place to deal with such a scenario. If even the big guys aren’t equipped to deal with cyber-crime, how can SMEs and start-ups be expected to cope?

Hiring a full-time team of cyber security boffins to your boardroom simply isn’t cost-effective, while training existing members of staff to deal with the problem can be just as expensive, not to mention time-inefficient and akin to forcing square plugs into round holes. The solution? Outsourcing the task to cyber security specialists who know what they’re talking about.

Who you gonna call?

At Quorum Cyber, we’re a team of enthusiastic and intelligent individuals who are well-versed in the latest tricks and techniques of cyber-attack – and defence. We understand the manifold issues facing the modern business leader, which is why we’ve developed our Big Red Button programme. It’s specifically designed to keep hackers at bay without breaking the bank in a service that’s open to everyone.

October might be coming to a close, and National Cyber Security Awareness Month with it, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for you to avoid becoming the next victim of an online attack. Sign up or get in touch with us to learn more today – before it is too late. We’re waiting to hear from you.