How Cyber-Attacks Affect UK Companies, Their Types & Six Ways to Protect Your Business
With practically all business being conducted firmly in the digital sphere, more companies than ever are opening themselves up the cyber-attacks – with an ever-growing list becoming victim to the increasingly sophisticated criminal tactics. To help you defend your business from the danger, this guide looks into how cyber-attacks affect UK companies in the UK, the types of attacks to watch out for, and six simple tips on how to minimise the risk.
How do cyber-attacks affect UK companies?
Cyber-attacks are felt by countless UK businesses every year. According to the government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021, 39% of businesses and 26% of charities have reported a cyber security breach or attack in the last year. This proportion is greater among medium-sized businesses (65%), big businesses (64%), and charities with high incomes (51%).
What types of cyber-attacks should businesses watch out for?
Conducted with the aim of stealing, embezzling, or blackmailing data, funds, and intellectual property, there are a range of tactics that cyber criminals use to target businesses:
- Malware – Software that finds its way into a network for the purposes of cybercrime, often via a virus. It then steals data, intellectual property, or funds covertly.
- Ransomware – Malware that stops users from accessing files unless a ransom is paid to the cybercriminal.
- Man in the middle – When attackers eavesdrop on internal communications via Wi-Fi, malware, or otherwise, stealing data in the process.
- Denial of service – Attacks that direct huge volumes of traffic towards a website with the aim of clogging the system and stopping it from fulfilling legitimate user requests.
- Phishing – Bogus communications that aim to persuade company users that the communication (such as a request for things like personal data or banking information) is genuine.
- SQL injection – When hackers input code into SQL servers, which reveals data that was otherwise hidden.
- DNS tunnelling – The utilisation of DNS protocols to control company systems.
- Zero-day exploits – The exploitation of vulnerabilities in recently released, unpatched computer systems.
Six tips to protect your business from cyber-attacks
To stop your business from becoming a victim of cybercrime, make sure to follow these six approaches.
- Security systems – Your business must have strong security systems in place that act as a first line of defence against cybercrime. Without them, you run a very real risk of being targeted.
- Educate your staff – Education is the best cure when it comes to combating forms of cyber-attacks such as phishing. Provide training that builds staff knowledge and makes them less gullible to the approaches of hackers.
- Create strong policies – Strong cyber policies, such as rules on communications, device usage by third parties, and which cloud platforms staff should use are all great ways of directing the actions of staff towards being cyber-secure.
- Develop cyber strategies – A strategic mindset to cyber security which identifies areas of risk and mitigates against them over the long term will provide a lasting, adaptable device to the changing cyber-attack landscape.
- Cyber liability insurance – For when all other approaches have failed, cyber liability insurance will help your business quickly recover if it is hit by a cyber-attack. Some policies also come with consultation services too, letting you develop strong policies that minimise the risk of cybercrime.
- Regular analysis – Your business should put in place means to analyse any cyber attacks that do happen, so you can improve your approach in kind. Even if you are not affected, you should regularly test your policies, strategies, and systems to ensure you are well-defended.
How do you protect your company from cyber-attacks? Let us know your best approaches in the comments section.
Keen tech writer outside of my day job in I.T. and spending time with my family.