WannaCry, CryptoLocker, Petya and Crysis. If you’ve read any kind of news in the last year, you’ll be familiar with these names. They are all forms of Ransomware, a malicious type of cyber attack. In 2016 alone Ransomware is estimated to have cost businesses upwards of $1 billion, therefore it is something that businesses should be concerned about.
The Petya attack that has just swept across Europe and parts of the UK is just the latest in a spate of recent cyber attacks effecting businesses. As many as 46% of UK companies suffered from a cyber attack or breach of their computer systems in 2016. This is compared to just 24% the year before, per figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. At the start of the year a report by Beazley Breach Insights expected Ransomware attacks to double in number from 2016. The scale of the WannaCry, and now, Petya attacks mean that number will easily be surpassed.
Businesses are looking for advice on how to stop these cyber attacks. There are plenty of ways you can help reduce the threat of attack, here are 11 tips to increase your cyber security. There is no question that businesses should be working on ways to improve their security, or working with IT companies to help secure their computer systems but it’s impossible to be 100% safe from cyber attack. The rapid speed that threats occur and the increasing technical knowledge involved with each attack is making it hard for defences to keep every attack out.
Remember that 46% of companies suffered a cyber attack in 2016, so the chances are your business could be affected. So, the most important thing a business can do is know how to deal with a cyber attack once it has happened and the best place to start is with backing up your data. It is important for a business to understand how vital it is to back up data.
Data is the life blood for any business and the loss of that data could lead to that business going under. An industry study by The Diffusion Group, who surveyed small businesses, said 60% of companies that lose their data close down within six months of the disaster. That is how important it is.
What if your business is already backing up its data? Firstly, well done that’s a great start but the work doesn’t stop there. It’s vital to regularly test your process for recovering your data from a backup. It’s no good backing up if you can’t recover that data. By running that test regularly you’ll also know if your backup process works properly as well. Its common for a backup drive to run out of disk space and for nowhere to be aware of that.
As you can see running a proper backup can be a complex. That is why backups should be part of your business continuity plan. Travelers insurance company define a business continuity plan as “a proactive plan to avoid and mitigate risks associated with a disruption of operations. It details steps to be taken before, during and after an event to maintain the financial viability of an organisation.” That means if your business systems are compromised, whether its by a fire or flood in the office or, now the more common threat of, a cyber attack you have a plan of action to limit the effect it has on business performance. The longer your company can’t work the more money you lose. Business Continuity plans are important but not many business don’t have one and even less will have an updated one to deal with the increase threat of cyber attacks.
Cyber attacks aren’t going away; in fact, they are increasing dramatically in size each year. Yes, your business should be looking for ways to protect itself from attack but don’t forget to plan for what happens if an attack is successful. Backing up your business data could not only save your business money it could be the difference between surviving a cyber attack or going out of business.
To find out more information on building a continuity plan read how InfoTech Solutions can help you with every step of your business continuity plan or call us on 0845 4666 500 to discuss how to protect your business from cyber attack and how to start a business continuity plan.