Cyber-attacks cost businesses £200 billion a year
As technology improves, levels of cybercrime around the world have increased rapidly and those without protection are being hit hard.
Attacks are costing in the region of £200 billion every year, while those in the financial sector have suffered most – one in four businesses fell victim to cyber security issues in the last year alone.
According to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report, a total of 15% of firms across the world have been victim of a cyber-attack in the past 12 months, with the EU region the worst hit.
Given the number of attacks on the sector, financial firms were found to worry more than others about the threat of cybercrime.
Despite this, only half of the firms questioned as part of the study had some form of cyber security strategy, leaving many at risk.
There are many costs as well, and not just in the form of financial penalties – firms can suffer significant damage to their reputation and can even lose customers.
Should consumer confidence be affected or be undermined, then a business may struggle to recover – those fearing financial pressures should seek advice from insolvency practitioners about the solutions that may be available to them.
The UK Government has recognised the threat of cybercrime and recently classed cyber security as one of the top four threats to the country, alongside international terrorism, a military invasion and natural disasters.
Businesses have started to take cyber security seriously though, as one in six new jobs in the IT sector relates to the issue.
The rapid digitalisation of many businesses provides more opportunities than at any point in the past for would-be cyber criminals, which is why demand for security is also increasing.
While being vigilant is important, firms also need to ensure they have a proactive approach in order to minimise threats.
For a firm that is reactionary, the damage may already be done by the time they identify a problem.
By Phil Smith