Step Up Cyber Security

At this time of year, business reviews, strategic plans and targets are in full swing. My advice is to ensure that cyber security underpins all ambitions that you have for the year ahead. If you’ve not been affected by a security breach or ransomware attack, you may not see this as a priority. So it’s now my job to convince you that it is.
 

Locked Keyboard

Your Business Without IT

I invite you to take a moment to visualise what would happen if your IT infrastructure went down, your customer and supplier data was stolen and your intellectual property was compromised. With denied access to your system and possibly even your building, operations will come to an immediate standstill. Demands are made and there’s a risk that even if you pay, not every file will be recovered.
 

“The last year has seen a significant evolution in the cyber threat to the UK – not least because of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine but also from the availability and capability of emerging tech.

Beyond the present challenges, we are very aware of the threats on the horizon, including rapid advancements in tech and the growing market for cyber capabilities. We are committed to facing those head-on and keeping the UK at the forefront of cyber security.”

Lindy Cameron CEO National Cyber Security Centre

 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is focusing on protecting the UK’s critical sectors; energy, water, transportation, finance and communication. As business owners, we have a responsibility to keep pace with the rising threat and protect what is critical to our operations.

The Cost of Cyber Attacks

The global cost of cyber attacks has reached $6 trillion, which is twice the GDP of the UK in 2022. So, this is big business, where highly skilled hackers leverage emerging technologies to target both businesses and individuals.

The media shares the big stories. Royal Mail’s ransomware attack that affected international deliveries and took over a month to restore, or an unpatched server at the UK Electoral Register exposing a database of 40 million people. However, 43% of cyber-attacks are on SMEs.

The average cost of a cyber attack on a UK business in 2023 is £1,100 (Source: Statista). However, the downtime, associated cashflow issues and damaged reputation result in far higher costs. I don’t know of any business that can afford to ignore this threat.
 

Why Invest in Cyber Essentials?

Cyber Essentials is designed to help businesses of all sizes to fully consider and protect their IT Systems from common cyber attacks, with measures to:

  • Have fully patched software
  • Identify and address vulnerabilities
  • Ensure system backup
  • Educate the whole workforce
  • Review third-party software before using it
  • Encourage reporting of suspicions and breaches
  • Implement plans to promptly deal with a security breach

Both time and financial costs are involved in achieving accreditation, however, it could save you far more than you invest. In addition, it is a recognised and trusted mark of quality. Public service organisations can now only commission suppliers with Cyber Essentials and you may have other customers who demand this standard. 

Through 2023, Flex IT has assisted several organisations to achieve Cyber Essentials for this very reason. Accreditation has been the key to opening up new opportunities and business growth. The fact that they now have better IT protection, peace of mind and a robust plan to quickly contain any breach is a bonus.

Human Error & Social Engineering

Did you know that 90% of cyber attacks are a result of human error or social engineering? This is why educating your workforce is an essential part of cyber protection.

It’s not as simple as ensuring employees use strong passwords. Hackers are using increasingly complex strategies to manipulate, coerce and deceive employees. Impersonation and psychological tactics are used to convince employees to undertake actions or disclose sensitive information. This gives cyber criminals a way in.
 

How Can Flex IT Help?

Visit our website for 10 Steps to Cyber Security which you can use as a checklist.

We also offer basic and full security assessments, which follow the NCSC Small Business Guidelines.  The full assessment is designed to help you prepare for Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation. We can then refer you to independent assessors.

If you are making cyber protection a priority, we have the expertise to assist. Call us on 0333 101 7300 for further information or to discuss your requirements.