Even though today is April Fool’s Day, it’s important to recognise that some things shouldn’t be joked about. With almost 40% of businesses being the target of a cyber-attack in 2021 – many of which are SMEs with a distinct lack of cyber security – cybercrime has become no laughing matter.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to cybercriminals becoming bolder and developing new and dangerous tactics. As people spend more and more of their time online and businesses become increasingly dependent on connectivity and collaboration platforms to remain productive, cybercriminals have spotted an opportunity to take advantage of underprepared individuals and organisations.
This April Fool’s Day, we are discussing the importance of effective cyber security. Whether you are a small business or a multinational enterprise, here are the reasons why you should be striving to have the most resilient cyber security possible.
1. Cybercrime is rising and showing no signs of slowing down
In 2021, cybercrime rose by over 600%, following a significant rise in 2020 as well. The COVID-19 pandemic almost certainly played a large role in this, with businesses becoming reliant on internet-based services to continue operating with some semblance of normality.
Unfortunately, this rise over the last several years is expected to continue. Ransomware and malware attacks are especially prevalent, and attacks targeting SMEs are threatening to overtake those against enterprises.
Cyber security can no longer be an afterthought for businesses. It’s time to invest in systems that will protect every aspect of your business, from storage and devices to email and websites. Strong and well thought out cyber security will ensure that your business continues to flourish long into the future.
2. Social engineering has become the leading mechanism for cyber-attacks
Whilst it’s imperative to protect your organisation’s network infrastructure against cyber-attacks, successful attacks now almost always rely on some form of social engineering.
Social engineering involves an individual within your company inadvertently facilitating the attack. This could be through falling for a phishing email, entering login details to a fraudulent website, or even being the victim of a telephone-based scam.
The reason that social engineering is so popular for cybercriminals is that it’s incredibly effective. It relies on ignorance on the part of the employee, demonstrating a lack of training within many organisations. The only way to effectively defend against social engineering is to comprehensively educate employees.
3. The average cost of a cyber-attack is continuing to rise
The average cost of a cyber-attack on an organisation has risen continuously over the past several years. When a business is successfully attacked, they stand to lose not only money but also time, employee resources, reputation, and potentially customers.
As well as the costs associated with loss of business, regulatory fines can be a punishing problem for affected organisations. Governments around the world are placing more and more emphasis on data protection and cyber security readiness. To this end, many regulations and laws have been put in place to ensure that companies take this seriously and protect themselves against cybercriminals.
The costs of failing to meet these regulations can be excessive and cost organisations hundreds of thousands of millions of pounds, depending on the severity of the breach.
4. Cyber-attacks are targeting more and more SMEs
Traditionally, cyber-attacks have targeted large, multinational corporations that hold vast amounts of data. This is no longer the case, as enterprises continue to implement state-of-the-art cyber security systems, they are becoming a much more difficult target for cybercriminals.
Over the past several years, cybercriminals have increasingly turned to SMEs as targets for cyber-attacks. Whilst a successful attack yields them less rewards, SMEs are much easier to breach and can often be conducted autonomously through methods such as large-scale phishing attacks and malware.
If you own or operate an SME, it’s vital that you have a rigorous cyber security system and strategy in place. Successful cyber-attacks often force SMEs to close due to the costs involved. Don’t allow yourself to be one of these businesses.
This April Fool’s Day don’t let your business fall victim to the rising epidemic of cybercrime. Get in touch with Wizard Cyber today. Our cyber security experts and Microsoft-certified consultants will be happy to discuss your requirements and answer any questions you might have.