Cyber security a growing threat for East Midlands firms

42 percent of businesses with 100 or more employees have fallen prey to a cyber-attack in the last year, according to recent figures from business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP.

“The annual global cost of cybercrime is estimated to hit $6 trillion by 2021 as cyber attacks increase in quantity and sophistication every year,” comments Tom Copson, Director in the firm’s East Midlands team.

“The number of East Midlands businesses with an online presence and which are using online transactions continues to grow, a strategy that for many represents the difference between survival and extinction.

“Most mid-market businesses with ambitions to grow know it is important that they embrace technology, however, with this comes an increased threat from cyber-crime, and the region’s business leaders tell us that effective cyber security is rapidly becoming a critical issue on their agendas.”

Cyber-crime’s footprint is increasing significantly each year, both in frequency and the size and sophistication of operations, as Tom explains: “Cyber-crime has evolved from being the act of an individual, to one of the many tools used by organised crime syndicates. No industry is safe from the possibility of a cyber-crime attack and being prepared is the first step local businesses need to take to help defend their business.

“80 percent of all cyber-attacks could be avoided by businesses adopting good cyber hygiene, which includes getting the basics right: As cyber-crime has evolved, traditional defence strategies such as the hardening of firewalls and intrusion prevention systems are no longer sufficient. Resilience is now about the management, rather than the elimination, of cyber risk. Businesses must recognise that their security measures need to go beyond just software and IT departments.”