A growing and dangerous threat to our cyber security

1 min read

Cyber crime is costing the world’s top ten economies more than $250billion per annum and UK business leaders now rate it as being among the top three corporate risks they are confronted by. As if to make the point, what better than the recent ‘WannaCry’ attack? – a cyber attack that has led to a complex world-wide investigation.

While research suggests that companies are taking the threat of cyber crime increasingly seriously this recent attack, which saw the National Health Service’s operations seriously affected, raises a question over how seriously individual government’s are taking the threat of potential cyber attacks.
Those attacks are becoming more sophisticated and, according to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 run by the UK’s Department of Culture Media and Sport, nearly seven in ten large businesses identified a breach or attack in 2016, with the average cost
being £20,000.
As a result, nine in ten UK businesses now regularly update their software and malware protection; and two thirds of businesses invest money in cyber security measures.
Companies need to have formal policies on managing cyber security risk in place and are encouraged to provide improved cyber security training as well as an incident management plan. Not enough companies are doing this though and, as a result, are
leaving themselves vulnerable.
By the middle of 2018, it is estimated that there will be 1.3m robots operating around the globe. Worryingly, in the light of the ‘WannaCry’ attack, researchers from cybersecurity firm Trend Micro found that most of those robots are extremely vulnerable to being hacked.
The survey found pronounced levels of vulnerability due to weak network security, the lack of passwords or the use of simple username
and password combinations. How easy do companies have to make it for cyber criminals?
The research found that while companies suffered from poor network security they weren’t faring much better when it came to software protection either.
Manufacturers need to keep their IoT processes safe because the costs of these crimes will fall entirely on the victims, there is no legal responsibility on software companies to ensure the security of their software.
We all benefit from greater connectivity but it also makes us exceptionally vulnerable.
If we’ve learned anything from recent events is that we have to take digital security seriously.