How prepared are organisations for the ever-escalating cyber threat?

We read negative headlines every day about companies that have suffered a serious data breach. Though it is not just the dent this makes in your reputation that you should be worried about. Soon there will also be crippling fines as a result of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). From 25th May 2018, UK businesses that suffer a data breach face a potential fine of €20m or 4% of global annual turnover (whichever is greater). Despite widespread awareness around cyber security, there’s a reason why cyber-attacks are still so effective: hackers continue to stay one step ahead. Attackers continue to increase their level of sophistication and there are now dozens of different ways that hackers can attempt to get their hands on your data. Time for a transition With ever-sophisticated cyber-attackers ready to pounce at every turn, the threat is immense. Late last month, Florida newspaper The Tampa Bay Times suffered a Ryuk ransomware attack Thursday, making it the latest major victim of the notorious ransomware family that continues to rise in popularity. The Tampa Bay Times chief digital officer Conan Gallaty said the paper had “a lot of plans for systems that go down,” and that its priority was in restoring and securing operations. “The focus for us is to fully recover and then work on further preventative measures,” Gallaty said. All businesses – no matter what size or sector – need to transition from an ‘if’ to a ‘when’ mindset, which involves proper preparation and comprehensive planning for all potential scenarios. Reassuringly, we are already seeing a notable change, and businesses are now better prepared than they have been. A 2019 Government report found that almost three-quarters of UK businesses consider cyber security to be a very high priority, and three in five (58 per cent) have already sought information, advice or guidance from IT experts regarding the specific threats they face. Don’t be afraid to ask Never be afraid to ask for advice. The current cyber threat landscape can be an intimidating place, so many turn to specialist IT service providers for guidance and advice on the specific types of attack they should be looking out for and how they can mitigate the associated risks. By working with the right managed IT services provider, businesses can also benefit from an increased agility in responding to any attacks.