Beating the Odds of Suffering an IT Security Breach

IT Business Edge featured news about a recent IID and Ponemon Institute Study has shown that there has been a significant increase in cyber attacks in the last 2 years thus prompting concerns that the odds of suffering a breach are on the way up.

Recent high profile attacks such as the one on TalkTalk in which users' financial details were obtained and divulged costing the company £35m in one-off costs and a serious dive in share values have brought the issue into sharp focus once again.

The recent study showed that 47% of organisations in both the public and private sectors were breached in the last 2 years, compared to 43% (still a high figure) identified in a similar study last autumn.

Cyber Security Month

Attacks globally are now commonplace and in the U.S. President Obama even designated last month as National Cyber Security Awareness Month to keep the subject to keep levels of awareness high and to increase “the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.”

Cyber Crime Figures In the UK

Last month’s release of the results of the UK Crime Survey for England and Wales (ONS) showed 2.5m cyber-crime offences in the 12 months to June. October also saw one of the worst cyber attacks that the UK the National Crime Agency have seen in the malware known as Dridex which is estimated to have taken £20 million form British bank accounts, and $100 million worldwide so far.

What Can We Do To Protect Ourselves?

Get Safe Online for example offers free access to some sound basic advice about many aspects of cyber crime prevention including protecting your computer, your smartphone and tablet, and your shopping, banking and payments. There is also information about protecting your data.

Good  IT support companies will also be able to give you more specific advice about which measures are most appropriate for your systems and which steps are already being taken to protect you and your business.

Mobile Security

The huge increase in the numbers of us using mobile devices for all aspects of business have brought a corresponding large amount of cyber crime in this area. Many popular mobile devices such as iPhones already have good built in safeguards against malware, but cyber criminals are getting increasingly creative. Here are some basic mobile security measures you can take to make sure you’re operating as safely as you can.

  • Consider installing third-party apps and browsers to enhance security.

  • Install one of the many reputable antivirus / antispyware apps. Remember that Windows and Android devices can be more vulnerable to malware.

  • Download upgrades to security apps as soon as you are prompted to do so.

  • Check the security settings on your device to make sure you’re getting maximum protection.

  • Keep checking your service provider’s website for news of any security updates.

  • When banking, only use the app published by your bank.

  • Watch out for fake stores when buying and downloading apps. Only buy from recognised sources.