Ever since 2004, October has been named as Cyber Awareness month. It’s a month designed to highlight the importance of the risks to businesses and how best to protect themselves. But with big changes in recent years, this year feels more important than ever to make sure you’re protected in the event of a potential cyber attack.
So why should businesses care about cyber awareness?
SMEs often underestimate their attractiveness to cybercriminals. They assume data they hold isn’t as valuable compared to larger businesses. However, nothing could be further from the truth – and there’s evidence to show that SMEs are more of a target, due to the lack of infrastructure they have to safeguard themselves.
It’s not just data either. Businesses often possess valuable intellectual property. From proprietary software and algorithms, to new innovative ideas. Cyberattacks can result in the theft or compromisation of your IP – potentially harming your business’s competitive edge.
We’ve rounded up the main reasons why we think it’s important for businesses like yours to take cyber security seriously in 2023.
The unknown dangers of AI
While we’re already seeing AI start to offer powerful tools to help companies defend themselves against cyber threats, it also introduces new challenges and dangers that businesses will need to stay vigilant to. Cybercriminals are already using the technology to create more sophisticated attacks. From AI-driven malware to automated spear-phishing attacks. We’re also seeing deepfake videos and AI generated audio recordings being used to impersonate individuals and gain unauthorised access to company systems. Putting things in place now, will ensure your business is best protected for the future.
The rise of home working
The dangers for businesses have also increased in recent years with the increase of home working – and it seems WFH is here to stay. But this doesn’t come without its risks. Laptops and phones are more vulnerable and workers are more relaxed when it comes to security issues. There’s also a rise in phishing attacks targeting remote workers. Scammers will often pose as trusted entities to trick employees into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. When your team isn’t in your organisation’s protected network, they’re more open to threat.
The financial consequences
The financial consequences of a cyberattack on a business are not to be ignored either. From the cost of data breaches and regulatory fines, to legal expenses and loss of revenue. In 2023, it’s estimated that a single data breach costs businesses £4,960 on average – and it’s rising every year.
With costs increasing in this economic climate, it may be tempting to cut corners on the things that keep your business safe – like cloud systems, antivirus software and firewalls. But cutting the amount you spend on cyber security, could cost you more in the long run.
Many tech businesses also operate in highly regulated sectors – such as fintech or healthcare. Compliance with cybersecurity regulations and standards is often mandatory and failure to comply can result in legal consequences, fines, or even having your business shutdown.
The impact of reputation and trust
With 95% of customers reading reviews before they buy from a company, online reputation has never been more important. A cybersecurity incident can damage all your hard work instantly. By law, you have to report a personal data breach to the ICO without undue delay (if it meets the threshold for reporting). You also have to let customers know if there’s a risk to their personal or financial data. This news can erode customer trust and lead to a loss of business. Rebuilding trust and your company’s reputation after a breach can be a lengthy and challenging process – not to mention costly.
The risk to your business continuity
If a cyberattack disrupts your technical operations, it can cause downtime, leading to financial losses. Ensuring business continuity through robust cybersecurity measures is crucial to maintaining uninterrupted service to clients and preserving revenue streams.
The risks of trading globally
Since the pandemic, more companies are now trading internationally. But this doesn’t come without its risks – as you then become targets for cyberattacks in different regions. Each country also has different laws and regulations when it comes to breaches. So being aware of international cybersecurity threats and the regulations in the countries you do business in is vital to protect your company as it grows.
So, overall, there are many reasons why businesses need to take cybersecurity seriously. But you’re also not alone. As an accounting firm, it’s something we also invest heavily in. We’re constantly upgrading our software and infrastructure to make sure your financial and personal data remains highly secure in the cloud. So even though October is a great time to highlight the risks around cybersecurity, you can be sure that with Gravita, your data is secure all year round.
If you’d like more information on any of the points in this article, or need more information on how it will affect you or your business, then please get in touch with one of our experts on 0207 309 2222, fill in our contact form or email email@example.com.
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