Is Hacking On The Rise?
At Frontline we get queries almost every other week about a suspicious email or unusual message popping up on one of our customer’s computers or networks. In addition to this, our own staff have started to report an increase in suspicious emails.
This blog takes a look at recent reports in what appears to be a significant rise in cyber-criminal activity targeting businesses and more specifically, individuals within the organisation.
Over the past year or so there appears to have been an increased focus from cyber-criminals in targeting small and mid sized businesses.
Toni Allen, UK Head of Client Proposition at the British Standards Institute (BSI) has said “SMEs have not historically been the target of cyber crime but in 2015 something drastically changed.”
This statement is backed up by a recent survey from Harvey Nash who state that 36% of UK businesses have been victim to at least one security incident in 2015 with the number of SMEs being targeted almost doubling. The latest Government Security Breaches Survey shows that 75% of larger businesses and 30% of small businesses have suffered staff related breaches.
This issue of security hacks and breaches is highlighted further by the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation which could result in companies being fined up to €20m or 4% of their annual turnover for allowing security breaches to compromise their customer data.
Types of Hacks
- Ransomware – a piece of malicious software encrypts all of the data on your company’s network and then the offenders request a ransom in order to ‘release’ the data.
- Hack attack – a hacker gains access to your company’s network via a vulnerability within the software which allows them to access the company data.
- Denial of Service attack – a company’s website is inundated with traffic
- Human error – often a company’s employees are the weakest link, although not necessarily intentionally. A significant amount of reported data breaches are the result of information being lost or distributed to the wrong person by employees.
What Can Your Business Do?
How Can Frontline Help?
- Software – Operating systems / Applications / etc
- Hardware – Firewalls / Switches / Servers / etc
- Security Policy / Procedures – Review and/or create security policy documents for your internal and external use