The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 revealed that around half of UK businesses were the subject of a cyber attack in 2016 – 2017. Government statistics have also identified that those firms holding significant volumes of electronic data are much more likely to be targeted. Given the large volume of personal data processed every day in the alternative investment industry there is significant additional risk.
The most common types of cybercrime
In the UK there are three cyber crimes that top the list of risks for businesses:
- Fraudulent emails
- Malware and viruses
What is interesting about these cyber crimes is that, in most cases, they can almost always be prevented. And for companies within the alternative investment sector, it is vitally important that this is the case.
What are the consequences of cyber crimes?
Cyber criminals are incredibly creative so there could be any number of consequences to cyber crimes. However, these are some of the most common:
- Loss of files, either temporary or permanent
- Corruption of systems or software
- Loss of access to third party systems
- Business downtime
- Reputational damage
- Financial loss (e.g. court claims)
- Disruption to website
Protecting a firm against the threat of cyber crimes
1. Build security into your firm culture
Cyber criminals often rely on individual weakness in order to get malware or ransomware into a system, or to get hold of sensitive or personal data. So, the first place for every firm to start when it comes to safeguarding against cyber crime is with the people in the business. Training staff how to correctly use IT systems and what warning signs to look out for can provide a much more robust defence against cyber criminals trying to find their way in.
2. Hope for the best but plan for the worst
Disaster recovery planning is another key component when it comes to handling cyber threats. Although this will not protect the business against an attack, it will provide continuity in the event of one occurring. This can reduce reputational damage, data loss and ensure that the firm does not suffer large volumes of client attrition as a result.
3. Upgrade your IT systems and keep them up to date
Secure IT infrastructure provides the foundation for protecting a firm against the ever-expanding list of cyber threats. Encrypted data and passwords ensure that only those who need to see certain information have access to it, for example, and device management is becoming key in an age of flexible working.
4. Separate your data
In life in general, precious or valuable items are not simply left out for all to view and access. The same goes for information held by a business in the alternative investment industry. One of the simplest ways to slow down a cyber attack is to separate data – that way, if one part of the business is compromised the rest of the information remains secure.
5. Protecting against cyber crimes must come from the top down
Cyber security is not something that you can assign to a department deep in the recesses of the building and hope that it is dealt with. Everyone in the firm, from the very top down, needs to be involved in working through worst-case scenarios and protection strategies so that awareness widespread.
If you want to find out more about protecting your business against cybercrime, you can get in touch with netConsult’s expert team specializing in IT for the alternative investment sector by calling 020 7100 3310 today.
Author: Laura Zverko - Follow us on Google+