“It could be you”. A phrase once used optimistically for a national lottery campaign becomes rather more sobering when applied to the world of cyber-crime. Any business large or small faces the very real threat of a cyber security breach incident and globally, cyber-crime is on the increase, rising by 67% over the last five years.
A cyber breach can have serious financial repercussions for a business, with losses reaching up to 25% of a company’s revenue. Potential additional costs range from customer breach notifications, regulatory compliance fines and loss of intellectual property. On an operational level, there may be business disruption and an impact to supply chains, which in turn could lead to reputational damage.
Such attacks may be financially or politically motivated or committed by a disgruntled current or former employee. Types of attack include hacking, ransomware (where a criminal locks down a computer then demands a ransom to restore it) or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Today we see the development of more sophisticated and devastating viruses (e.g. Shamoon) that are designed to wipe clean computer equipment of all data including boot records, which effectively destroys the machine.