Cyber security is key to the protection of any business, no matter how large or small it is. Protecting all customer, staff and company data is crucial not just for peace of mind but also for compliance purposes – a failure to secure sensitive and personal data carries with it hefty financial penalties. With compromised data ripe for hackers and cyber criminals to exploit, investing heavily in cybersecurity is non-negotiable for many organisations. In addition to being an obligation it can however offer notable economic benefits further down the line.
The financial sector understands the need for cybersecurity investment better than anyone. Banks and credit card companies have consistently invested millions if not billions of pounds to ensure the protection of highly confidential customer data. They understand the risks involved and are adapting to meet them. Sadly, not all sectors have learned this lesson as well as the banking industry has.
Cyberattacks have been headline news for years, due in no small part to the massive sums of money involved. The TalkTalk hack which occurred in late 2015 cost the company up to £35 million. However, this doesn’t take everything into account. It fails to consider the loss to customer bank accounts and the effect it will have on TalkTalk’s ability to win new business in future. A customer will not sign up for a compromised service that could put them at risk. It is therefore vital to a company’s future financial security and stability that there is a substantial investment in cybersecurity.
This should not all be left up to individual companies though because larger ones can afford to adapt but small to medium sized corporations will remain vulnerable to future hacks. The number of cybersecurity experts in the UK is severely lacking. In 2015 the demand for specialist cybersecurity workers increased fourfold. The Government needs to commit to investment in this vital area or more businesses could fall victim to hackers and more confidential information end up in the hands of criminals.
The Government did commit to doubling its spend on cybersecurity to £2billion by 2020 but this is being used to mostly fight the threat of ISIS. There is little being done to ensure the next generation has a full and frank understanding of complex cybersecurity issues.
Government investment alone will not be enough to prevent cybercrime however. Instead, it needs a collaborative effort from industry, education and government to fully prepare future businesses for the cybersecurity risks they will be facing.
cyber security Europe exists to get the industry together and find collective solutions to the challenges we will be facing tomorrow. Will you be attending?