The threats and opportunities available in cyber security

Research conducted on behalf of the UK Government has revealed that cyber security breaches among large UK businesses are increasing, with 90% reporting a security breach in 2014, up from 81% the previous year.

In addition, the costs associated with dealing with a cyber attack have doubled, up from £600,000 to £1.15m a year ago to an average of £1.46m to £3.14m for larger firms.

This blog from Tracker looks at how you can protect your business from cyber threats while getting ready for the opportunities available as cyber security becomes more prominent.

Information Security Breaches

The research was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and published as part of their Information Security Breaches Survey 2015.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey commented: “The UK’s digital economy is strong and growing, which is why British businesses remain an attractive target for cyber-attack and the cost is rising dramatically. Businesses that take this threat seriously are not only protecting themselves and their customers’ data but securing a competitive advantage.

“I would urge businesses of all sizes to make use of the help and guidance available from Government and take up the Cyber Essentials Scheme.”

Establishing your organisation as having a safe online presence can be a real selling point to your customers and to potential public sector clients, particularly as government seeks to make cyber security a mandatory requirement before the award of certain contract opportunities.

10 tips to improve your cyber security

To help your business maintain a strong cyber security infrastructure, here’s top ten tips approved by the UK Government as part of their Cyber Essentials scheme:

  1. Develop a mobile working policy and train staff to adhere to it. Apply the secure baseline build to all devices. Protect data both in transit and at rest
  2. Produce user security policies covering acceptable and secure use of the organisation’s systems. Establish a staff training programme. Maintain user awareness of the cyber risks
  3. Establish an incident response and disaster recovery capability. Produce and test incident management plans. Provide specialist training to the incident management team. Report criminal incidents to law enforcement
  4. Establish an effective governance structure and determine your risk appetite. Maintain the Board’s engagement with the cyber risk. Produce supporting information risk management policies
  5. Establish account management processes and limit the number of privileged accounts. Limit user privileges and monitor user activity. Control access to activity and audit logs.
  6. Produce a policy to control all access to removable media. Limit media types and use. Scan all media for malware before importing on to corporate system
  7. Establish a monitoring strategy and produce supporting policies. Continuously monitor all ICT systems and networks. Analyse logs for unusual activate that could indicate an attack
  8. Apply security patches and ensure that the secure configuration of all ICT systems is maintained. Create a system inventory and define a baseline build for all ICT devices
  9. Produce relevant policy and establish anti-malware defences that are applicable and relevant to all business areas. Scan for malware across the organisation.
  10. Protect your networks against external and internal attacks. Manage the network perimeter. Filter out unauthorised access and malicious content. Monitor and test security controls.

Cyber security opportunities

In order to secure the vast economic and social benefits that cyber can offer the UK, the Government has made cyber a key priority for business processes and procurement opportunities.

In 2015, the Government set out its four key aspirations:

  • For the UK to tackle cyber crime and be one of the most secure places in the world to do business
  • To be more resilient to cyber attacks and better able to protect our interests
  • To help shape an open, stable and vibrant cyberspace which the public can use safely
  • For the UK to have the cross-cutting knowledge, skills and capacity it needs to underpin its cyber objectives.

Part of the Government’s plan to achieve these goals includes a programme of partnership between the private enterprises, the public sector and law enforcement to share information and resources, respond to common challenges and actively deter threats.

Growing your security ambitions

With the cyber market again in the spotlight, now is the time to ensure that your business is well prepared for the risks and is ready to make the most of the opportunities available.

If you’d like more guidance on how your business can benefit from booming cyber opportunities, then a free trial of Tracker could help.

Tracker offers you:

  • Tender alerts in your sector direct to your inbox
  • The opportunity to find out what your competitors are doing and how to beat them with Spend Analysis Pro
  • The latest updates and legislative news in your sector with Market Intelligence

To test the system for yourself, book a free Tracker trial today.

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