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Cyber Criminals Can Exploit Any Organisation’s Weaknesses, No Matter the Size

By mjackson
20.01.17

On average, each UK business was subject to 230,000 cyber attacks in 2016, according to research provided by internet service provider, Beaming.

Very few of these attacks were successful, but the sheer volume is noteworthy. In November, for the first time ever, more than 1,000 attacks per day hit individual company firewalls, contributing to an overall cost to the UK economy of £34.1 billion. What’s more, is that 2 out of 3 large businesses and SMEs were hit with cyber attacks in 2016, according to research from the government and the Federation of Small Businesses. Even though businesses of all sizes are being targeted by cyber criminals, the methods that they use to get past the various cyber defences can be drastically different.

Below are some common trends among both large businesses and SMEs that your organisation can review in order to better prepare itself.

Large Businesses’ Cyber Weaknesses

  • Overconfidence. According to a report published by multinational professional services firm, EY, 50 percent of the organisations surveyed stated that their cyber defences would be able to detect a sophisticated cyber attack. However, 86 percent of the surveyed organisations also stated that their cyber security does not adequately meet their organisation’s needs.
  • Lack of a formal cyber security breach programme. Sixty-four percent of organisations do not have a cyber security breach programme in place. This includes cyber security training for all employees in order to help them identify, handle and report cyber threats. What’s more, 55 percent of organisations are unable to identify vulnerabilities in their cyber security.

SMEs’ Cyber Weaknesses

  • Lack of cyber defences. Despite the potential risks that cyber attacks pose, 45 per cent of SMEs still do not have a cyber breach response plan. Even worse, only 7 per cent of SMEs have cyber insurance, according to industry research.
  • Doubt. According to market research specialists, Juniper Research, 27 per cent of SMEs believe that they are too small to be of any interest to cyber attackers. This perception of invulnerability can be rather costly, as the average cost of a cyber breach is between £75,000 and £310,000. Furthermore, this does not include costs due to a loss of reputation or business disruptions.