Cyber Attacks. What are they? How do they affect us?

See the words cyber attack, and criminals with sophisticated skill sets and resources might instantly spring to mind, but that’s not always the case.

 

As highlighted recently by Equifax, easy to guess passwords, not changing default passwords on routers etc means the opportunistic “amateur” can access your details way beyond your comfort zone.  And what they do with the smallest of details are in their hands. Not yours.
Selling them or using them to gain access to more of your accounts and harvest more private data can mean that very quickly, one of those “I’ll do it later” jobs, turns into a problem with unforeseeable costs and distress.

 

A cyber attack is essentially an attempt to invade a network, computer or device, with harmful intentions.  Vulnerabilities in your systems can be taken advantage of using simple, advanced or a combination of various attack methods and, we’ve included this link to a handy, detailed list of the various types of cyber attacks if you want to become an expert in the terminology! Generally speaking however, they can range from e-mail scams, usually trying to get you to input data under false pretenses (phishing) to advanced attacks on huge corporations, crippling their systems or stealing billions of pieces of data.

 

Corporations need to have strict security protocols that everybody within needs to adhere to, as the vulnerability on a single employee’s system (personal or work), may eventually enable the whole network to be compromised.  You may remember the “Wannacry” attack that crippled the NHS in 2017.  That was initiated by e-mails with malicious attachments, opened by unsuspecting employees.  Scarily simple!

 

The cost of a cyber attack can be extreme - the data breach Yahoo experienced in 2013, ended up costing them $16 million in investigation and legal actions and this figure is insignificant compared to the financial damage caused to UK businesses.  TEISS report that the monetary loss to investors can be as high as £42bn and an average of 1.8% is wiped of share prices of all listed FTSE companies.

 

Cyber crime isn’t going away, and with that, the fear of potential cost and distress to individuals isn’t going away either.  Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be speaking more about cyber crime, and how we can help to limit the financial implications through education, prevention and protection if the worst happens.

 

Along with recent Cyber Security guidance issued by IOMFSA and GDPR, it is essential that Cyber Security forms part of your company insurance policy.  Download our cyber crime brochure here if you’d like information about how we can help, or contact Peter O’Donnell if you’d like to take action to start protecting your business right away.

 

01624 639450. Peter.O'Donnell@macgroup.im

References:

Sabillon et al. Cybercrime and Cybercriminals: A Comprehensive Study, 2016

www.equifax.co.uk/resources/identity_protection/how_cyber_attacks_happen.html

teiss.co.uk/information-security/yahoo-16m-legal-costs-data-breach/

teiss.co.uk/news/real-cost-hacking-uk-businesses-42-billion/

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/13/nhs-cyber-attack-everything-need-know-biggest-ransomware-offensive/