Over 80% of UK organisations experienced a cyber attack in 2021/2022. The study by CyberEdge also found that ransomware attacks affected 73% of UK organisations.
Even more alarming, cyber attacks are set to increase if companies do not act urgently to provide their employees with the skills to mitigate and manage this risk.
Recent research from PWC found that almost two-thirds of UK organisations are increasing their cyber security budgets in 2022. Similarly, iHASCO has seen an influx of organisations seeking to train their employees in Cyber Security Awareness over the last year. Usage of their Cyber Security Awareness Training (recently updated to reflect the current climate), rose by 73% from March 2021 to March 2022.
Nathan Pitman, Director at iHASCO eLearning, says, “We are living in the golden age of technology. Whilst there are countless positives relating to the world’s technological advancements, it also means that cyber attacks are more prevalent than ever before. If there are any cyber security vulnerabilities in an organisation, it is only a matter of time before cyber criminals act upon them, and all organisations need to be ready to take action before, during, and after a cyber attack.”
It’s clear to see that action must be taken to educate employees and help prevent cyber attacks. However, what should organisations specifically be looking to protect themselves from when it comes to cyber attacks? We’ve put together a list of the most dangerous cyber security threats to businesses today…
85% of breaches involve human interaction, hackers know that people are easier to trick than a system which means they are the biggest threat to your cyber security. Social engineering involves cybercriminals manipulating, influencing, or deceiving your employees into gaining control over their computer system or tricking them into handing over confidential data.
Phishing ranks as the second most expensive cause of data breaches. These attacks occur when cybercriminals impersonate a trusted contact or reputable source and entice a user to click a malicious link or open a malicious file. Phishing attacks can target your employees to steal login information or other details.
Ransomware attacks cost an average of $4.62 million. Ransomware is a form of malware designed to block access to your computers or data. This data can then be corrupted, stolen, or deleted. Cybercriminals will then contact you to pay a ransom to unlock the data, although there is no guarantee this will happen even if a payment is made.
Have you ever used the same password for multiple accounts? It’s likely your employees do too. Using passwords that can easily be guessed, or using the same passwords for multiple accounts, can quickly give a hacker access to your accounts and cause sensitive data to become compromised.
Hackers use malware to gain access to networks, steal data, or delete data from a computer. Malware often comes from malicious website downloads or spam emails. Once downloaded it infects your computer and the hacker is able to carry out their goal with a back door to access data, which can put customers and employees at risk. These attacks are also particularly damaging for small businesses as they can break devices, which require expensive repairs or replacements to fix.
Supply chain attacks
Supply chain attacks are rising and 66% of these attacks focus on suppliers’ code to target customer data. In supply chain attacks, hackers penetrate the supply chain security through third-party relationships. Suppliers, contractors, software providers - an attack on a single link can trigger a chain reaction that compromises the entire network.
Poor cyber hygiene
During the pandemic, the rate of cybercrime increased by 600% and there is no slowing down. Attackers have taken advantage of the shift to new ways of working exposing gaps in online security. With remote and hybrid working here to stay, businesses need to be more vigilant than ever before. With more complex security issues and a lack of employee awareness and training on cyber security, poor cyber hygiene presents a big threat to your business.
Mitigating risks through workplace training
Despite being one of the biggest risks to cyber security, human factors can also be one of the opportunities for stopping cyber attacks. By providing staff with a strong understanding of how they can keep your business cyber secure, organisations can reduce the chance of cyber attacks causing harm to their business.
As cyber security threats continue to grow, now is the time for businesses to prioritise Cyber Security Awareness Training to ensure that their businesses are best protected against cyber criminals.