Cybercrime is continually on the rise. Last year, 43% of businesses experienced a cybersecurity breach or attack. Unfortunately, the rise in crime goes hand-in-hand with a huge cybersecurity skills shortage in the UK. These specialists are desperately needed by businesses to help prevent attacks and deal with breaches when they occur.
So what is the impact of the cybersecurity skills shortage on businesses, and how does the government plan to address this pressing issue?
How are businesses affected by cybercrime?
A cyber attack causes significant damage to a business. It can result in financial loss, a damaged reputation and legal consequences. Phishing, malware, spyware and cyber fraud are different types of cybercrime that can be used to access your systems and data. Small businesses are prime targets for these kinds of attacks.
The repercussions of cybercrime include:
- Financial loss, including the theft of corporate information or money, as well as incurred costs for repairing affected systems, networks and devices.
- Damaged reputations. Cyber attacks can destroy the trust your customers have for your business. It can even impact your suppliers or other business partners, resulting in loss of sales and profits.
- Legal consequences. It is possible that you may face fines if personal data has been stolen. This is due to data protection and privacy laws that require effective management of all sensitive data that your business holds.
What is being done to resolve the cybersecurity skills shortage?
The government’s mission is to ensure that ‘the UK has a sustainable supply of home-grown cyber skilled professionals to meet the growing demands of an increasingly digital economy…’. To achieve this, the plan is to clearly define what cybersecurity skills are required and create a recognised profession in cybersecurity. The right education and training systems are dependent on the success of this plan.
The government will also support initiatives that encourage students to take computer science GCSE (a required qualification for a career in cybersecurity). In addition, the number of apprenticeship programmes will be increased and developed to ensure the required cybersecurity skills are put into practice.
An independent UK Cyber Security Council will also be implemented to act as a framework for the profession.
How can businesses protect their systems and data?
Incidents of hacking, leaks and data theft are increasing every day. It is now more important than ever for businesses to ensure they are adequately protected against cybercrime.
What’s more, hackers are using more advanced methods to carry out their crimes, making it even more difficult for businesses to stop them from happening. The reality is that many UK businesses struggle to find skilled professionals to meet their cybersecurity needs due to the skills shortage. This leaves companies vulnerable and at risk of hacking and malware attacks.
Here are some tips on how to help protect your business from cybercrime:
- Outsource your internet security: Protect your business in the best possible way by using security specialists to prevent cyber threats.
- Invest in the latest anti-virus software and firewall: This software acts as a barrier to block cyber attacks.
- Provide cybersecurity training for employees: Educate staff on cybersecurity threats and encourage them to report anything suspicious.
- Encrypt your data: Encrypted data will be unintelligible to anybody outside of your business.
- Back up data: This is extremely advantageous to your business if data is stolen.
- Use strong passwords: Weak passwords make it easier for cyber criminals to hack your systems.
- Secure wireless transmissions: Use a wireless access controller to keep sensitive data from being exposed.
Hire IT security specialists
With the threat of cybercrime increasing at an alarming rate, you need a strong security team to manage your IT systems and keep cybercriminals at bay. City Business Solutions provides a wide range of IT services to businesses in the legal sector, where data security is of the upmost importance. Our services cover telephony, network solutions and cloud hosting. Services are tailored based on your specific requirements and our expert advice.