The modern age of the internet has opened up a world of exciting potential to businesses around the globe, however it has also dramatically increased the number of risks which threaten companies every day. The primary obstacle that faces businesses today is cyber security, and businesses are experiencing an ever-widening gap in the essential resources and manpower that is necessary to keep their own and their customers’ data adequately protected. With the media full of sensational stories about cyber attacks, it’s no wonder that so many companies are starting to worry about how to tackle the problem.
Small Companies Also At Risk
Although most of the media coverage involving cyber security breaches involves big name companies, in fact almost half of all cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses, and in around 60% of cases, the result is that the company goes out of business within 6 months. This means that even the smallest operation needs to consider the potential impact of cyber crime on their organisation and put a plan into action in order to protect themselves from the negative consequences of an attack.
Attacks On Businesses Means Attacking Customers
Data breaches don’t just affect the business itself, they also have an impact on customers. Half of all small businesses that have experienced a cyber attack reported that the target was employee and customer information. Consumers share a huge amount of information with companies, and from just a single online purchase the business will have a record of key data such as the customer’s address, telephone number, email and probably even payment details.
If hackers can access a company’s marketing database, customers are instantly at risk of phishing scams. Criminals can use the email addresses that they have been able to obtain to contact consumers pretending that they are a reputable company in order to trick them into providing sensitive financial information. It’s therefore imperative that businesses take great care to protect themselves effectively from cyber attacks, not only to protect themselves, but also to protect their customers.
A Shortage Of Professionals In The Field
Although damage caused by cyber criminals is expected to cost £3 trillion worldwide by 2021, companies are still struggling to find ways to protect themselves from the dangers. It has been predicted that by 2019 there will be a skills shortage in the cyber security industry of around 1.5 million vacancies and those are disturbing statistics. More universities are now recognising that there is a desperate need for more skilled professionals within the field and are now launching educational programmes to train new workers for the industry.
As the cyber security field grows, there is an ever-growing need for professionals who are skilled in managing the threats that face companies today. There is also an ever-increasing burden placed on businesses themselves to take effective steps to protect themselves and to stay up to date with best practices in order to ensure that both themselves and their customers are kept safe in today’s risky online world.