At the 2021 Chatham House Cyber Conference, Lindy Cameron, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), identified ransomware as “the most immediate danger” in the UK at present and cautioned the nation’s industries to do more to defend themselves against cyberattacks.

Ms Cameron’s concerns echo those of multiple other professionals in the sector – including our team at Netpoint Solutions – and have added impetus to the importance of Cyber Security Awareness Month this year, which takes place globally for the duration of October.

What is Cyber Security Awareness Month?

In America, the idea was created by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October 2004 as a means to encourage increased awareness of online safety, with campaigns centred around practical suggestions such as updating antivirus software.

Along the same lines, European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM) was formed by the European Union to promote digital mindfulness and greater vigilance among companies and citizens of EU countries.

Many UK businesses have been on board with both versions of the campaign, and indeed aim to encourage a greater understanding of the importance of cyber security all year round. The ECSM’s motto this year – ‘Think Before U Click’ with the hashtag #thinkB4UClick – is especially relevant given the concern regarding ransomware, which is often the result of clicking a malicious link online.

How Does Cybercrime Affect Businesses?

Cybercrime Magazine has described it as “the greatest transfer of wealth in human history”, drawing focus to the primary motivation of cyber criminals – financial gain. Unsurprisingly, businesses have quickly become the main victims, and not always the ones with multi-million-pound turnovers.

Cyber criminals target any industry with weak cybersecurity, and regrettably it is often employees who provide the access points. The recent increase in remote working has exacerbated the issue with 39% of businesses reporting that home working security is not as strong as in the workplace.

How Can Companies Stay Safe?

Data analyst using digital tablet near colleague at table with computers

As we have seen time and again, failure to instigate adequate cyber security measures can prove extremely costly for a business. Small to medium-sized companies in particular are at risk of long-term damage, including a 41% rise in business disruption and a 33% fall in staff productivity.

Thankfully, it is possible to protect your company systems and data through using the right software, maintaining security updates, and educating your teams on best practice, which can either be in-house or provided by external professionals. Some of the fundamental areas for attention include:

  • Automated updates
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  • Data encryption
  • Routine backups
  • Employee training

Solutions That Work

Of course, the above represent just a few advisable courses of action. The main concern when it comes to preventing cybercrime is to be attentive, proactive, and have the best systems possible in place. Having supported a variety of companies, our team at Netpoint Solutions understand the potential impact of cybercrime and how to provide businesses with effective and reliable protection.

Book a free thirty minute discovery meeting to find out how Netpoint Solutions can help to protect you and your business: https://calendly.com/ben-cooper-netpoint/30-minute-business-meeting

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