How to protect your business from cyber attacks

Ian McVicar, CEO, Close Brothers Technology Services

Sean Callanan, Director of Technology & Services, Close Brothers Technology Services

The threat of cybercrime has variously been described as ‘an unprecedented threat to society’; the ‘new theatre of war’, and ‘unmanageable’. Even the UK government’s response to tackling cybercrime has been described as ‘chaotic’ – and that by its own House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.

But beyond the headlines, how bad is it out there and how prepared are companies?

Unfortunately, according to Ian McVicar, CEO, Close Brothers Technology Services, companies could – and should be – far more prepared than they currently are.

“UK firms do not see better online security as a priority,” he said. “According to our research of UK SMEs, 63% of companies have made the decision not to invest in better online security in the next 12 months.

“The truth is, businesses of all sizes should be aware of their responsibility when it comes to online security, but we’re finding that this message is not getting through.”

A mixed picture has also emerged about UK firms’ readiness for the impact of cybercrime on their businesses; Close Brothers Technology Services’ research points out that a significant number of businesses don’t feel adequately protected.

The lack of understanding about the importance of keeping customer data secure is also a concern, with the majority of the UK’s SMEs uncertain about the impact of the EU’s new data protection legislation, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was adopted in April 2016 and takes effect in 2018.

Three links of the chain…

“Our approach to cyber security is defined by three core principles – people, processes and technology,” said Ian. “We advise businesses that in isolation any one of those can be a weak link, and each of those need to receive equal attention to reduce the risk of their business being breached.

“For example, you can have great processes and the best technology, but without your people having the right level of training there is no way for them to implement the processes and utilise the technology to its full potential.”

Cyber criminals will focus on the path of least resistance, and the risks of breaches are multiple, including:

  • Reputational
  • Shareholder value
  • Customer data leaks
  • Fines
  • Breakdown of customer trust

“Close Brothers Technology Services employs a team of experts to provide guidance not only on the right technology mix for your business, but also to understand how much investment is required and how best to spend that funding,” said Ian.

“We have been helping a range of companies prepare not only GDPR, but ensuring they are insulating themselves from cybercrime by taking a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach – which links technology acquisition, funding, management and recovery.”

To find out more please visit Close Brothers Technology Services


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