Crawley business taking cyber security seriously.

This morning I was invited to address a number of small businesses from the Crawley and Haywards Heath area. Being Valentines day I thought that some advice on how to avoid contracting infections and how passing one on can adversely affect a relationship would be an entirely suitable and timely subject.

Entitled Time To Take Cyber Crime Seriously the subject was how we all have to step up to the mark and take responsibility for our own security, both on the Internet and in our own networks. The reasons for this are simple, the cyber security threat extends to businesses of all sizes and even individuals. The organisations behind it are professional, organised and well financed.

Recent developments in the world of malware have in my opinion signalled a step change in the threat that Cybercrime poses to the individual and small businesses. I will sum up the reasons for this by simply stating that criminal organisations have been encouraged to target this area in part because the larger targets have toughened their security stance and represent a harder proposition. Where-as individuals and small businesses not having the resources of a full time IT department are perceived as a soft target. CryptoLocker is demonstrating that the financial rewards from this area are substantial.

Bitdefender Labs identified that approximately 12,000 hosts were infected with CryptoLocker between October 27 and November 1, 2013. Even if only 3% of users infected by CryptoLocker are estimated to pay, this means the organisation behind CryptoLocker probably made in excess of $100,000 in a single week.

It is up to us as the IT Companies who provide support to this sector to provide the additional IT security training to the users to make them habitually safe. That data security products can provide part of the answer is without doubt but only when the IT environment they are deployed into is built on sound principles. All of us, IT users and suppliers now need to step up to the plate. The government seems to be getting the message and is actively encouraging better data security practice via its cyber Streetwise campaign.

The answer for small business and individuals is partly increased awareness of the risk and a sound strategy that properly¬†addresses the areas of risk. This may be a combination of training and correct deployment of products. The name of the game is to make sure you aren’t the perceived soft touch. Its similar to the story about the Polar explorer who when he was questioned about the best way to survive a Polar bear attack replied that he relied on the fact that he could outrun his companions.

 

Gary Johnston – Tamite IT – IT Security Strategist

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