QA Consulting Blog

Cyber security: The cost of getting it wrong

Posted by Eleanor Moquet on 17/11/16 13:27
Over the past few years we have seen rapid digitisation in our lives as we become more dependent on IT than ever before. As a result we have put ourselves at the mercy of cybercriminals across the world.
According to Detica, whCyber.jpgo in partnership with the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance in the Cabinet Offices’ report ‘The cost of cybercrime’, they estimate that the annual cost of cybercrime in the UK alone, is a staggering £27bn. From this, it is believed that £21bn of the total comes from British-based businesses who are suffering from high levels of IP theft and espionage.

If those statistics aren't enough to get you thinking about investing in your cyber security department, then take a look at these three staggering facts from the past months:

  • The UK public lost £286 million to cyber-crime in the last 12 months.
  • Estimated cost of global cybercrime will reach $19 trillion by 2019.
  • Globally, cyber-attacks could cost up to $90 trillion by 2030 if cyber security fails to advance at a rapid pace.

With the increase in the amount of high profile cyber-attacks it is clear that no organisation is as secure as you might be led to believe. As a result, the ramifications of the attack can have lasting effects on your organisation and your customers.  Take a look at Redspins’ three reasons cyber-attacks will continue to grow:

  1. Valuable data: stealing, manipulating, or encrypting data for ransom has become incredibly profitable and thus a lucrative global industry.
  2. Low barrier to entry: High quality exploits, tools, and credentials are for sale, making it incredibly easy for novices to get in the door and target smaller companies.
  3. Hidden vulnerabilities: vulnerabilities can be complex, combined, as well as exist across the internet,cloud, networks, systems, software and apps, and even employees.

Getting your security strategy right is expensive, however by taking the risk of leaving your organisation open to attacks could mean the difference between surviving to see another year of business, or not.

In a single attack, reputations can be undone, hitting acquisition, retention and referral rates hard. A successful security strategy can directly impact your organisation’s bottom line, increasing confidence has a direct influence on revenue and also your competitive advantage.

Getting it wrong however is equally, if not more, expensive. The average cost of a breach ranges between £75,000 and £311,000 for a small to medium sized business and £1.45 to £3.14 million for large organisations. Alongside this the Information Commissioner's’ Office has in place a maximum fine of £500,000 that can be levied in the instance of a data breach. In May 2018, this figure will increase by 200% to €20million.

Not only is there huge financial ramifications to your organisation, but there can be huge implications for your customers.

Your customers trust your organisation to look after their data, whether that is your personal information, emails, passwords and even their personal finances, allowing cybercriminals to create digital identities and do irreparable harm to the victims in the process. Customers trust your organisation to look after their data and not let it get in the hands of people who want to do them wrong.Without that trust, there is no business.

As the amount of data we generate and share through online networks continues to grow, as with more devices and ‘the internet of things’,  businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on cyberspace, and with that dependency the risk of a cyber-attack is at an all-time high. All it takes is one tiny slip to leave your organisation open for your systems to be penetrated. Network and infrastructure security must become a priority within your organisation.

Cybercrime is now a growth industry. Investing in cyber security is now a necessity.

Want to find out the basics of cyber security? Take a look at our Cyber Security 101 blog. Join us next time when we delve into how Ransomware is changing the cyber landscape.

Topics: Cyber security, Cyber, Cyber attacks, security

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