The change to a work from home model during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased danger of cyber-attacks on small businesses, experts have warned. Cybersecurity experts from FirstWave Cloud Technology said small businesses were particularly vulnerable to attacks from hackers while teams are working from home.
Almost four in 10 UK businesses (39%) and more than a quarter of British charities (26%) experienced cyber attacks or breaches in the past 12 months according to new Government data. But FirstWave’s experts believe the figure could be higher with many breaches currently undetected while teams are away from the workplace.
Yet despite the potentially increased vulnerability of organisations to data breaches during lockdown only 35% of UK businesses are now deploying security monitoring tools compared to 40% in the year before the pandemic, according to the latest Government figures. User monitoring is also down from 38% pre-pandemic to only 32% indicating that many businesses are simply less aware of the breaches and attacks their staff are facing.
Businesses that have identified attacks experience them at least once a week with phishing and impersonation the most common strategies used by hackers. More than one in five of UK businesses targeted by hackers (21%) ended up losing money, data or other assets during the past year, with an average cost in cash terms of £8,460.
It’s believed many hackers view small businesses as an easy target for data breaches and cyber-attacks as teams transitioned from cloud networks at the office to far less secure home wifi networks. Yet despite the added risks presented by potentially less secure home wifi networks the UK Government believe 84% of businesses have made no change to the importance they place on cyber security during the pandemic crisis.
Globally the picture is even more dramatic with an average 2,244 cyber attacks EVERY DAY during 2020 – that’s an attack every 39 seconds with almost half of all attacks (43%) targeting small and medium businesses.
Experts predict that cybercrime could inflict damages totalling as much as $6 trillion USD globally during 2021 – more than any nation’s economy other than the US and China.
Cybersecurity service provider FirstWave have witnessed a massive 4,000% increase in malicious traffic over the past 12 months as the pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives.
Now many organisations are rethinking their cybersecurity and moving away from the traditional office-centric network perimeter in favour of a user-centric digital perimeter – less of a physical perimeter around a workplace and more of a virtual perimeter around employees wherever they are located.
FirstWave makes enterprise grade cybersecurity-as-a-service available to all organisations around the world who don’t want or can’t afford to own and operate their own security infrastructure. It has developed a new product called the Cloud Content Security Platform (CCSP) which offers customers a unique solution to address ever increasing cybersecurity risk.
Simon Ryan, FirstWave CTO, said: “Cybersecurity as a service wraps services like enterprise-grade email, web, firewall virtual appliances and endpoint protection into a tightly integrated security solution. It’s managed through a single pane of glass and designed to easily integrate new technologies as they become available.
“This approach puts robust enterprise-grade security within reach of those organisations which don’t necessarily have the budget, resources or expertise to handle it themselves or to opt for a traditional capex-intensive enterprise-grade security solution.”
CCSP is the only known platform in the world that takes the world’s leading, enterprise-grade cyber security technology across email, web, firewall and end point protection, integrates it and makes it available through a single pane of glass. It solves broader problems associated with the operational complexity that comes from having to manage an array of point solutions.
Roger Carvosso, FirstWave Director of Strategy and Product said, “We believe that organisations of all sizes have the equal and inalienable right to access the best available enterprise-grade security solutions,” he says. “When it comes to cybersecurity, the rising tide lifts all boats.”
“The world’s largest enterprises are still exposed to unacceptable cybersecurity risks if their smaller suppliers, customers and partners don’t also have access to enterprise-grade protection – which is where Cybersecurity as a Service can keep us all safer.”