Huge rise in cyber attacks as criminals start to target smaller organisations

17/10/2016

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Recent statistics have shown a dramatic increase in cyber attacks on small organisations, so why is this happening? CWL is able to provide the proactive, preventative maintenance and technology you need to secure your workstations, servers, devices, and networks.

 

CWL Systems will be exhibiting at the Peterborough B2B Expo on 19 October at the KingsGate Conference Centre which will give business owners the ideal opportunity to find our more about this invisible threat and what can be done to protect them.

“SMEs have not historically been the target of cybercrime but in 2015 something drastically changed,” says Toni Allen, UK head of client propositions at the British Standards Institute (BSI).

Wayne Schreiber leading cyber security expert at CWL Systems ( pictured) explains more:

“Larger companies and organisations will have the manpower and resources to ensure that they have robust and regularly updated security systems in place. Whilst we have seen high-profile cases in the media which highlights that even these organisations are not immune, there is a reality that they are harder to penetrate.

“Whilst criminal hackers will continue to target these companies we are seeing far greater activity against smaller companies who have less security in place. Criminal gangs have two potential objectives; to extort money by infiltrating servers and threating to destroy data unless a ransom is paid or to gain access to personal financial information which they can then exploit. They are not specifically choosing individual targets; they use a scattergun approach and are looking for easy victims. The current situation is that it is not a case of if you will be hit, it is a case of when will it happen.

“The single most common response to the question of cyber security from small and medium businesses is ‘It won’t happen to us. We’re not big enough for anyone to be interested’. It never ceases to amaze us how companies will shut their windows, set alarms, invest in steel bars, put up shutters, lock their doors and yet leave an easy path for a cyber criminal to access their servers.”

Cyber criminals are just the same as any other criminals, they will target the weakest and look for the easiest opportunities. 

According to the Cyber Streetwise campaign, a cross-government initiative run by the Home Office, major cyber threats to SMEs include:
  • Ransomware – where a piece of malicious software, typically received via a phishing email, encrypts all of the data on the company’s network, with the perpetrators requesting a ransom in order to provide the decryption key
  • Hack attack – where a hacker manages to gain access to the company’s network, typically by exploiting an unpatched vulnerability within the software, allowing them access to the company data. The target will generally be personally identifiable information (PII) on a company’s customers, especially credit card information
  • Denial of Service attack – when a company’s website is overwhelmed by a volume of data pushed to its servers in a malicious manner. These attacks are increasingly easy and cheap to carry out
  • CEO fraud – where a criminal poses as a senior person within the firm, either by hacking or ‘spoofing’ their email account and convinces someone with financial authority to make a payment.
So what can you do to prevent an attack? The reality is that you can’t stop an attack; what you need in place is the safeguards to ensure that the attack doesn’t reach your network. 

In other words, don’t be an easy target. Many organisations rely on their own in-house resources to ensure that they are safe and whilst that may well have been sufficient until now, it is very unlikely that a single individual will have the time and resources to stay ahead of this fast moving environment. 

You may have employees who handle cybersecurity along with other general IT responsibilities, but that’s not enough. Through no fault of your own, you’re unprepared to protect against and remediate these cyber threats. If you’re attacked, you won’t be ready. 

CWL is able to provide the proactive, preventative maintenance and technology you need to secure your workstations, servers, devices, and networks.
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