Covid-19 Has Launched A Pandemic Of Cyber Crime

The large scale transition to remote working, with most workers switching to to working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased danger of cyber attacks on small businesses. The cyber security experts from FirstWave Cloud Technology say that 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 the UK Government's 2021 Security Breaches Survey, although FirstWave think this figure could be too low, with many breaches undetected. 
 
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. FirstWave report a massive 4,000% increase in malicious traffic over the past 12 months as the pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives. 

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 daily cyber attacks during 2020, that’s one every every 39 seconds with almost half of all attacks (43%) targeting small and medium businesses. 

Experts predict that cyber crime could inflict damages totaling as much as $6 trillion USD globally during 2021, more than any nation’s economy other than the US and China. 

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.

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. 

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 capital intensive enterprise-grade security solution." says Simon Ryan, FirstWave's CTO.

GovUK:        Verizon:       Cyber Security Ventures:      University Of Maryland:      FirstWave

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