For many of London’s businesses, online security has long been a cause for concern. The various threats to internal systems and data – most significantly ransomware, cyber attacks, and phishing scams – remain the greatest contributor of technological anxiety since Y2K was ready to bring the world to its knees.
(Spoiler: the humans won).
Unlike calendar formatting catastrophes, cyber terror is a very real threat, and the risks it presents to businesses across the capital are rapidly growing. This is in no small part down to the recent boom in remote working culture. As employees are empowered to spread their wings and work away from the office, networks become more susceptible to hacks and malicious activity .
What can be done to keep companies secure in light of wandering workforces? In this article we’ll bring you up to speed on the most significant cybersecurity trends, outlining looming dangers, and strategies for dealing with them.
The Cloud Security Conundrum
Having mobilised their workforces, it only made sense that London’s businesses would end up doing the same with their systems and networks.
Enter cloud computing.
Moving essential employee services into the online ether has been a no-brainer for most organisations. It offers workers the kind of flexibility and ease of access you’d expect from a forward-thinking company embracing the brave new post-USB drive era.
The benefits of cloud systems are plentiful, but they don’t come without security issues, especially when third-party cloud providers are in the mix. How can you be sure that said provider’s security is up to standard, and that your company’s data is fully protected?
The captain-obvious answer is to opt for a trusted cloud provider that is renowned for its high security. But even then, it’s essential that you have your own cloud security measures set in place. Data encryption, round-the-clock monitoring, and access controls are some of the more reliable ways of providing your business with that reassuring extra security buffer.
Defending Against Phishing Scams
Causing havoc online since the early 90’s, phishing scams might be the most common form of cyber attack. And for good reason: they work wonderfully!
(For the scammer, that is).
A typical phishing scam involves an imposter sending out a convincing email (or realistically several thousands of them) in an attempt to acquire sensitive information. Often this email will appear to be from a legitimate and trusted source like a bank or an online vendor, and will bait users into downloading malware via rogue links, or by providing credit card details directly.
Given their increasingly authentic appearance – many of these emails are uncanny in their resemblance to the real thing – defending against phishing scams requires a certain amount of employee training. This primarily involves educating employees on how to spot the difference between real and fake, but more broadly on the importance of approaching unsolicited email with caution.
Filters and blockers provide businesses with a fairly reliable first line of defence against phishing, and will quarantine most scams before they can reach human eyes (and trigger-happy-mouse-clicking fingers). Even so, it’s always worthwhile for employees to be able to identify a bogus email.
Ruinous Ransomware Attacks
Perhaps the most terrifying form of cyber attack – and one that has become pervasive in recent times – is that presented by ransomware. This form of online attack has the ability to not only devastate a business’ finances and reputation, but can cause emotional damage should personal and private information be involved.
During a ransomware attack, hackers will gain access to networks and systems, and then encrypt sensitive information and data. After which they will hold said data hostage until a ransom is paid by the victim.
Of course that doesn’t guarantee that your data is safe or will even be returned. If we’ve learnt anything from Hollywood, it’s that acceding to the demands of terrorists is never a good idea.
In the case of ransomware, the best form of protection is prevention. Since ransomware attacks often begin with phishing and other online scams, training employees to be wary of such threats will take you a long way. But like any self-preserving London business, it’s also essential to have watertight backup and recovery procedures, along with reliable access controls and network segmentation.
Fighting the Future of Cybercrime with Emerging Technology
The bad news? Cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated and widespread.
The good news? So is cybersecurity!
Emerging technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), blockchain, and machine learning aren’t usually associated with the war on cybercrime, but they present great possibilities in the cybersecurity sector.
AI and machine learning have the power to interpret vast amounts of data and forecast potential insecurities or attacks, making them valuable in the development of cutting-edge security tools. Blockchain technology is inherently concerned with security, and can help prevent data breaches via the creation of immutable online records.
Cybersecurity and Future: Staying Ahead of the Game
The online space is becoming more of a minefield with each passing year. And it’s not just the volume and variety of dangers that London’s businesses need to be concerned with, but the intelligence and sophistication with which they are arriving.
Gone are the days when an antivirus suite could protect an organisation against all manner of cyber horrors; today’s digital landscape requires a comprehensive and foolproof cybersecurity strategy. One that considers all of the aforementioned issues – cloud security, employee training, backup and recovery procedures – and more. Successfully keeping company data and networks out of reach from cyber criminals means taking a proactive approach, and covering all security bases in advance of any potential danger.
Are you a London business seeking a dependable, all-inclusive cybersecurity solution? Serving the capital for two decades, IT Sphere can provide your company excellent IT support in London. Our team of seasoned experts will help you implement a cybersecurity strategy backed by a wealth of knowledge and industry experience.
When it comes to keeping your business safe, we leave no stone unturned, addressing everything from cloud security, to ransomware, to employee training.
Need some IT help? Or just want to ask a question or five? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch!