The importance of cyber security.

Cyber attacks can happen to anyone, anywhere. They can happen to individuals, businesses and even the government! The UK government’s 2022 Cyber Security Breaches Survey highlights that 39% of UK businesses identify cyber attacks each year and the cost of each individual breach can average anywhere from £300 – £8000+. We’re not here to worry you, we want to make you aware that it is common, but actions can be taken to try to prevent them. Take a look at some of the top causes of cyber breaches and our top tips to stay safe online.

Working from anywhere.

It’s great that we have devices that allow us to work from anywhere. We can dip in and out of social media on our phones, or quickly switch on our laptops to check an email. By connecting to public Wi-Fi in coffee shops or at home with a generic password and a lack of security, we leave ourselves vulnerable to security breaches. To combat this, your company could enhance the security of their VPN system, you could change the password on your home network from the one you were supplied with, and if you’re out having a coffee break and save the emails for later!

Impersonating your colleagues.

Cyber attackers can send emails directly to your email address that look like they’re from your boss or another colleague. They will often display their full name as it would when you regularly receive an email from them, be written colloquially and direct to you, even mentioning your name. These are getting more difficult to spot but if you’re suspicious check for the following:

  1. Is it their email address?
  2. Would they usually ask you to do something like what they’re asking now?
  3. Is this how they’d usually talk to you or sign off their emails?

If you’re unsure – ask them directly by giving them a call, starting a new email thread to their exact email address you usually use, or by going up to them in the office. They’d appreciate you checking in rather than taking a risk!

There aren't enough people working in cyber security.

In 2021, recruitment firm Harvey Nash reported that the UK’s cyber skills shortage had increased by more than a third since 2020. With the high number of cyber attacks happening in the UK, especially with the adjustment to hybrid and home-working, it’s no wonder 62% of businesses want to take action to prevent further breaches. You could be part of the solution and contribute to keeping others safe by completing one of our fully-funded cyber security courses.

Conclusion.

Cyber attackers will always find new and clever ways to hack software, just as cyber security specialists find new ways to combat it. You can only do the best you can and remember if you’re ever unsure about the safety of something, just ask! Hopefully, these tips will give you peace of mind that you’re being as safe as you can online.

Do you know anyone already working hard to keep people safe from cyber attacks? Nominate them for a National Cyber Award to help them be recognised for their hard work and achievements. We’re super proud to be involved in the awards and to be sponsoring The Cyber Student of the Year. Who knows, next year that could be you?