Cyber Attacks in the UK – England and Wales Are At Risk
A huge wave of cybercrime has stormed England and Wales, putting businesses and laypeople at risk. As reported by the Office for National Statistics, there were over five million cases of hacker attacks registered in just one year across the victimized countries.
Considering the 8% rise in cyber criminality, protecting private data from attackers, especially when it comes to businesses, becomes problematic. Radware, one of the leading companies in the field of cyber security, comprised a report stating that half of businesses were affected by previous cyber-attack attempts.
Emily Orton, director at Darktrace, commented on the situation saying the biggest pitfall hides behind all of the complicated networks used by numerous huge corporations that, at the same time, are also one of the ways for criminals to sneak in and steal targeted data. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for hacker activity to stay hidden since they can “avoid traditional security alarm systems,” as Orton noted.
How Safe are UK Businesses from Cyber Attacks?
Though each cybercrime is different, depending on a specific organization or target, there is a common reason behind them. Carl Herberger, vice president of security solutions at Radware, is certain that money is the main motivation pushing hackers to create new malicious web scripts and applications.
Despite these unfortunate events, some experts remain positive, appealing to staying aware and learning lessons to properly protect yourself online. Head of product management at Huntsman Security, Piers Wilson, is certain the more cybersecurity crimes we see, the more knowledge companies can gain to fight back accordingly. It is vital to not only be prepared for the types of attacks that have happened before, but also for those that are potentially unknown. “Expecting the unexpected; and react before they can cause harm,” Wilson emphasized.
Another expert, Nick Brown, group managing director at GBG, also backs up this positive approach to the problem, considering it a chance to become more conscientious about our security. According to Brown, the current cyberattacks along with everything we learn from them, can be used as an advantage. As Brown commented: “…by using more data, analytical insights and triangulation of multiple identity proofing techniques, the implications of identity theft can be minimized for both the citizen and the businesses who are serving them.”
How UK businesses Can Protect Themselves from Cyberattacks
With all the threat waves that have occurred, the logical concern becomes: how to be prepared for the next. The main point to keep in mind is the possible escalation of cyber-criminal activity in the UK and across the world. The common targets will be both the SMBs and individuals. Therefore, people should be conscientious about the technology they use daily, such as personal laptops or mobiles, as well as where they store their personal and business data.
Sean Martin, UK general manager at Covata, is afraid that today’s situation is nothing compared to what is yet to come. However, even though Martin thinks that the number of future cyber-attack cases will increase over time, he is certain it is still possible to change things for the better, promising the police will “get better at detecting cybercrime.”
How to Protect Your Personal and Business Data from Being Hacked or Compromised
Cybersecurity starts with your devices and habits. Below are tips to help you boost your cybersecurity level:
- Install up-to-date antivirus software on every device used to connect to the Internet.
This will protect you from automated attacks and malicious web-scripts able to steal or compromise your data without you knowing it.
- Install all OS updates and security fixes on all your devices.
This helps to prevent all massive attacks directed on operating system vulnerabilities. Without these updates, your computer can become a part of bot-net and your smartphone could be used to spread viruses and adware.
- Use two-factor authentication.
This prevents hackers from accessing accounts on popular websites and stealing your personal data, and even identity theft.
- Use strong passwords and install a password manager.
Having strong passwords for all your accounts instead of just a few combinations for all your accounts, will protect you from hacking. And having a password manager enables you to easily create, use, and change your passwords.
- Never update plugins or browser components when you are NOT on a trusted website.
Malicious websites often ask to install or update a plugin in order to play a video. If you see something similar, and are not 100% sure the website is safe, just close the website.
- Do not install apps from untrusted sources.
Installing apps from 3rd party marketplaces is not the smartest thing from a cybersecurity perspective. The problem is that small marketplaces are prime targets for hackers aiming to spread their malicious apps designed to steal your personal data, or show unauthorized ads on your device.
And last but not least—store your personal data where you actually own it, and have full control over it. This means you need to consider switching from Cloud-based services to storing your data locally on your PCs and devices.