The Biggest Security Threats Facing UK Businesses


Cybercrime has become the main avenue for security breaches in the UK. In fact, figures from 2018 show that 49% of reported economic fraud in the country was committed by cybercriminals.


There are many ways by which cybercrime can adversely affect your business. Here are five of the biggest security threats that you need to be aware of, and some of the actions your company can take to mitigate against them.


1. Unsecured Internet of Things Devices


The Internet of things (IoT) brings convenience to the workplace by connecting appliances and office hardware with each other through a network. Remote access and a streamlined workflow are some of its many benefits but once any device is online it becomes vulnerable to outside attack.


As more and more of our devices come built with internet access, cybercriminals now have more vectors by which they can access your business’ system and confidential information.


Avoid using the default passwords for these IoT devices, and change the passwords to all your IoT devices in the office regularly. Moreover, keep the software for your IoT devices updated, as new patches are constantly released to account for the latest cyber security threats.


2. Use of Public Networks and Private Devices for Business


It’s easier than ever for customers and clients to reach companies at all times of the day. There are social media emergencies and urgent business emails that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Business owners and employees often resort to using public Wi-Fi or their own personal devices to resolve such issues immediately.


Public networks and private devices more often than not have very simple security measures (or worse, are completely unprotected). Handling business affairs through such channels leave your company’s data and network vulnerable to viruses and hackers.


Enforce a strict policy regarding the use of networks outside the workplace. Restrict the number of people who can use company hardware inside and outside the office. Lastly, make use of 2-factor authentication with company hardware.


3. Business Partner Vulnerabilities


It’s virtually impossible to do business without partnering with other businesses. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for cyber criminals to exploit weaknesses in the security systems of third party vendors to gain access to other companies’ digital infrastructure. This is what happened with the Petya ransomware outbreak of 2017.


Implement network segmentation, which is the practice of separating your network into subnetworks with secure access between each one. Make sure partner companies interface with you through a dedicated subnetwork, so you can contain potential security breaches.


More importantly, communicate with your business partners your concerns to maintain a smooth and secure relationship.


4. Complacency with Cloud Storage


The ubiquity of internet access makes it easy to stay connected to the goings-on of your business. Being able to upload data to the cloud adds another layer of convenience, as it’s useful for backing up and accessing files remotely. The cloud can also serve as extra space when your hard drives are filled to capacity.


While there has yet to be any major security breach through cloud storage, the National Crime Agency warns that it is a prime target for cyber criminals in the future, as shown in their 2017-18 report.


No matter how convenient it may be, it is imperative then to not be overly reliant on storing sensitive information on the cloud.


5. Company Awareness Regarding Cyber security


Setting up the most comprehensive cyber security system can be all for naught with a workforce that lacks the training to adequately follow security protocols. Whether it’s an employee forgetting a flash drive in public transportation or a manager falling victim to a spear-phishing email, there are so many ways for your business to get compromised because of cyber security ignorance.


Minimise the risk of human error by consulting cyber security experts and providing up-to-date education on security threats. Let your workers know and understand that exposing your company to cyber criminals can lead to financial and reputational ruin.


Prioritise Your Business’ Security


The dangers that cyber security threats present cannot be understated, so be proactive in safeguarding your business from viruses, malware, hackers, and online scammers. To help protect you from these threats it’s important to make sure you have a developed cyber security policy with professionals in place to keep your network and business data safe and secure.

If you’re looking to fill a cyber security role, or have just created a new role, then Cyber Security Jobs can help you find the right candidates, by posting your job listing on our jobs board. Call us or drop us an email to find out more.