Cybercrime is on the rise, with 15% of businesses worldwide having undergone a cyber-attack in the last year alone. According to City AM, the EU is taking the worst hit, with businesses losing a colossal £200 billion a year due to hacking, security breaches and malicious digital attacks.
The most famous recent case was that of the married dating website Ashley Madison, which came under tremendous criticism for its lax data security policies after the personal details of around 37.8 million of its customers were stolen and shared online – albeit by some very determined hackers hell-bent on getting the website shut down. Other major companies that have experienced similar breaches include Sony, UPS, JP Morgan Chase, Staples and even over 22 million residents of New York City. As for what a data breach could possibly mean for your company, the head of cyber security at Grant Thornton, Manu Sharma, explains:
“Cyber attacks are an increasingly significant danger for business. Not just the costs in terms of financial penalties, but serious reputational damage and loss of customers and business can be inflicted if attacks undermine customer confidence.”
What can business do to protect themselves?
Both experts and government officials, including Minister for State, Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey, are advising businesses that there are simple steps they can take to protect themselves from cyber security breaches. These include adopting the government’s own Cyber Essentials programme, as well as carrying out a digital risk assessment, downloading software updates, strengthening password policies and deleting suspicious emails.
While these measures can help to prevent many avoidable data breaches and other cyber security issues, they won’t solve them all. According to data from the (ISC)² Global Information Security Workforce Study, around 20% of security breaches take place due to a lack of staff – which no software updates or password changes could do anything about. So what’s the solution?
Recruitment could address the heart of the problem
Rather than trying to retroactively train existing staff in the skills and practices needed to defend against cybercrime, many businesses – particularly large corporations – need instead to invest in dedicated professionals with training and experience in protecting against data breaches. There was previously something of a shortage of cyber experts, possibly due to an outdated view of the industry as a geeky pastime taking place in the shadow, or taking place on screens full of incomprehensible computer code.
Thankfully, this perception is changing, and more businesses are starting to recognise the importance of appointing cybercrime specialists to protect themselves and their customers. One in six new jobs in the IT recruitment field are in the cyber security sector, and the pressure is on HR departments to become more familiar with and involved in issues of cyber security – suggesting that real organisational change is the way to tackle this worrying problem.
If you need to recruit cyber security professionals, or perhaps you’ve got the skills and you’re looking for a new position – whichever the case, speak to IT recruitment specialists SOLOS Consultants. The IT recruitment industry is a very fast-paced one, but the team at SOLOS are always one step ahead of every new development.
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