Cyber breaches, it could be you

There is a perception that cyber criminals only want the biggest feathers in their caps, be they the best known retailers, financial services or healthcare targets. But actually, all sorts of businesses are affected and that includes dealerships such as Sinclair Group in South Wales.

The business was impacted when its IT and phone systems were hacked and while fortunately no customer data was taken, such an attack can be hugely damaging in terms of the downtime to the business and customers understandably are concerned about whether their details have been stolen.

Cyber criminals can strike randomly and the use of so-called ransomware is on the rise. It poses a conundrum – often the amount requested is a relatively small amount in Bitcoins. But, paying up is no guarantee that a key to unencrypt the data will be provided. It’s a gamble and experts advise not paying and to rebuild systems. There is a clear message here about the need to back data up – indeed, this is absolutely critical. What’s more, most breaches happen when an employee accidentally clicks on an email link and the malware is downloaded.

So, is your training up to date in this area?

A growing number of these malicious emails look extremely convincing, perhaps coming from a retailer such as Amazon with information about an order, for example. These criminals continue to get through and so everyone from the chief executive down must err on the side of caution. There is also an expanding cyber insurance market – such policies are not a total panacea though, insurers don’t want to be stung with vast numbers of claims and will only insure businesses with high standards of cyber hygiene.

That said, cyber attacks are happening and this should be seen as a priority issue for boards and on the training manager’s agenda – for the uninitiated, there is also plenty of useful information at the government-backed www.getsafeonline.org.

 

Rachel Gordon

Editor

Auto Retail Network

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