4 lesser-known impacts of rising cybercrime


4 lesser-known impacts of rising cybercrime

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Businesses of all sizes have transformed faster than ever over the last 2 years. But while new working practices, emerging technologies and exciting innovations have helped to make your team more productive, they have also opened up new opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities that may exist within your security posture.

With more sophisticated methods of attack in their armoury, and cyber attacks being delivered on an almost industrial scale, every organisation is feeling the squeeze from an increased volume of threats.

81.4% of UK businesses experienced at least one successful cyberattack in the last 12 months, and this heightened level of risk presents several new challenges.

The repercussions of a successful attack are already widely recognised. A successful exploit can lead to data breaches, interrupted services and ransomware extortion, all of which come with financial, operational and reputational impacts.

Mitigating these risks is partly why security was a top priority for our customers last year, and why organisations are looking to deliver more resilient protections with solutions such as Microsoft Defender for Business and Arctic Wolf Concierge Security®.

But aside from the obvious fallouts of an attack, rising cybercrime comes with additional considerations, all of which have the potential to impact businesses beyond the ramifications of a successful attack.

Here’s some of the lesser-known impacts of increased cybercrime, and why they matter to businesses like you.

1) Business insurance renewal headaches

We’ve already discussed this in a recent article with unLTD, but we’ve seen a significant change in the depth of insight requested from our customers as part of their business insurance renewals.

Insurers know that their customers are facing increased levels of cybercrime, and they want to make sure that the level of risk is properly accounted for as part of any renewal.

You might need to provide more detailed information around the level of protection deployed within your organisation. Do you have tools in place to gather threat intelligence? Do you have control over your owned domains? Are your endpoints being managed effectively?

All of this information will help to inform the insurer and will affect the price you pay for your coverage. It might also mean that you need additional support from your IT partner to answer these questions to the level of detail required.

Additionally, this might also reveal gaps in your security posture. If an insurer is flagging this as an area of interest, and you don’t have the protection in place, it might be a vulnerability you need to explore as a priority.

2) A widening attack surface

It’s likely that you’ll already have some level of protection in place for the data and applications within your own perimeter. Email remains the number one attack vector, and almost every organisation will deploy some level of protection to help filter out malicious communications to protect users from potential attack.

But as these protections become more advanced, cybercriminals look to more sophisticated routes to exploit your business. This extends beyond your own employees. Your customers, partners and suppliers can all be put at risk.

Online impersonation and social engineering are now commonplace with bad actors looking to clone and misuse your brand in an effort to catch out unsuspecting users. For example, a cybercriminal may look to target a list of consumers by impersonating a bank. They replicate the bank’s brand with a phony but convincing look-a-like email, and create a spoofed web page on an almost identical domain. They then email these contacts and ask them to visit the site and update their credentials. As unsuspecting users click through and make the change, the cybercriminal harvests their personal information without the user even recognising that something is amiss.

Although these attacks are orchestrated and delivered outside of your organisation, you will take the brunt of any fallout. As such, it’s important to consider what steps you can take to mitigate these threats, and whether you can deploy any new security tools to help protect your brand and reputation.

3) Legal and compliance concerns

Cybersecurity and regulatory compliance are two areas that often go hand in hand. They are top priorities for business leaders, and require ongoing assessment and attention.

Many businesses operate in industries that are governed by strict regulations. Retailers, for example, must meet trading standards guidelines, while banks and financial institutions are required to meet MiFID II and MiFIR requirements. All businesses must also follow GDPR guidelines around data privacy and protection.

Whatever the specifics of an organisation’s compliance requirements, the rise in cybercrime and the associated risk creates additional complexity. Failure to deploy appropriate protections to secure your users, customers and data against an attack could put you in breach of regulations.

As such, taking an ongoing assessment of the major threats to your business, and aligning your security posture to suit is crucial to ensuring ongoing compliance, and is something that must be tackled proactively.

4) Your human firewall

Even with the right protections in place, malicious emails and potential threats can still penetrate your defences. As the volume of cybercrime increases, so too will the number of threats that slip through the net and land at the door of your users.

At this point, you are relying on them to identify and manage these risks themselves. Your users are a crucial line of defence, so you need to make sure they are armed with the knowledge and tools to do so.

Undertaking regular security awareness training, or running penetration tests to assess readiness will help to prepare your users for these attacks and reduce the risk of a potential breach.

Get your security posture into shape

The best way to manage these risks, and avoid the potential consequences, is to review and extend your security posture with additional, resilient protections.

Our experienced team can help you assess the potential implications of increased cyber risk. We can support you with insurance renewals and compliance requirements, and deploy new protections and training to secure your users, customers and suppliers against sophisticated threats.

To learn more or discuss your needs, just get in touch with the team.