NHS cyber attack highlights a growing risk

Posted on May 15th, 2017

Cyber attacks and data breaches are two of the greatest concerns for modern businesses.

Friday's attack on the NHS, including trusts in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, highlighted the risks organisations face on a daily basis and come hard on the heels of reports saying that cyber incidents now account for half of all reported crime.

Cyber attacks have been perceived as among the highest risks for several years and, according to the Business Continuity Institute’s most recent Cyber Resilience report, two-thirds of organisations have experienced at least one cyber attack and 15% have suffered ten or more.

“Cyber crime is a rapidly growing phenomenon of modern business and one that is very hard to stay one step ahead of. The potential for any organisation or individual to fall victim to increasingly clever cyber criminals gets bigger every day,” said Andy Watterson, Businesswatch Manager and cyber crime lead at the Chamber.

“The threat of cyber attack grows every day, corresponding exactly with the dependence on computers in most businesses. But the threat is not just one of disruption, it’s also the damage that can be done to corporate reputation and the huge financial penalties companies will face from next year when the European Union General Data Protection Regulations come into force.”

Raising awareness of cyber threats plays a critical part in preventing them, Andy said, adding: “Companies are used to considering compliance, legal, fire and flood risks but have still not grasped the cyber risk.”

He said: “Staff working on computers are both the weakest link when it comes to cyber attacks and the last line of defence. If staff recognise the risks, ie, spotting and not opening suspicious emails, then the threat to their employer can be dramatically reduced, so training is crucial to corporate security.”

To help raise awareness of the problem, East Midlands Chamber is joining forces with Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire County Councils to promote Business Continuity Awareness Week (15-19 May).

On each day, one of the partners will take the lead sending out a series of tweets to their followers - and anyone following #BCAW2017 and/or #emcybersafe – aiming to get the message trending at some point during the week.

Also linked to Business Continuity Awareness Week, the Chamber and Leicestershire County Council will be jointly hosting a summit on Wednesday at Loughborough University.

Called Cyber Resilience: How to prepare to protect your business, it will highlight the need to have policies in place to plan for cyber attacks and to accelerate recovery afterwards. For more information visit http://bit.ly/2pm6j1E