2Million: Rise of the Cyber Criminal

  • Cyber crime, Rise of the Cyber criminal, 2 million
James Fowler

Yes, I have an affinity to film. This is not the next version of Gerard Butler's 300 or a modern version of the original.

In February, there were over 2million pieces of stolen data released on the Dark Web. It comes from all over the globe, as Cyber Crime is not bound by borders. The fact that we are connected to the internet for the majority of the time, means we are connected to people worldwide all of the time.

Whether it is connected to friends in America on Facebook, or emails with family in Australia, we are connected. In Business we work with people from all over the world, having meetings are strange times, to fit in with everyone. We are emailing and passing content, asking people to click on links and book meetings or register for a webinar. As businesses, we store lots of data on our customers, whether personal or business-related.

In February, there were 3 data breaches in the UK worthy of note. Npower had to take its Mobile App offline because hackers had gained access and been gathering data from its users. The App is currently still offline without a date for it to go back online. Oxford University confirmed a breach of its systems in the Division of Structural Biology. The level of this breach is also unknown at this point. One where we do know the scale is Foxtons Estate Agents. They are a bigger Estate Agent, but they are not a huge global power like some of the others we speak about.

Foxtons breach happened in October, with very few people knowing about it. They did not report the breach to the ICO, which will lead to bigger problems down the line, and Foxtons didn't know until January. In February, 16,000 card details, addresses, and correspondence were found on the Dark Web, and still Foxtons have not told their customers. The hackers are reporting that this only about 1% of the stolen data they have, meaning this could be just the start of what is to come.

This is very much the approach of SMEs in regards to their customer and business data. What does it mean for Foxtons? The likely hood is that the ICO will investigate and fine them for the breach, and also for not complying with UK Law on the reporting of such a breach. Foxtons Customers will be entitled to compensation and legal firms are shouting about this and actively encouraging people to get in touch to start proceedings. That's the physical monetary cost to their business. But what about the negative publicity, the damage to reputation, The people that won't sell their property with them, or want to give them details to pay rent? This will affect them deep into the future. We have seen this before with other businesses, such as Travelex, who fell into administration after their cyber attack. Now the Pandemic has played a part, but Paying such a huge ransom, and still taking 2 and half weeks to become operational was the starting point, and money paid out for nothing.

There are ways to protect your business and your personal data. Having the correct tools in place, with the right support is a start. making sure you have a backup set up is also helpful. Thinking that using a cloud service such as 365 or Dropbox, is a backup is wrong. Those tools are syncing with your devices at all times they are connected to the internet. So a compromised or deleted file on a device is the same in your cloud setup within nanoseconds. 365 will say there is a backup you can roll back to, but do you know how to get there?

Antivirus is getting more advanced, and they are starting to add extra features, and to become Endpoint Protection. But there is an old saying 'you buy cheap, you buy twice.' but in terms of your data, the cost can be much higher. Having real enterprise tools will allow you to protect your data and your business.

We have helped SME's, including Estate Agents, protect their data, become more productive and profitable, whilst taking the IT pain points away. We work with these businesses as part of their team, working on Strategic Business Outcomes, not just keeping the lights on.

Take a look and think, What would it mean to you if you couldn't access your data for days? Or your IT not working for a week or more? Would you be able to bounce back?

If you would like to discuss this more, get in touch or come along to one of IT Surgeries.

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