According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people travelling to work has risen steadily since mid-February, as the coronavirus vaccination programme continues apace and restrictions ease. However, a large proportion of workers are doing their jobs remotely, which throws up several challenges for businesses.
One of those is cybersecurity, as companies seek to protect their data as well as that of their clients and their employees. But why is cybersecurity so important, and what can businesses do to limit the risk of potentially harmful breaches?
What are some of the key facts and figures around cybersecurity?
- A survey by Hayes Connor solicitors revealed that 20% of respondents had not been given any training on cybersecurity, GDPR, or handling company data.
- A small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds, according to a study from global insurer Hiscox.
- A February 2019 threat report from endpoint security firm Carbon Black found that 88% of UK organisations reported a breach during the prior 12 months.
Why is cybersecurity so important?
Any data breach can have serious and wide-ranging repercussions. For example, a hacker gaining access to an employee’s personal information could use those details to commit identity theft or fraud. The same goes for any financial details, which could leave the victim vulnerable to significant sums being misused or stolen from their accounts.
There are risks for businesses, too, in that any sensitive company data or intellectual property could be published and compromise their position. There is also the threat of confidential client data being accessed, which would be a major breach of GDPR regulations. All of the above has the potential to lead to severe financial and reputational damage.
What can businesses do to reduce the risk of security breaches?
With more people now working from home, businesses should be using a virtual private network (VPN) to which all their employees can connect when doing their jobs remotely. A VPN will encrypt the user’s data to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access, thus drastically reducing the threat of a breach.
Companies should also provide training for all staff members about safety protocols. These courses should include information on best practices, how to spot risks, and the channels through which any potential threats should be reported. If all employees operate with increased awareness, the business is far less likely to leave itself open to any harmful attacks.
Interesting related article: “What is VPN?“