Cyber Security and Business Continuity: The stats & the steps

National Cyber Security MonthAs the relationships between businesses and customers move increasingly online, last week’s denial-of-service attack on HSBC was a stark reminder of how dangerous cyber attacks have become. ICT continuity has quickly risen to become a top business and policy priority, and essential to safeguarding organisational survival.

Most organisations, regardless of size or sector, are dependent on their ICT infrastructure to deliver products and services. Any disruption can negatively impact operational capability, and by extension, do damage to reputation, profitability and even potential for future growth.

Recent reports suggest that the effects of defending against, and recovering from, online attacks costs Britain about £27 billion a year, with one London business alone losing £800 million in a single incident.

The statistics paint a worrying picture:

  • 59% of us have been affected by a cyber attack either at home or work
  • 27% of businesses have been affected by a system attack 4 or more times in the last year
  • An average of 400,000 users are affected for every major incident involving mobile phone networks
  • An incident caused by a malicious attack lasts for an average of 31 hours, and the knock-on effects can last for months

Despite the growing complexity and severity of online threats, there are steps you can take to remain operational or return to normality quickly following a cyber attack.

  1. Evaluate your threat landscape – where are your weak spots? These can cover the physical as well as the technical environment of your systems and the people who manage these.
  2. Ensure that the board remains engaged with cyber risk
  3. Train all staff in cyber security measures and raise awareness of the threats – both general and role-specific
  4. Create an incident management plan and disaster recovery capabilities
  5. Rehearse your response to a cyber attack through regular scenario-based exercises and simulations

Useful links:

About Dominic Cockram

Founder and MD of Steelhenge. Pioneer of simulation exercises with over 20 years experience in business continuity and crisis management. Dominic is an experienced speaker determined to make the world a more resilient place.

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