According to GOV.uk, approximately 32% of businesses and 24% of charities faced a cyber attack in 2023, with the estimated cost of a breach said to be around £1,100 for any UK business, and £530 for charity organisations.
“The proportion of micro businesses saying cyber security is a high priority has decreased from 80% in 2022 to 68% in 2023 this year. Qualitative evidence suggests that cyber security has dropped down the priority lists for these smaller organisations, relative to wider economic concerns like inflation and uncertainty.”GOV.uk Cyber security breaches survey 2023
Since the global surge in internet usage from the early 2000s, cybersecurity appeared to be an afterthought for some businesses – that was until the Data Protection Act 1998 was implemented, setting out the principles for organisations to follow. Through the mid-2000s, cyber threats became increasingly sophisticated, with hackers utilising malware, phishing attacks, and causing multiple data breaches across businesses.
… but how does this impact Tech businesses in the UK?
Three main attractions for a cyber attack are cloud computing technology, early adoption of new technology, and third-party risks. Cyber-attacks on company IT systems, networks, or servers can cause delays or shutdown which can lead to the loss of productivity and business revenue, along with cybercriminals extracting sensitive data, intellectual property, and personal data of both employees and customers.
Tech companies should prioritise protecting themselves from the following cybersecurity threats this year:
To mitigate this risk, we encourage businesses to take proactive steps to strengthen their cyber defenses through contacting a cyber security specialist, third-party testing, and auditing.
When referring to the human element in cybersecurity, we refer to the individual roles played in both mitigating and increasing cyber risks. Based on Statista research completed by BJSS, around 67% of cyber security professionals state misconfigurations of cloud platforms as the number one threat in public clouds.
As technology advances, it is imperative to acknowledge how to secure and boost cyber defences. It has been found that many of the cybersecurity hacks and incidents were the result of carelessness or lack of training (GlobalSign).
Luckily, there are existing missions created to protect critical services from cyber attacks, and helping to improve the underlying security of the UK Internet through advice to citizens and organisations. Since the GCHQ mission launch during the global pandemic, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) had received over two million reports from the public within the first four months, leading to the successful removal of over 9,000 scams and 22,000 URLs.
So, here’s your reminder to think twice before clicking on any links in that email from “Facebook”…
As technology takes care of a lot of the heavy lifting with security, attackers are going for the easier, human element and this will only increase as they use AI not only to automate their efforts, but also to create more sophisticated ways of convincing people to lower their guard (phishing).
The human element is an integral part of the cybersecurity infrastructure as people stand as both the greatest vulnerability and the most potent defence against cybercriminals.
The growing tech sector has implemented advanced encryption methods, AI-driven threat detection systems, and robust authentication protocols, bringing us onto the importance of collaborative efforts.
Below are some key aspects of the role of cybersecurity in the UK tech sector.
Protection of Data and Privacy – Cybersecurity measures are essential to preventing data breaches which can affect a business’ critical infrastructure and overall security.
Regulatory Compliance – For both ethical and legal reasons, regulations and standards have been put in place by the UK government, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in order for businesses to protect user data and privacy at all times.
National Security – The UK government, in collaboration with the private sector, are constantly working with businesses to defend against cyber threats.
Innovation and Continued Research – Recent technologies such as AI, cloud computing, and IoT (Internet of Things) can bring both opportunities and challenges. Cybersecurity is a major component to enable responsible and secure adoption of these technologies.
As cyber threats are constantly evolving, sharing threat intelligence and experiences with each other will enable tech businesses to understand new and emerging threats and vulnerabilities, enabling proactive measures to mitigate risks.
Cybersecurity in the modern world is a constant battle against evolving threats. By combining technology, constant regulation, education, and working together, this can prompt higher security in the interconnected world and keep risks at a minimum – as long as organisations continue monitoring, completing risk assessments, carrying out audits alongside testing dependent on specific risk profiles.