Kevin McMahon, CEO of Cyjax Limited, explains the imminent threat of cyberattacks facing small businesses today.
In March 2021, an important new report on defense and foreign policy in the United Kingdom, “The Global United Kingdom in a Competitive Era,” was published. 1 The report focuses on traditional forms of defense and promises of increased spending, but with a significant focus on the cyber threats facing the UK.
These cyber threats currently include the development of hostile nation-state cyber capabilities along three prongs. First, exploitation and attacks that target and paralyze critical national infrastructure, especially ransomware and data corruption attacks that impose devastating financial costs on businesses and the insurance industry. Second, hostile nation-states will continue to support long-term cyber-spy activities focused on theft of government and commercial information. Finally, an important function was observed in creating and propagating highly influential and damaging disinformation campaigns aimed at destabilizing the political system.
The report identified Russia and China as the greatest threat to the United Kingdom. It is no coincidence that these two countries were chosen. State-sponsored threat actors from both countries have been engaged in aggressive cyber-related activities for many years, carrying out well-documented and widely publicized cyberattacks against Western organizations. Both have been accused of conducting tremendous damage to government and corporate websites around the world. Vulnerability of SMEs to cyber attacks
By early 2020, the UK will have nearly 6 million SMEs (0-49 employees), accounting for 99.3% of the total number of commercial enterprises. They account for three-fifths of UK employment and about half of private sector sales. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) employ 16.8 million people and are estimated to have sales of £ 2.3 trillion. Cyber attacks endanger many jobs as well as economic activity. 2
Given this global threat, SMEs are firmly on the cross of cybercriminals who are equipped with nation-state capabilities and are protected by hostile governments that protect and guide these malicious attackers. You can immediately see that it is. In a speech to the Chatham House think tank, Lindy Cameron, Chief Executive Officer of the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), said: She added that ransomware “has the most imminent danger” of all the cyber threats facing the UK. 3
Nothing emphasizes this situation more than the devastating combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions and the ransomware attack on currency exchange company Travelex. A month of turmoil following the ransomware attack put the company under control six months later, forcing restructuring and redundancy for more than 1,300 staff. Four Worrying situation
The current cyber situation facing SMEs, the driving force of the UK economy, is alarming and dire.
According to a survey by Arctic Wolf, “Three-quarters (73%) of UK SME leaders believe their employees lack the ability and expertise to withstand cybersecurity attacks.” Five
According to the latest data from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), “4 out of 10 companies (39%) and charities have reported cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. It is a quarter […]