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The rise of defence expenditure in response to threats

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Cyber security: The rise of defence expenditure in response to threats


"There are numerous types of threats that businesses could face, and in this blog post we have outlined the most common threats posed in 2018. "

In recent years, cyber security has been an industry in which global leaders have significantly increased funds. In 2016, the US Government spent $28 billion within the sector, almost four times what it was in 2007 ($7.5billion). The UK Government similarly increased funding by £1.9billion in the same year. But what are the reasons behind this increase?

It could be due to cyber threats becoming one of the world’s leading societal threats, according to a major defence chief. In a recent interview with CNBC, John Harris – CEO of Raytheon International – expressed that cyber is one of the largest and most important threats to nations. He identified a possible cause for the increase, stating: “One of the challenges of cyber is that access to that technology is easy. So any number of individuals, both state and non-state actors, have the ability to make fundamental negative impacts to societies and to nations."

These comments are enlightened by research conducted by software company Symantec in 2017, which stated that one in 131 emails contained malware – the highest rate in five years. Further, ransomware attacks increased across the globe as an illegal profit for criminals: Symantec identified 100 types of new malware, more than triple the previous amount, and a 36 per cent increase in ransomware attacks worldwide. There are numerous types of threats that businesses could face, and in this blog post we have outlined the most common threats posed in 2018.

Ransomware

This type of cyber threat involves encrypting and locking information following breaches in defences using malware. The information is then held by hackers in exchange for money, which is often paid by victims due to the sensitivity and sometimes vast volumes of information targeted.

This type of threat has been prevalent in the last year, such as the FedEx breach in the US, and the UK’s National Health Service breach.

Cyber-physical attacks

This involves targeting large systems such as electrical grids and transportation systems that may have outdated software. This includes planes, trains and ships. Cyber-physical attacks can be utilised to provide immediate disruptions or to carry out attacks involving ransomware.

Mining Cryptocurrencies

This type of threat involves compromising computers connected through public Wi-Fi systems. The connected computers are then remotely controlled by hackers and used to mine cryptocurrencies from an alternate source.

Larger Wi-Fi systems such as hospitals and airports could provide hackers with a large army of remote controlled devices. This has been seen with Russian oil company Transneft’s devices being remotely controlled by hackers for this function.

Ecommerce Threat

Online shopping is booming and with buying goods online providing an easy an efficient shopping experience, it will likely continue to grow in popularity. It is not without its risk, however. In 2016 cybercrime cost the UK retail industry £36m alone, with criminals obtaining payment details, creating fake, unsecure or malicious websites, or spreading viruses and spyware.

Prevention methods that consumers should be aware of include: installing new software and app updates, using strong passwords for email and retail accounts, ensuring websites are secure (clearly showing ‘https’ before the URL), avoiding public Wi-Fi when using sensitive information such as bank details, and questioning requests for personal details or unknown links.

If you want to ensure your business is protected from cyber threats, SA1 Solutions can help. Our team are clued up on the latest cyber security software. Give us a call on 01792 4390 87 to find out more, or drop us an email on info@sa1solutions.com

Since our blogs on cyber security have been published (see our blog on cyber security fines here, and the impact of inadequate security here), Sainsbury’s Bank got in touch to say they liked the information we offered. They also gave some tips of their own about shopping safely online, which can be accessed by clicking here.


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Matthew Harvey
Group Finance Director at Dr Organic
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