The recent global ransomware attack on the NHS, Telefonica and FedEx has unsurprisingly brought to light the importance of data and server security. With over 300,000 computers in some 150 countries affected by the ransomware, and threats to delete data unless a ransom was paid, the cyberattack illustrated just how detrimental and widespread the effects can be.
This recent large spread scandal has shown the potential ability of hackers to access customers’ personal data and consequently, has highlighted its alarming threat to data protection.
What is data protection?
The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is a set of laws, regulations and best practices directing the collection and use of personal data about individuals, ensuring the fair, lawful, safe and secure use and handling of data.
The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 aims to further ensure that the digital marketplace is more secure for consumers, making the issue of cyber related risks and data security more pressing for businesses. The safeguarding of personal data will become even more paramount.
Are cyberattacks common?
Results from the UK government’s 2017 Cyber Security Survey show that this threat is indeed ever-present, with over two thirds of large firms and small businesses detecting a breach or attack in the last twelve months.
These alarming statistics demonstrate that it is essential that organisations protect themselves – and their consumers – from increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.
Although the most common type of attack identified was fraudulent emails, other incidents concerned viruses and malicious software being downloaded onto companies’ computer systems, and employees’ identities being stolen and used in emails or online. The outcome included temporary loss of files or network access, and systems failing.
Why is sever protection important?
There are multiple and far-reaching consequences of a cyberattack, from financial loss - such as falls in share prices -through to regulatory fines and compensation claims, reputational damage and loss of consumer trust.
Deploying lines of defence through email security software, email URL protection, attachment scanning and disaster recovery will help a business protect itself from cyberattacks. It is important that businesses implement such protection now, or else risk being the next victim of a cyberattack.