The importance of cyber security cannot be overstated. With rapid advancements in technology and the ever-growing threat landscape, organisations of all sizes must prioritise the protection of their data and digital assets. Establishing a strong cyber security team is crucial for safeguarding against cyber attacks and minimising the potential risks associated with data breaches.
Here, we’ll explore the reasons why cyber security is so important and why you should focus on building a great cyber security team!
The rising threat of cyber attacks
In recent years, the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks have witnessed a significant surge. In 2020 alone, there were over 5,200 publicly disclosed data breaches, resulting in the exposure of nearly 1.7 billion records. And in 2022, there were 38% more cyberattacks per week on corporate networks, compared to the previous year.
While government guidance underscores the importance of basic cybersecurity measures, recent surveys indicate concerning declines in certain aspects of cyber hygiene among businesses. Today, the use of network firewalls has dropped from 78% in 2021 to 66% in 2023, and restricting admin rights also declined from 75% in 2021 to 67% in 2023. Additionally, the implementation of policies to promptly apply software security updates fell from 43% in 2021 to 31% in 2023. This can all leave companies particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
“In moments of uncertainty, with costs increasing, it’s tempting to cut corners when you see how much cloud systems, antivirus, and firewalls are costing. The risk is that pressure on margins leads you to cut corners, to reduce the amount you spend on cyber security.” – Director, small business
It is essential that organisations strengthen their cyber defences and invest in a strong cyber security team. In 2023, a staggering 300,000 new instances of malware are generated every day, and a significant 92% of them are distributed through email channels. On average, it takes about 49 days to detect these software threats, which are primarily designed to gain unauthorised access to IT systems and sensitive data.
Cybercriminals are continually adapting their tactics to exploit vulnerabilities in security infrastructure. Phishing attacks, ransomware, and zero-day vulnerabilities are just a few examples of the techniques used by hackers to gain unauthorised access to valuable data. A competent cyber security team can stay updated on the latest threats, implement proactive measures, and effectively respond to emerging risks, thereby reducing the chances of any successful cyber attacks.
Why cybersecurity is important: the cost of data breaches
Data breaches can have severe financial implications for businesses. The average cost of a data breach in 2020 was estimated to be a huge $3.86 million (£3M!); last year, data breaches cost businesses an average of £3.4 million. This includes direct expenses such as incident response, legal fees, and regulatory fines, as well as indirect costs like reputational damage and customer churn. By establishing a competent cyber security team, organisations can mitigate these financial risks and protect their bottom line.
Increasing regulations and compliance requirements
Governments and regulatory bodies worldwide are tightening their grip on data protection and privacy. With the introduction of stringent data protection regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses must ensure that they comply with these laws to avoid paying penalties. A strong cyber security team can help organisations navigate the complex landscape of compliance and safeguard against legal consequences.
Why is cyber security essential for data protection?
In 2022, the United Kingdom experienced a significant increase in cybercrime victims per million internet users, reaching a record high of 4,783 with a notable rise of 40% compared to figures recorded in 2020.
From customer information to trade secrets, organisations possess a wealth of sensitive data that must be protected from unauthorised access. Data breaches not only compromise the confidentiality of this information but also jeopardise its integrity and availability. By prioritising cyber security, businesses can establish strong data protection measures that safeguard against unauthorised access, data loss, and potential reputational damage.
Why is having a trained cybersecurity team important?
Having a strong cyber security team is not just about having the right technology and tools; it also requires skilled professionals who possess up-to-date knowledge and expertise in handling cyber threats. Investing in cyber security training for your team is essential to ensure they stay ahead of the curve. Some top training tips for cyber security teams include:
- Regular vulnerability assessments – this helps identify potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your organisation’s systems and networks.
- Ongoing education – it’s crucial for team members to expand their knowledge, learn new techniques, and adapt to emerging cyber security challenges.
- Simulated attack scenarios – these help your team improve their incident response capabilities, strengthen their decision-making skills, and identify areas for improvement.
- Threat intelligence sharing – by collaborating with other professionals and organisations, your team can gain valuable insights into the latest threats, attack techniques, and mitigation strategies. This collective knowledge helps strengthen your overall security and enables proactive defence against emerging threats.
By providing your team with training and professional development opportunities, you empower them to sharpen their skills and effectively respond to emerging risks. When cyber security teams enhance their ability to detect and mitigate potential threats, the chance of a successful cyber attack is reduced.
As the world has firmly moved online, the importance of cyber security cannot be ignored. Organisations face a constant influx of cyber threats that can have devastating consequences for their operations and reputations. With a maintained shift towards remote working and hybrid models, the role of a trained cybersecurity team has never been more critical. The expanded attack surface and varied endpoints demand a team that not only possesses the right technology but is also equipped with the latest knowledge and expertise in handling cyber threats. Investing in cyber security training is paramount to ensuring that your team remains proactive and well-prepared to navigate the complexities of this work environment.
By building a strong cyber security team, businesses can proactively protect their valuable data, mitigate financial risks, and ensure compliance with data protection regulations. With a well-trained team equipped with the latest knowledge and skills, you can stay resilient in the face of evolving cyber threats, maintain a strong defence, and instil confidence in your stakeholders.
For more advice on establishing a strong cybersecurity team, get in touch. We can help you speed up your hiring and support you in building the right team for your business!