Online Security and Why You Need to Take it Seriously


Online Security and Why You Need to Take it Seriously

There is a lot of publicity about internet security and how very few of us are actually doing enough to keep our online identity and data safe. Let alone to meet GDPR standards.

Not opening attachments from unknown people, and not giving your bank details to international gold merchants who want to transfer £13m to your bank account just isn’t enough anymore, this is far too obvious and unsophisticated.

Why do we Need Internet Security?

Considering we conduct much of our lives online in the modern world, even more so since Covid-19 has the majority of people working from home, IT security should be at the top of your list, not at the back of your mind.

What are the Threats?

Essentially every business owner should be implementing the best computer security and cyber security systems they can afford and are reasonable.

  • IT or computer security protects the data that you already have on your machine from being accessed illegally by a hacker.
  • Cyber security on the other hand is a preventative measure against unknown potential attacks in the future.

So, what are you actually protecting your computer systems against?

• Malware – this is software which is installed on your computer and is designed to damage, disrupt or gain access to the system. You may not realise this software has been installed. It may have been triggered when opening a particular website, opening an attachment on an email, or it could be downloaded as an additional item with another piece of software.

• Ransomware – similar to malware this is software that finds its way onto your system but with the objective of blocking access to your computer until a certain amount of money (ransom) is paid. There are often threats of destroying all the data on your machine.

• Hijacking – hackers may just be after using your systems resources to their own Machiavellian ends.

• Scams – once in control of a computer a hacker can more easily pull off a scam on you, they can bide their time before striking at an opportune moment. Mouse moving on its own? Time to worry?

  • Malware and Ransomware threats can sit on your machine for some time before being triggered, in the background reading your files, gathering data, gathering information. It’s a frightening thought.

What are the Costs?

If you are subject to a malware or ransomware attack, what is the cost? Well, that’s like asking how long is a piece of string?

One of the biggest cases of a ransomware attack (known as WannaCry) was in 2017 when the NHS realised their cyber security had failed. With all files inaccessible, staff had to revert to pen and paper and the health service came to a standstill. This cost the NHS a total of £92 million - £72m on IT support following the attack and £20 million through lost output.

Whilst most companies won’t have a bill this extreme, how could your company cope with losing access to all of your client files and work? How long could you be out of action whilst you got the situation under control? And what would the ICO do about it when you tell them?

It should also be made clear that should your computers be a subject of a ransomware attack there is no guarantee that the data files can be restored – that depends on what the ransomware software has done to them.

Surely prevention is the best line of defence? Is there any excuse not to do everything you can to secure your systems, especially when the tools are often at hand and mostly free?

If you feel your online security may not be as rigorous as it could be contact the team at Bongo IT and we can talk you through the best options.

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Thank you for reading. Check out our other blog posts to find more helpful tips.

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