As the market comes under increasing pressure from cyber criminals, limiting the chances of an attack and coping with those that occur must be high on everybody’s agenda.
Ransomware demands are mounting for businesses of all sizes. Three in 10 UK companies have already suffered a cybersecurity attack in 2021, and the average recovery costs have doubled in 12 months.
The property sector is particularly attractive to hackers because of its huge numbers of financial transactions involving sensitive information – bank account details, contract terms and buyers’ or renters’ corporate/personal data. And with so many businesses migrating to the cloud, attackers have an increased attack surface to potentially target.
When it comes to IT security, prevention is undoubtedly better than the cure, so it is vital that you enhance your security practices in order to limit your exposure to risk. Start by making a board member responsible and have this as a standing board agenda item, which is regularly discussed with plans and progress reviewed.
Many ransomware attacks start with a phishing email, meaning basic cyber hygiene is critical for all staff. Simple steps, such as multi-factor authentication and strong passwords, can go a long way in making you less of a target.
Backing up your entire system daily and storing data offline can limit an attack’s impact. While it will not stop one, it will allow the business to recover more quickly.
If you do suffer an attack, immediately report it to the UK Cyber Security Council.
More reports mean a better-informed intelligence community, and you could potentially help in preventing future attacks.
Given our greater digital dependency, the reality that more staff are working remotely and the increased sophistication of attacks, there is a significantly elevated risk of an attack. However, a successful attack is not inevitable and there are a range of measures that should be taken to reduce both the likelihood of a breach and the impact of the breach should your defences fail.
Robin Vann is chief solutions officer at Reliance acsn