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<a href="/news/the-cost-of-cybercrime-and-how-to-prevent-it" title="The Cost of Cybercrime and How to Prevent It">The Cost of Cybercrime and How to Prevent It</a>
Posted on: 16 Oct 2014 

Posted By: IT Wiser

The Cost of Cybercrime and How to Prevent It


Following a study into the dangers faced by businesses online last year, Ken Allan, Information Security Leader, EY Global, warned, “Cyber-crime is the greatest threat for organizations’ survival today.” And he was right. ITWiser’s Cloud Web Security and other cloud-based programs offer great benefits in protecting against data breaches, but their importance can often be overlooked.

Many people broach the subject of cybercrime from the viewpoint of “it will never happen to me” and data protection precautions are often lax as a result. However, this is one issue that businesses ignore at their peril. In fact, statistics show that you have more chance of being stung by a cyber-breach than avoiding one.

According to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAfee, 93% of large corporations and 87% of small businesses were victims of cybercrime last year. These crimes cost large businesses up to £1.4 million and small firms more than £60,000 – enough, in both instances, to bring a company to its knees.

In the UK last year, the total cost of cybercrime to the economy was £6.8 billion – 0.47% of GDP. That figure places Britain in fifth place in the G20, reported Computer Weekly.

One company in the McAfee report incurred losses totalling a staggering £774m through the loss of intellectual property and commercial disadvantage, highlighting a major problem faced by businesses.

Not only are there the actual losses from cybercrime as hacker’s monetise stolen data, there are the clean-up costs. In many cases, information stolen by cybercriminals cannot be used for any financial gain, but a company cannot take any chances and must consider the worst-case scenario. Because of this, the cost of recovery is much greater than actual losses.

Preventing Cybercrime

The overall costs of cybercrime to a business do not bear thinking about. This is a serious issue and companies must implement strict procedures to prevent it.

This can be done in the following ways:

Use strong passwords – combining letters, numbers and special characters

Switch all social media account settings to maximum privacy

Secure all mobile devices

Keep operating systems up to date

Secure wireless networks

Avoid emails that ask for verification of information or confirmation of ID/passwords

Use two-step verification on Web services

Check for HTTPS websites

Protect your computer with firewall and Cloud Web Security

Make regular backups of all files with Cloud Online Backup.

The Register