Online security is a term well-entrenched in the vocabulary of Newark professionals; its prevalence characterised by an ever-present need to keep valuable data protected online. But far less well-established are the factors which impact its integrity. Here we provide a handful of the most important.

1. Lack of Employee Awareness

The old adage: “knowledge is power” is an apt representation of a Newark businesses’ relationship with online security.

In the modern-era, online threats exist around every corner – from an erroneous link in an email to a targeted ransomware attack – and only with an in-depth and up-to-date understanding of the risks present in cyber-space can a company adequately protect itself.

However, while cyber-security processes have grown to become ubiquitous, many organisations still fail to fully utilise them effectively.

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In a study by ISACA International, it was reported that 62% of global organisations were ill-prepared to respond to a sophisticated cyber-attack. Meanwhile, data from the InfoSec institute concluded that 97% of people were unable to distinguish between regular correspondence and a phishing email.

These statistics highlight the fact that knowledge pertaining to online security is often at a sub-par standard – particularly in SMEs – and emphasise that without a true understanding of the risks, businesses are at far greater risk when operating online.

2. Influx of New Technology

From artificial intelligence and machine learning to the internet of things and beyond – adoption of the latest technologies continues to play a significant role in online security in Newark.

While from a business standpoint, acquisition of the latest tech-trends can deliver significant opportunities, from a security perspective, it opens the door to a number of serious risks.

The point is perhaps best expressed by a recent report from TrustLook that estimated that by 2020, 25% of cyber-attacks will target IoT devices – an almost 600% increase from today. And, in a similar vein, Forbes suggested that recent technology innovations, such as AI, could be paving the way for greater hacking threats and providing cybercriminals with even more creative ways to cause damage online.

In essence, while technical innovation is predominantly a cause for good, hackers can manipulate unsecured company-owned hardware and inflict significant damage.

3. Growing Hacker Sophistication

While numerous threats exist in the online sphere, there are seldom few with such a propensity for devastation as a well-orchestrated cyber-attack.

Employing ever-greater sophistication through ruses such as phishing, ransomware, and man in the middle attacks, hackers have the means to wreak havoc on unsuspecting businesses – causing significant monetary and reputational damage.

While this threat isn’t isolated to Newark businesses, a government study did stress the need for caution throughout the UK – reporting that over 40% of UK businesses had suffered a breach or attack in the past 12 months, with SMEs particularly badly affected.

With most experts predicting that this trend will only accelerate as we move into 2019, the need for equally-intuitive cyber-security measures are becoming more and more necessary.

4. Outdated Security Systems

Online threats have been an uncomfortable truth since the inception of the internet in the early 90s. But, throughout that time, the sheer quantity, diversity and severity of these risks have escalated significantly.

Today, the internet resembles an ever-changing minefield – one which Newark organisations must navigate and adapt to in real-time or face significant repercussions.

In this quest for self-preservation, many organisations seek to employ a security system, one tasked with the duty of detecting and avoiding malicious looking content.

However, while this may appear like a solid first line of defence, online threats are evolving so rapidly that not keeping your tools up-to-date doesn’t keep you much safer than not having them at all.

In a recent Citrix-sponsored, Ponemon study, 69% of respondents claimed that some of their organisation’s existing security solutions were outdated and inadequate; directly impacting their ability to keep up with new and emerging attacks.

5. Unstructured Security Policy

When a data breach happens, it’s too late to make plans there and then. No one can fully prevent cyber-attacks from happening, but with well-structured preparedness, Newark organisations can limit the damage and ultimately reduce the impact on their business.

The way businesses handle a breach in the immediate aftermath of a cyber-attack can directly affect the monetary damage done, as well as limiting the reputational damage that often results.

But, despite its effectiveness, only 48% of respondents to the NTT Security Global Risk: Value report had an incident response plan, with a further 10% either ignorant of an incident response plans existence or knowing that they had failed to prepare one.

Having a well-structured security policy in place, that ensures everyone who has a role in handling a cyber-attack knows their responsibilities, will help to minimise the fallout on the organisation.

How Newark Businesses Can Defend Against Online Threats

Online security may well be a familiar term throughout the Newark business district, but with a landscape characterised by an ever-growing number of risks and threats, lacking adequate security is a recipe for disaster. In today’s online marketplace, it’s imperative that businesses keep a close eye on their cyber security in Newark.

If you’re not sure of the best method for securing your business data, talking to the experts is a worthwhile decision. At Custard we offer a range of security solutions guaranteed to keep you safe online – why not get in touch and find out more?