The importance of cybersecurity

At the start of 2018, 30 million Facebook accounts had personal data stolen. This didn’t affect the majority of us (there are 2 billion Facebook users), but for those that it did affect I can only imagine how devastated they must have been. Luckily, the EU introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) shortly after which all companies have to follow if they store data from EU citizens. GDPR was introduced to replace The Data Protection Act of 1986.

This was a big turning point for the way that companies have to handle data, yet there are still hackers out there who want to test their skills and break into websites to steal information. Whether they’re doing it for profit or doing it to test their skills, we will never know, but what we do know is that there are people in the world that are attempting to steal our information. Some are succeeding, others are not, however, it’s the succession of attacks which is why we need to take cybersecurity more seriously than ever.

Cost of a breach

Financially, being on the receiving end of a cyber-attack isn’t fun. According to recent statistics, the average cost of a breach can be as much as £20,000 for a larger company.

But, let me ask you a quick question. Who would you trust more, a company who has had a data breach, or a similar company that has never been victim to a cyber-attack?
Of course, you’d trust the company who’s never been a victim of a cyber-attack. Most people would.

When your business suffers a breach of any kind, if word gets out to the public then your brand’s reputation could be in trouble. However, this is subjective. The larger the attack, the more of your reputation could be tarnished.

Hacking Circles

Hacking circles aren’t a new thing, in fact, they’ve been around for a couple decades. So, a hacking circle is essentially a group of hackers who work together in order to complete their task. Whether they’re hacking into a sweets website to get free sweets or they’re breaking into the Pentagon servers, hacking circles allow hackers to share resources, information and skillsets. They communicate through IRCs (Internet Relay Chats) to stay safe (there are other ways for them to stay hidden, but I won’t go into all the technical stuff.) You may be wondering why am I telling you this? Well, if you want to stay safe on the internet then it’s best that you understand how hackers operate as well as think in order to protect yourself and be prepared for anything. When you’re zigging, they’re zagging.

Hacking is a ‘game’

Some hackers do what they do to turn a profit. Others do it “for the lulz”. “for the lulz” is an internet slang term, commonly used amongst hackers. “For the lulz” means “for fun”, which is a big motivation for a lot of cybercriminals. In their mind hacking is a game and they have to complete the next level, they need to find the next system to infiltrate. They’re simply hacking just to see if they can.

Tools from the Deep Web

The internet is a place to share information. It should come as no surprise that the internet isn’t biased towards what information you’re sharing. You could send a cupcake recipe with your friends, or you could upload tools for malicious intent to your favourite hacking forum for the world to use. My point with this is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned hacker, or a newbie in the field, there are tools out there that can help you achieve your hacking needs. I AM IN NO WAY TELLING YOU TO GO AND DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE TO USE FOR MALICIOUS INTENT. I am simply making you aware that there are always going to be people out there who want to learn how to hack. There will also be tools out there to use in order to hack. This is why Cybersecurity is so important.

GDPR

This paragraph is the real kicker. Remember how I said that the cost of a breach is £20,000 for a larger company? Well, that price could be a lot higher depending on how you’ve stored the data of your clients. If your website isn’t GDPR compliant then you can be fined up to 4% of your annual revenue OR £20,000,000. Yes, you read that right. It does say that you could be fined up to £20 Million.

In this blog, I hope to have helped you understand the dangers you can encounter with cybercriminals and I implore you to take action to secure both yourself and your business online.

Make sure that your website is GDPR compliant. Be on the lookout for potential vulnerabilities. Hire a professional hacker to stop the malicious attacks. Do something to protect yourself, it’s now more important than ever.

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