Cyber Crime: Attack and Defence

I know what you’re thinking – it’s another fear-mongering cyber-crime blog. Well, sort of – I think there’s a lot out there to be concerned about, but if you and your organisation take all the proper steps then you’ve no reason to be afraid.

The most recent statistics suggest that more than five million cyber crimes are being committed every year, with nearly 1 in 10 Britons being victims of cyber crime, which now makes up more than half of all crime committed in the UK. 80% of all incidents of fraud last year involved the use of the internet, and the last year has also seen another spate of large-scale co-ordinated cyber attacks on big businesses and major public organisations. Those headline grabbing hacks are inspiring a lot of people to get more serious about their cyber defences.

Recently we’ve seen a number of regional police forces in the UK launching programmes to try to raise awareness of cyber crime and educate people on how to avoid it. Statistics suggest the most targeted group is people in their thirties who use a lot of technology on a daily basis but aren’t necessarily as cyber savvy as younger people who’ve grown up with near constant use of the internet.

For individuals, protecting themselves from cyber crime is largely a question of knowing what to avoid and look out for and how to manage their own use. But what about for companies? In the last year, there’s been a big increase in demand for cyber insurance, with some insurers reporting a 50% rise in clients taking out cyber policies since 2016. The global cyber insurance market is currently worth around £3 billion in premiums annually but this is projected to exceed £15 billion by 2025. But what about stopping the attack happening in the first place?

So many developments in technology that make our daily work easier unfortunately also add an extra point of exposure where a hacker could potentially gain access to a company’s internal network and all kinds of highly sensitive customer and client data. With traditional reactive defence systems struggling to keep up with the development of new and ever more advanced hacking tactics, I think it’s going to be crucial over the next few years for organisations to invest in security systems that use machine learning and anomaly detection approaches. Where traditional security systems can only tackle a virus after it’s already attacked and been logged and understood, these new approaches are much better equipped to deal with emerging threats as and when they strike.

Right now, these systems are more complex than the anti-virus software many businesses have relied on in the past and it’s becoming more important for organisations of all sizes to have dedicated cyber security staff as well as general IT support staff. For a confidential discussion about your organisation’s recruitment needs, or if you’re a cyber security professional seeking career advancement, contact me on 0121 643 2100 or

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