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Cybercrime - is your cyber security secure enough?

Cyber Security

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, whilst the rest of us got on with enjoying the varied benefits of the IoT, the handiness of BYOD and the undoubted merits of AI, those nasty tricksters, the Cybercriminals, were left in the dust, still struggling to break our passwords?

Alas, they’re not. Even more than ‘alas’ and unlike most of us who will spend the minimum possible time on a busy day on things so apparently unlikely as a cyber-attack, cybercriminals spend an inordinate amount of time working out how to use every possible advance in digital cleverness to make what they do more successful. It’s just not fair. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (both subjects we’ve covered in past blogs) may be making huge behind-the-scenes differences in our daily lives, but they’re also lending themselves to the dark side. The truth is that cybercrime is becoming ever more stealthy, sophisticated and hard to track, and that’s something we should be concerned about.

It could be said, perhaps unfairly, that we haven’t helped ourselves. Covid has resulted in most of us WFH (we’re merciless with our acronyms) to some degree, which in turn has led to those companies that preferred to use their own servers having to join the rest of us on the Cloud. There are additional factors, the growth of 5G, for instance, is fuelling the expansion of IoT amongst devices that are all to easy to hack into (as a first step).

Attached to all of this are some interesting statistics. In 2019 apparently 88% of organisations worldwide experienced some sort of spear phishing attack. In case you’re wondering a spear phish is one of those emails we all receive that purport to be from a reputable sender but are actually not (stat from

Another is that 86% of breaches were financially motivated and only 10% had espionage of any sort in mind (Verizon). Another from Verizon tells us that 45% of breaches featured hacking, 17% involved malware and 22% involved phishing. And now, to start bringing it all home, did you know that the top malicious attachment types are .doc and .dot (Symantec) that only 5% of companies’ folders are properly protected (Varonis) and 95% of cyber security breaches are caused by human error (Cybint).

It’s all our fault.

The snag is that amongst those who read this blog there’s going to be the temptation to glaze over, be thankful that your business isn’t, in your estimation, big enough to warrant attention from cybercriminals and, as we said above, to get on with life. And the snag? Allow us another few stats courtesy of IBM. In 2020 it took an average of 207 days for a breach to be identified, with the lifecycle of such a breach being 280 days. So, let’s for a moment assume that you, one of your employees or indeed anyone any of you are in digital contact with has their information stolen in a third-party breach, perhaps amongst the 5.2 million Marriott Hotels guests this happened to in 2020 or the 142 million hotel guests in the 2019 MGM data breach. What then? The snag is that your information (or one of your employees etc) has been stolen specifically to be used illegally, and with 94% of malware being delivered by email (with 1 in every 4200 emails being a phishing email (Symantec)) something is almost bound to go wrong.

Which brings us back to our first point. The Cybercriminals haven’t been standing still. They’ve been developing whole new sets of ways to cheat us, they’re doing that as we write and as you read, and all those developments in AI, Machine Learning mean that it’s easier than ever for them to threaten smaller and more vulnerable businesses. Like yours. The good news being that TP Tele can help you navigate the tricky waters of Cyber Security to protect you and yours against all but the most determined cyberattack. Why not ask us how we can help you?

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