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GDPR cyber ransom demands predicted to increase

Leading cyber security researchers, F-Secure, have predicted a significant rise in the ransom demanded for stolen or encrypted data following the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance deadline in May 2018. Potentially the sums demanded, due to GDPR cyber ransom, could be in the order of telephone numbers.

In the past, cyber attackers have often been unaware of how much stolen data is worth to organisations. However, the implementation of GDPR means that organisations can be fined up to 4% of their global annual turnover or €20m, whichever is greater, if found to have a data breach. These fines effectively provide cyber criminals with a price point. This means it is now possible for criminals to understand how much data is worth to organisations and demand a far higher GDPR cyber ransom.

GDPR Cyber Ransom:

As a result, hackers are likely to understand that companies will be willing to pay almost anything less than such fines, in order to keep the data breach quiet. This is in order to avoid the heavy fines and keep their reputation intact. Currently criminals typically only demand thousands of Pounds as a ransom for stolen data. This is predicted to increase to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Pounds, depending on the organisation.

GDPR as a business opportunity:

With just over six months to go before the compliance deadline, companies are being urged to get their data in order. This is not only due to the potential fines, but also as GDPR can be seen as a business opportunity.

Many organisations have focused on the fines associated with GDPR.  In reality, GDPR is an expansion of the ability to manage the use of data. This regualtion aims to level the playing field between the public and the private sector, in order to facilitate the exchange of data. In addition, GDPR enables companies to understand the data that they have, how to best secure it and how to manage the data effectively in order to use it to identify potential business opportunities.

GDPR will essentially work to create a global standard for data protection. This provides European businesses with the opportunity to produce goods and services worldwide that adhere to this standard. In turn, this generates trust between organisations and customers, which is essential for online business.

Read more information on GDPRCyber Security, Cyber Fraud, and Compliance. Don’t get held to GDPR cyber ransom.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivity, communication, continuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101, use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!

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Meeting the changing demands of cyber security

Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent in the business world today. In light of this, cyber security has become one of the leading concerns for UK businesses. Research conducted by Serviceteam IT in August 2017, revealed over a third of respondents had experienced an increase in cyber security incidents in the past 12 months.

The Technical Director of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has predicted that at some point in the next few years, a Category 1 national level cyber attack will occur in the UK. A change in thinking regarding cyber security is required from both organisations and the government in order to prevent such an attack from occurring. The Technical director of the NCSC has warned that it may take the inevitable category 1 attack to catalyse such changes to be made.

What changes need to be made in organisations to meet these changing demands?

Utilise your workers

Branded as the ‘weakest link’, employees have been blamed by cyber security professionals for the past 25 years for weaknesses in the security system. It has been argued however, that these are the people that create the value within an organisation. If this is the case, how is it that employees are labelled the weakest link?

The problem lies in the fact that systems are often designed by techies for techies. Ordinary people, that make up the majority of many workforces, are therefore not able to utilise the system in an effective way that ensures security. This needs to change.

People can transform from the weakest to the strongest link in an organisation, if the systems are made more usable. If you can leverage your people better, they can become the first and last line of defence in an organisation. It’s time to stop blaming the users and start modifying the system.

Getting ahead of cyber attacks

There is an opportunity for firms to get ahead of cyber attackers. Organisations need to work with employees to uncover new possibilities instead of relying solely on shelf security solutions. Non-expert technology users are argued to be the secret weapon in the defence systems of the future.

At the moment, organisations are reliant on non-experts making good IT decisions. Training in the past has not been effective in engaging people and ensuring they are trained correctly. These people need to be trained more effectively to enable firms to get ahead of attacks and prevent them from occurring.

Technology collaboration

Currently, the major concern regarding cyber security is the speed of action following an attack. This focus needs to shift in order to win. Organisations need to be able to predict attacks with the aim of preventing them from occurring.

In order to do this, insight can be gained from merging technologies such as AI with the masses of non-experts within organisations. Consequently, there is a need for experts in sociology and psychology in security development teams. These experts will be the most effective in engaging the masses of non-technical users and understanding how they will respond to changes.

Ultimately, there is therefore a need for businesses and the government to change their approach towards cyber security. Security needs to be easier for users to carry out as people are key. As the users of technology, their needs need to come first in order to maximise the strength of security within organisations.

If you’re interested in cyber security, check out some additional blogs surrounding this topic on the website.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivity, communication, continuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101, use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!

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Expected impact of Brexit on the UK tech sector

Technology companies are behind 24% of UK exports and 3 million jobs. However, the UK’s high-tech industry is likely to suffer as a result of the vote to leave the EU. This is expected to occur as a result of the significant network effects that impact this sector of the economy.

Network effects in this case refer to the dependence of a transactions value on the number of people doing related transactions. Network effects are cited as one of the main reasons why the technology sector is full of monopolies. Brexit is likely to have a significant influence on the tech industry in the UK and 4 reasons for this are outlined in the following sections of this post.

1. EU determines privacy and competition laws

The UK accounts for only 1% of the global population and 3% of world GDP. Membership within the EU gave the UK greater influential power, as the EU makes up a much larger proportion of both global population and GDP. Post-Brexit, the UK will have even less influence on IT markets.

The US isn’t as concerned about competition and privacy laws as the EU. This therefore means that the EU is effectively the world’s privacy regulator, as no other body has as great an influence on the world market. This means that irrespective of the deal that the UK comes to with the EU post-Brexit, the rules and standards set within the EU will still have a huge influence on UK firms. This will therefore increase costs for firms operating within the UK.

2. UK companies could face pressure to move EU data to European data centres

The first Data Protection Act was brought in by Margaret Thatcher in order to allow UK firms to process the data of Europeans. Without this banks in London would not have been able to store data on German account holders in their UK data centres. Post-Brexit there are fears that a tech startup in England may be pressured to use European data centres to store the data of their EU citizens.

The many international treaties that affect our trade can be obstructive and sometimes infuriating; they are the negative network externalities of the information age. The idea however that Britain can somehow ignore all these regulations is irrational.

3. UK startups may be more expensive after Brexit

Startups that serve customers directly are likely to be slowed due to the need to comply with EU privacy law. Startup costs are significant in the tech industry in particular due to the presence of network effects. When a new market opens there is often a race in which the winner will take all. This winner in most instances is the firm that is able to get the network effects running in its favour first.

4. Brexit will close doors for talented engineers and scientists

Generally speaking technology firms tend to cluster in specific areas. This occurs as a result of agglomeration economies or in other words the cost savings from locating in close proximity to other firms within the same industry. For example, in cities such as San Fransisco, Boston and Bangalore there are thousands of specialist engineers and scientists that are able to work for technology firms in this region. These cities offer specialist subcontractors, good universities and an environment in which tech workers can share information.

Britain has technology clusters in London and Cambridge currently but it is feared that these areas will become less attractive to workers once the UK leaves the EU. In most cases, tech clusters are located in areas in which it is a nice place to live. Usually, these tend to be open and liberal places in which diversity is accepted and thrives. The decision to leave the EU taints the UK’s image as an open and liberal place to live as many claim the Brexit vote was motivated by xenophobia.

Research commissioned by techUK reveals that British employers in digitally intensive industries are particularly reliant on overseas talent, with 45% of recent vacancies filled by foreign-born workers. If workers are deterred from coming to work in the UK, the tech sector may be unable to function and this could therefore lead to problems.

“There is no sector more dynamic, more innovative, more resilient than tech, but that doesn’t make it immune to Brexit,” said Jacqueline de Rojas, the trade group’s president and the UK managing director of the software firm Sage. The future impact on the tech industry yet to be determined. With negotiations set to continue for a significant period it is yet unclear what the future will be for firms in the UK.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivity, communication, continuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101, use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!