According to a new report from the UK’s cyber security agency, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the number of ‘hackers for hire’ is set to grow over the next five years, leading to more cyber attacks and increasingly unpredictable threats.
A rise in spyware and other hacking tools is also anticipated, which will have a profound impact on the UK’s digital landscape.
Cyber threats are already a huge concern for UK businesses, with cyber-attacks on SMEs up 39 per cent last year from 2020, so it’s not surprising this news is adding even more anxiety. What’s more, the new assessment highlights that the threat will not only become greater but also less predictable as more hackers for hire are tasked with going after a broader range of targets, meaning any business, of any size and across any industry could be at risk.
Istvan Lam, CEO of Tresorit explains that with this in mind, businesses would do well to take proactive measures to protect their sensitive information and communications. End-to-end encryption software is vital in this regard, providing businesses with a secure and reliable way to protect their data and prevent cyber-attacks.
How can this software protect businesses against the threat of cyber-attacks? How is it designed to keep data safe at all times and why exactly should businesses take this extra step to ensure financial data, personal information and intellectual property are kept safe? Is it really essential, does it provide optimum protection and what other measures can businesses take to minimise cyber threats?
How exactly does end-to-end encryption work?
Although many businesses believe all encryption types offer end-to-end protection for data at all times, end-to-end encryption isn’t in fact the standard for all encryption types; often data will only be encrypted while it is being stored, or while it is in transit. End-to-end encryption means that every file and relevant file metadata on the device in question is encrypted using a unique randomly generated encryption key, and files can only be accessed with a user’s unique decryption key so that data is stored as safely as possible. End-to-end encryption also provides an added layer of security for businesses that use cloud-based storage and collaboration tools. Tresorit’s content collaboration platform, for example, offers businesses ultimate protection, as files stored in the cloud are encrypted before they are uploaded, making it extremely difficult for hackers to access them.
In other words, end-to-end software is designed to protect communication channels by encrypting messages at the sender’s device and decrypting them at the receiver’s device, making it almost impossible for hackers to intercept and decipher the messages. And with the ever-growing threat of cyber-attacks and hackers for hire, this ‘gold standard’ of encryption, which ensures utmost security and privacy for data at all times, is crucial.
How risky is it to go without?
Cyber-attacks are designed to cause maximum disruption, exploiting vulnerabilities within a business IT framework. Such attacks can result in the theft of commercially sensitive information or intellectual property, software or data destruction or deletion, thefts of funds, liability to third parties such as customers and supply chain partners and reputational damage.
Cyber security attacks such as data breach can be devastating and ultimately wipe out a company. End-to-end encryption can help prevent such breaches by making it virtually impossible for hackers to access sensitive information and with 43 per cent of UK businesses identifying a cyber security breach in the last year, organisations would do well to put this extra layer of protection in place.
What else can be done?
There are a number of other cybersecurity measures businesses can take other than end-to-end encryption, to minimise the risk of cyber threats. Organisations should ensure they implement regular security audits, run up-to-date antivirus software, use strong passwords, and put in place intrusion detection and prevention systems. Cyber security awareness training for employees is also vital for helping to reduce risks. Businesses should ensure employees are trained on a wide range of security topics such as how to respond to threat situations, Phishing and secure data handling.
The role of business leaders
Senior leaders of organisations have a huge responsibility when it comes to ensuring their business is cyber aware and ultimately cyber secure. They should be having essential discussions about cyber security with their organisation’s technical experts and key stakeholders and should ensure that their company’s cyber security policy is communicated throughout the business with all staff given the necessary training. The NCSC has recently launched new resources as part of its Cyber Security Board Toolkit, to encourage senior leaders to treat cyber risks with the same importance as legal or financial risks and to make sure the potentially devastating consequences of an attack are filtered through the organisation. It also includes a range of activities for organisations to participate in as well as key success indicators and materials to help organisations engage their staff on the topic.
With a growing number of hackers for hire marketplace and an ever-increasing risk of cyber threats, businesses should take heed and ensure they’ve put the highest standard of security and protection in place for their company’s data and information. Cyber-attacks can have deadly consequences and can mean the end of the road for many businesses, so not only should companies embrace end-to-end encryption but they should take time to assess the range of cyber security protection measures they have in place, so that no stone is left unturned. Business leaders have a huge role to play when it comes to ensuring their organisation can protect itself from, respond to and recover from a cyber-attack, data breach or service outage.