Cyber criminals are targeting businesses just like yours

A former Prime Minister once remarked: “a week is a long time in politics”. How about a decade in information technology?

To say things have come a long way since we established Holker IT in 2009, probably represents the business understatement of the year. There has been change and advancement on a scale no-one could have predicted, and not all of it for the better.

An example? Easy. Cyber crime, the biggest single threat facing businesses today. Out of every 100 people reading this magazine, only 10 can realistically expect to avoid a cyber-attack during 2019.

Yes, that’s right, 90 per cent of businesses will be breached - half of them more than once. Worse still, the threat level is still rising.

Small to medium firms took the brunt of an estimated £17bn worth of UK cyber attacks last year, companies employing 10 to 49 people. That’s right, companies similar to the vast majority of those based here in Lancashire.

Cyber criminals are getting more sophisticated too, actually spending 10 times more than the organisations under target spend on protection.

Cyber crime is the biggest single threat facing businesses today.

The facts, based on new research, make for grim reading. But what can be done to minimise the threat?

At Holker IT we made a strategic decision a few years ago to set up a dedicated in-house cyber security department. We anticipated what might happen and put together a team of skilled technicians adept in dealing with cyber crime.

We fight the good fight every day and, trust me, it is extremely distressing when someone falls innocent victim.

Like when we took the call from a long-established firm facing total shutdown as the direct result of a particularly calculated attack which left them over £100,000 the poorer.

The hackers also demanded a ransom - to be paid in bitcoins - and even had the nerve to send a follow-up email asking for an update on the payment!

Thankfully, after a highly-complex investigation, involving several technicians working around the clock, we were able to find a solution and get the firm back on track.

Holker IT is Cyber Essentials Plus accredited, meaning we work to a government-driven scheme to provide the highest level of security. In turn, it gives your customers, suppliers and stakeholders confidence that they can deal safely with you.

We have devised different options; ascending and fully customisable levels of cover, and we recently presented to a large business gathering in conjunction with Lancashire Constabulary.

My message is: whatever you do - do something.