The Cyber Security Conference 2015 took place on the 23rd and 24th March. It was a great event that helped showcase new ways of preventing cyber crime from a whole host of different industries. The speakers were brilliant and gave a real insight into some of the key issues that businesses are dealing with today. Here are a few of the key things we learnt from this year’s conference…
Cyber security has become a mainstream business issue that needs to be seen as a fundamental pillar of the business strategy within every sector for small, public or private companies.
Whilst you might be confident that you are doing everything needed to prevent cyber crime, there is evidence to say that most data breaches and cyber crimes are down to poor information security. It shows that there is a big difference between thinking you’re protected and knowing that you’re protected based on professional advice.
Professional service providers such as Legal Practices, Accountancy Firms, Insurance Brokers, Personal Information Suppliers etc. need to be prepared as it is only a matter of time until a potential data breach or attack!
There are now arguments to say that it’s not if you will be attacked, but when. There is even a chance that you are already on a cyber criminal’s list or even being watched. For this reason, make sure you understand the issues and the threat and prepare in advance to be able to manage the incident when it happens.
Another interesting point raised at the two-day conference was that not all cyber attacks have an immediate impact. It’s not quite the case where as soon as it happens you know about it. Some attackers might send a ‘bug’ into your IT system, which then ‘goes to sleep’ for a while after the system has been infiltrated.
This ‘bug’ can then be activated days, months or even years later to breach your data. It’s a scary prospect but one you need to be aware of to prevent the chances of it happening.
Not everything heard at the conference was fear mongering but was more of an attempt to make businesses understand the true damage cyber criminals can cause. It was stated that cyber crime and attacks are actually on the decrease, but the reason isn’t necessarily positive.
The ‘real’ reason that cyber crime has seen a decrease is because the attacks are becoming more complex and more difficult to prevent. Where before, we may have become accustomed to frequent attacks that could be picked up by our IT security systems, the newer types of attacks are finding ways to bypass this and cause maximum damage.
As mentioned, the conference wasn’t purely about creating fear and moral panic but was a chance to show those in professional services the sort of threats that they could come under attack from.
It’s true that cyber attacks aren’t just carried out by school/University students experimenting with hacking anymore, but there are actually fully-fledged organisations that attempt to hack businesses and breach data.
What has to be remembered is that as hacking and cyber crime becomes more complex, better cyber security measures and prevention is being developed to continue to stop the cyber criminals.
It’s not all doom and gloom and one thing we learnt from the Cyber Security Conference 2015 that was particularly valuable, was how many companies are coming together to teach other businesses and develop new ways of preventing cyber crime!