The £34bn cyber attack

Security isn't a dirty word

Dave Sirignano, Virgin Media Business’s resident cyber security expert, reflects on the importance of ensuring networks are secure.

Cybercrime and data breaches cost UK businesses a total of £34 billion a year

This comes close to the UK’s annual spend on defence and is almost two per cent of our GDP. The costs can be broken down into £18 billion in lost revenue and £16 billion on increased spending as a result of breaches. This is why security is no laughing matter. To quote General Melchett from Blackadder Goes Forth, “Security isn’t a dirty word, Blackadder. Crevice is a dirty word, but security isn’t.”

It won't happen to me

If you think your enterprise is immune to cybercrime, think again. According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2017, 18 per cent of companies don’t even know how many incidents they have had. That’s a worrying statistic when the EU General Data Protection Regulation is taken into account. It comes into effect in 2018, a year before the earliest possible date of the UK’s departure from the EU. The UK will still have to adhere to its terms if we want to keep trading in Europe. So what’s so scary about GDPR? Well, if a company hasn’t paid due care to security and goes on to experience a breach, they can be fined up to four per cent of global revenue. This is a chilling thought for many enterprises because it’s not a question of if such a breach will happen, but when.

Good security pays

There are often niggling doubts among senior management that security could in some way hinder business. My response is unequivocal - nonsense. Security is now an integrated business process that works towards business goals and enables enterprises rather than hinders them. What’s more, customers expect it. There needn’t even be a huge outlay when implementing security measures, and some are a matter of common sense. So let’s look at some easy fixes you could undertake today...

It gets even better. Unlike traditional telecommunications services, Cloud Voice operates on a licence-based model, so you pay a fixed monthly fee based on your usage – there are no nasty surprises.

Moving telephony and call handling to a single, hosted, managed network makes it easier to predict budgets. And that’s the kind of freedom that allows you to grow, disrupt, surprise and thrive.

Tim says, “We’re creating cost certainty for businesses on their telecoms spend. Previously an organisation would have to buy a PBX regardless of whether they had 200 employees or 2000. With the scale and agility of a cloud-based PBX, a business only needs to buy as many licences as it has employees. It’s easy to scale up or down, so you can respond quickly to the unexpected.”

  • 1. Make security a board agenda. The CEO or MD needs to be aware of the issues and start delegating responsibility for the enterprise’s cyber security.
  • 2. Develop a Cyber Strategy that includes proactive security measures.
  • 3. Incorporate security into the company’s risk management framework while also compiling an asset register and conducting a basic risk assessment on valuable assets.
  • 4. Develop best practice policies and procedures. For example, ensure passwords are sufficiently complex. For guidance look at the new National Cyber Security Centre rules on passwords and basic security. Staff leavers and movers need to be tracked and their systems access reviewed. Also make sure default passwords are changed on all IT equipment.
  • 5. Start thinking about security in your IT and business procurements. Third parties are a significant source of breaches, so make sure security is part of your due diligence process.

How we can help

  • If such precautions still sound daunting and you feel you don’t have the necessary expertise, Virgin Media Business can help. As a Critical National Infrastructure organisation we take security very seriously and offer customers a range of products and services. From secure remote working solutions, to managed firewalls and denial of service protections, the choice is wide and varied. If all you need is help with your strategy, policies and procedures, we can assist with that too. Our team of in-house security experts offers the best in professional services consulting.
  • So don’t fall victim to a cyber breach. Make sure you integrate security into your business today.
  • Stay safe!
  • Dave – The Security Guy
  • #VirginSecure #Cybersecurity #VMB
  • For more topical insight into the world of cyber security, look out for Dave’s next post coming soon.

Accelerate your business growth
with information, advice and more