10 May 2016 #Commercial
Cyber attacks can lead to all sorts of crises and they don’t just stop at preventing you from getting on with your business. You might just find yourself in breach of your legal obligations.
What is a cyber attack?
Cyber attacks are carried out by cybercriminals against computers or networks and can disable computers, steal data, or use a breached computer using malware, phishing, ransomware, denial of service, among others.
With that in mind, the issue of cyber risk management should be on your agenda now, and not after a serious attack occurs. You want to be well prepared and be able to assess the potential effects of cyber risks to your business by having in place a comprehensive risk management strategy and response plan.
How can I prevent a cyber attack?
The steps you’ll need to take to prepare your business and ensure you remain compliant will depend on the type of business you run. However, regardless of your industry, a failure to implement relatively basic precautions (such as failing to vet employees who will have access to sensitive data and systems, storing data longer than necessary thus potentially exposing yourself to cybercriminals, or even not shredding your confidential information) can lead to significant legal breaches on your part.
There are external risks to consider too, for example, when it comes to commercial transactions. Let’s say you’re providing a third party with access to your IT system, you’ll need to ask yourself questions like: What kind of service will they be providing? Will they need physical or remote access to my system and which parts? What will they be doing while on my system? Do I want or need to supervise them? The answers to all of these questions will give you an idea of the areas which should be covered in a commercial contract with that third party and any other steps you need to take to protect your business as far as possible.
Many businesses are caught out because they rely on the others to adopt the appropriate security measures, policies and procedures. This is your responsibility, so take the time to identify and manage risks and vulnerabilities within your business, your supply chain and when outsourcing to service providers.