Awareness of threats key to tackling cyber crime
Manama, August 13, 2014
Doing basic cyber hygiene right can reduce the risk of a cyber breach by as much as 80 per cent, according to an expert.
The fact that the Middle East is one of the areas that saw the highest cyber crime activity last year, should alert businesses to better protect themselves against cyber criminals, said Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales' (ICAEW) IT faculty head Richard Anning, citing McAfee.
'It is critical that businesses identify their key information assets and take extra care to protect those,' said Anning, the author of ICAEW's Audit Insights: Cyber Security report, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
'It is, therefore, vital that those at the top are aware and sensitive to cyber threats and best practices.
'As technology is constantly shifting, it can be that some employees are not completely up to speed with the latest developments,' he added.
However, Anning said they are also the most likely targets for criminals. He feels that as the tone is set from the top in companies, having cyber-savvy leadership should translate into a cyber risk-aware culture throughout the organisation.
'Cyber skills should be shared and regular training made available for employees,' he said.
'It is critical that they have access to the knowledge and processes that will allow them to protect the company.
Regular re-assessment of potential threats is also needed,' he added.
According to him, the nature of technology means that threats are constantly changing. The ways in which a company can be attacked also change frequently.
'These are all good preventive measures, but companies also need to make sure that there are plans in place when something does go wrong.
'This means having clear and transparent policies on how to respond in the event of a cyber-attack, or if a crime is discovered,' Anning said.
His advice to companies is that they treat cyber crime in the same way as other disasters, with good response plans to ensure business continuity.
'Companies should also be prepared to share knowledge internally and with peers, as this will contribute greatly to fighting against cyber crime more widely.
'This enables them to build a picture of the reality of the threats facing businesses, governments and consumers alike,' he added.
Anning said owing to the high levels of technical knowledge involved in understanding exactly how it works, or the fact that it takes place in a virtual environment, cyber crime can sometimes seem like a frightening and mysterious threat.
'Moreover, rapid and continuous developments in technology mean that it can seem like it will be impossible to ever counter.
'The fact is that it is not that different to other crimes, except the medium and method,' he said. - TradeArabia News Service