Worried about cyber attacks on your UK business? Discover effective strategies to fortify your defenses and shield your organization from online threats.
Cyber-attacks are becoming a bigger problem, both for businesses and employees. This is expected to continue as the tactics of cybercriminals evolve.
Cyber attacks can cause severe damage to UK companies, customers and employees. Some examples are ransomware and man-in-the-middle (MITM), password spraying, and SIM swapping.
These attacks are becoming more successful due to the outdated authentication techniques and bad cyber hygiene practices that organisations use.
How to Prevent Cyber Attacks on UK Organisations
Cybersecurity is paramount for UK organizations. Learn how to prevent cyber attacks and secure your sensitive information from potential breaches. These methods have been proven ineffective, and UK organisations must reconsider their cyber security strategies.
Weaknesses of traditional authentication methods
It is always better to have some security than no cybersecurity at all.
Companies that continue to rely on more primitive forms of cybersecurity are at greater risk of being targeted since some cyber-attacks can compromise login credentials, such as PINs and passwords.
According to Yubico’s State of Global Enterprise Authentication Survey, over half of UK organisations are still using outdated authentication methods.
These include usernames and PINs (53%), SMS mobile authentication (24%), as well as mobile apps and One-Time Passwords (19%).
According to the survey results, many organisations are using these outdated authentication methods, believing it is the safest way to access personal and professional accounts.
Unsurprisingly, organisations and employees encourage customers to use mobile OTPs, or authenticator apps, as well as passwords. These methods are vulnerable to cyber-attacks such as ransomware and phishing.
They can also be affected by SIM swapping, SIM spraying, MitM attacks or password spraying. Security limitations can also limit mobile-based authentication methods such as OTPs and SMS verification, lowered mobile network services, low battery life, and other factors.
Cyber attacks such as the ones mentioned above and others can bypass traditional authentication using credentials. This can result in a data breach. The targeted organisation, customers, and employees may face serious financial, reputational, and legal consequences.
Cyber hygiene is a problem that affects everyone.
Cyber attacks can directly impact customers, employees, and organisations. In the year before this survey, 73% of UK respondents experienced a personal cyberattack and 48% experienced one at work.
Businesses must therefore evaluate what they can do to help users protect corporate networks from these threats. The level of importance that employees place on cybersecurity depends mainly on the organisation they work for.
The survey found that UK companies consistently rank lower than other countries when taking cybersecurity and employee education seriously. Only 42% of the respondents said they were required to attend frequent cyber training.
In the UK, for example, nearly half of respondents admitted to sharing or writing down their passwords in the past year, even though they said that their account credentials being stolen was their top concern.
UK survey respondents admitted using their devices for work (58%) and allowing others to use work-issued devices (33%). They also confessed to having had an account reset because of lost or forgotten passwords (58%).
Passwords are one of many effective alternatives to secure data.
The findings highlight the importance of UK companies improving their cybersecurity standards and educating their staff on ways to protect themselves online beyond passwords.
To achieve this goal, UK companies should look at more robust and modern forms of two-factor and multi-factor verification (2FA). There are many kinds of 2FA or MFA, some of which require passwords or biometrics, others PINs and mobile devices, while others use hardware or software-based devices.
Robust MFA authentication methods, like hardware security keys or unique identity credentials, allow for seamless access to digital accounts. They also provide phishing-resistant authentication.
The best solutions to ensure business cybersecurity are security keys that adhere to FIDO2 standards – internationally recognised standards for public key cryptography and strong authentication. These solutions are also suitable for personal as well as professional accounts.
They also provide robust authentication that can be applied to various digital services and devices. This reduces the amount of time a user has to log in.
Most importantly, organisations that use phishing-resistant, passwordless software can enjoy a more robust security posture and reduce their risk of cyber attacks. Every organisation should prioritise business-wide security and the strategies needed to combat emerging threats.
There is, however, a large gap between UK organisations’ attitudes towards preventing cyber-attacks and their perceptions of the dangers.
The employees at every level can be either the most incredible strength or weakness of their employer’s cybersecurity efforts. British businesses must therefore be proactive about enforcing cybersecurity policies and provide passwordless security to protect their employees and critical infrastructure.
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