Digital Transformation

The economic cost of cyber attacks

Cyber attacks cost the British economy ‘substantial amounts of money’

Cyber attacks and the exposure of sensitive information can be particularly damaging to both businesses and individuals.

Whether it’s the financial threat posed when bank details are illegally obtained, the issue of breaks in continuity as a company tries to plug a leak or the problems that an organisation can face in terms of losing the trust of its members, there’s often some form of substantial cost when cyber criminals manage to tap into a system.

And as the world continues to move, store and process its information via the virtual universe, Ian Shaw, managing director of MWR Infosecurity, believes that cyber attacks are leaving their mark on the British economy.

"I think, already, the level of attacks that we are seeing have cost the British economy a substantial amount of money," he said. "I think companies need to be aware of this."

With data protection strategies an important factor for businesses to consider as they handle confidential files – not to mention their importance in public departments which often possess specific records relating to people’s medical and employment history – it seems that the economy is suffering due to a lack of sufficient security programs.

What’s more, the financial consequences of exposing sensitive information are not just restricted to the actions of cyber criminals, as businesses that do not have the necessary protective measures in place are occasionally subject to a fine imposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for breaching the Data Protection Act.

Indeed, Telford and Wrekin Council were recently subject to such a punishment, being fined £90,000 for sending details regarding four vulnerable children to the wrong recipients.

As the British economy counts the cost of losing working hours and money to cyber attacks, it seems that proper security systems have to be in place when backing up files online.