If you were one of the 150 people who attended our recent cyber security webinars, you will know that business security is now a boardroom issue, and not simply something that can be left to the IT department.

The increase in the number of organisations operating a hybrid work from home model in the last year has seen hackers sniff out networks with weak security, and sparked a huge upturn in malicious attacks. But despite all the media coverage of real life examples of security breaches, it seems that some organisations are still behind the curve.

And that is putting them in very real danger of their business collapsing.

To take one example, recent headlines detailed an incident with an organisation which fell foul of a ransomware attack. The business paid the £6.5m ransom for the decryption key and got their organisation up and running again, but did not identify how the hackers were able to gain access, or fix the weak points that had allowed them in.

Guess what happened two weeks later? That’s right, the same hackers struck again, and the victim paid out yet again.

In our latest security webinars we were joined by industry experts examining topics such as the ever-changing threat landscape and how you should be reacting; why your staff present the biggest risk to your business; and how to structure the right backup strategy to increase your chances of data recovery should the worst happen.

And if you think it will never happen to you, think again. Many of our delegates reported they were shocked to hear that 63% of cyber attacks are now on small businesses; and on average, a cyber criminal can have access to your systems for an astonishing 54 days before you even notice.

As the North East’s leading IT security experts, part of our work involves using the latest tools to carry out specialist vulnerability scans and penetration tests to help organisations understand where they are at in their security journey. These will identify and highlight technical or human weak spots in your network and systems, through which attackers could gain access to your business.

A vulnerability scan seeks out vulnerable points within your organisation, while a penetration test uses any weaknesses to find out just how far an attacker can infiltrate your organisation’s systems and data.

It is the holes, or vulnerabilities, which exist that the hackers exploit, but if you are not on top of it you would not know. The hackers employ automated systems to scan for these holes then concentrate their efforts on companies that can be exploited. The simplest defence is to have your systems scanned, then you know and can make an informed decision to fix the holes and protect your business.

It is far better to prevent something bad from happening than it is to deal with it after it has happened. Much of our time is spent helping organisations deal with cyber attack emergencies that could damage their businesses, or even see it fold altogether. A large proportion of these situations could have been prevented by having the right cyber security framework in place.

But don’t just take our word for it. Our aim is to help keep you informed, so you can make the right choices. Talk to our expert security team or sign up to our webinar series to hear the latest on cyber security, understand more about the true scale of the threat, and how to manage the risk to your organisation.