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EDITORIAL Cybercrime: an unwelcome growth industry

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As if life wasn’t tough enough right now, but the switch to living a way more digital life thanks to coronavirus has also led to a massive rise in cybercrime.

In fact, UK SME’s are at risk of 65,000 cyber security attacks daily – with around 4,500 of these being successful – and the figure could be much higher since the beginning of Covid.

One of the biggest issues is that, with many people working from home, there has been a distinct drop in device security. Companies big and small are more vulnerable than ever to attack thanks to misconfigured devices and poor network security.

The rise in use of mobile and the web, smart devices and video platforms has also led to more attacks on individuals too.

In fact, so rife and widespread has cybercrime become, that combatting it has become the fastest growing start-up sector in the UK across the UK summer.

And it is going to damage business. A new report by global recruiter Robert Walters and data provider Vacancysoft – Cybersecurity: Building Business Resilience  – finds that half of consumers (44%) have stated that they would stop using a company online if they were to be breached during a cyber-attack – concerning news for many retail and service operators who have pivoted their business to be more online-centric in response to widespread lockdown measures.

The rise in ecommerce is only going to continue – even if we are ever free of coronavirus – and there is a fear that cybercrime will, too, grow exponentially along with the digital shift in all sectors.

So what can be done? For starters, all businesses now have to look at what banks have long done to combat cybercrime and hacking and apply it to their businesses. Banks have long had to contend with consumers interacting with their systems using unsecured and vulnerable home tech. This is now a problem that all businesses and digital services face – from both their workers and their customers.

Secondly, there needs to be an all-round tightening of security around all services. While devices and ecommerce are the obvious entry points for hackers and online criminals, the increasing use of messaging is also going to be a weakness.

Adding messaging firewalls across things like SMS, MMS, OTT messaging and more is now essential. According to Juniper Research this is what is needed to keep messaging – on the corporate level – growing beyond the pandemic.

It also warns that the other area of messaging fraud – illegitimate traffic – needs to also be tackled.

Black and grey traffic is having a huge impact on SMS revenues and needs to be tackled before we start to see mass roll outs of RCS and other richer messaging technologies.

 

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