(3 min read)
“Speaking from personal experience, businesses only care after they've been attacked.”
Those are the words of Daniel Kelley, known as the TalkTalk hacker, and who served four years in prison for the breach, which cost the company £77m alongside the loss of data for around 150,000 customers.
We spoke to Daniel Kelley because he knows what we know – cyber security is at the back of business owners’ minds, when it should be at the front. It’s a tricky argument to make, because we’re asking organisations to invest in protecting themselves against ‘something that may never happen’.
But if reports by government bodies like the National Cyber Security Centre are anything to go by, an increasing number of organisations are becoming victims of cyber attacks. And these are organisations of all shapes and sizes – SMEs, charities, public and private companies, schools and colleges – any organisation that holds valuable data.
Protecting your data security
You’ll already have things in place to protect your physical security. You lock your doors, have an alarm, perhaps have CCTV cameras, or even employ a security presence.
You need to do the same with your cyber security. Today, cyber crime is a business. It’s professionally organised, there are communities devoted to it, people share their skills – in fact people hire out their skills in the same way any contractor does in the standard business world.
Daniel Kelley says he has reformed, and now wants to help businesses protect themselves against the risk of attack by cyber criminals but, like the team at Psybersafe, he knows that’s an uphill struggle. “We're in 2022,” he says. “Businesses owners either care or they don't care, it's not a matter of awareness anymore.” So where businesses are failing to take any precautions to protect their people, their customers and their investors from the consequences of a serious attack – that’s a deliberate commercial choice.
Cyber criminals take themselves seriously. And businesses should take them seriously too. Like many things, it’s easy to think ‘this will never happen to my business’. It’s easy to take the risk that you’ll be OK. But if a hacker with the skills, determination and motivation of Daniel Kelley targets your business – and they don’t discriminate – your whole way of life could be at risk.
Training your people to protect your business
Like any industry, cyber crime is constantly growing and changing. The threats have changed, the methods have become more sophisticated and the attacks are more organised.
That’s why your training needs to be specific, ongoing and targeted at changing behaviours. With around 90% of cyber attacks succeeding because of human error, it’s clear that your employees are actually your first line of defence. The more they understand the risks and adapt their behaviours to recognise and manage those risks, the better protected you will be.
According to Kelley, a responsible approach to cyber security also needs leadership from the very top. “On a weekly basis, I interact with a number of C-level executives, and it appears that internal company politics makes it tough to get things authorised and executed. It’s impossible to create an impact without a coordinated and company-wide strategy. Basically, establish your priorities as a collective.”
At Psybersafe, we’ve created dedicated online training that changes the way people think and act when faced with a potential attack. We deliver it to businesses and organisations of all sizes – from 2 to 2,000 people – and we are constantly updating it to ensure it meets the latest risks and delivers measurable change in your organisation.
Hacking is a business. In fact, it’s a successful and growing industry. And it takes itself seriously. As a business owner, you know it’s a risk, and it’s up to you to take it as seriously as they do, so you can protect your data, your customers, your staff and your investors.
Make a start by contacting us today for an initial chat and a training demo.
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Mark Brown, is a behavioural science expert with significant experience in inspiring organisational and culture change that lasts. If you’d like to chat about using Psybersafe in your business to help to stay cyber secure, contact Mark today.