The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently released their 2019 annual review, outlining the top forms of cyber-attack that both UK individuals and organisations experienced this past year. As 2020 approaches, be sure to review the following data points for a better understanding of the biggest cyber-threats facing your organisation and best practices for bolstering your cyber-security programme.

  • Phishing attacks—The NCSC removed over 177,000 UK-based phishing websites from the internet this past year. Cyber-criminals use these sites to trick users into unknowingly revealing their personal information. This technique has consistently become more sophisticated and destructive over time. Use these tips to reduce your organisation’s phishing risks:

o   Train employees on how to detect and report any signs of phishing (eg emails from unknown senders, suspicious links or unsecure web addresses).

o   Conduct routine software updates.

o   Install anti-malware and virus protection on all organisational devices.

·        International threats—Of the 1,800 cyber-incidents that the NCSC has handled, a significant portion of attacks came from hostile nations—including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. To mitigate your organisation’s international cyber-threats:

o   Ensure compliance with all GDPR requirements regarding international data operations.

o   Communicate with your local authority if you suspect an international cyber-threat.

  • Payment card fraud—The NCSC detected over one million instances of suspected payment card fraud this past year. If your company utilises e-commerce, this is a top concern. Implement this guidance to limit your risk of payment card fraud:

o   Make sure your organisation’s website has the proper controls to prevent hackers from infiltrating your payment system.

o   Choose a trusted payment processor for all online transactions.

More than anything, you need robust cyber-insurance to protect against these evolving threats. For more information and cover solutions, contact Willis IRM.

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Willis Insurance and Risk Management, Willis Wealth Management and Accident Investigation Services are trading names of Willis & Company (Insurance Brokers) Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority - 309124. Registration No. NI 32004. Registered in Northern Ireland.

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