The voice of the energy industry

What could you really lose in a cyber hack?

More and more business is now done online, but all too often companies neglect their online security. They will only share office keys with trusted individuals and ensure customer details are securely filed away, but when it comes to looking after their cyber security, these kind of steps aren’t always taken.

Our latest campaign, #OneReset, focuses on protecting email accounts, which are the gateway to important personal and business data, by using a strong and separate password.

It is something that we all need to take responsibility for – as individuals, employees and businesses – to help prevent and combat cyber crime.

This is a problem for businesses of all shapes and sizes, not least small businesses, because their reputation can rest on their cyber security and ability to protect their customers’ personal information from hackers. Most businesses hold a huge amount of customer data but if they don’t properly protect it then their reputations can be at stake.

Our research with Experian earlier this year highlighted that over half of respondents (52%) aged 18-25 and 27% of respondents from all age groups reuse their email password across multiple accounts. If the same password is re-used for different accounts, it means that if hackers steal a password for a business’ less important account, they can use it to access the most important ones.

This is a problem because a business’ email account can be a ‘treasure trove’ of data for a cyber criminal who can use it to commit identity fraud or financial theft. If a business owner suffers a breach, they are putting all their customers at risk of theft or fraud.

It is important that businesses are following and advising customers on the correct behaviours to adopt when it comes to cyber security. They are often a trusted source of information for many people. Businesses, however small, have a central role to play in educating their customers about the importance of staying secure online.

With our #OneReset campaign we’re aiming to make people and businesses really think about the value of their inboxes and treat them in the same way they treat treasured possessions in the offline world.  We get the contents of our business valued, how much would we value the contents of our inbox? If we suffered a hack or were locked out of our email account we could experience major issues – whether from customers’ perception of us or from actual loss of earnings. You wouldn’t go out without locking the front door of your office, so why give people an open invitation to your assets online?

The good news is that it’s simple to take action to help protect yourself online. Here are 5 ways to stay secure online:

Use the Cyber Essentials scheme to guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrate your commitment to cyber security

Further advice on the quick and simple steps to protect your business can be found in the Small Business Guide and, for larger organisations, in the 10 Steps to Cyber Security.

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