Microsoft’s foray into global financial risk management has resulted in the creation of a specialist Cybercrime Centre on their Redmond campus. The centre will work to tackle online criminal activity such as malware and botnets around the world, using the company’s technologies and information gathered by users.
The establishment of a worldwide support centre by the computing giant doesn’t automatically prevent UK businesses from seeking other financial risk advice, yet it’s hailed as a welcome move by companies and consumers alike. While crime overall in England and Wales appears to have dropped, cybercrimes have grown by unprecedented levels. Cyber attacks are now considered a ‘Tier One’ threat to our national security – putting them on the same level as international terrorism.
Given that official figures show British businesses earning £1 in every £5 of revenue from online channels, protecting that income has never been more important. The government has its own Cyber Security Strategy, helping to detect and prevent online fraud and reduce overall credit risk for UK web users. Companies have been placing ever greater importance on protecting themselves from cybercrime and commercial fraud as attacks on their data and intellectual properties rise. The typical fraudulent emails claiming to be from banks and other organisations are targeting SMEs just as frequently as they reach private individuals. Some of these ransomware attacks have moved to focus exclusively on small and medium-sized businesses in an attempt to steal larger sums and extract companies’ financial information.
As ever, the advice for SMEs is to remain vigilant at all times – and that firewalls and encryption may not always be enough. Steps can be taken by any company to protect customer data and financial information, and expert advice is always on hand.