As reported on the BBC news today, the head of the UK signals intelligence organisation – GCHQ – is concerned over the rising number of attacks on UK businesses.

From the BBC news article:

Cyber attacks on the UK are at “disturbing” levels, according to the director of Britain’s biggest intelligence agency.

and

Writing in the Times, Mr Lobban said: “The volume of e-crime and attacks on government and industry systems continues to be disturbing”.

“I can attest to attempts to steal British ideas and designs – in the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors, as well as other industries – to gain commercial advantage or to profit from secret knowledge of contractual arrangements.

“Such intellectual property theft doesn’t just cost the companies concerned; it represents an attack on the UK’s continued economic wellbeing.”

Last year the UK government increased the cyber security budget by £650m, which now appears to have been insufficient to stem the rising tide of attacks.

The internet allows a small – medium business to compete on a global scale right next to the biggest of blue chips, but this comes at a price. The price is that hackers are likely to be trying to get into your systems and no organisation is too small to be of interest.

While the big name brands make the headlines, hackers of every type (from script kiddies trying to practice to organised crime groups) try to get into pretty much every system on the internet.

Even if your web presence doesnt provide an immediately valuable asset, hackers will frequently try to compromise a webserver which they can then use in attacks on a third party. Depending on where you are located (or more specifically where your servers are located) you may even be held partly responsible if this happens and the end victim may try to claim damages from you!

Security, online and offline, is a constant battle. Few organisations can provide the budget that GCHQ has, however this is no excuse for not taking the appropriate cost effective steps to ensure your security is as good as it can be.