The Implications of Cyber Security and Digital Risk

$1 trillion. A substantial figure right?… Now imagine this, by 2025 the cost of cybercrimes will arise up to $10.5 trillion.

In the midst of 2020 and 2021; as a result of COVID 19, cyber-attacks on small businesses have been significant.

If you want to minimize the probability of your business becoming a target to cybercrime, then read this informative guide to avoid becoming a victim of cyber and digital risk.

Cyber Security Risk

Ever wondered if your business is at risk from Cyber-attacks?

For numerous years, cyber security has been a continuous obstacle for organizations and businesses. In accordance to Simply Business, approximately 73% of small businesses struggle to withstand a cybersecurity attack. Unfortunately, this can influence harm and the potential loss to the technological structure, together with affecting the businesses reputation. On a day-today- basis, Cyber Security is evolving, and as a result of this, small business are not safe and have to stay cautious in the existing Cyber world. Malware is a dangerous software that has a purpose to damage any programmable device. The cause of Malware is common especially when a dodgy link is opened via text, emails and websites. Instantly, this will give an opportunity to cybercriminals to use advanced technologies to gather unauthorized data, sensitive information and to victimize businesses.

Despite IT solutions being beneficial, in some cases they can lack with providing the support for cyberattacks and poor configuration. And by having a large number of devices that are connected to third- party vendors, it can draw attention to attacks in malware, password theft, financial fraud and phishing attacks. As stated by the FBI’s internet crime report, in 2020, the cost of cybercrimes has arisen to $2.7 billion solely.

Having a small business does not necessarily mean you are safe. So, In order to safeguard your company and avoid malicious attacks from cybercriminals, you need to take into account the protection of employee data, financial data, third- and fourth-party vendors and intellectual property.

And guess what? By following the steps below, you will be one step closer to having achieving protection from cyberattacks for your business.

  • Comprehend developing risks and contemporary trends-

Phishing, Hacking, Identity theft and Malware threats.

  • Phishing is an issue that arises when cybercriminals have certain links which are presented either via email or text. Unfortunately, they gain access to an individual’s private information, for example their passwords or credit card information.
  • Hacking is an unlawful attack that cybercriminals use to get hold of a computer system or a private network. These activities become beneficial to hackers as they get the chance to spy on the victim’s personal data, financial gain or even hacking for the fun of it.
  • Identity theft is an act that takes place when someone acquires your personal data without the user’s consent, mainly with the purpose to commit fraud.
  • Malware threats (malicious software) is an attack that is designed to cause damage to your software, with the use of worms, spyware, trojans and viruses.
  • Produce a Security policy

By defining security protocols, it is essential that you take into perspective every characteristic of your SMEs strategy. The more sensitive information is digitally stored, the higher the importance is for your business to bear in mind data backup, social media security, cloud computing and security audits. In addition to this, having an incident response plan as a backup will be beneficial to both you and your employers, in case an incident occurs.        

Giving some form of training to your employers about the risk of cybersecurity can help in the long-term, as they will be more attentive if an attack happens.

  • Keep informed of the current Security Safeguards, Hardware and Software

Make sure your security applications are up to date to avoid the stress of new threats to your business.

These safety measures should include:

  • Installing the latest software updates as soon as they become accessible
  • For safer internet access, use Firewall.
  • Check that WIFI networks for your employers are secure either when your employers are working in and out of office.
  • Supervise your systems on a regular basis.

Digital Risk

Are you becoming more reliant on digital technology every day?

If your answer is yes, then this section will give you an insight of what digital risk is, how it can affect your day-to-day activities and solutions that will benefit you.

Similar to Cyber Security Risk, Digital Risk is primarily centred around digital technology. In certain circumstances, some organizations lack awareness and resources to realise and understand the seriousness of digital risk management. The larger the exposure a SME has to digital risk, the higher the chances are to lose customer trust and revenue or even losses of reputation.

Although Digital Risk can be complex, by distinguishing each category will give you a further understanding of the vulnerable areas of each risk.


Cybersecurity refers to the unauthorized entry to data breaches as well as sensitive data.

Cloud Technology

Cloud Technology is the negative aftermath from technological faults that have effects on systems and people.

Data Leaks Risk

Data leaks occur is when private information is unintentionally disclosed, resulting in severe security breaches.

Workforce Talent

Workforce Talent is defined to be the talent gaps that halt accomplishments of business goals.

Compliance Risk

Compliance Risk means new terms and conditions that are placed when for new technology.


Resilience is a risk that transpires when the availability of a businesses is affected due to an interference. And having then struggle to overcome the harm that is created.

Process Automation

Third-party risk

Third-party risks are threats that are linked with third-party vendors and service providers. This can automatically generate threats to sensitive information, finances and intellectual property.

Data Privacy

Data privacy is all risks that are impacting then safeguarding of data, for example, financial and identifiable information.

Ways to manage digital risk

The use of web has been around for decades and we can all agree that it stores endless amounts of resources. Nevertheless, some businesses have failed to reflect an important element, digital footprint. In accordance to Kaspersky, Digital Footprint is defined to be the trial of data that is left when users access the internet, including websites, emails that are sent and data that is submitted online.

A great way to encourage mitigation of data leak risks and cybersecurity would be to:

  1. To monitor for data leaks– Before cybercriminals get the chance to identify data leaks in your business. You need to reflect on the different aspects of digital risk and take precautions, by using virus software and anti-spyware software tools.
  2. Look out for exposed assets
    1. Suspicious activities or files that have not been encrypted- banking activities or network activities
    1. Abrupt changes in system passwords or account profiles,
    1. Warning signs or anti-malware tools alerting to infections.
    1. The leakage of private client’s information
  • Be certain that all risk and threat models are up to date- It is key to ensure your ‘Incident Response Plan’ is up to date every time a new version comes out.
  • Establish a vendor risk management– By keeping vendors compliant, the overall vendor network needs to refined of security vulnerabilities.

At the outset of COVID-19, businesses and organizations have had to turn their attention to the 50% of employees who are having to work remotely from home since 2020. Managing Digital Risk can be challenging; however, it can be favourable in the long term for SMEs. It is important to notice detecting threats before they evolve into data breaches.

Taking practical steps to help reduce digital risks when you are working from home include:

  • Consider give employees access to emerging tools to help with workloads
  • Endpoint security- Putting controls on routers to enhancing the visibility of network
  • resources
  • Business should be able to evaluate security gaps in your working environment
  • Obtain work models that are needed for a long period of time.

What are the right steps to take to achieve Digital Risk Protection?

Damaged reputation? Constant fines? Damaged reputation?

Doesn’t sound too promising does it?.. Well this is why it is vital to attain Digital Risk Protection for your SME.

Digital Risk Protection (DRP) reduces the possibility of the risks that surface from digital transformation, and protects your SME from hazardous attacks caused by cybercriminals. With the help of Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI), information is dissected and examined in order to fight against cybercriminals.  Over the years, these processes have been developed to help safeguard data and networks.

The Four Quadrants of Digital Risk Protection- Intsights

This process has been designed in order to lighten the strain for businesses, whilst retaining crucial tasks.

  • MAP– Discover and map all digital assets to quantify your attack surface. Use the map as a foundation to monitor cybercriminal activity,
  • MONITOR– Search the public and dark web for threat references to your digital assets. Translate found threats into actionable intelligence.
  • MITIGATE– Automate actions to block and remove identified threats to digital assts. Integrate with existing security infrastructure.
  • MANAGE– Manage the process used in the Map, Manage and Mitigate quadrants. Management is essential to successful DRP protection.

The following examples below demonstrate how effective DRP and CTI can be in terms of stable security, with solutions that can help diminish the chances of an attack.

  • Social Media and Brand Protection- DRP keeps an eye out on fake social media accounts that imitate a company’s brand and the misuse of trademarks.
  • Phishing Detection– DRP alerts customers on phishing campaigns by using threat intelligence. 
  • Domain Protection– A common threat is when cyber criminals try to impersonate a company’s web domain name, and try to alter it by writing a very similar domain. DRP monitors this and intervenes beforehand.
  • Data Leaks and Breaches- For some companies, a primary concern is when their account information gets leaked or stolen. This is could be the route cause to fraud and hijacking.  DRP can supervise the dark web and Telegram channels to obstruct these challenges.

What organizations you could use if your company ever comes across with a Cyber attack

UpGuard is an organization that specifically uses a threat intelligence platform and a data leak detection engine to help mitigate cybersecurity, by giving digital risk solutions. They also provide support and guidance including new conditions set by Biden’s Cybersecurity Executive Order.

BlueVoyant is another organization that constantly pays attention to domains and websites, social media platforms, deep and dark web, with the intention to achieving effective mitigation.

Kyrndyl is the world’s biggest IT infrastructure provider that builds, designs and modernizes critical information systems.