Why Ensuring Robust Cyber Security is Now Vital for Firms of All Sizes, Candidates and Campaigns

Published on January 20th, 2021 for College Green Group.

Business and tech-focused news sites have been full of stories about data breaches recently. Travelex, which provides online services to Virgin Money and the banking arms of Sainsbury and Tesco, fell victim to a New Years Eve ransomware attack which saw hackers encrypting its entire network and stealing over 5GB of customers’ personal data, including credit card information, birth dates, and social security numbers. Additionally, right-wing social media service Parler, in the news recently after it was removed by Apple, Google, and Amazon after reports it was instrumental in the orchestration of last week’s attack on the US Capitol, also suffered a data breach of epic proportions – a targeted attack which included user profile data, user information and which users had administration rights for specific groups. It is claimed that over a million video URLs, some deleted and private, were taken.

While these data breaches may seem irrelevant to small and medium-size firms, something that only large, international companies and social media platforms need to concern themselves with, this is absolutely not the case. Due to the frequency and voracity with which these breaches are taking place, Data Privacy and Cyber Security should be top of any business leader’s list of key digital considerations. It is inevitable that in the not so distant future, smaller businesses, even those operating outside of finance, tech, or social media, will become targets of similar attacks. Luxury brands and those with clientele of high net worth should be especially careful, as this is the kind of data smaller hacks will likely target. 

These concerns do not apply solely to businesses. Political and single-issue campaigns will often hold data of members, supporters, and donors, which should be protected just as cautiously as a business would its customer data. And as all in politics know, it’s very easy for an old photo or message sent in good faith to a friend to come back and cause huge problems years later. Locking down your retrospective digital footprint should be a key early step taken by any would-be political figure, through both digital tools and consultation designed to identify and avoid issues long before they arise. 

As we say to all our clients, if something is put online in any medium it can be accessed by someone else, perhaps to your detriment. When it comes to communicating on sensitive matters, there is no alternative to a direct face to face chat, even then you can’t be certain, but it certainly drives down the risk of a problematic leak. 

Our team is experts in both historic digital footprint analysis for candidates, and assessing the need for varying levels of Cyber Security systems for businesses and campaigns. We will come to your offices for an in-depth conversation about your own or your customers’ data, platforms used in the past, and concerns about breaches or hidden risks, and review all your current security systems. Based on this we will create detailed recommendations on how best to scrub your online presence of dangers, and to ensure your and your customers’ data is safe. Should you wish, we can also implement these strategies for you and continue to ensure you, your business, or your campaign are adequately protected.

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