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As a company are you spending enough time and energy on cyber-crime prevention? It’s a difficult question to answer, especially since data productivity and protection needs to be balanced carefully with budgetary constraints. Here at Bure Valley Group, our investment team works closely with cyber security firms seeking investment, and we offer some thoughts here on the subject gleaned from their experience. We hope you find this content helpful. Find out more about our EIS and other investment opportunities by visiting our portfolio page here. To enquire regarding our latest projects and funding, you can reach us via:
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An analogy: protecting your property
Think about the security of your home and of the properties of people you know. What kind of measures are taken and what are the factors that decide these? Perhaps your security mainly consists of locks on the doors and windows, if you live in a safe area. Alternatively, perhaps the crime rate is higher in your neighbourhood and your property is patently valuable, possibly making it a more attractive target for criminals. In which case, maybe you’d want to go further with your security by installing CCTV and sophisticated burglar alarms (e.g. motion sensors).
Yet there are often other factors at play too. If you have a particularly nervous disposition, for instance, then you might want the additional security measures for extra peace of mind when you go out or lay your head on your pillow. Another factor will, of course, be the cost. Whilst a strong lock on your door is affordable for most people, investing in CCTV and other modern equipment can run into thousands of pounds.
What’s not easy to accept, however, is that a break-in could still occur despite the measures you put in place to protect your home. You might forget to lock the door properly, or perhaps the intruder finds a way around your security system through an elaborate ruse or a technological hack. All of this also holds true when it comes to cybersecurity attacks which occur every day, all around the world. Perhaps a staff member unwittingly opens an unsafe attachment in their inbox which then infects your entire email system. Or, maybe a malicious piece of code makes its way through your firewall which has not been recently updated.
There are many cybersecurity risks like these for businesses in today’s digital world. The key questions to answer include how much risk you face in your particular case, and what options you have available to mitigate them.
Identifying, preventing and mitigating cyber attacks
Whilst it would be easy to claim that all businesses require the same, high level cybersecurity measures to protect themselves, the reality is that each organisation is different and so requires a risk-mitigation strategy tailored to its unique needs and circumstances. A global corporation working in sensitive financial data (e.g. banking) will require a distinct cybersecurity strategy compared to a local cafe. What might be deemed “too costly” for one business regarding its cybersecurity might be merely pennies to another. Yet there are some standard measures which many various organisations may wish to consider:
- Password managers. Rather than relying on a single, unchanging password used by multiple employees, consider a service like LastPass which can generate and store strong passwords for you. Changing these regularly can also help.
- Double authentication. Signing into work emails, apps and programmes can still be vulnerable to hacking even with a sophisticated password. Requiring that users confirm their “sign ins” on a work mobile phone, for instance, can provide an additional layer of security to help prevent remote impersonation.
- Update firewalls. The coding practices and software exploits of malicious individuals and parties are constantly changing. Make sure you keep your systems vigilant by keeping antivirus and similar software up to date.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). These services can provide additional security when your staff are using the internet, since it encrypts the connection between their device and the online applications and websites they’re using.
Cybersecurity – a great investment opportunity
The internet is not going away and business operations are increasingly moving online – sped up by the pandemic in 2020, which has accelerated a climate of remote/online working. As a result, cyber criminal activity is only likely to persist and rise in prominence in the years ahead. This leaves open a huge need for cyber security companies to present innovative and effective solutions to the marketplace – presenting a great opportunity for investors to support them and generate strong returns in the process. Just as business offices will likely always needs lock and similar physical security infrastructure (even in a recession), they will also require security for their digital assets and systems in the years to come.
Here at Bure Valley Group, our team is actively involved in a range of cybersecurity projects where successful, innovative businesses are seeking funding for their next stage of growth. By joining our network of investors you gain access to many promising opportunities such as these, along with many others in similarly-promising spheres.
Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team, and discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available:
+44 160 334 0827