What can SMEs learn from Royal Mail’s Data Breach?

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Royal Mail has been hit by a severe cyber attack and as a result, has had to cease international services. 

The following statement was released by Royal Mail on Friday 13th January 2022: “Royal Mail is experiencing severe service disruption to our international export services following a cyber incident.

We are temporarily unable to dispatch items to overseas destinations. We strongly recommend that you temporarily hold any export mail items while we work to resolve the issue. Items that have already been despatched may be subject to delays. We would like to sincerely apologise to impacted customers for any disruption this incident is causing.”

An NCSC spokesperson said “We are aware of an incident affecting Royal Mail Group Ltd and are working with the company, alongside the National Crime Agency, to fully understand the impact.”

It is still unclear what happened and why, however, we do know it is a serious incident which is having a major impact – backlogs of packages are building, there are a number of disgruntled customers taking to Twitter, but most importantly, compromised data has been released. 

When something like this happens, all companies have a harsh reminder of the importance of cyber security protection and procedures to shield against an attack.

Often, large companies have cyber security teams and software embedded to ensure the companies data safety. However, many small to medium sized businesses don’t have this in place. This is down to multiple reasons; knowledge, prioritisation, cost, expertise in the business, not believing to be a target, the list goes on. However, with hackers also being aware of the lack of security, SMEs are an easy target due to their vulnerability. 

With technology allowing hackers to be much more savvy in their approach, a cybersecurity strategy is rapidly growing in importance to keep a business safe. To protect from theft, extortion and damage, and to ensure you are prepared if such an attack occurs, it is essential a strategy is in place.  Understanding risks and being able to respond quickly will reduce costs and the total impact on your business significantly. 

SME cyber attacks might not make the headlines, but do not be misled. Unfortunately, SMEs are a big target and are experiencing data breaches regularly. A cyber-security breach costs a SME on average, $108,000. But it’s not just the money, the trust lost by customers can be detrimental for a businesses future. 

For more information on the cybersecurity threats, check out cyber security hub’s latest article on The most dangerous cyber security threats of 2023.