Businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about the growing cyber risks they could face in the coming months.

That’s the message from Dave Williams, who said cyber security needed to be taken seriously.

“According to the latest research, worries about cyber risks have now overtaken the concerns business owners have about the aftermath of Covid-19, and it’s clear that companies need to focus on their systems to help keep them safe.

“The threat of ransomware attacks, data breaches and major IT outages is very real, and many more firms are taking out insurance to cover their tech systems.

“Cyber security has been a key issue for several years now even before the pandemic, but the unprecedented circumstances of the last two years have sharpened the focus still further.

“Most companies have had the vast majority of their staff working from home so the potential for cyber security breaches has been huge.”

Dave said with staff using personal laptops or using the internet in an unsafe way maybe without even realising it, businesses and their systems had been in jeopardy.

“As we emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic and begin the recovery phase, staff may well now be returning to the office, but many businesses may decide to continue to run a blended workforce with some employees splitting their time between home working and the more traditional office-based approach.

“This means companies will still need to regularly review their tech systems and the way their staff use them – an unclear approach and lack of understanding about the security standards your company expects could have a disastrous effect if your systems are infiltrated by cyber criminals.”

Dave said a cyber crime survey carried out by Censuswide for IT security provider Centrify had revealed how employers were revisiting their approach.

“Out of the 200 businesses surveyed, 57% said they had introduced extra measures to authenticate employees such as fingerprint and facial recognition technology, and additional steps were required when staff were accessing certain files and accounts.

“Cyber security is critical and you must have strict and clear procedures in place – you need to develop a system that makes it virtually impossible for your staff to access company networks and customer data unless they follow the right procedures.”