Cyber Security: No longer a Luxury

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges facing the financial services market today and cyber-attacks are an ever-increasing threat to companies’ financial stability. Research conducted by the Direct Line Business Insurance shows that the level of knowledge around cybersecurity is poor and that only about one in six small business professionals see cybersecurity as a top priority. According to data from the Cyber Security Breaches Survey, the average cost of a cyber-attack for a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) is around £4,200, a cost which is estimated to be around £20,000 for larger firms.

Common Reasons for cyber-attacks on SMEs:

  • Security breach occurring via a third party
  • Employee plugging in an external device containing malicious software
  • Employee clicking on an email or website containing malicious software
  • Employee accidentally divulging confidential information
  • Complete lack of cyber security protection
  • Weak password protection
  • Not up-to-date apps, software, and operating system

Cyber criminals are evolving and becoming increasingly sophisticated in their scamming attempts. Certain types of attack directed at either gaining information or access to the system include:

  • Phishing
  • Malware attacks
  • DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) Attack

Cybersecurity Compliance

Financial institutions need to ensure their cyber defences are up to par. To do that, firms need a cybersecurity provider that offers regular penetration testing of their own networks and systems, and round the clock managed detection services. Proactive monitoring is the best practice to prevent the harm from occurring in the first place.

Speaking of taking proactive steps, it is important to consider how compliant these security measures are. Cybersecurity and compliance go together like bread and butter. Or in this case, hammer, and nail. You simply cannot have one without the other and expect things to end well for the business or the customers that you interact with.

Cybersecurity compliance means a lot of things to businesses depending on their locations, industries, and other factors. For example, if you’re a business in the UK that handles credit card payments, then you not only have to worry about being compliant with credit and banking card regulations, but you also have to be compliant with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), and legislation such as the Fraud Act and the Proceeds of Crime Act. Compliance with cybersecurity and data privacy regulations helps keep your organization, data, and customers secure against data breaches, cybersecurity, and legal risks.

Following the rules:

  • Shows customers and other stakeholders that the security of their data is a priority for your business.
  • Helps avoid costly noncompliance fines and penalties that can result from noncompliance with regional and industry regulations.
  • Protects your organization’s brand and reputation against harm that results from cyber/data breaches.

Being compliant with industry regulations is already something that overseas regulators take very seriously. Ever since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in effect, some individual organisations have been served with some very hefty fines. Most notably, Amazon was fined a staggering €746 million in July 2021 and WhatsApp was fined €225 million in September 2021. These fines were issued for non-compliance with general data processing principles. Although one could argue that cybersecurity compliance and data protection/privacy compliance are technically two separate things, they are quite closely related. This is because many data protection/privacy regulations require that firms apply stringent cybersecurity measures to help keep sensitive personal data secure.

Cybersecurity – How can Complyport Help?

Our experienced Cyber Security and Data Protection team led by Martin Schofield—one of the world’s leading specialists in the field—brings a wealth of experience to every project we are engaged in. Compylyport can not only provide advice, guidance and support on cybersecurity and data protection but we can also provide a Data Protection Officer Support as a Service.

DPO Support As a Service

Our Data Protection Officer/Support service team, provided by an experienced and multiskilled personnel including a Certified Data Protection Officer and Industry Practitioners, are at your disposal when you are looking to address data protection risks and enhance your privacy mechanisms and internal framework. Our service entails assisting you to understand and work within the legislative complexities, which govern the processing of personal data, and at the same time consider your business needs with respect to Information Systems, data security and organizational processes across the full scale of your operations.

Our multi-faceted Data Protection Services are provided through our multiskilled team of legal, security and operational experts when you are looking to:

  • Implement essential elements of UK Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union EU2016/679 (GDPR), such as the principles of data processing, data subjects’ rights, data protection by design and by default, records of processing activities, security of processing, and notification and communication of data breaches.
  • Foster a data protection culture within your organisation and with your external stakeholders
  • Carry out DPIAs where needed and suggest the appropriate technical and organisational measures) to mitigate the identified risks
  • Support the management of Data Breaches with respect to response, notifications, communications, and advice on corrective actions necessary to prevent losses, regulatory complications and reputation impact.
  • Where necessary, provide a contact point for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • Provide solutions/answers to those data protection questions that puzzle your staff and help with decision making when a data protection issue arise in the context of your daily business.

If this article has raised any questions, or you think your firm may require assistance, please contact either Martin Schofield via or Jan Hagen via to book in a free consultation.

About Complyport

Complyport is the City’s market leading consulting firm supporting the UK financial services industry for over 20 years. We specialise in providing Governance, Risk and Compliance services to support the regulated financial services industry to raise standards and thrive.

Complyport advises and assists firms to become authorised and to comply with the rules and requirements of regulators on an ongoing basis. Our vision is to be there for our clients every step of the way, helping them change, grow, and excel through expertise, insight, and innovation, and in so doing to become our clients’ most valued supplier and trusted advisor.

We have successfully assisted over 1000 firms to become authorised with the FCA and EU and are providing regulatory support to over 600 regulated firms on an ongoing basis globally. With presence in the UK and EU, as well as via our Associates Network, Complyport can assist firms across multiple jurisdictions.

Complyport’s multidisciplinary consultants possess deep expertise in their field, having acted in FCA skilled person reviews, as expert witnesses in legal cases and as expert investigators for firms or their legal advisers.

Day to day, we conduct audits and reviews of a firm’s products, processes, policies, and procedures to identify scope for business, to determine the impact of regulatory developments and to verify compliance with local regulations. Our clients tell us we live our values; we are driven, agile and collaborative.

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