World Economy

Small Scottish Firms Fear Cyber Attacks

Small Scottish Firms Fear Cyber AttacksSmall Scottish Firms Fear Cyber Attacks

Small companies risk going out of business because of the threat from cyber attacks in Scotland, experts have warned. Earlier this summer organizations and businesses in the Highlands lost around £2.5 million ($3.24 million) to online scammers, according to police. The Highland Hospice in Inverness lost a six-figure sum.

It has been confirmed that ransomware was behind a cyber attack on NHS Lanarkshire which led to some appointments and procedures being cancelled, BBC reported.

It was a new variant of Bitpaymer that infected its network on Friday, the report said.

There have also been high-profile attacks against the Scottish parliament as well as global companies such as WPP, Maersk and Fedex.

Those involved in trying to protect companies from online threats in Scotland warn that many criminals are increasingly going after smaller businesses. They see these firms as “low-hanging fruit” because they tend to have less sophisticated security.

Gangs of online crooks are able to buy professional contact center services on the dark web, the part of the internet not accessible to most consumers. They then send out tens of thousands of emails and make similar numbers of phone calls to trap unsuspecting individuals into revealing sensitive information.

Colin Slater, a partner in cyber-security at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the consultancy, said: “The scattergun approach is that if you do this to 10,000 businesses and you get 100 that is a pretty good return. The money is not taxed, it is not income you declare and you are not beholden to any regulator.

“Cyber criminals are ahead of us and will remain ahead of us as they don’t have to play by any rules.”



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