The High Cost of Cybersecurity Neglect: Analysing the £1.4 Million Breach with Francis West

In today’s digital era, cybersecurity breaches impact businesses with devastating consequences. The recent episode of the Build and Exit podcast, hosted by Judy Wilkinson of Wilkinson Accounting Solutions, brought this critical issue to light. 

Featuring Francis West, a cybersecurity veteran, the podcast delves into the chilling reality of cyber risk management and its importance in safeguarding businesses. This comprehensive analysis sheds light on a significant security breach, emphasising the high stakes of neglecting cybersecurity.

The Need for Cybersecurity in Business

In our increasingly digital world, cybersecurity is not just an option; it’s a necessity. As Francis West points out, cybersecurity essentials for businesses have evolved. 

Traditional methods no longer suffice against sophisticated cyber threats. The conversation highlights the “invisible” nature of cyber risks until they manifest devastatingly. 

Francis emphasizes that cybersecurity is a fundamental aspect of modern business operations, crucial for protecting assets and maintaining trust.

The 1.4 Million Pound Security Breach

A harrowing tale of a £1.4 million loss due to a cybersecurity breach brings to light the real costs associated with cyber negligence. 

This case study is a stark reminder of the importance of proactive risk management and security measures in business decisions. The breach not only led to significant financial loss but also damaged the company’s reputation and client trust. 

This incident serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the need for rigorous security protocols and regular audits to prevent similar occurrences.

Identifying Cyber Crime Risks

Understanding and identifying the risk of cybercrime is crucial for any business. 

The podcast discusses the importance of recognizing vulnerabilities within business operations. Francis highlights the average time hackers spend undetected within a system, gathering sensitive information. 

Businesses must be vigilant and proactive in identifying potential cyber threats. Regular audits, employee training, and the implementation of strong cybersecurity measures are essential steps towards safeguarding against cyber attacks.

Reducing Cyber Risks Significantly

Francis West shares effective strategies to reduce cyber risk by 99%. These strategies involve adopting advanced cybersecurity technologies and practices. 

He emphasises the importance of moving away from outdated security solutions and adopting innovative approaches to mitigate cyber risks

This includes utilising comprehensive security solutions that cover all aspects of a business’s digital footprint, from email security to data encryption and secure network infrastructure.

Prioritising Data Over Money

A critical takeaway from the podcast is the concept of prioritising data security over mere financial assets. Francis underscores the importance of data protection strategies, noting that data is the new gold in today’s economy. 

Protecting customer and company data should be at the forefront of any business’s asset management strategy. Effective data protection not only safeguards against financial losses but also enhances a company’s reputation and customer trust.

Email Security as a Critical Component

The podcast also highlights the importance of email security in safeguarding business information. 

Francis discusses the role of internal controls and communication security in preventing email-based cyber attacks. He points out that a significant percentage of cyber attacks are initiated through emails, making email security a crucial component of any cybersecurity strategy. 

Businesses must implement robust email security measures to protect against phishing, malware, and other email-based threats.

The Need for a Cybersecurity Specialist

Francis West’s expertise underscores the importance of hiring cybersecurity specialists in today’s complex digital landscape. Businesses require specialized knowledge and skills to defend against sophisticated cyber threats effectively. 

A cybersecurity specialist can provide the necessary expertise to assess, implement, and manage comprehensive security measures, ensuring the business’s infrastructure remains secure against evolving cyber threats.

Cybersecurity Due Diligence in Business Acquisitions

One of the key discussions in the podcast revolves around cybersecurity due diligence during business acquisitions

Francis West advises on essential cybersecurity questions when acquiring a business, emphasising the importance of evaluating a company’s cybersecurity posture before making an acquisition. 

This includes assessing the existing cybersecurity measures, understanding the potential risks, and determining the company’s preparedness to respond to cyber incidents.


The podcast episode with Francis West is a stark reminder of the high costs associated with neglecting cybersecurity. 

Wilkinson Accounting Solutions, with its expertise in business acquisition and exit strategy planning, highlights the importance of incorporating cybersecurity into business strategies. 

Businesses must recognize the critical role of cyber risk management in safeguarding their operations, reputation, and financial stability.

Listen to our podcast to delve deeper into the realm of cybersecurity and learn how to protect your business from potential cyber threats. Remember, in the world of cybersecurity, being proactive is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity.

Tune into the Build and Exit podcast for more insights on cybersecurity and business strategy, and learn how Wilkinson Accounting Solutions can guide your business towards financial success and security.

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