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Can your business afford to lose £12,000 as a victim of cyber-crime?

Cyber Crime

Small businesses are victims to 4 cyber-crimes every 2 years; that’s a shocking statistic which is costing small businesses on average £3,000 per cyber-attack. Complacency could be costly so it’s advisable to take stock and consider how well your business is protected against cyber-crime regardless of what sector you operate in.  Here, operations director Andy Jenkins considers the problems and the costs to businesses.

There’s no doubt that technological and digital innovations have made huge contributions to the way we do business, and contributed to the wealth and job creation of the economy. But it’s not without its downsides.

Last month the government announced it was spending £1.9bn on cyber security. The Chancellor Philip Hammond said the investment is to offer support over a five-year period to deliver a strategy which will help defend businesses and individuals against cyber threats and attacks. While that’s good news to a point, it won’t eradicate the threat all together.

So, it’s important to have a risk management plan in order to be as prepared as you can be for a cyber-attack and consider the impact this could have on your business. And this advice is just as relevant for SMEs which still believe that they are not likely to be as attractive a target as the big corporates.

However, hackers don’t think like that. Like a burglar breaking into an office or house, they are opportunistic and attack where it’s easy. And, SMEs don’t often have the resources to invest in risk management or practical strategies to protect themselves. A recent BBC report quoted Professor Alan Woodward, a computer security expert from the University of Surrey, who said he hoped the government spent cash on the “high volume, low sophistication attacks” that cause the majority of financial losses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) estimates the total annual cost of cyber-crime to small business was around £5.26 billion (over 2014 and 2015). That’s a hefty cost to the UK economy and to the SME sector which is vital to the UK’s prosperity.

So, in my view there’s a responsibility by the government to create an environment which protects businesses against the threat of cyber-attacks, and then there’s the individual responsibility of business owners and managers to ensure they are aware of the risks posed to their businesses and take the appropriate actions and investment to minimise that threat.

Businesses are vulnerable on two major fronts – firstly, not having the right leadership, strategy, procedures, processes and human involvement.  All of these have a significant impact on the security of a business’s assets such as financial information and customer data, both highly confidential.

The second is technology weaknesses where the technology isn’t sophisticated to cope with attacks, or processes leave the technology vulnerable to attack. While it can all too often be a necessary distraction from getting on with doing business, it is a vital and needs attention before it’s too late.

If you would like to talk to one of our team about protecting your business and assets, please get in touch on 0115 947 0032.

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