Think no-one would be interested in attacking your business’s IT systems?
According to the BIS 2015 Information Security Breaches Survey, 74% of small businesses suffered a security breach in the year 2014-2015.
On top of this, the survey also found that the average cost of a breach to an individual small business ranged from £75k to £311k. Even at the lower level, that’s enough to put many otherwise healthy businesses out of business.
Owners of small businesses often dismiss the risk of cybercrime, assuming the firm has nothing that would be of value to cyber criminals. But, in fact, every individual or organisation using digital communications is a potential victim. You don’t have to be an Ashley Madison to be a target.
So, who might be attacking you, and why?
Threats from Cyber Crime
Whilst attacks can come from other sources, the single greatest threat for small businesses comes from organised crime groups looking for opportunities to profit through fraud or by selling information.
It’s all too easy for a member of staff to click on an attachment or web link in an email that appears to be from a trusted source – but isn’t. And once they’ve clicked, the damage is done. Your system is wide open. Alternatively, an unsecured wireless network where no-one has bothered to change the default password makes an easy entry point.
You probably won’t know anything is wrong at first – but criminals could nevertheless be busy with any of a number of unwelcome activities.
Accessing Digital Data
Emailing all your contacts using your email address
Monitoring digital activity
Though the criminals are clever, there’s a lot business owners can do to keep them out. If you have an IT support partner, use their expertise. They should know what to look out for and how to keep your business as safe as possible. The starting point is to invest in paid security software – free anti-virus programmes just aren’t powerful enough. Equally important is to focus on staff training. Constant vigilance pays dividends.
And if anyone stores information in folders with tempting names such as ‘personal info’, suggest they rename the files fast.
If you’d like any advice on making sure your business is protected, we can help. Give us a call on 0161 359 3689 or email us here [email protected].