BRITISH Chambers of Commerce figures reveal that 20% of businesses are being hit by cyber crime but Steve Nelson, operations director of Calibre Secured Networks Ltd, says SMEs are particularly vulnerable. However help is at hand.
Cyber-crime is deadly and on the rise, and SMEs are in the sights of those criminals who inhabit a dark and dangerous digital underworld. Data from 2016 indicates that cyber breaches cost from £35,000 to £180,000 for small businesses. This might sound slight but it could spell the death knell for hundreds of small businesses existing on a financial knife-edge.
So why are SMEs vulnerable? Cost is an overriding concern – large corporates are able to invest in the latest, bespoke IT security solutions while SMEs often do not have the capital or resources for these. Consequently, they might lack the policies and procedures to protect their people and systems. Neither can they afford to train their people to the level necessary to deal with sophisticated cyber risk.
But of course, it shouldn’t have to be this way and there are some basic rules that SMEs can follow, much of which revolves around people and processes, to fight the cyber criminals:
Make sure that passwords are not left lying around and that strong passwords are adopted company-wide;
Keep anti-virus software up-to-date and use basic encryption product;
Training can help – employees can be shown how to spot phishing e-mails and better manage the web presence, and issued with some basic system configuration dos and don’ts that will all help;
Administration access to your systems should only be granted to select individuals;
Similarly, keep sensitive data, like payroll, out of the hands of anyone who doesn’t need it to do their job; and
Prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018. This will strengthen and unify the safety and security of the information you hold.
A good IT partner can help you manage your online presence in a safe, secure and compliant way. Check that they hold ISO 27001 among other relevant accreditations but also consider their experience in these matters – it always counts.Posted by Calibre Web Team Posted on 05 Jul