The Small Business Guide to Cyber Security

Posted By: Helen Monday 19th April 2021Tags: , , ,

Throughout April we are discussing the importance of Cyber Security and today’s blog provides everything you need to know as a small business.

Distinct Cyber Security Risks for SMEs

Unfortunately, the biggest problems smaller companies face when met with cyber risks are based around multiple costs. An available budget to invest in specialist advice and secure defences is not something every business has to spare. Without the relevant services, organisations have the potential to fall victim to online security breaches, the costs of which can prove catastrophic.

Factor Cyber Security into Your Budget

As an IT Support company we can only ever reiterate the importance of ensuring IT systems are as secure as possible. Cyber Security should be just as much a part of your yearly budget as stock, rent and wages.

Best Case Scenario: You’re slightly stretched as a business but have cyber security costs factored into the budget whilst understanding this needs to be made back in sales.

Worst Case Scenario: Your company falls victim to a security threat/hack. In this situation data will be lost, you’ll be in breach of the GDPR Guidelines and will potentially no longer be able to trade. You may even find your company fighting a lawsuit.

The Demand for Cyber Security

Gaining expert advice in the first instance is the best route forwards especially considering the demand for Cyber Security is growing exponentially. A recent report stated that by 2021 there will be 3.5 million unfilled jobs within this industry. This worrying figure suggests that shortly there simply won’t be enough experts to advise UK companies accordingly. Don’t allow your company to stand idly at the back of the queue.

Don’t Ignore Cyber Security

So what exactly are the repercussions of cyber security avoidance?

Business Disturbance

Due to the cruel nature of cyber attacks it’s likely you’ll have limited (if any) access to the required data needed to run your business correctly. Data retrieval doesn’t occur with the click of a button and it can take some time getting back online.

Results: Loss of production, business, time and wages. 

Corrective Costs & Potential Fines

Having assessed the severity of your situation, it may be necessary to contact clients, suppliers and the Information Commissioner’s Office with regards to the data breach.

Results: This process has the potential to be time consuming and expensive.

Reputation

Should your company manage to battle it’s way through business disruption and the attached costs, reputation must be assessed. A business may require some form of damage control in order to reassure customers.

28% of Data Breaches in 2020 Involved SMEs

This scarily high figure comes from Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation. But why so high? Unfortunately, the main problem surrounding cyber security issues is human error. The report suggests smaller companies are less likely to have the relevant staff awareness training programs in place. In turn, this leads to a higher frequency of mistakes.

Making SMEs Cyber Secure

Protect Information Internally: It’s unfortunate that sometimes, data theft comes from the inside. Monitoring tools are available to catch such behaviour whilst keeping sensitive data fully secure.

Ransomware: Defined criminally placed malware, hackers have the ability to lock owners out completely. To make matters worse they will demand cash in return for a decryption code that ‘supposedly’ gives you back your data (this is always questionable). By regularly backing up data to an external server, you have another copy. Should an attack occur, live data can be deleted easily.

As an SME, don’t allow your organisation to become a statistic. Factoring Cyber Security methods into your budget keeps your company secure and avoids unnecessary costs.