The true cost of cyber crime for SMEs is in excess of £5.5 billion

June 13, 2016

Posted by: Emma Bailey

Cyber crime is on the up as the criminals behind the scams get more and more sophisticated

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) published a report earlier this month highlighting the extent of cyber crime and the true cost to small businesses. Its headline figures make sobering reading.

  • 66% of small businesses have been a victim of cyber crime
  • Cyber crime costs each small business victim around £3000 
  • 49% of small businesses where the victim of Phishing 
  • 29% of small businesses where the victim of Malware attacks 

“The digital economy is vital to small businesses – presenting a huge opportunity to reach new markets and customers – but these benefits are matched by the risk of opportunities for criminals to attack businesses,” said Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman.

Weak IT security provisions in businesses make them vulnerable to attack. SMEs do not always have the breath of IT knowledge in-house or the budgets to invest in state of the art IT security and detailed disaster recovery plans, even if the decision has been made to invest in IT security knowing where to start looking for a reputable company to help you is also a minefield. A Google search for ‘IT Security Companies UK’ throws up over 13 million results.

Perhaps the first line of defence is getting set up with good anti spam & email screening.  This will block the vast majority of unsavoury email borne threats before they get to your users mailboxes.

Second is a robust backup and archive procedures.  Once a file becomes encrypted you can either spend an eternity                                                                                     (https://www.digicert.com/TimeTravel/math.htm hint: it takes a very long time!) trying to guess the key or you can clean up the infection (we recommend a good IT support company to help you here) and restore from backups.  Essentially you are dealing with a disaster at this point so a good disaster recovery plan is essential.

Finally you need to train your staff to be wary of strange emails.  When an email arrives from someone you don’t know or with an unexpected invoice or other document DO NOT OPEN it “just in case it’s important”.  This is the behaviour the attackers are trying to elicit from you and it will then silently begin it’s work once it’s been clicked on.

Feeling worried?

At Pentangle we don’t like scaremongering.  We prefer to present facts and leave you to make a choice, after all it’s your business but perhaps it’s worth booking a FREE appointment with one of our team to just come and have a chat with you about your IT and to see just how safe your systems are. Call us on 01844 318131 or email ask@pentangle.co.uk.

 

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