It’s bad news for many small businesses in the UK today as fraud experts CSID have stated that less than 50% of all small businesses are sufficiently protected against cybercrime.
In their report they state that 52% of all small businesses in the UK do not have sufficient security in place to protect themselves from an online invasion. And more than 85% of those that aren’t protected have no plans to do anything about it.
The Risk Just Keeps On Rising
Sadly, it is not just the experts that understand the risks to small businesses of online crime; the hackers are cottoning on as well.
Between 2011 and 2013, the number of online attacks on small businesses in the UK nearly doubled climbing from 18% to a staggering 31% in just two years.
This means small businesses who don’t take the necessary precautions are leaving themselves open to potential business devastation without even knowing it.
Understand the Consequences
One of the most startling points to come out of this research is just how few small business managers in the UK understand the consequences of not being protected against cybercrime.
In 2013, the cost of small business fraud and online crime in the UK was estimated at more than £785 million. And that level is only likely to rise unless those in key positions understand what they are up against.
Over the past year, the number of potential problems surrounding online security has exploded. And for those that are still not protected, now is the time to act.
A Price Worth Paying?
In times of austerity, many small businesses are suggesting that a key reason they are not protected against cybercrime is simply due to the impact such a decision would have on their bottom line.
Yet with the average cost of a simple virus attack estimated at around £4,000, and full on cyber invasion significantly greater, can anyone afford not to act?
More than half the businesses questioned in this latest survey stated that their greatest worry was the impact on business reputation, if their organisation was to become a victim of online fraud. Yet the cost of something as simple as EasyHide VPN can ensure a high level of security for your business for only a few pounds/dollars a month.
If you are a small business, protection from online crime does not have to cost the earth. As a first step, provide all employees with anti-virus & anti-spam software, firewalls and a VPN, to ensure both that they are protected, and that you can hide IP addresses at will.
Make sure you carry out regular updates of all software within your network to benefit from the latest security fixes. And implement a high quality password policy that will provide effective defence from potential hackers.
Secondly, discuss good online practice with your employees when it comes to the use of any internet device. And implement a safe and effective email policy.
Such steps don’t have to make a big dent in your budget. But with effective business practices, you can make sure that you don’t become the next victim of cybercrime.