How safe is your SME?

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Breaker-Self-defence for SME

It’s a scary statistic, but 74% of small organisations reported a cyber security breach in 2015, according to the Government Security Breaches Survey. Yes, that’s right: 74%.

The average cost of the worst security breach was between £65,000 and £115,000 – sometimes resulting in a business being put out of action for up to ten days.

So clearly the danger is very real and, potentially, very costly.

Thankfully there are some simple, inexpensive things you can do to protect against attacks. And as it’s Cyber Security month, what better time to act to keep your business safe?Breaker-Don’t be a soft target

With a million and one things to do every day, it can be all too easy for small businesses to forget about cyber security, or simply not realise the extent of the threat. And that can be a big part of the problem.

In fact, according to Cyber Aware (formerly Cyber Streetwise):

  • 66% of small businesses don’t believe they are vulnerable to cybercrime
  • 26% think only companies that take online payments are at risk
  • 22% believe small companies aren’t a target for hackers

The reality is that small businesses are actually a bigger target than ever. This is mostly because they typically hold far more data than consumers, but often don’t have any protection in place. In fact, a quarter (24%) of small businesses think that cyber security is too expensive to implement, while 22% admit that they ‘don’t know where to start’.

As a result, many small businesses are simply seen as a soft target by cybercriminals like hackers.Breaker-How to protect your business

Clearly keeping valuable data safe has to be a priority for small businesses. But thankfully it doesn’t require a big IT budget or specialist technical knowledge.

Cyber Aware provide excellent free advice for small businesses at www.cyberaware.gov.uk

The Government has also set up the National Centre for Cyber Security to advise businesses and individuals on how to protect themselves online.

Here are a few simple things you can start doing right away to help keep your business safe:

  • Download software updates as soon as they appear – they contain vital security upgrades
  • Use strong passwords – made up of at least three random words, using lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols
  • Delete suspicious emails – they may include fraudulent requests for information or links to viruses
  • Use anti-virus software – to help prevent infection from malware
  • Make your staff aware of the danger – with free online training courses

You can also assess how secure your business is with Cyber Aware’s simple questionnaire.

Or take the Government’s free e-learning course.Breaker-Don’t be another statistic – act now SME

By acting upon some, or all, of the suggestions above as soon as possible, you’ll be taking great strides towards protecting your data. Leaving you free to focus on growing your business, safe in the knowledge your hard work – and your hard-won profits – aren’t in danger from cybercriminals.

Like what you’ve read? Why not join us on twitter @npowerbusiness #energytogrow and LinkedIn at npower Business

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