A recent report published by the Federation of Small Businesses, has discovered small businesses are suffering the most from cyber related crime. As more businesses turn to the internet to expand and grow, fraudsters see it as a perfect opportunity to attack. Start-ups are particularly vulnerable as they often have no idea how to keep their company protected online, or even that they need to.
If you your business has an online presence, it’s vital you look into ways to keep it protected.
What types of cyber-crime do you most need to worry about?
There are a lot of different types of cyber-crimes out there. That’s one of the reasons why small businesses fail to keep themselves fully protected. The report discovered that smaller firms are being attacked collectively an average of 7 million times each year. It’s actually costing the UK economy an estimated £5.26 billion.
So which crimes do you need to be worried about the most? According to the report small businesses largely suffer from:
1. Phishing scams
2. Malware attacks
Phishing scams have become a lot more sophisticated in recent years. While at one time they were fairly easy to distinguish, phishing emails now appear 100% authentic, tricking users into clicking on links and giving away their personal details. Some even contain malware that will quickly infect not just your computer, but all computers on the network.
The Government has produced a useful list of resources for small businesses where you can learn more about the dangers and how to protect your company.
Protecting yourself and your customers
So how exactly can you protect small business from cyber-crime? Well, it goes without saying you should have a sophisticated anti-virus and malware software installed. However, you also need to be vigilant with personal details.
Never give details when asked via email unless you contact the company beforehand. For example, there are a lot of PayPal and even government related phishing emails being sent out. They look genuine but it’s important to contact these actual companies directly to enquire about any emails sent to ensure you don’t fall victim.
You should also ensure your computer systems are regularly updated and install a firewall to protect against hackers. These are just some of the basics you need to follow. While it is time consuming, it’s extremely important to make sure you are keeping up with the latest security measures as hackers are becoming smarter every day. If you do fall victim to cyber-crime, it could cost your business dearly. So it’s better to be safe than sorry!