High profile cyber attacks on large businesses have raised awareness of the growing threat of cyber crime. However, many smaller businesses seem to be operating under a false sense of security, believing they are too small and therefore, safe.
A workshop run by commercial insurance firm, HI Commercial and IT support company, Computanet, highlighted the risks small businesses expose themselves to everyday, simply through employee emails, accessing free public wifi or, disgruntled employees. The message is simple; don’t equate small with safe – simple measures can help to prevent an attack.
The workshop at The Millhouse Skidby included a guest speaker from Hiscox who demonstrated what a cyber attack could look like. A company video showed how a high street retailer was flummoxed when an identical store opened up opposite, with identical branding and body double employees.
Richard Medforth, Director from HI Commercial said: “Hackers live behind keyboard, they are invisible to the rest of the world. The footage we shared personified cyber threats, creating a visual reputation of how businesses can be affected.
“It was a very interesting event and we were able to surprise delegates by showing the number of times they had been hacked via their emails and company website this year.
“Many businesses believe they are taking precautions but don’t pay attention to the minor details that give hackers direct access to their systems. With passwords for example, the most commonly used words are names of children or family pets. This information is easy to find via social media and leaves them wide open.
“A data breach could cripple a business as the figures show; fifty-five percent of UK companies have suffered a cyber attack, forty-six percent take two days or more to recover, ten percent admit to losing customers, suffering damage to their reputation and that a whopping £75,000 is the average cost of a cyber security breach.
“We are seeing a take-up in new business from clients who understand the benefits of ensuring proper cover is in place, should a breach cost potentially thousands in sales, damages or sanctions.”
Simple tips to mitigate the risk of cyber attack include: providing awareness training to employees, regularly changing passwords, regular back-ups, encrypting USBs, password protecting user accounts and limiting employee access to data and information.
For further information about preventing cyber attacks and how to protect yourself in the case of an attack, please visit www.hicommercial.co.uk.
[Jess Clark – Divine Clark PR]