Business spotlight on cybercrime

In the wake of the Sony email hacking case, business expert Rachel Bridge looks at cybercrime and how you can protect your business.

Online cybercrime is not just the stuff of sci-fi movies and urban myth. It is very real and it can pose a huge threat to your business. What’s more, contrary to what many people think, cybercrime is just as likely to affect small firms as large ones.

Indeed, a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that over a 12-month period, 41 per cent of its members had been a victim of cybercrime, with the impact costing those businesses an average of around £4,000 each.

Cybercrime image of hooded person and laptop
Stay safe: don’t forget to secure your wireless network so that it cannot be infiltrated by others Photo: Shutterstock

Research has revealed that 59pc of consumers are put off shopping with small firms online

That suggests that cybercrime is costing small businesses around £785 million a year in total, a figure that looks likely to increase over the next few years as firms increasingly go online.

What’s more, the impact of cybercrime is not just confined to the immediate cost to the business; it also deters potential customers. Research has found that 59pc of consumers are put off shopping with small firms online, and that 82pc would buy more if they could show they were protected from cybercrime.

Mike Cherry, the national policy chairman of the FSB, says: “Cybercrime poses a real and growing threat for small firms and it isn’t something that should be ignored.

“Many businesses will be taking steps to protect themselves but the cost of crime can act as a barrier to growth. For example, many businesses will not embrace new technology as they fear the repercussions and do not believe they will get adequate protection from crime.”

Cherry adds:

“While we want to see clear action from the Government and the wider public sector, there are clear actions that businesses can take to help themselves.”

Common problems faced by businesses include inadequate anti-virus protection, poor password security, vulnerable wireless networks and out-of-date software.

The good news is there are several things a small business can do to protect itself from cybercrime. Read on

Adapted from Telegraph

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