Research shows that almost half of small businesses were hit by a cyber security breach or attack in the past year, with the threat of further cyber attacks “real and growing”, and the types of threats continuously evolving.
In the past year alone, 45 per cent of micro or small businesses experienced a cyber security breach or attack, leading to the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) publishing a new guide to help SMEs prepare for cyber-attacks and guard against them*.
Launched on 11 October and compiled by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the guide splits its SME online security advice into five categories focused on backing-up data, using strong passwords, protecting against malware, keeping devices safe and avoiding phishing attacks.
Alison Whitney, at GCHQ’s NCSC, says: “Protecting against malware, backing up data and avoiding phishing attacks should be as second nature to a small firm as cashing up or locking the doors at night.
“Whether you own a bakery, a building firm or you sell products online, our advice will help all business owners avoid threats that can cost time, money and reputation.”
Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), welcomed the new guidance saying that cyber attacks on small companies was now costing the UK economy around £5 billion each year. “Cyber crime is one of the fastest growing risks to small businesses and support to tackle it is essential,” he adds.
“Without the time, resources and in-house expertise, it can be challenging to know the best, and even most basic, steps of defence. We therefore welcome this simple and practical guidance to help small businesses protect themselves against common cyber threats in the first place.”
IT security is a collective responsibility and it is essential that SMEs take the necessary steps to protect against cyber attacks.
If you have any concerns relating to this matter, we are able to put you in touch with companies within our extensive network of contacts who will be able to assist. It’s part of our commitment to supporting SME businesses by providing holistic business advisory services.
To find out more about how SMEs can safeguard against cybercrime and be prepared download our article in the Beavis Morgan SME Adviser Series: Is your business protected against cyber threats?