Cybercrime in the UK on SMEs

Technology no doubt has brought about a lot of positives. However, you cannot argue the fact that these positives have come at a cost. This cost is the prevalence of cybercrimes! Just recently, cybercrime hit the headlines in the UK once again; from the infamous WannaCry attack on the NHS to Barclays declaring war on cybercriminals.

Barclays carried out a research which showed that 5.6 million cases involving cyber fraud were reported across the country in 2016 alone. Undoubtedly, the concerns are not only real but growing as well.

A common assumption amongst small business owners is that cybercrime only targets large organisations with massive customer data and a higher turnover. Well, while it’s the large, global corporations that first come to mind when one thinks of cybercrime, the modern day hackers don’t discriminate their target based on size.

That means SMEs are highly targeted; they should invest in cyber security to help protect not only their consumer data and finances but also to build a loyal client base and a reputable brand.

SMEs considered a soft target

Cybercriminals perceive SMEs as softer targets than large organisations. In 2015, Symantec discovered that compared to 35 percent of large corporations, 75 percent of SMEs suffered spear phishing attacks.

Besides, the government of UK’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey of 2017 unveiled that 25 percent of all the companies do experience a breach once a month, and in spite of this, only a third of them have come up with suitable security policies.

As the activities of small and medium-sized companies become more visible online, they increasingly become exposed to cyber attacks. Often, they lack the knowledge and resources to defend themselves. For example, small organisations may lack a dedicated IT department, exposing them to cybercriminals.

How SMEs can equip themselves for the cybercrime battle

Implement cybersecurity training and policies

Small business owners should take the initiative to train their staff on cybersecurity as the first step needed to protect the company’s data, customer data, finances and more. They should also implement formal cybersecurity policies for the company.

Hire Cybersecurity Personnel

Since the staff of a small company may not comprise of cybersecurity experts, it is prudent to entertain the assistance of an expert who can help to put in place security suites for preventing potential attacks. The professionals can also offer solutions in case of a breach in addition to advising the company on robust ways to keep its IT equipment and website more secure.

Explore Government Resources

For those who may not be able to afford the cost of training or hiring the services of a professional, several other resources are available. Recently, the government of UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) partnered with the Crown Commercial Service with the aim of developing a framework for the public sector in a bid to help them purchase certified devices and consultancy on cybersecurity.

Besides, the government’s Cyber Essentials site has a self-assessment questionnaire and documents that one can download for free. Additionally, SMEs can apply for accreditation and get a badge they can display on their websites to reassure partners and customers about their serious take on cybersecurity.

Invest in Comprehensive Cyber Insurance

Other than putting the above measures in place, it’s critical for SMEs to invest in cyber insurance to cover the losses that may result from loss of information from or damage to IT devices and networks.

As Business Insurance Service, we provide a policy that covers you as you use the internet and email. In this cover, you may be compensated because of:

  • Defamation in your email or on your website
  • Unauthorised misuse or collection of your customer’s information
  • Your infringement of various intellectual property rights such as trademark or copyright
  • Your negligent transfer of a virus to your website users or business partners

Our cover also includes some losses your company might suffer due to email or internet use:

  • Should face a virus attack, we’ll pay for repairs on your computer system or business website to restore data.
  • We cover the costs incurred if a third party steals your online identity to enter into a legal agreement.
  • If a hacker commits an activity that may damage your computer system or website, we will pay for repairs.
  • If a criminal or investigative body takes away your computer device, we will pay for its replacement while the investigation continues.
  • We may pay a ransom if a cybercriminal threatens to damage your website.

So, as you can see, we’ve your best interests at heart.

Would you like to reach us regarding the cyber security liability requirements for your business? Call us directly on 01273 789 979 or shoot us an email.

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