Small Businesses and the Threat of Hackers
If you were a hacker, would you target a multi-million pound company with comprehensive security or an SME with limited protection? A business armed with knowledgeable IT staff or a small company relying solely on free antivirus software? Many small businesses believe they have a low risk of security breaches, but a lack of digital safety measures can leave them vulnerable.
Recent statistics show that 71% of cyber hacks affect small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and the consequences can be severe. For example, if the security breach involves customer information or accounts, the company must contact each individual affected, pay for monitoring, find the source of cyber attack and resolve any damage, then comes the possibility of legal action.
Hackers and thieves work quickly, often in organised groups and have the ability to cause a vast amount of damage in a small amount of time. Their attack often goes undetected until it is too late, so it is imperative to take preventative steps.
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Take Out Insurance
There are many types of business insurance that any SME has to contend with, including professional liability and vehicle. However, while business owners insure the physical space that their company occupies, they may be unaware that policies exist to cover their online space. Termed cyber security or cyber liability insurance, it aims to cover financial loss and any legal implications should a breach occur.
Employ Authentication Techniques
While it is important to regularly update passwords, to increase security it is also advisable to use an authentication process. As well as entering a username and password, this could include things like a secret answer or a code sent via text message. Of course, implementing this strategy can be expensive for a small business or an SME, but there are authenticator apps that provide easy and affordable solutions.
Third Party Issues
Depending on the type of business, owners may require the services of a number of third parties. However, depending on their security measures, the providers chosen can be an attribute or a hindrance. Outsourcing should provide security benefits not pose further risk, so before entering into any agreement, business owners should always clarify their security practices.
Having scrupulous security systems in place is vital for small businesses and SMEs, especially as they tend to be targeted the most. The threat of cyber attacks continues to grow year after year, so safeguarding can only help to ensure the survival of a business.