How secure is your business when it comes to a potential online security threat? What are the potential consequences of a security breach? What impact would a security breach have on your customers? These are just some of the questions being posed in a startling investigation by Towergate Insurance on the challenges of web security faced by small business owners.
An infographic (below) detailing this and some more information shows that many small businesses have limited understanding of online security and almost no knowledge of what to do in the face of an attack.
Cyber-crime is one of the biggest issues for business with an online presence, estimated to cost SMEs in excess of £800m per year. In 2014 attacks increased by over 40% but surprisingly 97% of companies do not prioritise online security in line with their growth ambitions. In fact 22% of companies don’t even know where to start when it comes to web security.
What Methods do Cyber Criminals use?
Cyber-crime is evolving constantly which means the authorities must work hard to keep up with new methodologies. Indeed in 2014 over 8000 vulnerabilities were found in different types of software that allowed criminals to take advantage of flawed security. Cyber criminals use varied methods which include phishing, social engineering, water-holing, ransomware and denial-of-service to infiltrate systems. As a result criminals were able to steal money, financial details of the company as well as clients and a wealth of personal information. That’s not where the problems end as cyber criminals can then sell this information on the black market to generate a highly lucrative income.
The Impact of Cyber Crime
The costs for a company can stretch further still. Companies found to have insufficient security in place can be held liable for identity theft of customers’ details and fines can be issued for up to £500,000. This comes of course before any impact is calculated on future loss of earnings due to reputational impact.
How to Manage Threats
Some of the best ways of combating cyber-crime are often the most simple. Password protection is something most of us are familiar with but do we ever follow the prescribed advice? Using strong passwords, not using the same password on multiple logins and changing passwords every 90 days are best practice for SMEs. Furthermore installing updates when requested can also ensure that your systems are up-to-date with the latest security measures. Of course keeping all confidential information, especially that of clients, encrypted can also ensure that your business is protected against many threats.
What’s your Contingency Plan?
It’s also worth having a contingency in place. Do you know what to do in the event of an attack? By ensuring you are prepared for all outcomes means you can manage the potential outcomes of any security breach head on.
Cyber-crime is constantly evolving. Make sure your business is ready to evolve with it.