As reported in the Basingstoke Gazette, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is once again highlighting the threat that Cyber Crime poses to small businesses with a report that Cyber crime and fraud costs local firms £4,000.
The report also found that more than 40 per cent of businesses have been the victims of online crime or fraud in the past 12 months.
Dave Stallon, the Regional Chairman of the FSB in Gloucestershire and West of England, said the figures about the extent of online business crime were very worrying.
“Our report clearly shows that cyber crime is a real and growing threat not only to local businesses but to the wider economy as a whole. All local businesses should feel confident that they can safely and profitably operate online and these figures show many do not.”
The report also highlights research from KPMG that indicates that not only do small business victims of cybercrime lose, on average, £4,000, but they will struggle to recover, with many of them closing down within two years of the loss.
The FSB are advising companies to tighten their online operations with ten tips for data security:
- Identify your assets – what would a criminal target and how would they reach that target?
- Stay ahead by checking government and other regulatory service websites to see what the latest threats are aiming for.
- Train your staff and hold refresher session so that they remain vigilant.
- Install anti-virus, a firewall, anti-malware and anti-spyware onto all of your digital devices.
- If digital services are taken off-site train your staff to be vigilant and make this information part of your staff handbook.
- Draft a recovery strategy to put into place should the worst happen.
- Adopt a password renewal protocol for your staff – no password should last more than just a few weeks, less if the data is particularly confidential or sensitive.
- Always check for ‘https://’ at the beginning of a URL before paying online.
- Consider taking out cyber risk insurance.
- Consider the Data Protection Act – if it can be proved that you failed to protect your data you may be in breach of the Act, which carries fines starting at £500,000.