Cyber security is a necessity for all businesses regardless of their size. We’ve all seen the news headlines about massive companies being hacked, but what about the many smaller businesses that suffer cyber security breaches?
A survey carried out earlier in the year by the UK government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign showed that small and medium sized businesses are putting over a third of their revenue in danger due to a lack of understanding of the cyber threat. This lack of knowledge has, according to the survey left 66% of all SME’s vulnerable to cyber-attack.
Lack of Cyber Security Investment
Most SME bosses believe that their business is safe, but only 16% of respondents said that investment in cyber security was their top priority. This figure is worrying as the pace of change in the cyber world is rapid and a lack of investment can quickly leave a company exposed to new hacking techniques, viruses and other online dangers.
False Sense of Security
Many SME’s believe that due to their smaller size they aren’t a target for hackers. In reality the threat they face has never been greater as many hackers see SME’s as easy targets compared to larger (and often better defended) businesses. According to the UK government, 33% of all SMES suffered a cyber-attack from an exterior source. The survey also highlighted that many SMEs believe that only companies that take payments online are at risk from a cyber-attack. This is not true. All companies are at risk from cyber criminals regardless.
As well as the threat of losing income from a cyber-attack many hackers opt to steal customer data. An SME with lax cyber security measures in place can be used by an attacker as a backdoor into the data banks of a larger company or government department. Credit card details, addresses, phone numbers… all can be stolen. By stealing addresses for example, a criminal can learn where a person shops or banks and in turn be a used as a tool for phishing scams.
SMEs are Easy Targets
To a professional cybercriminal, SMEs are easy pickings as they are often naïve in their belief that they are safe and fully protected from cyber-attack. In fact, they are likely to be far more exposed to attacks than large companies who are more likely to have a dedicated cyber security team.
SMEs are in the crosshairs of cyber criminals because many lack the budget and expertise to implement an effective cyber security strategy, which in turn makes them an easy target. Don’t become a target, invest in protection and seek the advice of the professionals such as those at PGI Cyber.