A recent survey by Kaspersky and B2B International revealed that 94% of companies experienced a cyber-attack in the last 12 months; 3% higher than in 2013.
Despite these statistics, SMEs are failing to prioritise their IT strategy. Only 19% of businesses with less than 25 employees considered their IT strategy a top concern. A common misconception amongst smaller businesses is that cybercriminals are not concerned with companies of their size. In reality, a lack of security controls makes them an attractive target.
The estimated average cost of a data security breach to a UK SME is £48,000 in damages and reactive spend. So how can small businesses protect themselves?
- Use up-to-date antivirus software and run regular scans
- Ensure your data is regularly backed up and stored off-line
- If you are using Windows XP, upgrade your operating system as soon as possible
- Install patch updates immediately
- Secure your Cloud and virtual environments
- Create a security policy and communicate this with employees
- Protect your mobile devices by backing up data and enabling remote wiping in the case of theft
SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy, accounting for 99% of all private sector businesses. Their data is extremely valuable and any form of security breach could cause significant damage to their business and reputation.