2020 saw UK small businesses hit hard by a sudden and dramatic surge in cyberattacks. Security analysts Beaming estimate that Q1 2020 saw a 30% increase in attempted hacks, compared to similar periods in 2018 and 2019. The 2020 rise followed a continual uptick in hacks – cybercrime against SMEs was at the highest ever recorded level in the UK the previous year, too.
The reasons for this increase include the growth of unsecured IoT (Internet of Things) items, the increase in ecommerce during lockdown, and insecure personal devices used for remote working. Against this backdrop, it’s critical that all businesses, large and small, have the right plans and tools in place to guard against common cyberattacks, such as phishing, data theft, fraud, and DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.
Why Are Small Businesses Particularly Vulnerable To Cybercrime?
The answer is simple: small businesses are often easy prey for cybercriminals, with basic antivirus and firewall cover and inadequate data safeguards in place – not to mention complacency about the level of threat to their business.
Cybercrime exacts a higher proportional cost on small businesses, too. Every breach requires a full overhaul and reset of your network. The recovery process can include replacing or restoring assets, installing new software, and website and server downtime to upgrade or restore backups. It also eats into valuable time your employees can otherwise spend working and selling your products.
Serious, direct costs can also be caused by hacks. Although not recommended or wise, some companies do end up paying ransomware and blackmail demands to unlock infected machines and prevent leaks. While you’re automatically insured against most financial fraud, it also takes precious time to revert payments and freeze assets. Malware can permanently disable laptops and phones, even with factory resets. And the reputation hit to the business can inflict ‘soft’ losses in terms of lost footfall, sales, and recommendations.
As well as being a source of expense and hassle for small companies, you could be legally liable under the GDPR (2018) for fines if you fail to protect sensitive customer data. The GDPR also makes it mandatory for you to announce when you’ve suffered a serious data breach – further damaging your standing. For small businesses, the combined costs of dealing with all of this fallout can be devastating. An estimated 60% of small businesses hit by a serious cyberattack will fold within six months of the hack.
Online And Data Security With Fuse Collaboration
If you’re looking to prevent cyberattacks or have recently experienced one, get in touch with Fuse Collaboration. We’re experienced, UK-based providers of IT strategies and remote tech support that allows small businesses to avoid threats and bounce back from even the most challenging IT setbacks. Call or email us today to talk about what we could do for you.
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