Written by Haydon Kirby, IT Account Director – 17th August 2017

Did you know that British businesses were subjected to almost 230k cyber attacks during 2016?

Businesses face large fines for cyber security breaches

In November last year, the average volume of attacks hitting individual company firewalls passed the 1,000 per day mark for the first time in history. More importantly, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council implies that UK businesses could face up to £122 billion in fines for cyber security breaches in 2018, and £52 billion of that will be imposed on SMEs. 

Do cyber attacks only happen to large businesses?

However, many SMEs still believe that only larger businesses fall victim to cyber crime but this really isn’t the case. Larger businesses often invest in a much higher level of prevention including ISO 27001, Cyber Essentials Plus, complex firewalls such as Intercept X from Sophos or similar, and seek professional consultants to perform penetration audits. Where as typical SMEs have basic protection in place such as anti-virus and firewalls and don’t adopt high levels of protection until a real security threat is identified.

How are businesses targeted by cyber criminals?

Cyber attacks come in a variety of formats, from fake invoices to excel documents containing ransomware and or attachments containing viruses.

Malware attacks from the likes of PetyaWannaCry and Locky cost businesses millions last year and several SMEs that were targeted contacted us to help decrypt their business data held at ransom.

According to the insurer RSA, despite an onset of high-profile cyber attacks last year, which included Yahoo, Tesco Bank, TalkTalk and Camelot, businesses are still not protecting themselves sufficiently.

Recently, The Federation of Small Businesses welcomed the launch of the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy as well as the affordable Government backed Cyber Essentials Scheme which helps UK businesses protect themselves against common cyber attacks.  This scheme is perfect for SMEs looking to get a basic grip of Cyber Security.

To find out more about how to protect your business against cyber security attacks or the Cyber Essentials Scheme please get in touch.