While cyber crimes against smaller organisations do not attract the headlines, they can still cause massive amounts of damage for the business and its customers.

In 2018, SMEs in the UK suffered the majority of the £17bn cost of cyber attacks. In fact, amongst UK businesses which employ between 10 and 49 people, nearly two thirds of them were victims of cyber crime last year. That’s equivalent to 130,000 businesses, according to research carried out by internet service provider Beaming.

Beaming stated in their findings that 63% of small businesses admitted being a victim of cyber crime in 2018, which is up from 47% in 2017.

Unfortunately, smaller businesses are an easy target for cyber criminals. This is because they usually have very little in the way of technical protection and, even if they do, chances are it won’t be robust enough to give hackers much bother.

However, the biggest weakness for smaller organisations is often a lack of cyber awareness among its people. Staff with little knowledge on how to keep business data secure are naturally an incredibly easy target. One example is the problem with weak, easy to crack passwords. Is there anyone in your business whose password is ‘password’? Probably. How long does it take a cyber criminal to crack that password? Less time than it takes to type it.

Even something as simple as logging into public Wi-Fi on a work laptop can be a risk to data security. Indeed, a cyber criminal with some very basic hacking software can gain access to the files that an unsuspecting victim is transferring over a Wi-Fi connection.

Phishing accounted for a quarter of SME cyber attacks last year, making it the most common type of attack in 2018. Phishing is a process where criminals try to assume the role of someone else, in an attempt to gain access to secure data. An example of this could be a cyber criminal sending an e-mail to a company’s accounts team and requesting access to bank account information. Since this type of e-mail is often very cleverly disguised to look as though it is being received from a someone who can be trusted, an uninformed person can unwittingly share this information with cyber criminals.

All of us are now living in an age where no business, irrespective of its size, should be operating without a cyber defence strategy. Blue Rock can assist with creating this strategy and can help ensure that your people are aware of cyber threats and what they can do to help stop them.

We work with SMEs in Scotland to ensure people know the risks of cyber crime, what the most common mistakes are and what action, or lack of action, may put your business at risk. Indeed, our services help to transform your people’s skills and know-how so that they can become your first line of cyber defence.

Visit our homepage to see a full overview of our services and if you would like to speak more about Blue Rock services, please contact us at info@bluerockcd.co.uk or call us on 0773 995 4441.

To keep up to date with the latest news from Blue Rock and also recieve invitations to our events, you can join our mailing list here.

(1) https://www.beaming.co.uk/press-releases/small-businesses-hit-hardest-by-17bn-cybercrime-bill-in-2018/