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Why are Cyber criminals targeting SME’s and what are the risks?

Jun 11, 2019

Cybercrime is a topic we’ve blogged about on numerous occasions recently. And that’s because it’s a real risk to business of all sizes that isn’t going away anytime soon.

What is the risk of cybercrime to SME’s?

There is a real risk to SME’s – don’t think that just because you have a smaller sized business you won’t be on the radar of the cyber criminals. Recent research from Chubb indicates that in fact cyber criminals are ‘increasingly targeting small and midsize business’.

Smallbiz trends figures show that in 2018 over half of cyber-attacks reported worldwide were against businesses with less than 250 employees.

Attacks on big corporations may make the news, but cyber-attacks on small or medium sized enterprises can make or break a business.

Why do cyber criminals target SME’s?

According to the Chubb research, it is unlikely that specific SME’s are targeted by cyber criminals. So, your business is unlikely to be a named target. But SMEs may be more vulnerable to the techniques that cyber criminals use such as

• Viruses
• Ransomware
• Phishing attacks

Cyber criminals may believe that small and medium sized enterprises won’t have the resources to protect themselves. Or that it is even necessary that they take steps to protect themselves. Add to this that big corporations are using progressively more sophisticated cyber security tools and techniques making it increasingly difficult for cyber criminals to attack them it isn’t surprising that attacks on smaller sized business are on the increase.

What can your small business do to minimise the risk?

Acknowledge that your business is at risk

Firstly, to avoid the risk you need to acknowledge that there is a risk. Multiple sources reiterate that small and medium sized businesses are increasingly at risk. If you acknowledge this then you can take the steps needed to start to protect yourself.

Put a cyber security strategy in place

Once you have defined that there is a risk, you can look to work out your cyber security strategy. If you don’t have the resources internally to manage this, it is likely to be possible to outsource it and use the skills of expert professionals.

Ensure you have security where you need it

If you know what your most valuable data is you can ensure that it is protected – cybercriminals are specialists at learning where valuable data is stored and launching attacks which will allow them to access it.

Train your staff

Many cyber-attacks rely on and target human error. Train your staff to recognise an email that doesn’t look right or questions data or access requests. Staff also need to understand why being aware of the risks is so important and the consequences of a cyber-attack on a business.

Consider cyber insurance

The costs and consequences of a cyber-attack can be devastating to a business of any size but particularly an SME. Cyber insurance will cover your business’s liability as well as your ability to manage the impact of a cyber incident on your systems and finances. Given the risks currently facing businesses, at Anthony Jones we strongly recommend that you consider such cover if you have any kind of online business.

If you have any questions about your business insurance needs and whether cyber insurance could be right for your business, do get in touch with us at Anthony Jones. We have a team of experts ready to help. Call us on 0208 290 9080 or email us at cyber@anthonyjones.com.

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020 8290 4560

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