Lessons from Cyber Monday
Around three quarters of SMEs take advantage of Cyber Monday but failing to have adequate cyber security leaves many at risk.
An estimated £1.6bn is spent preparing for the day but all of that preparation could go to waste if the system being used is vulnerable to attackers.
Research from the Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaigns suggests that improving cyber security could aid smaller businesses in their quest for more services.
Cyber Monday provides a boost for more than a third of SMEs across all sectors, with an increase in sales expected.
However, many businesses feel that only bigger businesses can benefit and that they do not necessarily feel the benefits themselves.
Cyber security should be a major issue for all firms as losing information can impact upon the bottom line of a business as well as potentially damaging a brand.
Less than a third of SMEs consider cyber security as a big priority for their business and less than one in ten take extra precautions when processing online payments.
Even aspects such as having a two-stage secure payment system and conducting due diligence on online transactions can drastically enhance security.
There are plenty of opportunities for small businesses to take advantage of online shopping in the run-up to Christmas, provided that enough preparation has been done.
For some companies, they face missing out on potential sales as consumers are not confident that their websites offer safe and secure methods of payment.
This could place some smaller firms in financial difficulty, especially if they were to be victims of cyber fraudsters.
If the bottom line finances were to be too heavily impacted, then business turnaround methods could be considered to increase the chances of a positive outcome for the business.
Some simple measures can improve cyber security and reduce the risks involved, while the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme has pumped £860m into businesses to tackle some of the issues faced.
While Cyber Monday is a great opportunity for businesses to take advantage, it is imperative that they are not left counting the costs of a poor security system.
By Phil Smith