Tackling cyber crime: What small businesses can do

As cyber criminals have ever more sophisticated technology at their disposal, cyber crime is becoming an increasing threat for business. With a growing number of businesses affected, small businesses are likely to be asking what they can do protect themselves.


Dealing with the dangers of cyber criminals is incredibly important for smaller companies, as the loss of even a small portion of funds can give a dramatic impact on the bottom line.


Some attacks could potentially propel businesses into scenarios such as administration or even to insolvency, so firms need to be aware of what they can do to tackle the issue.


According to accountancy firm KPMG, some two thirds of companies disregard the cyber threat, but it requires careful thought and consideration.


Things to consider


One of the key parts of understanding the cyber threat comes from knowing exactly what information competitors or criminals may be hoping to glean.


Performance data covering sales and anything relating to company finances will be of particular interest and should be protected with numerous security measures.


Losing this information could place a firm under considerable threat and this is why suitable levels of encryption should be placed on these types of files.


Only certain staff should have access to this data too in order to limit potential breaches of confidentiality.


Protecting a business


Having suitable insurance cover can also provide a fall-back should something go wrong, although it is better to take precautions in the first place.


Staff will also need to be trained to be aware of potential threats, or they may unwittingly open a door for cyber crime to occur.


Watching for emails from unknown sources and not sharing confidential information should be focused upon.


Protective measures for firms who encourage staff to work from home should also be introduced, as home computing systems may not be afforded the same level of protection as office computing systems.


Plan for any eventuality


Despite having the best will in the world and having the necessary precautions in place, a company could still be hit by cyber crime.


As a result it’s essential to have a plan in place that enables for the effective dealing of any given situation, including measures such as disaster recovery.


In the same way as a fire drill, practice for this sort of event regularly and ensure everything works as it should; this way cyber criminals could be stopped in their tracks.


Cyber crime might be growing, but with the right approach, businesses can lessen the chances of being affected.


By Phil Smith


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