Do small businesses need cyber security?

If you are a small business owner you may think that you don’t really need cyber security…after all it isn’t as if you have millions of pounds to steal and you are not holding customer’s national insurance numbers or credit card details, so you won’t be a target for cyber criminals. If you have been thinking to yourself ‘Do small businesses need cyber security’ then the answer is yes, and we’ll tell you why.

Ransomware attack

The most prominent and costly cyber crime by far is ransomware. This is when a cyber criminal gains access to your data, encrypts is making it unavailable to you and your business, then demands money to release your data, often coupled with the threat of releasing the data to the public putting you in breach of GDPR. My daughter’s school is currently starting from scratch following an attack of this type. My daughter is having to do a whole year of course work again (maybe she’ll try harder second time around!). There are teachers who have lost 27 years of work. Apply this to a business setting and you’re either looking at paying cyber security specialists a lot of money, or, and unfortunately the most common result, is to pay the ransom. Here’s a link to the national news report on this story.

Business continuity

A huge proportion of cyber-attacks don’t steal data or demand money they simply break your IT! Why do people create viruses that just stop your computer working…nobody really knows…perhaps they are just bored. However, the fact remains that these kinds of attacks WILL affect your business’ ability to run. If you have good back-ups and IT support, your systems could be up and running again within a few hours…if you don’t, then it could be days, weeks or if you lose a lot of business-critical data you may never get back to where you were.

Reputation protection

Even if the data you hold about your clients is not particularly sensitive, it will still damage your brand if you experience a breach. However, any cyber security issue even one that doesn’t affect your clients directly, can cause prospects and customers to lose confidence in your business.

Data protection

Have you heard of GDPR? If you were running a business in 2015 you certainly will have, it was all anyone could talk about! As a business you have a legal responsibility to protect the personal information your business holds. Personal data is classified as any information that can be used to identify a specific person, so a name and email address counts (even if it is a business email address). The fines for contravening GDPR can be severe.

Financial loss

Employees who were previously office-based now have some choice about where and when they work. Some days they will be office based. But other days they will be working remotely.

Reputation protection

One of the things that cyber criminals often do is steal data to perpetrate cyber-crime on other businesses. If a cyber-criminal used stolen data to pose as your business and steal money or interrupt the business of one of your clients or suppliers that would cause serious problems for your business supply chain and once again your reputation.

So, what can you do as a small business owner to protect against cyber-crime? You can call the experts at Sentinel of course. Our Cyber Security services include audits, in-house protocol, staff training, spam, virus, phishing and malware solutions and next generation firewalls. Get in touch or find out more on our website