Cyber security is a vital issue for small businesses in the UK, as they face increasing risks of cyber attacks and breaches that can damage their reputation, productivity, and profitability. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 , 38% of UK micro and small businesses identified a cyber attack in the last 12 months, with 82% of these businesses reporting phishing attempts, and 25% identifying a more sophisticated attack type such as a denial of service, malware or ransomware attack.
Be Proactive to protect your business
The impact of these cyber incidents can be severe, especially for small businesses that may not have the resources or expertise to prevent, detect, and recover from them. The survey estimates that the single most disruptive breach from the last 12 months cost each business, of any size, an average of approximately £1,100. For medium and large businesses, this was approximately £4,960. For charities, it was approximately £530. Moreover, cyber attacks can also cause intangible losses, such as loss of customer trust, loss of intellectual property, or loss of competitive advantage.
Therefore, it is essential for small businesses to take proactive steps to protect themselves from cyber threats and to improve their cyber resilience. The government offers various guidance and resources to help small businesses with their cyber security, such as the Cyber Aware campaign , the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) Small Business Guide , and the Cyber Essentials scheme . These initiatives provide practical advice and tips on how to implement basic cyber hygiene measures, such as updating malware protection, backing up data, using strong passwords, restricting admin rights, and installing network firewalls.
Access resources and stay aware
However, cyber security is not only a technical issue, but also a human one. Small businesses need to raise awareness and educate their staff on how to avoid online scams and fraud, and how to report and respond to cyber incidents. The NCSC also offers free online training and exercises for small businesses, such as the Staying Safe Online: Top Tips for Staff module and the Exercise in a Box tool, to help them improve their cyber skills and preparedness.
Cyber security is a shared responsibility, and small businesses need to work together with their customers, suppliers, and partners to create a secure and trustworthy cyberspace. By following the government’s guidance and best practices, small businesses can reduce their cyber risks and enhance their cyber opportunities and contribute to the UK’s digital economy and society.
Get expert help
In addition to the government’s support, small businesses can also benefit from the expertise and services of professional cyber security providers, such as consultants, auditors, or trainers. These providers can help small businesses assess their cyber security needs, design and implement tailored solutions, and monitor and maintain their cyber security performance. They can also help small businesses comply with the relevant laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Regulations, which aim to protect the personal data and critical infrastructure of the UK from cyber attacks.
However, finding and choosing a reliable and qualified cyber security provider can be challenging for small businesses, as the cyber security market is diverse and complex. There are many factors to consider, such as the provider’s credentials, reputation, experience, pricing, and availability.
However, it’s important to get regular security risk assessments . Fortunately, there is plenty of advice and support about keeping your business safe and protected online.
360ict Ltd excels in supporting small businesses with their ICT. Whether it’s cyber security advice, managing the challenges of your ICT or adding extra IT capacity, we can help.