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Why is Cybersecurity Important for Small Businesses

by UK IT Networks

Cybersecurity attacks have strengthened throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. With many companies working between home and office, security gaps in IT structures have widened. Without adequate cybersecurity support and training, businesses risk being left vulnerable and open to further attacks. Many small businesses believe that it would never happen to them as they are smaller in comparison to other big players in the market. However, this is not the case; last year, 38% of micro and small businesses experienced a breach and of these, 27% were attacked at least once a week.

To Support Your IT Team

With increasing reliance on digital systems, an in-house IT team is fundamental for any business. They serve day to day maintaining, managing and monitoring the business IT infrastructure and fixing issues as and when they arise. However, this does not always mean that an IT team has all the equipment required to fully ensure their business is protected against cyber attacks. An internal IT team typically will have the resources needed to enable them to deal with incoming spam, but for bigger attacks, external support is recommended. This is because external providers will have enhanced defences to better protect against crypto-lockouts, compromised databases and compromised systems. For a business, the external provider supports the existing IT team in creating a contingency plan and ensuring that the business has up to date defences in place to prevent these attacks from happening.

To Protect Business Data

Every business holds valuable data – whether they believe it to be or not. If this data was lost or stolen, the impact on both customers and the business could be devastating, with loss of customer confidence, possible legal action, investigations and fines as a result.

In June 2021, professional networking giant LinkedIn saw data associated with 700 million of its users posted on a dark web forum, impacting more than 90% of its user base. A hacker had used data scraping techniques to exploit the data of 500 million LinkedIn users. This was a breach of terms of service rather than a data security breach, however the private information; phone numbers, geolocation records, genders, names and social media records could be used by criminals to craft convincing engineering attacks in the future, as warned by the NCSC.

What Does GDPR mean for Cybersecurity?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that “personal data must be processed using appropriate technical and organisational measures.”  For cybersecurity, this means that in order to be compliant with GDPR, there is an expectation you have established defence measures in place. The best defences are nationally recognised and backed by the UK government and UK Police approved.

To Save Costs

£8,170 is the average annual cost for micro and small businesses that lost data or assets after breaches. Investment in cybersecurity defences is small in comparison to the potential losses that could occur from a data breach. Consider the damaging effect of having to inform your entire customer base that you have experienced a breach or inform them that their data has been stolen. Not only would this impact the customer, but the loss your small business would experience through diminishing customer trust has the potential to negatively impact the financial position of your business.

To Bid for Public Tenders

In order to bid for public tenders, it is becoming increasingly standard for businesses to have a level of cybersecurity protection in place. The UK Government, Ministry of Defence and the NHS require businesses to be Cyber Essentials certified at a minimum to bid for tenders, and, it is becoming increasingly popular in the private sector too. This is especially important for businesses involved in the supply chain – you may not believe that your business is a likely target for cybercriminals but, if you are involved in the supply chain of a bigger company, you are an entryway to their data and would be swept up in an attack.

Our Packages

At UK IT Networks, we offer cybersecurity packages for all businesses. Cyber Essentials is a government-backed and nationally recognised standard of cyber protection for businesses. The certification reduces businesses vulnerability to cybercrime by up to 80%. With our guided Cyber Essentials certification, the process is simple. We scan your business for potential threats, work with you to address these issues, perform a rescan to ensure that our solution has been effective and issue certification – proving your business has successfully taken action to protect sensitive data. With continued training and further investment, you will be well equipped and on your way to 99.9% protection.

Cybercrime will continue to evolve, with new threats developing weekly. Your business should be prioritising prevention and protection from such cyber-attacks. Investing in Cyber Essentials, Cyber Essentials Plus or completing our Digitally Aware Police approved course, can reduce your vulnerability to cybercrime by up to 80%. Remember a cyber attack is more a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’ as the velocity of cyber attack evolution is far outpacing the level of security businesses currently have deployed. 

Contact our team today to find out more about our small businesses cybersecurity offerings on 0344 326 2150 or email enquiries@ukitnetworks.com 

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