Make It Hard for Cyber Fraudsters
According to a recent study by Barclays Bank, the average cost of each case of cyber fraud is more than £1,000 per attack, and 29% of cyber fraud attempts against small businesses and SMEs are successful. What’s more, 10.6% of those who took part in the study revealed that they had been victims of cyber fraud, and 8.58% of these had to make staff redundant to cover the costs. With 43% of all cyber fraud attempts being against small businesses and SMEs, this is an area that cannot be ignored.
What is cyber fraud?
Cyber fraud refers to any criminal act against computers and networks and is often called hacking. It can also cover more traditional crimes conducted through the internet. Some common types of
cyber fraud against businesses can include computer system attacks, malware, business identity theft, phishing, web-based and denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
It has the potential to inflict enormous damage to growing businesses, especially those who operate on small margins. However, many SMEs do not have this as one of their main priorities.
Securing your business from cyber fraud
Regardless of what industry your business operates in or the size of your business, there are some simple steps you can take to help safeguard against potential cyber fraud.
Ensure your systems are up to date at all times
There are many reasons why small businesses struggle to keep their systems up to date, including the cost of doing this. However, ensuring you are running the latest version of Windows, Mac OS and other software are crucial. By updating your systems on a regular basis major issues are often fixed, and you are less likely to be compromised by a cyber-attack.
Back up, back up, back up and back up again
In the past, backing up company data was a laborious process, but cloud storage solutions today are affordable, simple and fast. There are huge benefits to storing your data on the cloud and while there is still a small risk that these can still be compromised, your data will be protected against certain types of cyber fraud attacks such as ransomware. It is vital you take complete back-ups of your company files and data on a regular basis.
Knowledge is Key: Educate Your Staff
The more training and awareness that your staff have of cyber fraud, the better equipped they will be to safeguard against potential attacks. With small businesses being more reliant and dependent on the internet than ever before, it is vital that you train all your staff to be cyber aware at a minimum.
Conduct regular risk assessments
While there is much you can do to help protect your systems and business from cyber fraud internally, having regular risk assessments undertaken by a professional may highlight any areas that have been overlooked. Cyber Essential is a great place to start for this.
Introduce a password policy
Insecure passwords can often be an organisation’s weakest link, so review these regularly. Introduce a password policy that forces your employees to change their passwords frequently.
The threat from cyber fraud is not going to disappear any time soon, therefore businesses need to embrace this and ensure they are as prepared as they can be against cyber-attacks. With a few simple steps and training, you can successfully protect your business against cyber fraud.