Businesses cannot ignore the threat to them from cybercrime. In the UK, 43% of all small businesses and 72% of large businesses have been victims of digital crimes in the past year. Cybercrime is said to cost UK businesses between £9 billion and £11 billion every year.
There are many different types of attacks that businesses can become victims of. For instance, some of the least serious instances are when companies receive fraudulent emails. With the right cyber security in place, these emails can be filtered out and safely disposed of.
However, some emails contain malware and viruses that grant access to your business’ IT systems. Criminals can then steal information and sell it on. Or they can lock you out of your IT systems that make it hard even for expert IT support providers to get back for you.
Counting the cost
Businesses can pay the price for inadequate IT security. The average cost to a business for a cybercrime is about £3,100, and costs can rise if user data is stolen.
According to reports released in July 2018 by IBM, the average cost for a data breach for a UK company was £2.7 million. Though this was 8% higher than the previous year, it was slightly less than the global average.
The main cost of cyber-attacks is in relation to repairing the IT system, compensating those who are affected (customers) and also costs to investigate the breach.
Disruption to the business
It isn’t just direct financial costs that can hinder business development. Every cyber-attack against your business costs productivity. This indirect cost can be high, with some companies losing two months’ worth of work when they suffer a cyber-attack.
The disruption can be so significant that more than half of all small businesses will cease trading after a cyber-attack.
What can be done to prevent a cyber-attack?
There are many ways that you can reduce the risk of a cyber-attack on your business. The first is by outsourcing IT support functions to a company with experience in dealing with cybercrime. They can find gaps in your security and help to fix them. You should also look at training staff, so they know what could be a threat or a breach to your IT security.
You should also invest in proper security software. Emails should be filtered, so malicious emails are deleted before staff can accidentally open them, a major cause of data breaches. In addition, you should install firewalls on your server to prevent attacks.
This isn't a one-time job either. Security needs to be constantly updated, at least once a week. Every day new threats are emerging, and new defences being developed. Without constantly updating your systems, you're allowing new threats to access your computer systems.