Procurement · 10 June 2016

Almost two-thirds of small businesses have been affected by cyber crime

cyber crime
Malware attacks represent one-third of all threats to small firms

The majority of small business owners have suffered the cost of cyber crime despite more than 90 per cent taking steps to protect their firms from such threats, according to new research carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The most common threat to smaller organisations is that of phishing emails, which are responsible for half of attacks, and malware attacks, blamed for one-third of all threats. When the worst does happen, the average business is negatively affected for more than two working days.

“Small firms take their cyber security responsibility very seriously but often they are the least able to bear the cost of doing so,” said FSB national chairman Mike Cherry.

“Smaller businesses have limited resources, time and expertise to deal with ever-evolving and increasing digital attacks. We’re calling on government, larger businesses, individuals and providers to take part in a joint effort to tackle cyber crime and improve business resilience.”

According to the report, chinks in small company’s armour when it comes to security include inadequate password policies – with under one-quarter of business owners enforcing a strict on – and a lack of formal planning around online attacks, with just four per cent of leaders equipped with a written plan of what to do in the face of such an assault.

“Small firms are understandably focused on building their businesses and creating the jobs which drive economic growth. The vulnerabilities of the digital world affect everyone and the responsibility for improving resilience should not be left to the group with least resource to do something about it,” added Cherry.

“Security is important, but given that an element of risk will always be present when operating online, resilience must also be championed. Without a concerted effort to reduce cyber crime and improve resilience, small businesses could be at real risk.”

The latest report follows additional research published in March by cloud computing company Intermedia which revealed that 12 per cent of ransomware attacks are now targeted at micro businesses.

Looking for advice on how to protect yourself from malicious attacks? Don’t miss these expert tips.

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.

TAGS:

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

Q&A

If you’ve found the article above useful, but have a more detailed and bespoke question, then please feel free to submit a query to our expert. We at Business Advice will get in contact with them on your behalf and arrange for a personalised response. These questions and answers will then be collated on the site for any other readers who have similar queries.

Ask a question

From the top

Find out how KPMG Small Business Accounting can really work for you

FIND OUT MORE