Seven million cyber-crimes are committed against UK small businesses every year, with victims paying an average of £3,000 to repair the damage. Now is the time to act and protect yourself, your business and your reputation. The recent global cyber-attack that affected NHS computer systems so badly is a stark reminder of what can happen when your IT system is attacked, you can be held to ransom or lose important files forever. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just an issue for large public sector organisations, I’ve heard from Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) members locally who have lost thousands of pounds. In the last fortnight I’ve attended FSB networking events in West Lothian, Fife, Edinburgh, and here in Midlothian – the topic of cyber-resilience came up at them all. Business owners are now paying attention and want to know more, so something positive has come from the global hack. Thankfully there’s a great deal of help out there from a variety of agencies. The Scottish Government are in the throes of finalising an action plan to boost cyber resilience across all sectors. The Scottish Business Resilience Centre have a lot of information on their website ranging from general advice to attack specific alerts and advice, they host a series of events to back this up as well. The UK Government have a Cyber Essentials scheme that addresses IT systems security and comes with a badge to display showing that your business takes cyber-crime seriously - this may well be the direction of travel for those wishing to win public sector work. I’m especially pleased to see that member feedback my colleagues and I have given FSB has resulted in the creation of a members Cyber Protection service. Business Essentials members get a telephone and online data and cyber security advice service, plus £10,000 of insurance cover for third party claims as a right of membership. Small businesses are often seen as easy or soft targets for cyber-criminals and the result can be devastating. Act now to protect yourself and your business. Gordon Henderson is FSB's Senior Development Manager for the East of Scotland This article first appeared in the Midlothian Advertiser See how FSB have campaigned on this issue Cyber Protection from FSB FSB Cyber Protection includes an insurance policy with cover of up to £10,000 and an unlimited use helpline to answer all your Cyber Security questions. Find out more You may also like 15 December 2017 Joint business group statement as Brexit talks move to second stage 08 December 2017 Weekly Brief 50 – Friday 8 December 2017 06 December 2017 Record amount spent with small firms on Small Business Saturday 10 March 2017 Highland Firms Perspective on Brexit 27 January 2017 Weekly Brief 4 – Friday 27 January 2017 30 March 2016 Are you ready for the new National Living Wage?