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16 May 2017

Small firms need to take immediate action on cyber crime

By Dave Stallon, Commercial Director at FSB

Websites, apps, social media, internet banking… The digital revolution has fundamentally changed the way many small businesses work. It’s provided new opportunities to grow, easier ways to connect and more convenient ways of doing things.

It’s now such an everyday part of life that it’s easy to forget the risks. When you’re busy getting on with the job of running your business, cyber attacks probably aren’t at the front of your mind. But last week’s global cyber hack – including of NHS computer systems – is a stark reminder that there are dangers. And I worry that small businesses are particularly at risk.

It’s been a nagging concern for me – and FSB - for a while. That’s why earlier this year we decided to offer advice and insurance as part of the package of being a FSB member. With a warning from the National Cyber Security Centre this week that further cyber attacks may be imminent, it is vital that small businesses take steps to protect themselves.

Cyber crime is one of the fastest growing risks to small businesses, and one of the fastest growing areas of crime globally. Attackers are becoming more effective, while victims are becoming less able to discover attacks.

FSB figures show that, on average, a cyber crime incident costs a small business victim nearly £3,000, and takes more than two days to recover from. According to a recent report FSB published, a staggering seven million cyber crimes are committed against smaller businesses in the UK every year. That’s 19,000 every day.

I am urging small businesses to check immediately for updates to their operating systems and anti-malware software and download them where needed. Small firms should also make sure their system or critical data is backed up to a storage device that’s not within the same network – if the worst happens, data cannot then be held to ransom.

Small firms should keep an eye on the National Cyber Security Centre website and Twitter feed to stay up to date with the latest advice. And now that FSB has its cyber advice and insurance protection in place, I would urge members to make use of it.

Few of us wouldn’t insure our business premises. None of us would leave those premises unlocked at night. It’s time to have the same mindset when it comes to keeping our businesses safe online.

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