According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), cybercrime is now more prevalent in our society than any other form of illegal wrongdoing. And it’s not just big corporations that are being targeted; a comprehensive study by Juniper Research [http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/uks-small-businesses-next-cybercrime-hit-list/] has revealed that the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly finding themselves on hackers’ hit lists.
The study found that over two thirds of businesses admit that they have been a victim of cybercrime - or have experienced some form of cyber-attack - in the last year. However, it would appear that small businesses are most at risk: a lack of know-how when it comes to protecting systems and the inevitable financial restrictions that come with being a smaller enterprise means that they are now being regarded as easy pickings by hackers.
Worryingly, the research also found that 33% of SME decision makers believe that cybercrime is an issue that only affects the IT department. Such thinking is likely to result in poor security practices and procedures, and could inadvertently be giving cybercriminals all the information and data they need to financially cripple an organisation.
The need to focus on security so as to protect sensitive data and information is essential; not only is cybercrime on the rise, but the methods being employed by hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated. Sometimes all it takes is one wrong click, and your most precious financial information could be compromised.
Herjavec Group, an information security advisory firm, has predicted that by 2021, cybercrime could cost $6 trillion annually – more than double its cost in 2012. To put that into some perspective, the UK’s GDP in 2013 was only around $2.6 trillion. Cybercrime is, quite simply, a massive problem.
Protecting your small business against the threat of internet-based criminal activity can be achieved through the purchase of top quality software, employing staff with the ability to counteract threats, and by ensuring all colleagues understand how to avoid falling foul of scams. Simple steps can make a huge difference.
Cybercrime is already an issue, but its menace is only going to become more of a problem in the years to come. By carefully planning and preparing today, you can ensure your business is protected tomorrow.