Businesses mistakenly think that they are not at risk of cyber attacks

Cyber attack warning

More than half of British firms have been the victim of a cyber-attack this year, new figures have revealed.

Suffolk technology company, Comms Unite, is warning small business owners not to have a false sense of security when it comes to cyber protection.

The firm, based in Martlesham, say the statistics released by Hiscox, are not surprising and urged small businesses to better protect themselves against a cyber-attack.

Nick Shaw, director of Comms Unite, who specialises in providing technology and communication services said: “There has been a significant rise in the number of cyber-attacks this year.

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“According to the research, more than 60% have reported one or more attacks – a rise of 45% from 2018.

“Ultimately, cyber security is a race against time so firms must be proactive. You must stay one step ahead of the criminals by regularly reviewing your security.

“The Hiscox research worryingly shows us that many businesses incorrectly feel that they aren’t at risk.”

Nick Shaw, of Comms Unite

Cyber breaches can be financially crippling for businesses. Incidents can cost a company up to £8,000 as they try to recover lost data, notify people affected and put measures in place to minimise the impact.

There are small steps that businesses can take to protect themselves:

  • Secure email accounts to protect from spam
  • Change passwords regularly
  • Provide training on security awareness
  • Ensure you are protected against threats from criminals accessing your network from employees’ personal devices by using a mobile security solution
  • Use a firewall which turns on intrusion detection and protections
  • Install computer updates such as Microsoft, Adobe and Java
  • Run a monthly office back-up to the cloud

There are also more advanced steps that can be taken and that’s where the experts come in.

Nick said: “Businesses should protect computers from malware, viruses and cyber-attacks with advanced endpoint security.

“Today’s latest products, which replace outdated or non-existent anti-virus solution, protect against file-less and script-based threats and can even roll-back a ransomware attack.

“You can also use multi-factor authentication which provides an additional layer of protection to ensure that even if your password does get stolen, your data stays protected.

“Whenever possible, the goal should always be to encrypt files at rest, in motions (when you send files) and especially on mobile devices.”

He added: “Cloud-based security detects web and email threats as they emerge on the internet and blocks them on your network within seconds before they reach the server.

“Today’s cyber criminals attempt to steal data or access your network via your employee’s mobile phones or tablet devices.

“They count on business owners to neglect this piece of the puzzle. Mobile phone security closes that hole.”

Hiscox, an insurance company, surveyed more than 5,400 small, medium and large businesses in the UK, Germany, USA, Belgium, France, Netherlands and Spain