Protecting yourself from the ghouls and ghosts of cybercrime all year round

And so Halloween is over once more. It seems to be getting bigger every year – more children are trick or treating, more homes are being turned into houses of horror – yet unlike some dates, once we wake up on 1st  November, that’s it for another twelve months. Unfortunately, while Halloween may only happen once a year, for a business victim of a cyber-attack, the fright can last much longer. With 99% of UK businesses experiencing a security breach in the last year, it will take more than a pumpkin to keep cyber evil at bay.

British Airways, Under Armour, Facebook – the list of companies that have experienced a data breach in 2018 alone include some of the world’s most recognisable brands. The impact on consumer trust can be immense, but since the advent of GDPR, the threat of a fine running into the millions also awaits any business that is found to be negligent in the handling of EU citizens’ data.

For the businesses highlighted above, a successful cyber-attack can have a major impact on revenues, perhaps taking many years to truly recover. For small businesses, however, the result can be much worse – the end of the business, such are the potential ramifications from a legal, financial and customer trust perspective.

Taking the right steps can help both protect from the possibility of a breach and mitigate the impact should one occur. It’s important they consider all facets of their IT. From developing cyber resilience , to having a clear plan  of what to do if you are victim of a cyber-attack, there are a number of things SMEs can and should take to protect themselves and fortify their business. For instance, Software Asset Management can have a major impact  on a business’ ability to ward off cyber threats. By having a clear view of their software assets and ensuring all software used within the business is fully licensed, organisations can eliminate the security risks arising from using unlicensed software.

Cyber crime continues to be the biggest threat to organisations of all sizes. By taking simple steps, SMEs can dramatically lower their risk of exposure or breaches. Next month, we’ll be looking at cyber security for SMEs in more detail. In the meantime, you can read more on using Software Asset Management to mitigate risk, and an introduction  to the type of tactics that are most likely to threaten SMEs.