Cyber Security Plans: Why Your Small Business Needs One

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Does your business have a cyber security plan? If not, why not?

With cybercrime on the rise, it’s never been more important for small businesses to protect their software and data.
In this post, we’ll explain exactly why cyber security shouldn’t be overlooked and show you what your small business cyber security plan should cover.

Why is cyber security important?

Failure to follow good cyber hygiene can quickly lead to disaster. The number of cyber attacks on UK businesses is steadily rising. According to figures from Get Safe Online and Action Fraud, British businesses lost over £1bn to online crime between March 2015 and March 2016. That’s an increase of 22% in just 12 months.

It’s clear that UK businesses can’t afford to ignore cyber security threats. You wouldn’t leave your business premises unlocked and unprotected, would you? Your business data is just as vital to your business – if not more so – as your physical computers, desktops and products. Businesses should consider investing in cyber security as essential as investing in physical security.  Failure to do so can – and will – have devastating consequences.

What are the consequences of poor cyber hygiene?

Cyber criminals are getting smarter by the day. It’s a common misconception that they focus all their attention on ‘big business’ targets and leave small businesses in peace. In fact, online fraud and cyber crime affects everyone, including individuals, families and businesses of all shapes and sizes.

According to a survey by the Office for National Statistics, there were 3.8 million frauds and 2 million cybercrime s in the UK last year. The cost of this fraud was estimated at a colossal £193 billion pounds. It appears cybercrime is proving lucrative for fraudsters.

Unfortunately, when a business is attacked by cyber criminals, it’s not always easy to spot. There are many different types of ransomware and online fraud. The best way to protect your data is to create (and follow) a tailored cyber security plan for your business.

What is a cyber security plan?

A cyber security plan is designed to help your business stay safe online. Essentially, it’s a comprehensive document outlining how your company will reduce the risk of attack and detailing the action you will take in the event of an attack or data breach. Every member of your team should be aware of your cyber security plan and understand its importance.

What does a cyber security plan need to include?

If you are researching how to create a small business cyber security plan, focus on the following key areas:

  • Prevent: What can your business do to reduce the risk of attacks? Every member of your team should be aware of your company’s cyber security policies and rules regarding software updates and downloads.
  • Restore: In the event of an attack, how will you eliminate the threat? What steps can you take to restore lost data? It’s worth investing in a secure Online Backup service and switching to a Hosted Desktop set up. Together, these services will keep your data safe and accessible in the cloud if ransomware is released onto your device.
  • React: How will you deal with the repercussions of an attack? Lost or compromised data can lead to a loss of business and customer trust. This is why it’s important to put together a plan of action in the event of a data breach.

Hosted Exchange services are another valuable tool in the fight against cybercrime. They will host all your business emails, contacts and calendars so that in the event of an attack you’ll still be able to contact your staff and keep clients up to date.

For more information about keeping your business safe online, we recommend consulting the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). This government-led initiative is part of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and was launched in late 2016. The site includes a wide range of guidance for UK businesses, including detailed advice about how to protect your organisation from ransomware.

Beware ‘bluff’ attacks

If you’re taking steps to improve the cyber security of your small business, it’s important to be aware of ‘bluff’ ransomware attacks.

The UK is seeing an explosion in this type of scam, where cyber criminals contact businesses claiming to have launched a ransomware attack against their business. Criminals play on the fear of businesses by claiming to have blocked access to their data. Often, these criminals demand large sums of money to return access.

These attacks aren’t as rare as most business owners image. In a recent survey conducted by Citrix UK and One Poll it was found that two in five large UK businesses have been hit by a ‘bluff’ ransomware attack. Of these, 61% paid a ransom of between £10k to £25k.

Protect your business from ‘bluff’ attacks

If you want to protect yourself from a ‘bluff’ ransomware attack, the first step is to be aware of the threat and remain vigilant at all times. Learning what to look out for and how to spot a fake attack could save your business tens of thousands of pounds.

Increasingly, UK businesses are joining forces to report ransomware attacks. According to Citrix UK, over half of UK businesses shared details of their ransomware attacks with police forces and the National Cyber Security Centre.
The cybersecurity initiative No More Ransom is also a fantastic resource for businesses affected by ransomware attacks. The site was set up by Europol’s European Cybercrime centre, the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherland’s police, and two cyber security companies. It aims to educate, prevent and empower individuals and businesses against the threat of ransomware attacks. The site includes information to help explain how ransomware works and also outlines what countermeasures can be taken to prevent infection. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay cyber criminals.

Prevention is crucial to protecting your business from a ransomware attack, whether it’s real or a scam.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to retrieve your data following a ransomware attack so unless you have an online backup plan or security software, you may struggle to retrieve access to your data.

Don’t run the risk of attack. Develop a well-rounded cyber security plan for your small business and ensure your data is safe, secure and accessible at all times.

Secure your business

Do you run a small business? Cyber security isn’t something you can afford to ignore. If you’re ready to put a small business cyber security plan in place, start with an Online Backup Plan from Green Cloud Hosting. Get in touch today to arrange your free, no obligation 14 day free trial.

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