Cyber Security for SME Business Owners – Part 1

What is cyber security and why does your business need it?

This is part 1 of a 4 part series to help small business owner get a clear idea on how to avoid the financial and emotional pressures of being a victim of cyber crime.  This is for people who need to understand what’s going on and what to do without getting in too deep about the technical side of things.

By the end of this series you will know

  • What is cyber security and why your business need it
  • Why most common advice about cyber security doesn’t work
  • What you really need to do about cyber crime

Finally you will have a 12 point checklist to work through so you dont miss out any key points when making your business safe.

So lets get started…

Any business with customers and staff that uses IT to support its operations stores a lot of valuable data that is targeted by criminals. As a business owner it’s your professional and legal obligation to protect that data or run the risk of:

A fine up to £500,000 from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

Long term damage to the reputation of your business

A six figure hit to your bottom line (In 2015 the average cost for SME’s was £115,000 but that figure appears to be rising)

The Data Protection Act requires you to take “appropriate technical organisational measures” to prevent theft of data. Whilst historically these fines have been few and far between there are a number of factors that indicate that won’t be the case in the very near future.

The introduction of GDPR and the Government launching the National Cyber Security Strategy in October 2016 underpinned with £1.9 billion of investment sends a clear message. Cybercrime is costing the UK economy and we all need to take responsibility or risk significant losses.

The problem for SME business owners who recognise the risk and want to protect against it is how do you know what to do and where to start? Cyber crime is constantly evolving making it almost impossible for you to know if the measures you’ve put in place as recently as 6 months ago are still effective. Or perhaps even worse, you are so overwhelmed by the vast number of threats and ways to protect your data the task of protecting your business and your clients looks impossible to get under control.

Statistically the odds are your business will be a victim of a cyber attack this year and next whatever you do. You need to be prepared so that attack has little or no impact on your business and that is essentially what good cyber security is.

The good news is there’s plenty of action you can take to protect yourself from the risk posed by cyber criminals.

This series aims to educate you on the fundamentals of a good cyber security so you know what measures you need to take and can make well informed decisions on how to protect the data you hold for your business and your clients. We will explain why a lot of the most common advice won’t work for you in isolation, tell you what you need to do and provide a 12 point checklist so you can get started on making sure that data of your business and your clients is in safe hands.

Next up why most common advice about cyber security doesn’t work.