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Cyber-crime: smaller businesses not prepared

UK small businesses are still not prepared for cybercrime: research shows the changing nature of attacks and where companies are weakest.

Research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has revealed that 42% of small and micro businesses in the UK have been the victims of cybercrime. But 14% of those surveyed reported that they still have no formal protection of their business in place.

“This research shows that although many business owners are aware of cybersecurity risks and are taking action to guard against them, there are still some who need to do more to protect their businesses,” said vice president of security research at security software company Trend Micro Rik Ferguson.

Of the businesses to suffer cybercrime:

  • 23% had suffered virus infection to their business computers
  • 22% had been victims of phishing (where sensitive information such as passwords are stolen by someone pretending to be from the bank, for example)
  • 12% had been victims of card fraud

Business cyber exposure

Despite the high number of business victims of cybercrime, many are still not protecting themselves.

  • 62% do not change their business passwords regularly, which is essential for keeping passwords secure
  • 31% are not making using regular updates of anti-virus software leaving them open to computer viruses and malware
  • 34% of businesses do not use firewall protection
  • 70% do not regularly install security patches, which are needed to keep security software up to date for the latest threats
  • 14% are not using any methods at all to protect their business from cybercrime.

Protect business from cyber crime

As Mark Farrar, AAT Chief Executive, pointed out, keeping online information secure is vital for UK SMEs. “A security breach could put you out of action and cost you money, which can be fatal for smaller businesses that have very little time and money to spare. Businesses should always protect every aspect of their online profile.”

To get some free advice on how to protect your business from cybercrime, see our guide. Please sign up to our newsletter for more valuable advice.

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