prepared for cyber attack

Are you prepared for a cyber-attack?

IT is a staggering statistic. According to new research, small businesses in the UK are collectively subject to almost 10,000 cyber-attacks a day.

One in five firms has revealed a cyber-attack has been committed against their business in the past two years.

And more than seven million individual attacks are reported over the same period, equating to 9,741 incidents a day.

The annual cost of such attacks on the small business community is horrendous – it has been estimated at £4.5bn, with the average cost of an individual attack put at £1,300.

Victims are most frequently subject to phishing attempts, with 530,000 small firms suffering from such an attack over the past two years.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses also report incidences of malware (374,000), fraudulent payment requests (301,000) and ransom-ware (260,000).

Those based here in the North West are most likely to be the victims of cyber-attacks, with 25%, reporting incidences.

So how prepared are you? The research from Lancashire-based business organisation FSB would seem to indicate many firms simply aren’t.

One in three small firms (35 per cent) say they have not installed security software over the past two years.

Four in ten (40 per cent) do not regularly update software, and a similar proportion do not back up data and IT systems. Fewer than half have a strict password policy for devices.

WNJ has been working with experts at Lancashire-based AW Training and Compliance to make businesses more aware of the threats.

We continually highlight the danger of phishing – where criminals send emails claiming to be from reputable organisations such as banks.

It is becoming more common and we are continually urging businesses of all sizes to be on their guard.

Penny Davis of AW Training and Compliance has shared these measures you can take to protect yourself from this type of fraud:

• Configure accounts to reduce the impact of successful attacks by giving your employees the lowest possible level of IT privilege needed to do their job

• Train your staff to be on their guard – to look out for requests that are unusual – for example, sending a large, one-off payment to a supplier, or providing their passwords or credit card details.

• Be aware of what to look out for. Although phishing emails are becoming more sophisticated, there can be warning signs such as incorrect addresses, or poorly written messages with grammatical mistakes.

To discuss any issue regarding cyber-security and how AW Training and Compliance can help contact Penny on 01257 460081 or email