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Cybercrime is here to stay

Don’t become a victim of complacency, its time to take your head out of the sand and start talking IT security seriously.

30 years ago, IT was an expensive luxury that enterprise companies invested in to show how successful they were. With the reduction of costs and the improvement of software, IT has become a great time saver and has driven efficiencies in all areas of the business. With rapid adoption of the cloud, and being part of a more connected world, IT is now the foundation of most businesses. Without IT, many businesses are dead in the water.

Gone are the days of being able to run your business with paper, now if your systems go down, your business is essentially immobilised. And this hasn’t gone unnoticed. Cybercriminals have seen this mass adoption of IT to be an easy win for them, often holding your business to ransom by exploiting vulnerabilities in software applications and older operating systems.

Large enterprises were the first victims of cybercrime, they’ve seen the effect and cost it’s has on their business and their reputation. Often, they’ll now employ cybersecurity experts, spending large budgets on security to protect their business from new and emerging threats. This has led to a shift in focus for criminals – they’ve now turned their attention to small and medium businesses.

Why are SME’s at risk?

Over the past 18month’s at DISConsulting we’ve seen a large rise in attacks on SME’s. When we’re helping with IT Strategy we often hear:

· We’re too small for anyone to be interested in attacking our business; it won’t happen to us

· We can’t afford to spend money on IT security

· Our business is secure and we’ve adequate software to protect our business

We’re too small

SME’s have an increased reliance on IT and criminals know this, hence the reason they’re the focus for ransomware attacks as its easy money for criminals. A recent study highlights that when faced with a ransom attack, 58% of UK companies paid the ransom rather than lose access to their data as that would mean the end of their business.

Many SMEs don’t inform the authorities when they have been a victim to cybercrime, and some have repeated attacks. The message here is clear, being small makes you more vulnerable if you are subject to an attack and an easy target.

We can’t afford IT security

IT Security is more than just having anti-virus on your devices. You need to have a decent firewall, spam filtering and a security policy that your staff adheres to. Most SMEs can’t achieve this on their own and need help of a trusted IT partner. At DISConsulting we look at what is necessary to secure your business and start by assessing the risk to the business; what’s the cost if your business is down for one to seven days? And would your business survive? A review of your IT for vulnerabilities by DISConsulting is not unlike business insurance, the main difference though is that we’ll uncover the IT security risks to your business may be exposed to and provide recommendations to defend against attack.

Our business is secure

Maybe you’ve already invested in IT security – don’t sit on your laurels quite yet. Cybersecurity is a rapidly moving target, take your eye off the ball for a moment, and you could still become a victim. The dark web is full of stores selling pre-configured war toolkits, designed to probe vulnerable systems 24x7 and report any black holes it discovers to a hacker; often these applications are available just for a few dollars. All the attacker needs to do is sit back and wait for the results. Even if you’ve done your due diligence and protected the perimeter of your network, what about your end users – have they been trained? Many attacks are initiated from an unsuspecting end user being exploited.

What should you do next?

Cybercrime is here to stay, so don’t become a victim of complacency. It’s time to take your head out of the sand and take IT security seriously. At DISConsulting, we have over 17 years experience supporting businesses with IT services and security. If you’re reading this and don’t know where to start, why not get in touch. We offer a free initial security review. Let us help you become cyber secure.

Contact us today - 01256 689630

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