Research by Hiscox reveals that one in ten small businesses in the UK have experienced a data hack.
The study also revealed that 90% of small businesses don't have a cyber crime insurance policy.
While four in ten SME's are worried about their computer systems being hacked only one in four are confident about their security measures against attacks.
"Cyber crime is costing the UK economy around £11bn a year and while the media is reporting a growing number of high profile data breaches, some small businesses may also be a popular target for hackers because the systems are usually easier to get into and the breach may not be found out for a good few weeks," said SME insurance expert Alan Thomas.
The research shows that cybercrime is one of the leading concerns among SME's who are more afraid of security related attacks
(75%) than physical theft being stolen from the office (31%).
"We know that cyber crime insurance policies might be the last thing on an entrepreneurs' mind when they are trying to drive their business forward on a day to day basis, but it is worrying that over one in ten (13%) of these businesses don't know what security measures they have in place and if they are protected from online crime", says Thomas. "It is increasingly important for small companies to evaluate all the risks their businesses face, both online and offline, and include their IT security and protection requirements in the overall contingency strategy."
Hiscox has given the following security tips to protect your business from online risk.
- Protect information with an internal 'need-to-know' policy. If storing information on a central file server, manage who has access to these files. This can help prevent accidental or deliberate data loss
- Encrypt important information for extra security so that only authorised users will be able to access it
- Using the internet and email to conduct business means that data loss becomes a bigger risk. Develop a clear email policy and raise online security awareness with employees and follow up on suspicious emails even if they're a one off
- Make it protocol across the business for employees to use numbers and letters in passwords that provide much more robust protection from online criminals.
- Back up your files and check your insurance cover so that you can get your business up and running again quickly in the event of an incident
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