Small firms hit six times a year by hackers – and costs can top £100,000 » SMEInsider

Small firms hit six times a year by hackers – and costs can top £100,000

Hackers breach 30,000 websites a day, and smaller companies are increasingly the hardest hit, with serious repercussions for victims’ finances, as well as their reputations.

A severe attack typically leaves small and mid-sized companies £65,000-£115,000 out of pocket, according to research by PwC, and the worst-hit firms report up to six security breaches a year. While a bigger business may be equipped to absorb the financial blow, costs of this magnitude can quickly spell the end for an SME.

Despite this, many smaller companies tend to neglect their security measures as they focus their energies on core commercial activities such as sales and customer care.

But, as companies embrace more and more internet-based technologies and payment systems to boost their businesses, they leave their data increasingly vulnerable to attack – and internal security expertise struggles to keep up with the threat.

[SMEs] are exposed to many of the same attacks as much larger enterprises, yet they don’t have the security expertise and resources available to those larger firms,” Maxim Weinstein, a security advisor at Sophos, told the BBC.

There are some businesses that are much more than just users of technology,” said Weinstein. “They have huge computing requirements as well as massive storage and bandwidth requirements – far more than their head count would suggest.”

In the same way they don’t run your own bank or accountancy firm they shouldn’t run their own security operation,” he warned.

250,000 new viruses are released everyday by hackers and attacks are becoming ever more sophisticated. Among the biggest breaches of 2014 were two attacks in the US that specifically sought to steal customer data: one, on the restaurant chain Dairy Queen, which targeted point-of-sale devices in a number of outlets, and the second on the leading department store Target. In the past, the UK government has released a number of guidelines to help SMEs strengthen their defences against hackers.





  • As the article highlights, hackers are now breaching 30,000
    websites a day and severe attacks are costing small and mid-sized companies
    between £65,000 and £115,000. There are now more SMBs than ever making use of
    the widely available technology across all areas of business in order to
    increase efficiency and cut costs. However, many are failing to implement the
    associated security that is essential when deploying these new technologies.

    Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one of the rising
    technologies many SMBs are taking advantage of in order to cut call costs. Yet most SMBs remain at risk by overlooking security,
    effectively negating any investment in data security. Whilst VoIP can deliver
    huge savings for UK businesses compared with traditional telephony, due to the
    perceived cost of traditional VoIP security, many businesses have left the door
    wide open to hackers.

    Although some smaller companies are putting cyber security higher
    up on their to-do list, the cost is still holding some back. Fortunately, by
    adopting some
    of the most basic security solutions across all areas, organisations can
    reduce the risks that may lead to financial or data loss in an easy and
    effective way, with minimal costs.

    Paul German, CEO, VoipSec