Small firms at risk from data hacking » SMEInsider

Small firms at risk from data hacking

Cyber security is a concern for small businesses, with three quarters of SMEs polled reporting that they are worried about data hacking.

This is according to specialist law firm Moore Blatch, which surveyed 30 small and medium-sized businesses. The research also revealed that 17 per cent had actually experienced a cyber-attack.

In addition, more than one in five said they’d experienced at least one incident of someone in their company being disciplined – or even dismissed – for a breach of its social media policy.

More than half restrict or completely prohibit the use of social media on work time.


Small firms more vulnerable

According to the law firm, SMEs are harder hit by cyber-attacks than larger firms, because they tend to have a more personal relationship with clients, customers and suppliers, and the risks to a small company’s reputation can outweigh any monetary losses.

However, victims can seek compensation for emotional distress caused by data hacking even in the event that no financial loss ensued.

Paul Whitaker, a partner at Moore Blatch, told the Daily Mail: “The most commonly discussed financial cost relating to a cyber-attack and loss of data is the potential fine from the Information Office Commissioner.

“But, while this should not be ignored, the real financial issues for many SMEs lie elsewhere, as the loss of the client’s relationship and details about products and services lost could cause far greater emotional stress.

“Therefore, if an SME is hacked or loses client data, the claim for emotional distress could be far higher.”