Why is cyber-security so important for SMEs?

Junior Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

That everyone is kind and welcoming as I am new to this job but already feel settled in.

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Always wanted to be a professional Footballer.

Guilty Pleasure(s)

WWE/Doctor Who

Favourite Holiday

Cancun, Mexico

Describe yourself in three words or less

Funny, Athletic and Reliable.

An interesting fact about me

Was a black Tab in Taekwondo at 11 years old.

Likes

Playing football every Saturday for Highgrove FC.

Favourite Band

Take That

Karaoke Jam

YMCA – Village People

If I had a superpower it would be...

Time Travel

What I do at Q2Q:

As Q2Q’s current apprentice, I help to resolve a range of IT issues for our clients. As I’m still in training, I’m not quite ready to resolve issues independently, but I am enjoying the learning process of becoming a fully-fledged support analyst. It’s great to see how the varied services we offer can have such a big impact within our customers’ businesses. I’m very excited about what will come next within my role.

Background and Achievements

I have just recently finished my A-levels where I attended Central Lancaster High School for seven years as I achieved 11 GCSEs in my time there and still waiting for my A-level results. This is my first full time job and I am enjoying the whole experience so far.

Hobbies and Interests

My personal interests are keeping active, for example, I play for a local Football Team Called Highgrove FC. This consists of me playing matches every weekend on a Saturday. I like being active and keeping healthy so I currently have a membership at the Lancaster House gym, which I attend when I have free time.

Our MD recently penned a piece for Lancashire Business View about why SMEs need to be taking cyber-security more seriously. Why not have a read of his advice below…

Alarmingly, Allianz recently identified virtual crime as the biggest risk to SMEs in 2017. That means that it ranks above skills gaps, legal issues and a shortfall in business lending for the issues facing small and medium firms.

And this is worsened by the fact that over 74% of small companies believe they are cyber-secure.

A report from the Federation of Small Businesses emphasises the dangers of such complacency, revealing that small businesses are attacked seven million times a year, costing the UK economy £5 billion per annum.

So, if the idea of having sensitive company information stolen – passwords and bank details to name just two – isn’t enough to prompt a firm to protect themselves against cyber breaches, then the risk of exposing clients’ data should.

The Data Protection Act shields customers from such risks, and gives them the right to claim financial losses as a result of their information being stolen. It may also cause damaged client relationships, or even a PR disaster. Think of Talk Talk, Yahoo, or Wonga, for just three examples.

There are five main actions that SMEs can take to protect their data and systems. First and foremost, it’s important to identify which information is sensitive and set up strong passwords.

Secondly, providing education and training to staff about tips for best practice will significantly help. After all, utilising human error is a key cyber-criminal strategy.

Next, choose a safe cloud storage provider that offers firewalling, encryption and ransomware threat prevention.

Then, invest in effective anti-malware and anti-virus software. As always, prevention is better than cure and a great system will help to stop an attack in its tracks.

 

Finally, appoint the help of an experienced and professional IT firm that will prevent and protect your business from cyber-attacks.