So you think you have nothing worth stealing? Think again! You don’t have to be a multinational to have information on your computers which would benefit anyone with criminal intentions, either directly or as a means to reach other organisations.
Think customer, supplier and financial records. Think confidential communications and appointment diaries. Think pricing information, design blueprints and manufacturing processes – and then think how disastrous it could be if these fell into the wrong hands.
Big businesses have more to lose?
Yes, of course, big businesses have more information, worth many times more than yours BUT they have the budget and the means to build strong digital fortresses around their data and a huge IT department working round the clock to keep every computer protected. With increased cyber attack monitoring and ever more severe punishments for offenders, cyber criminals are turning to smaller businesses. They’re easy prey.
Watch out, thieves about…
Cyber criminals pose a threat to your business on a minute-by-minute basis, intent on breaching your security and compromising valuable information. Apart from remote attacks on your IT systems or website, thieves could physically steal computers, laptops, tablets or mobile phones. Competitors may want to gain an economic advantage or disrupt your business.
…but not just thieves
The trouble is, that while malicious intent is everywhere, most breaches occur by accident through negligence, by current or ex employees or people you do business with. Or even you, yourself, it has to be said – opening an inadvisable link in an email, using a weak password, forgetting to update anti-virus and anti-spyware systems, leaving your laptop on a train…
And what’s the impact of cyber crime?
Where to start? Well, first there’s the obvious monetary loss if financial or bank details are hacked. Then, particularly if you do business online, there’s the financial damage caused by disruption to your trading. There’s the cost of cleaning up systems after a breach, possible fines if personal data is lost or put at risk, and damage to other companies in your supply or contact network.
All this and the damage to your reputation, which could lose you business forever.
Small businesses owners beware!