In April 2020 the UK’s Office for National Statistics announced that 49.2% of working adults were currently working from home due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Whilst this may be seen as good news for employees who have more flexible working hours and conditions and no commuting times, and for employers who potentially have a more productive workforce and reduced overheads, it has increased concerns regarding cybersecurity.
Cyber-attacks and data theft are generally on the rise, and no business is immune. Couple this with unsecured home WiFi, employees using personal hardware for business purposes, and the majority of work being carried out in the cloud, over personal internet connections cybersecurity should be at the top of all SMEs agendas for the foreseeable future.
Whilst the cybercriminals are good and constantly evolving so is cybersecurity so by staying up to date it is possible to reduce the risk substantially.
The Consequences Of Poor Cybersecurity?
Many SMEs may be reluctant to invest in cybersecurity until something happens that highlights their vulnerabilities, such as a data breach. At this point it is too late. The damage has already been done. Data has already been compromised and company reputation damaged.
The implications for a data breach are far reaching and can result in the SME going into administration. These implications can be:
- Financial – Even small security breaches carry a cost, while larger attacks can threaten an organisation's future viability. This is not necessarily just in lost revenue and troubleshooting. If, for example, credit card details are lost there could be a fine for failing to follow security procedures. Sometimes the financial implications can be huge. The Wannacry data breach of 2017, for example, ended up costing the NHS £92 million.
- Legal concerns – with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which were introduced in 2018, any security breaches which result in the loss of client data can result in compensation claims from clients which could be costly and detrimental to your business’ reputation.
- Loss of competitive advantage – Outages and software problems relating to cyber-attacks can have a knock-on effect throughout a business, potentially causing it to fall behind competitors. Even if these are short-lived it can take time to catch up.
Why Do SMEs Need To Implement Effective Cybersecurity?
Implementing robust cybersecurity should be a priority for all businesses, especially if they conduct a great deal of business online.
Ensuring all your software is up-to-date and protected with antivirus and anti-malware applications ensures that your business data is secure from cybercrime. This in itself can:
- Increase trust – Users who are confident that the software they use has strong, effective protection are more likely to trust its merits. They're also likely to appreciate that your company is making worthwhile efforts to protect them and will recommend you to others.
- Aid compliance – By ensuring all software and applications used are secure the company will be better able to maintain such regulations as GDPR and data protection. Clients need to know their data is safe with you.
- Maintain company reputation – By maintaining a strong security profile, with no data breaches ensures the company holds a strong reputation and can become a market leader because of this.
At Brandon Cross, everything we do has the protection of your organisation's data at the forefront of our mind, with cybersecurity front and centre at every stage. Download our free guide to Secure Cloud-Based Web Applications to get started.
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