Scary stat: 87% of businesses hit by cyber attacks in the last year

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It’s a common myth that cyber attacks only happen to large corporations. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

According to a recent report, almost two-thirds of small and medium-sized businesses suffered at least one cyber attack over the past year. That’s a staggering proportion, and it should give businesses everywhere a wake-up call to take action and bolster their security defences right now.

If that’s not a frightening enough stat, it gets worse.

More and more businesses are also experiencing repeat attacks, with 87% reporting at least two successful attacks over the past year. And on average, a company suffers almost five successful cyber incidents.

Just one isolated cyber security attack is terrifying enough, and can destroy a business overnight.

The question is, why are these attacks happening, and what can you do to prevent them?

There are two common types of cyber attack that businesses face – malware and ransomware.

Malware is short for ‘malicious software’. Malware invades your system and can cause huge amounts of problems, from slowing down your operations to stealing your data.

Ransomware is even more dangerous, because it means you can’t access your data unless you pay a ransom fee. Ransomware encrypts your data, making it impossible for you to access it unless you pay the ransom that the criminals demand from you. This can be devastating for any business.

What factors are contributing to more successful attacks?

One reason is the rise in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This terms means that employees use their personal devices (like phones, laptops or tablets) to access company information, which can be risky.

Another factor is that many people nowadays use multiple devices, not just one or two, which means that there are more entry points for cyber criminals to exploit.

This all sounds pretty bleak, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your business:

  1. Use strong passwords – passwords are your first line of defence, so make sure they’re strong and unique. Even better, use a password manager that can create and remember randomly generated passwords
  2. Keep software up to date – software updates often contain security fixes, so make sure you’re always running the latest version. This not only applies to software and applications you use, but also your operating system (eg Windows or MacOS)
  3. Educate your staff – training employees on how to identify phishing emails and other scams is essential; these should be regular training sessions, rather than one off or annual refreshers. Everyone in a business plays their part in helping to keep it secure
  4. Backup your data – backing up your data means that if you do suffer a cyber attack, your systems can be restored with less disruption
  5. Use anti-virus software – anti-virus software can help protect your systems from malware and other threats. Make sure you’re running a solution with a strong reputation and up to date versions

Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Whilst we’ve summarised the steps to take to secure your business, this can be a LOT of extra work for a company.

We’re experts in protecting companies and their staff from cyber attacks, so if you’d like us to help you, just get in touch.

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