Government research which has revealed that two-thirds of big UK businesses have been hit by a cyber-attack in the past year is without doubt a serious issue says Excalibur Communications, but according to the Swindon-based company, small business are also under an online onslaught.
Excalibur has reported that in the past week alone, it has won three new contracts from SMEs whose businesses were suffering as a result of cyber attacks.
Commenting on the Government’s research, Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said it was “absolutely crucial businesses are secure and can protect data”.
“Too many firms are losing money, data and consumer confidence with the vast number of cyber attacks. It’s absolutely crucial businesses are secure and can protect data.”
Emma Carter (pictured), Sales & Marketing Director at Excalibur added, “What the minister says is true, but what some SMEs are finding out to their cost is that when they’ve been hit with a cyber problem that disrupts and threatens their business, their comms/IT supplier doesn’t always have the capability or the will to put it right. Often, the supplier can’t respond anywhere near quickly enough, or in the worst cases, as we’ve discovered, walks away, completely abandoning their customer!”
Carter believes that whilst cyber attacks prevail, SMEs should review the strength of their comms security and ask ‘what if’, to see just how secure their relationship really is with their supplier. She also pointed to what she described as the much-neglected weak spot – printers and multi-functional devices (MFDs).
“Networked printers and MFDs have completely changed the office environment”, she said, “but despite being a networked device, the need to protect them and keep valuable data secure, is overlooked all too often. Government figures put the cost of a data breach to SMEs at around £310,000 per incident. And almost two out of three consumers say they would be discouraged from using a company who had been hit by a data breach. Ninety per cent of enterprises say they have suffered at least one data loss through unsecured printing, whilst sixty five per cent of breaches are accidental employee negligence or IT business process failure”.
The government survey’s results have been released alongside an official Cyber Governance Health Check, launched following the cyber attack on TalkTalk late last year. TalkTalk said some of its banking details and personal information could have been accessed. In light of these surveys, businesses are being urged to get more protection.
The survey also suggested that seven out of 10 attacks could have been prevented, and said that that only a fifth of businesses actually understand the dangers of sharing information.