In the last 12 months, four in ten businesses (39%) and a quarter of charities (26%) have reported cyber security breaches or attacks.
Among the 39 per cent of businesses and 26 per cent of charities that identified breaches or attacks, one in five (21% and 18% respectively) end up losing money, data or other assets. The average cost of all the cyber security breaches these businesses have experienced in the past 12 months is estimated to be £8,460. For medium and large firms combined, this average cost is higher, at £13,400.
To help small business owners strengthen their cyber security, The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) created the Small Business Guide, which sets out five key areas for businesses to help improve their cyber security.
The Small Business Guide is part of a collection of NCSC guidance which has been reviewed and refreshed to offer up-to-date tips on implementing key security controls. This includes the Small Business Guide: ‘Actions’ resource, which breaks down the recommendations into individual steps, and our Response and Recovery guidance which outlines how to prepare, manage, resolve and report an incident if one does occur.
The five recommended areas of focus are:
1. Backing up your data: Top tips include keeping a back-up of data separate, reading our Cloud Security guidance, and backing up regularly.
2. Protecting from malware: Top tips include switching on firewalls, preventing staff downloading dodgy apps, and controlling how USBs can be used.
3. Keeping your smartphones (and tablets) safe: Top tips include making sure devices can be wiped remotely, not connecting to unknown WiFi networks and keeping device software up-to-date.
4. Using passwords to protect your data: Top tips include avoiding predictable passwords, using two-factor authentication, and changing default passwords.
5. Avoid phishing attacks: Top tips include checking for obvious signs of phishing, reporting all attacks, and testing resilience using our Exercise in a Box tool.
You can access the Small Business Guide here.