Small businesses are losing money to cyber-criminals

Impact of a breach may not be limited to direct financial losses.
SMEs are at greater risk from the consequences of cyber-attack, less able to recover, with more mission-critical data on a single machine, so educating themselves about mitigating the risk is essential says Andrew Conway.
The opening of the London Digital Security Centre is a commendable and necessary step in dealing with cyber-crime. By providing one shared resource to offer business education, security and business resilience skills, organisations will be able to better protect themselves from both online and physical environment threats. Interestingly, the Centre has been built with the SME market in mind. With fewer resources than their larger counterparts, SMEs may deprioritise security. This is a mistake as they could be seen as a soft target by cyber-criminals and they have as much or more to lose as a big company.
According to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, becoming a victim of a hack or breach costs smaller firms between £65,000 and £115,000. Worryingly, the findings suggest that some small businesses could suffer up to six breaches a year.  A six figure or even seven figure loss may be an annoyance to a major corporation, but it could be devastating to a SME. To misquote Oscar Wilde, a single breach could be misfortune, but six or seven in a year smacks of carelessness.
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