It’ll never happen to you? Cyber-attack targets local business

Ask yourself honestly, how secure is your businesses data? Are you aware of the latest online security risks? Do your employees understand the threat of opening an unsolicited email? If you’re unsure how to answer any of these questions, then perhaps it’s time to give your company a security health check.

Recently we received notification from a local insurance company detailing that they had been subject to a targeted online security breach. The Managing Director came into work to find their IT systems were being held ransom by a cyber-criminal.

The hacker, who demanded 3,000 EUR to retrieve the company’s information, had encrypted all of their businesses data and rendered the systems useless.

Despite running daily back-ups and managing to recover all their data without paying the ransom, it took almost a week to regain full control of the network.

The business proprietor stated in his letter “This has possibly been one of the worst experiences I have had in 26 years of being in business. I would urge everyone to make sure they have good security in place to try and prevent the same happening to them.”

With high profile cyber-attacks such as LinkedIn, Hilton Hotels, Ashley Madison and Sony Pictures hitting the news, small to medium sized businesses could almost be forgiven for feeling that they are an unlikely target for criminals, but in reality the opposite is true. Government research has found that two thirds of SMEs reported an information security breach in 2015 and with the cost of a severe breach reaching up to £310,800 – it’s no longer a threat that can be ignored.

“SMEs have not historically been the target of cybercrime but in 2015 something drastically changed” says Toni Allen, UK head of Client Propositions at the British Standards Institution. Whilst taking down a high-profile company can earn cyber criminal’s notoriety amongst their peers, preying on the knowledge that SMEs typically have lower security defences, makes it an easier way to earn a fast buck.

Fortunately, there are simple, cost effective steps that companies can implement in the short term to reduce the threat of a cyber-attack. Introducing a resilient password policy, securing wireless networks, introducing clear IT procedures and ensuring staff understand security best practices will all go a long way to keeping your data secure.

When it comes to advanced online security, Arden understand staying on-top of the latest security threats and procedures can seem like a never ending task, that’s why we offer our customers a multi-layered approach to managing your cyber security.

Our portfolio of solutions includes the latest in anti-virus software, secure data back-up, testing and installation of firewalls, filtering of unwanted e-mail and hazardous websites, advanced data encryption and intrusion protection – preventing unwanted access to your information.

Remember, it may seem easier to cut corners and save a few pounds in the short term, but the cost of a cyber-attack extends much further than a cash ransom – the biggest damage is to your reputation. As a business have you asked yourself ‘what is my most valuable asset and what would be the cost to my business if I lost it?’

If you’d like to find out more about protecting your business online contact our team using the form below or by calling 03702 64 64 65

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