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The 39 second stat every small business owner should know

The 39 second stat every small business owner should know

Posted 04th March, 2020 by Sarah

8 minute read

What does 39 seconds mean to you?

The time, plus nine seconds, it takes to get to Mars according to the American rock band?

The time, minus 21 seconds, that it takes to make minute noodles?

The amount of time it takes you to tie your shoelaces in the mornings?

Actually, 39 seconds is the frequency with which hackers around the world carry out cyberattacks. Why should this affect you?

Because 43 per cent of these attacks are aimed at small businesses.

In this article we’ll look at exactly what impact not understanding the implications of those 39 seconds can have on a growing business.

Then we’ll look at five quick fire ways you can secure yourself online.

Real world examples – how cybercrime cripples small businesses

There’s no shortage of warnings available about the ways cybercrime can impact small businesses. Cyber attacks can have an impact on all of the following…

Your reputation: If a successful cyber-attack against your business becomes public knowledge then consumer trust in your company can be seriously dented.

In fact, one study found that as many as 75 per cent of consumers would stop purchasing from a company if they found out about a data breach that was the result of a business failing to prioritise cyber security.

Your bottom line: It’s estimated that cyber-attacks cost small businesses in the UK £17 billion in loses every year. Broken down by company, that’s around £65,000 when you take into account damaged assets, financial penalties and business downtime.

Your wellbeing: Cyber-attacks can take a psychological toll on a business. Firstly, those directly involved in the attack can suffer feelings of guilt and incompetence. Colleagues and your wider team, meanwhile, can experience stress as a result of having to deal with the fallout of attacks.

But what do attacks look like in real life?

In 2019, the BBC reported on a cyber-attack carried out on fashion start-up owner Bree Kotomah. Hackers had compromised her businesses’ Instagram account, which was the heart of her company.

She told the BBC: "I woke up one morning and my account was deleted. I received an email from Instagram saying I had violated some terms and I had done certain things that I know I didn't do." Following the attack, Kotomah reportedly stopped designing for two whole months.

Over in the USA, meanwhile, the owner of small business Volunteer Voyages, a company that organised voluntourism around the world, lost lost $14,000 overnight as a result of cybercrime.

With these horror stories in mind, we’ll turn our attention to the things you can do to protect your own company.

5 quick-fire ways to make your business more secure online

Set up strong passwords

Security experts will repeat the above mantra until they’re blue in the face. However, a recent report revealed that more than 25 million people still use 123456 as their password.

Yes, it feels like a headache to create a strong password, but putting in that little bit more effort could save you thousands in the long term.

Ideally, your password should be more than 12 characters long, include numbers, symbols and a combination of upper and lowercase letters. Plus, it should be completely unrelated to anything that’s personal to you – for example your pet’s name or your favourite football team.

Try not to use the same password twice and, if you’re worried about forgetting it, use a password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane.

Update everything, ASAP

In 2017 an investigation into the tech set up of 35,000 companies found that almost a quarter of them were operating using out of date internet browsers.

However, failing to update or patch your software and apps is essentially akin to rolling out the welcome mat for cyber criminals.

You can set a lot of software to update automatically or to give you alerts when updates or patches are due.

Get support

If you don’t feel you have the time, abilities or resources to keep on top of regular updates, you don’t have to give up on cyber security all together.

Instead, you can hand over the task of keeping your tech safe by investing in a cutting-edge, proactive, security product such as Sucuri.

Sucuri scans your website daily for malware. If anything untoward is found Sucuri will work unyieldingly to remove it.

tsoHost offers three different Sucuri packages, with prices starting from just £4.99 a month. Plus, there’s an Express bundle for emergencies.

Carry out regular scans and audits

Many small businesses take a spring clean approach to cyber security. That’s to say, they focus on the issue once a year, get everything up to date, and then strike it off the agenda until the following year.

However, cyber security should be part of BAU. Statistics suggest that a hacker usually spends around 200 days within a network before being detected.

So, if you’re constantly monitoring your systems, you stand more chance of noticing any irregularities, before any damage is done.

You can now check your site for known malware, blacklisting status, website errors and out of date software using tsoHost's free website security test. It takes minutes to use. All you have to do is enter your website's URL and our SiteCheck technology will scan your site for issues.

Train your team

Statistics suggest that 95 per cent of cybersecurity breaches are the result of human error. These errors can be as innocent as a team member clicking on a link in an email sent from a realistic but nefarious source or visiting a malware infected site without knowing.

So, training both yourself and your team on everything from how to spot phishing attempts to simple cyber hygiene is essential.

Information about official cyber security training can be found on the government’s National Cyber Security Centre’s website.

Categories: Tsohost News, Security, Small Businesses

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