What did 2015 teach us and how will we implement the lessons learned in 2016?

What a year 2015 has been with increases in attacks and worryingly more attacks on SME’s. Throughout the year borwell has promoted ways to keep your business safe from online attacks but as with most things people tend to think about security once it is too late. So is your New Year’s resolution to plan ahead? If not it should be, we all set goals whether personal or business related at this time of year. A review of business processes and protection should include vulnerability testing not just renewing your business insurance.

When looking at processes consider how technology could be used to make a process more efficient. This is more than just looking to see if a process works but looking to streamline processes and free up the most valuable asset to us all TIME. This could be time to spend with the family or time to spend on more profitable activities.

When looking at what risks there are to your business it is worth considering what impact the loss or inability to access your business data would have on your business? If the answer is none then you can carry on as you are but this will be the minority. Most business need databases and access to systems in order to operate. In 2015 a small hairdressers were attacked and had to pay €1000 to get their systems back up and running.

Common misconceptions around Cyber Security –

* Only companies that take payments online are at risk of cyber crime – All SMEs are at risk and whilst hacking of payment processing software is an obvious tactic, criminals are highly opportunistic and can benefit from stealing a wide range of data from businesses.

* Small companies aren’t a target for hackers – Small businesses are in fact a bigger target than ever because they typically hold far more data than the average consumer, but often don’t have any additional preventative measures in place to protect themselves. Last year 33% of small businesses suffered a cyber attack from someone outside their business.

With the introduction of new software or changes to processes borwell would advise going back to our first point and check the vulnerability of your systems once any changes have been made to ensure there is no weak link.