SMEs 'Underestimate Cybercrime Risk'

Small Firms Targeted By Cybercriminals, Expert Warns


SMEs need to be fully aware of the risk cybercrime poses to their business and take preventative measures, according to a leading computer security expert.

In an article in the Daily Telegraph, James Lyne, Director of Technology Strategy at Sophos, said there is a common misconception that SMEs are not at risk of becoming a target.

However, Mr Lyne warned that any business that stores personal information or credit card details will make an attractive target for thieves, and that the vast majority of cybercrime is opportunistic.

Changes to working habits, such as Bring Your Own Device culture, cloud adoption and remote working, are often implemented in small businesses without any strategy to manage the risks, he continued.

“On top of all this, most security solutions are too complex for SMEs so either do not get deployed properly or not at all,” said Mr Lyne.

“SMEs do not have IT security experts. They do not even always have an IT expert.”

The expert added that antivirus software alone is not enough to manage the risk, advising SMEs to look to additional layers of security such as network firewalls and encryption to stop criminals from targeting them.

Expert Opinion
There are significant benefits that small businesses can enjoy by using online platforms and new technology to drive forward their operations. However, there are also important issues that SMEs have to bear in mind when using such services.

"Smaller firms often lack the resources enjoyed by larger competitors who are able to have teams in place to consider not only risk, but also ensuring IT standards are at the necessary level.

"As a result, they should not ignore the importance of seeking advice and support to ensure that they have robust strategies and security policies in place to prevent the loss or theft of key customer or client information."
Steven Beahan, Partner