Cyber Crime & Fraud: what can you do to protect your business?
While hacks into the systems of big companies hit the headlines, there is growing evidence that the hackers are increasingly targeting SMEs. The BSI (British Standards Institute) reveal in their latest survey that a staggering 74% of small organisations reported a security breach in 2015.
Methods and motives vary, from ransomware smuggled in via a personal email to hack attacks enabling criminals to access a company’s payment and credit information, to CEO fraud, where a criminal poses as a senior director by spoofing their email.
SMEs have not historically been the target of attacks like these but in 2015 this appears to have changed. Professional opinion suggests it is IP (intellectual property) that the hackers are interested in acquiring: an SME today can become a major player tomorrow so getting access to their crucial data now can reap dividends when the company is bigger – and has even more to lose.
Yet in our experience many SMEs fail to take even the most basic precautions against cybercrime. Some fail to have effective firewalls or anti-virus protection on their everyday work systems – made more vulnerable by employees using home PCs and tablets and mobiles for work and vice versa, multiplying the risk of contamination by viruses that often arrive via email.
But equally damaging, others are for historic reasons with unsafe hosting companies that are letting them down by failing to regularly run virus checks, back up the sites carry out routine maintenance and make updates.
The websites of two clients in this category crashed in the past week and it is a sorry story we have heard from many others.
It goes something like this: ‘Our website crashed on Sunday night. We tried to contact the hosting company but we couldn’t get hold of them until Tuesday. When we did, they said they hadn’t saved the latest version of the site and the last time it was backed up was four months ago. So we lost four months of site development and SEO. Our rankings have dropped off a cliff and we have definitely lost customers as a result’.
All this for the sake of a saving of – in one case – £40 a year: the difference between Cheap & Useless Inc’s ‘bargain’ hosting package and our expert, accessible and professional hosting service.
This is why (new clients please take note) we now insist that if we are managing the performance of a site and its ongoing SEO, the website and integrated email is hosted by our specialist partner company.
While the average online package provides hosting for your website on the company’s server and a notional Help facility, ours provides a full hosting backup, update and support service.
Over the ten plus years we have worked with our invaluable partners, they have rescued innumerable clients from disaster, are always accessible even if you are in a remote location, will make regular and frequent backups of your website and are at hand to give advice and support whenever it is needed. And all this for an extremely modest price.
Worth the money? You bet it is. A day’s business lost through a site crashing would, for most companies, pay an annual hosting service fee several times over.
So sit down now and think: is your anti virus contract up to date and running on all your PCs, tablets and mobiles? Are your passwords strong and beyond the reach of hackers? Most important of all, is your website hosting company doing just that, hosting and nothing more – and what do you stand to lose if your site crashes for a day, two days … a week?
If this blog gives you food for thought, why not contact us now to find out more? Our expert and specialist UK-based hosting service is just one of a range of marketing and advertising skills that include web development and SEO, direct and digital marketing, brand development and graphic design, social media. and (unusually) local area marketing.
To find out more simply contact us now or call us on 01403 731028.