Cyber-crime a real threat to small business in Britain

Small British companies are vulnerable to cyber-crime and data loss but are in the dark on protecting their data, Kaspersky Lab reports.

Richard Tomkins

LONDON, July 21 (UPI) -- The danger of Cyber-crime isn't only a concern for large businesses but is also a costly danger to small British enterprises, a new analysis reports.

Kaspersky Lab, a vendor of computer security products, recently surveyed 250 small enterprises of 10 employees or less in the country and found that two-thirds have internet-connected laptops and half allow IT-enabled mobile and remote working. Many, however, were unprepared for an IT security breach.


One third of those studied -- from legal firms to medical clinics -- said they would not know how to respond to a security breach; four in 10 said they would struggle to recover lost data, and 25 percent said they wouldn't be able to recover any lost data.

"... The threat to smaller firms is significant and real, Kaspersky said. "According to the Federation of Small Business, 41 per cent of small firms were hit by cyber-crime in 2013, with one in 10 the victim of online fraud and one in five affected by a computer virus." "While it is encouraging to see the extent to which micro-firms are embracing the latest technologies, this must go hand in hand with a strong approach to internet security," said Kirill Slavin, Kaspersky Lab's managing director in Britain.

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"One in 10 of those surveyed admitted that an IT security breach would probably cost them their business. This must be addressed, and quickly. Micro firms don't have to become IT security experts. Most of the time it's the IT equivalent of remembering to lock all the doors and windows when you go out, make sure you have some additional protection and not to leave valuables where others can easily see and get to them."

Kaspersky quoted Alex Grant, Barclays, Managing Director of Fraud Prevention as saying that cyber-fraud affects one in eight small businesses in Britain, resulting in fraud losses to estimated of more than $34 billion.

"Fraud can happen to any type of business in many different ways, impacting their revenue, reputation and the long-term health of the business, with no business being too small to be targeted," he said. "The most important investment a business can make is to take the time to identify where they may be at risk from fraud and reduce those risks where possible to stay in control."

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