SMEs forced to prove cyber credentials to win business contracts

It is easy to see why businesses are placing more emphasis on cyber security. Between a major cyber attack bringing the NHS to its knees in 2017, and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation promising substantial fines to businesses that fail to protect private information, ensuring that any business that handles your data is secure seems more important than ever. So how big an issue is cyber security really, and how can you best ensure that your business is protected?

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How important is cyber security?

Major cyber attacks, including the new phenomenon of ransomware as seen with the 2017 NHS attack, are not necessarily increasing in frequency, but the potential damage they do is increasing as more and more businesses go entirely digital. Because of this, as well as the potential for loss or fines if a company’s data is not secure, many companies have taken out cyber insurance policies against such losses.

With UK losses from cyber attacks against businesses totalling almost £30 billion in 2016, and over 50% of firms reporting some sort of cyber attack, combined with the new EU directives allowing fines up to 4% of global turnover, it is easy to see why companies would be concerned. If anything else could account for a 4% reduction in turnover, it would be a major priority for any business, so cyber security should be seen as a top priority for any business – https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/cyber-attacks-cost-uk-firms-30bn/.

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How to protect your business

A starting point for any business is ensuring top notch and up to date security software, including virus checking, firewalls, and file integrity monitoring software such as https://www.promisec.com/file-integrity-monitoring-software/.

The majority of cyber attacks are not directed attacks, but attacks of opportunity relying on lax practices, such as out of date software and a lack of protection, so combining security software with best practices such as ensuring software updates and reasonable password policies can prevent the vast majority of potential attacks.

Cyber attacks are a major source of loss for businesses and the potential for damage will only increase as more companies digitise a higher proportion of the data they manage. Companies have to ensure not only their own security, but the security of any other entity they supply information to, meaning the importance of cyber security, or things like cyber insurance, will only increase.

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