From Talk Talk to Uber, Yahoo! to the adult networking site Ashley Madison, they’ve all been victims of cyber attacks. Big names, with millions of customers, falling prey to hackers is, unsurprisingly, big news when it happens.
But the fact that the cyber attacks we hear about are the ones affecting well-known, large corporations helps to fuel the perception gap among small business owners that it’s not a risk that applies to them. The reality is very different, with 45 per cent of micro and smaller businesses experiencing a data breach in 2016-17.
The reality is, most businesses now hold customers’ names, addresses and contact details – and those are exactly the kind of things hackers want to get their hands on. Other small firms will be reliant on computer systems to run their businesses; some will sell online; some will have customers’ banking information.
Again, big targets for cyber criminals. And cyber crime isn’t necessarily restricted to data theft – many incidents involve extortion (Ransomware attacks) or the hijacking of a business’s computer to enable cyber crimes to be committed elsewhere.