UK Small Businesses Lose £785 Million a Year to Cybercrime


According to new research from the UK's Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), cybercrime costs its members approximately £785 million a year.

The FSB reports that 41 percent of its members were a victim of cybercrime in the last 12 months, with an average cost of £3,926 per business, and approximately three in 10 members were a victim of fraud in the last 12 months.

Still, almost 20 percent of FSB members say they haven't done anything to protect themselves from cybercrime.

In response, the FSB has developed the following tips for staying safe online:

  1. Implement a combination of security protection solutions (anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall(s))
  2. Carry out regular security updates on all software and devices
  3. Implement a resilient password policy (minimum eight characters, change regularly)
  4. Secure your wireless network
  5. Implement clear and concise procedures for e-mail, Internet and mobile devices
  6. Train staff in good security practices and consider employee background checks
  7. Implement and test backup plans, information disposal and disaster recovery procedures
  8. Carry out regular security risk assessments to identify important information and systems
  9. Carry out regular security testing on the business Web site
  10. Check provider credentials and contracts when using cloud services

"Cybercrime poses a real and growing threat for small firms and it isn't something that should be ignored. ... I encourage small firms to look at the 10 top tips we have developed to make sure they are doing all they can," FSB national policy chairman Mike Cherry said in a statement.