Most SME leaders remain woefully underprepared when it comes to cyber security. Some do not believe they are targets. Some believe that only companies that take payments online are a cyber risk. Others believe that moving their IT infrastructure into the cloud is a solution, or that the cost of attacks does not justify the expense of security.
None of this is true.
SMEs hold huge amounts of valuable personal and commercial data and intellectual property, whether or not the take online payments, and new regulations will shortly impose heavy fines on those who fail to take adequate precautions. Data does not even have to be stolen to be a problem – ransomware encrypts the basic IT businesses use to run day-to-day operations. It can shut companies down.
As for cost, as long ago as 2014, The US National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 per cent of small companies were unable to sustain business within six months of a cyber crime attack. Since then, cyber risk has increased dramatically in both volume and sophistication. In particular, the development of customised phishing attacks and ransomware have made SMEs just as valuable a target to criminals as larger firms and even more vulnerable.
A recent poll of companies in the UK, US, Canada and Germany revealed that nearly 40 per cent of businesses were hit by ransomware attacks in the past year, with more than a third losing revenue and 20 per cent forced to shut down. And the UK government’s recent Information Security Breaches Survey found that the average cost of the worst security breach is between £65,000 and £115,000 – and can result in a business being put out of action for up to ten days.
So what should SMEs do to mitigate cyber risk?
No business can afford to ignore cyber security. But decision-makers need to understand: the key threats, the scale of the problem, commonest attacks, the easiest routes for criminals into business systems, the likelihood and scale of loss and the ways in which these dangers can be deflected and mitigated.
Cyber Security 2017 is a one-day conference dedicated to educating the leaders of UK SMEs when it comes to developing a cost-effective and pragmatic approach cyber risk and protection of their companies.
No jargon. No unrealistic ideals. Just good common sense advice tailored to your needs.
Delegates will learn:
How to put in place the basics of cyber security best practice
What their critical information assets are and how they can be attacked
What security solutions exist and how much they cost
How SMEs are now effected by new legislation
How management and employees are the biggest cyber risk to their business
Governance, compliance and the role of internal audit
What non-IT-based mitigation is available for cyber risk
In short, SME Cyber Security 2017 will provide you with a simple tool kit to enable you to understand the key threats you face, the likelihood and scale of loss and the ways is which these dangers can be mitigated.
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