According to cyber security firm the Hiscox group, a small to medium sized business in the United Kingdom is attacked every 19 seconds. Not all these cyber attacks are successful but when they are, the ramifications can easily place a smaller company in financial strife.

The Hiscox group notes that the average “clean-up” cost runs at £25,700, that figure doesn’t take into account any ongoing loss of revenue as a result of reputational damage as clients lose faith in the company and take their business elsewhere.

For many companies, this cost is enough to put them out of business for good. Further compounding the security issues facing small businesses in the UK is that they are frequently targeted by threat actors.

Hackers and other would-be cyber criminals assume that smaller companies have poor cyber defences and target them over larger firms. Unfortunately, the hackers are usually right and small businesses’ “honey-pot” servers prove a boon for threat actors.

Staying as secure as possible was always a challenge, but it’s even more pertinent now with an increasingly dynamic threat landscape and a number of COVID-19 inspired attacks making the digital rounds.

Below are some actionable steps small and medium-sized companies can take to mitigate the risks.

  • Invest in enterprise-level firewalls for greater perimeter security.
  • Try to limit the number of personal devices employees use for work purposes. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture significantly increases the threat level.
  • Ensure all employee accounts are secured with two-factor or even multi-factor authentication.
  • Set up an account breach monitoring system to detect any threats before they reach a critical level.
  • Invest in a comprehensive cyber security insurance policy, especially if the company in question handles sensitive client data.
  • Make sure all company devices have high-quality, paid antimalware and antivirus programs. Contrary to popular belief, both are necessary.