Fighting the fraudsters: helping SMEs in the battle against cyber crime

Our team at PAV i.t. is committed to building trusted relationships with clients, and are dedicated to supporting them with all their IT needs.  We firmly believe it is important that businesses have the necessary tools to protect themselves from the threat of cybercrime, which is why we are distributing a comprehensive free advice booklet to hundreds of firms to help them with their defence measures. 

Cyber attacks are among the biggest threat to UK businesses with SMEs particularly at risk.  A Government Security Breaches Survey published earlier this year found close to three quarters – 74% - of small to medium sized firms had reported a security breach in the last 12 months. This was an increase on 2013 and 2014's figures, and experts say SMEs are now being pinpointed by digital criminals, so it is more important than ever before for firms to tighten their security procedures.

Taking a planned approach 

Getting the basics right is the first step in your defence against cyber attacks. Downloading updates, using strong passwords and ignoring suspicious emails are among the simple processes, policies and tactics you can use to guard yourself, colleagues and your business.

To understand where your vulnerabilities lie, take a risk management approach. Assessing all aspects of the business - from the work you do or service you provide, to the IT equipment you use - will establish the level of risk you could be at, help you spot any gaps in security and identify your critical assets.

The next step is implementing your security measures and procedures. This involves ensuring staff have the right training, applying the best security controls to protect equipment, systems and information – no matter where it is stored – and having a plan in place should the worst happen and you experience an attack.

This is not the end of the journey though as security systems must be continually reviewed. In the fast moving world of IT, with cyber criminals using technological advances to come up with ever more sophisticated scams, keeping on top of your security is key. 

Get cyber savvy

The booklet outlines the immediate steps businesses can take to protect themselves, and the protocol for ensuring they remain safe.  Working through this will provide companies with the foundation to go on and gain a government-backed certificate to show customers, clients and suppliers their cyber safety knowledge.

The Cyber Essentials scheme builds on the measures outlined in the booklet by giving companies criteria to work through. Once completed, and verified, businesses can display the Cyber Essentials badge to show their security policies adhere to a government-endorsed standard.

Certification as a Cyber Essentials firm is now mandatory for all suppliers of central government contracts that involve handling personal data and certain IT services, and many large firms are also adopting the scheme - and will increasingly expect firms in their supply chain to hold the certificate.

Read up

We are distributing the 16-page booklet to more than 500 SMEs across the South East in the coming weeks, and urge all businesses to look through them carefully.  Companies can also download a pdf version for free here 

If you require assistance with your security procedures, our expert team are on hand to help you to audit your IT systems and close any potential security loopholes.  For more information, please call us on 01273 834 000.

Author: Jason Fry, Managing Director at PAV i.t. services

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PAV i.t. services
Reeds Lane, Sayers Common
West Sussex, BN6 9LS
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