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Small businesses are more at risk from phishing attacks

We are highly dependent on all things digital. We use it to reach out to customers, engage in networking, and develop products, all in a way that would have seemed inconceivable a couple of decades ago. With this greater attachment to hi-tech solutions, small business needs to have the right IT support in place to combat malicious attacks.

What Is Phishing?
London small business is no stranger to phishing attacks. These usually come in the form of emails that seem to be from a reputable source and ask you to visit a site and give over personal details of one form or another. These attacks are becoming a lot more sophisticated and many of us are becoming victims.

The Impact of Phishing on Small Business
The media has recently reported that cybercrime attacks on small business is on the increase. According to some sources, over half the companies that were a victim of a cyber-attack had fewer than 250 employees. That’s a big worry, especially when you consider that many SMEs don’t have the budgets for comprehensive protection that many large corporations rely on. Criminals also attack small business in areas like London because they can often be a profitable back door to those bigger companies.

One growing concern is ransomware. This is a situation where a company gets an email, clicks on the link and finds that it’s pcs are frozen. The cybercriminal offers to remove the ransomware for cash. Another recent worrying development is the ability of malware to take over the auto-fill capacity forms on a website. Auto-fill is designed to make filling in forms a lot easier but can be compromised by malware. Many experts are advising users to disable their auto-fill programs on browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Opera.

The cost to the UK economy of cyber-attacks such as phishing on small businesses is thought to be over £5 billion a year, not surprising when you consider that 66% of SMEs use the internet to sell products and services.

How to Prevent Phishing Attacks
The best way to prevent such attacks is to be aware and on guard. That means having the right IT support in place and creating procedures for staff to follow. Routinely checking the provenance of emails, not clicking upon links within emails unless you are 100% sure of the source is critical. It is a process of continuous education for staff, so they are aware of the latest methods.

It takes just one employee to click on the wrong link in a phishing email and it can cost your business dearly. Working closely with your IT support partner can make all the difference, ensuring that you have the right protective software in place and that you develop the robust policies keeping your business safe in the future.