Small Business and Cyber Attacks

Wednesday August 3, 2016

If you're not taking cyber security seriously, it's not just your own business you're risking.

Remember the good old days, when the only "cyber attacks" you had to worry about were when that crazy old man with the time machine next door opened a portal to the future and spilled laser-raptors all over your nice, orderly causality chain?

Simpler times...

These days, cyber attacks are a lot harder to deal with and recover from, and a report from the Federation of Small Businesses says that they're happening more and more often. All told, 66% of small businesses have been attacked, with assaults are taking place every 6 months. That's over £5 billion of damage done between 2014 and 2015 alone!

Solving the problem's not going to be easy, but there are a few things you can do to cut your risks down. It starts with locking your digital doors more securely. A lot of small businesses tend to push their IT security down their to-do list, focusing on growth instead. That's understandable, but it's also short-sighted. It doesn't take a huge hole in your security to invite a cyber-criminal in, and the best locks in the business won't keep your door shut if you leave the key under the mat. Once they've got access, of course, the bad guys have a pretty good shot at taking control of your entire system.

Password security is a huge part of this. There are some pretty sophisticated "phishing" scams out there, where a criminal tricks someone into revealing login credentials or other key information. Unless everyone in your company knows what to look out for, it only takes one loose brick in your defences to bring the whole wall down.

Small Business and IT Security Statistics

There are some pretty astonishing statistics around IT security. About 1 in 5 small businesses don't even bother with security software. About the same number don't have anyone trained to deal with attacks, and virtually none have a concrete plan for dealing with them. With those figures in mind, it's easy to see how some businesses can get complacent with their own modest precautions. It's all about being a less easy target, right? I mean, when you and your out-of-shape friend Bob are being chased by a pack of laser-raptors, it's not really the 8-foot mutated cyber-dinosaurs you need to outrun, is it?

Sadly, it's just not that simple. Considering how connected and interdependent small businesses often are, it's not necessarily your own security flaws that'll sink you. If your data gets leaked by a business elsewhere in your supply chain, you'll be up to your neck in raptors before you know it.

How To Protect Your Small Business From Cyber Attacks

So far so terrifying. Now let's look at what you can do to protect yourself, as well as the people and businesses you work with. The first thing you should do is get educated. There are already government schemes and apprenticeships to help businesses wise up. Admit it: it'd be profoundly cool to have a qualified "cyber intrusion analyst" or "cyber security technologist" on staff. There's even some impressive government funding up for grabs for small businesses looking into these apprenticeships. IT security is every business' problem, and you need to be taking it seriously.

All of which brings us back to RIFT's very own robot butler of accounting: Clear Books. If you're using Clear Books, you already know how simple and versatile it is. You've probably got it handling everything from invoices and emails to payment reminders and transaction records.

Clear Books

The main thing to know about Clear Books is that it's basically the digital equivalent of a bank vault. While you're relying on it to work with us in real time, from anywhere in the world, the system is quietly keeping all your information safe from determined criminals, opportunistic hackers and simple bad luck. Clear Books' security is state-of-the-art, featuring:

  • Firewalls on sensitive services, such as databases.
  • 256-bit SSL data encryption.
  • Timely installation of software security patches.
  • Use of strong passwords.

Clear Books isn't just digitally safe, it's also physically protected. The system is hosted in a secure facility, guarded by trained on-site teams and CCTV surveillance. What's more, all your information is backed up daily and archived in a separate, equally secure off-site facility. Your data is your business, and keeping it safe is ours.

If you're new to Clear Books, or have questions about digital security, feel free to get in touch. In the meantime, stay safe out there - and keep scanning for more Voices from the RIFT...

Contact Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Fieldset legend