With the proliferation of cyber attacks, we’re changing our habits: in the past we only entered our credit card details on secured websites, but now we’re less willing to even share our names, such is the fear of being victims of scams or identity theft.
Being suspicious is the number one rule
We are now suspicious of any kind of communication we receive, be it email, even if it’s from the bank or our best friend, phone call (have you ever received a call from an undefined company asking you about your recent car accident?) or instant message when it contains an unexpected link.
It seems a single day can’t pass without hearing about new data breaches, malware and phishing attacks, and you’re not safe if you’re a single person or an international corporation. We’re becoming so paranoid about our cyber security that we seriously consider avoiding contact with the online world and going back to the old face-to-face interactions.
Companies have more to lose from a cyber attack
But we users are not the only ones who suffer in these situations. Breached companies have much more to lose than the amount of data stolen: as soon as news of the breach spreads out, their credibility and trustworthiness start sinking. And this is especially true for SMEs: 58% of consumers would be discouraged from using a breached business in the future and 86% of business partners would consider removing a breached supplier from their supply chain, according to KPMG.
The Cyber Essentials scheme is a strength for SMEs
That’s why the UK Government is urging SMEs to adopt the Cyber Essentials scheme. While it’s mandatory for suppliers that want to win UK Government contracts that involve handling sensitive data, every company can adopt the scheme and achieve basic cyber security. The scheme sets out five security controls that companies can implement in order to prevent around 80% of cyber attacks. Furthermore, correctly implementing these controls comes with other benefits.
Thanks to the Cyber Essentials certification, SMEs can demonstrate to users, customers, suppliers and potential investors that they are taking cyber security measures to reduce the risks associated with cyber attacks. Look for the Cyber Essentials badge on companies’ homepages to be sure they are cyber secure.
If you work for an SME, download this free guide to read more about the risks that SMEs face in being cyber unsecure and how Cyber Essentials can really help them stay secure and ahead of their competitors.