It’s no secret – cyber crime is on the rise. With attacks on servers, huge increases in online fraud, new ransomware and attacks on supply chains, it’s an ever-evolving problem for business. Last year, the UK had the highest number of cyber crime victims in the world, at 4783 per million internet users – that’s over 40% more than in 2020! As only one example, eCommerce fraud is expected to cost the retail sector US$48 billion globally in 2023, with the average loss to UK small businesses through cybercrime is somewhere between £1600-£6500 per annum. That increases exponentially if we include larger operations.
Unfortunately, small businesses and SMEs are the perfect targets. Without the robust protections put in place by larger organisations, or with a business forged before eCommerce was as relevant as it is now, many smaller companies are vulnerable. Whether you sell goods direct-to-customer, rely on remote working and cloud computing, or are generating B2B leads, your model falls apart if your digital tools fall prey to hostile activity. Scammers get ever more devious and creative, and the space, sadly, grows all the time.
Revenue & Reputation
Today, having a strong online footprint and brand personality is crucial whatever your business. This means that your shop window is online for all to say. To further that analogy, to operate an online business without robust security measures is akin to leaving your door unlocked and your till open overnight. Online scammers and hackers are merciless, and will not hesitate to check every lock for weakness.
The loss of revenue and reputation due to a hack can be enormous. Not only that, but a successful attack puts your customers’ data at risk, along with their bank accounts, credit cards and identities. Even someone fraudulently purporting to represent your company online can present a huge problem
What’s more, these fixes are not always quick, which can lead to days or even weeks of lost sales and leads, with no financial recourse. The use of ransomware to extort small businesses is also rife, with total loss of access until the owner pays up to the hackers. At worst, this can lead to the collapse of trading, as the whole business model and structure falls apart under attack. There are many schemes out there that try to subvert normal due diligence, which means a proper cybersecurity solution can be essential.
Larger businesses have multi-million pound budgets to spend on the cybersecurity, with teams of people working to keep their valuable data private and their protections tight. If you’re a small-to-medium sized business, it would be justified to fear your needs dropping through the cracks in that environment. As a small business ourselves, Dx3 understands the needs of a small enterprise, and we tailor our programme to you.
So What Should I Do?
First, it’s a good idea to assess what you are doing. Have a think about what you have in place, if anything, and if so how long ago was it put there? Each website will have different vulnerabilities, and it can be hard to keep track of updates and new trends if you’ve let it lapse. Dx3 offers a free cybersecurity audit, to see where your business is most vulnerable and what can be done to mitigate those risks. Older computers and older software can be especially vulnerable.
Which brings us to our next point – where possible, ensure that your software, server and antivirus protection is up to date. Signing up to official versions of Adobe and Microsoft software for example, while more expensive, includes technical support and the latest security updates. These are as much deterrents as anything – the equivalent of a high fence and a guard dog. You have to ensure that your business is defended and looks that way!
Lastly, be sure to change passwords regularly, don’t use easily-guessed numbers or word combinations, and try to use different passwords across different services. Installing a 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) app, such as those from Google or Microsoft, gives an extra layer of security, creating one-time disposable access codes for extra verification.
Drop-off in Security, Drop-off in Business
Having an insecure website makes your whole business insecure. The flow of a successful online business, or indeed an unsuccessful online business, proceeds like this –
Website Speed and Functionality
Conversions or Leads Generated
Without proper security, your web presence is far too vulnerable. And without a website, your business offering will be hugely impacted. This is especially true for “mission critical” eCommerce business, where every minute a site is down means a lost sale. It also counts however for any business that relies upon online leads or awareness generated online, which in 2024, is virtually everyone.
If you have a small business, SME or eCommerce website, are you sure your cybersecurity is up to the task? Dx3’s site audit is quick, easy and free, giving you valuable information about your site’s security performance. From there, our team can advise you on issues and put in place a robust, scalable and adaptable programme to protect your business’ bottom line and reputation. Because we’re a small business too, when you call us, you will speak directly to your account manager – no outsourced call centres or long hold times – who already understands your cybersecurity measures top to bottom.
Be One Step Ahead
With scammers and fraudsters getting ever more creative in their efforts to disrupt and extort businesses, an ongoing engagement with cybersecurity will give you the defence that you need. Please get in touch with us if you’d like us to audit your website for free, or if you have any areas of your cybersecurity you’d like to improve.