Why Cybercrime is no Friend to SME’s Article Image

Why Cybercrime is no Friend to SME’s

The truth is you are not the only person concerned about cyber security. On 2nd March 2016 we were fortunate enough to be invited to a Barclays North Somerset event on Cyber Security. The event kicked off with some networking between local businesses that identified a common concern about the scale of cyber-attacks, scams and the resulting consequences to businesses.

The evening included an interactive presentation on Cyber Security from a Barclays Business Digital Eagle Jodie Burgoyne, Combating Dial-through fraud Paul Anslow from Triangle Networks Ltd and a guest speaker from Zephyr.

I will be summarising the evening and giving you some tips to help reduce the chance of you being a victim of cyber-crime.

Cyber-criminals, scammers, fraudsters call them what you like but ultimately and more importantly these people/groups are intelligent, imaginative and vigorous. I am sure there are three other words that victims of cyber-crime would use but these opportunist people behind millions of pounds being taken from innocent people and businesses a year use their intelligence to find loop holes in network and security systems.

I’m sure we have all received emails saying “You’re due a tax refund”, “You have won money”, they always sound too good to be true and as much as free money from a competition sounds good but you have to be in it to win it, so how are cyber criminals moving from individuals to targeting SME’s.

Cyber crime word cloud - hacking, malware, fraud, phishing

SME’s are targeted more than large enterprises by hackers on the assumption that there is less security in place. Understanding the stages of an attack will help prevent cyber-criminals getting the information they want to steal such as customer identities, commit bank fraud or force fake antivirus software to be purchased.

The hacker will firstly make that first point of contact with the target business or person, this could be in form of emails, install pop-ups or risky encounters such as card readers in ATMs or Petrol Stations.

They will then try and work out your passwords, the level of complexity will ultimately determine the time your accounts or networks will take to be hacked. This stage involves the cyber-criminal to look for loops holes in your security working out which way to get in to all your details.

Once they are in this is when they can plant their virus/scam that will either take down your computer system or networks that will then set up for the final stage.

When they have hooked you in or deceivingly taken initial details from you, then they will try to get further in to your personal or business details where they then plant the scam or virus which then enables the hacker to have access to client details, companies banking details, personal details taking substantial amounts of money and distributing it in to numerous accounts which are hard to trace due them being fake.  

Don't be a victim of cybercrime

Cybercrime Prevention Top Tips…

  • NEVER give personal or banking details to anyone you don’t know or trust
  • NEVER send money or hand money over until you have checked the credentials of the   receiving company
  • Always log in to a website directly and not through a link in an email
  • Seen a scam or been scammed report it and seek help
  • Change passwords regularly – might seem like hassle but worth it
  • When creating a password include at least 8 letters, 1 number and a special character. Doing this will take the hacker years longer to work out compared to passwords such as qwerty, password 
  • Obvious but easily done – Don’t write your password down or share it with anyone
  • “To be good to be true” be suspicious, there are no guaranteed rich-quick schemes

If you see any suspicious activity, scams or have been a victim of scams contact ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.co.uk.

Get in touch for expert advice and solutions for you or your business.

Call us on: 01278 445151