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SMEs concerned about e-risks and cyber crime

17th February 2011 Print

In light of the Government's new report which states that UK cyber crime costs the UK economy £27bn a year, research by specialist small business insurer Hiscox reveals that nearly a quarter (22%) of SMEs are concerned about e-risks and cyber crime.

Hiscox SME insurance expert, Alan Thomas, comments: "In light of these latest Government figures and the importance of data to businesses, it is essential that SMEs have strategies in place to mitigate online risks. Our research reveals businesses are now more concerned about cyber crime (22%), such as hacker attacks and electronic ID theft, than having cash (8%) stolen from their premises."

"Our research also revealed that over a third (38%) believed that their businesses are more likely to be a target of burglary since the start of the financial downturn which makes it all the more important to put in place robust security measures."

Hiscox offers the following security tips to help SMEs to protect against online and offline risks:

Protect information with a need-to-know policy with employees. If storing information on a central file server, manage who has access to files. This can help prevent data loss whether accidental or deliberate

Running an enterprise is a full-time activity and if you do not have online technical expertise seek professional advice on security. This can both save time and ensure the security measures cover the business needs

Encrypt important information for extra security so that only authorised users will be able to access them

Using the internet and email to conduct business means that data loss becomes a risk. Develop a clear email policy and raise online security awareness and issues with employees

Back up your files and check your insurance cover so that you can get business up and running again quickly in the event of an incident

Items like laptops and computer monitors are common targets for thieves and the real cost of a stolen IT asset isn't just the hardware, it's the lost data and the lost productivity. Lock servers in a room and move laptops into a secure drawer at the end of a working day.