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Cyber Crime "Costs small companies £800m a year"

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An explosion in cyber-crime is costing small companies almost £800m a year, a business group has warned. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said issues such as hacking, data security breaches and computer viruses were a "barrier to growth" that could no longer be ignored.

An FSB report found that cyber-crime is costing its 200,000 members a combined £785m a year – or £3,750 for every small business.

Over the past year, 41% of the group's members have been a victim of cyber-crime, often through frauds carried out by a customer or client, or so-called "card not present" situations (when purchases are made online, over the phone or by mail order). Virus infections hit 20% of respondents; 8% said they had been a victim of hacking and 5pc suffered security breaches.

The lobby group is concerned that the cost to the wider economy could be much greater, as small businesses refuse to trade online because they believe the security framework does not give them adequate protection. One in five FSB members said they had taken no steps to protect themselves from cyber-crime.

Mike Cherry, FSB chairman, said: "cyber-crime poses a growing threat for small firms and it isn't something that should be ignored. The cost of crime can act as a barrier to growth. For example, many businesses will not embrace new technology as they fear the repercussions and do not believe they will get adequate protection".

"While we want to see clear action from the Government and the wider public sector, there are clear actions that businesses can take to help themselves."

The FSB have issued tips to help businesses protect themselves, including a combination of standard security protection steps (e.g. putting up a firewall and using antivirus and anti-spam software); carrying out regular security updates on all software and devices; and ensuring there is a resilient IT system and email password policy.

The Government has urged small companies to spend more on security to address the rise in cyber-crime and meet the terms of a tough EU directive. The Data Protection Bill will force companies to tell regulators every time they suffer a data breach. The Government is offering modest help to small and medium-sized businesses to recruit security consultants to tighten defences.

With insurance premiums starting as low as £300.00 (depending on limits of liability required, exposures and business activities) there is a cost effective insurance solution available.

For more details on Cyber & Technology Insurance and how it can protect your business please call or email Geoff Stanbridge on 01903-608106 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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