Technology has become vital to a small business. 44% of businesses consider online services as a core part of their business offer and 85% of businesses now have a blog or a website. So, technology is important to a small business but there are dangers that can target technology.
Below are 5 facts that should get a small business thinking about how outsourced IT support can benefit their business.
Cyber attacks on small businesses cost the UK economy £5.26 billion last year
Yes, that is billion. The 5.4 million small businesses in the UK are subjected to more than seven million cyber attacks a year. These staggering figures came from a survey conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses.
That report also showed that 66% of small businesses have been victim to a cyber crime over the last two years. Over that 2 year period a small business affected by cyber crime will have been a victim, on average, 4 times.
The marked increase in cyber crime has lead to a response from SMBs. A report by the Government found that 58% of small businesses are using an outsourced cyber security provider.
The same report asked the reasons given for outsourcing. A popular reason was a small business wanted to maintain as few core staff as possible, so did not have the budget or office space to carry out cyber security in-house.
Another common reason was, because of the nature of their business, they needed 24-hour cyber security but only employed staff during the day. In this context, outsourcing was the solution.
Some firms carried out as much of their IT function as they could in-house, but still needed to use specialist IT consultants for specific issues.
43% of IoD members don’t know where their company’s data is physically stored
Last year, the IoD conducted a Policy Voice Survey focusing specifically on cyber security. It showed that nearly half of the respondents did not know where their businesses data was being stored.
Data is a major asset for most businesses. That means it is also a big target for cyber attacks, so not knowing where that data is stored makes it difficult to protect it! It's also likely that the data is not being backed up properly, if at all.
An industry study by The Diffusion Group, who surveyed small businesses, said 60% of companies that lose their data close down within six months of the disaster.
You can use an outsourced IT support company to help you with backing up your data. You can get a continuous back up your data both on site, and to a cloud server. Your business can continue working from these backups whilst your data is restored back onto your main server. The whole backup process will be regularly checked to make sure that all backups are working so in an emergency you can rest assured your data can still be accessed.
58% of businesses have sought information, advice or guidance on cyber security
In April 2017, the Cyber Security Breaches survey stated that in the past year, half of all UK businesses had been the target of some kind of cyber crime. With this rise in cyber crime small businesses are increasing looking for advice and help on cyber security.
A report by Crowd Research Partners highlighted that 45% of UK businesses see the biggest obstacle to stronger cyber security is a lack of skilled personnel, explaining the increase in spend on outsourced IT support for advice and help.
Two-thirds of all firms are allocating budget to some level of cyber security. The average yearly spend was shown to be only £2,600 per small business. That does mean that 1 in 3 small businesses are not spending any money on cyber security.
61% of small businesses are using some form of Cloud Computing
That is an increase from 39% in 2016. Cloud computing can have some very useful advantages for businesses. 60% of cloud users say they store confidential information on the cloud.
Cloud computing is managed, shared applications, development platforms, or computing infrastructure accessible via the internet. It provides options such as bandwidth and on-demand computing power with flexible capabilities normally purchased as a metered service.
Cloud computing can save businesses money on their infrastructure, because of the flexibility it offers. Find out more about IT Support and Cloud computing.
Losses from 'Whaling' scams totalled £2.4 billion
Whaling is a scam that targets a company's CEO or finance officer, whoever signs off the big cheques. The aim of the scam is to get them to rush through a large payment for a fake purchase.
72% of the respondents of the IoD policy voice survey said they have received a fake invoice. There has been an increase in this type of cyber attack, meaning human behaviour is a common problem with cyber security.
Even staff with the best intentions can click on a malicious link in an email. Or in the case of Whaling, respond to fake emails in good faith. Educating and training staff can be a big win for a businesses IT security.
Find out more about email security with this eBook.
Technology is now such a large part of business that any problems can cause major damage to a business. This can be a direct financial loss or an effect on IT systems that can lead to a loss of data or decrease in productivity.
Looking after technology can be expensive and time consuming, which is why so many small businesses are looking for help, with outsourced IT support.