More and more UK firms are being attacked by cyber criminals than ever before. Just under half (46%) of all UK businesses suffered at least one cyber security breach or attack in 2016. This rises to two-thirds among medium firms (66%) and large firms (68%) according to a report from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Attacks included simple viruses, spyware, malware, ransomware and people impersonating the organisation in emails. Phishing emails remain the cyber criminal's attack vector of choice.

A cyber attack can devastate a business, discouraging customers from using the firm again, according to a KPMG and CyberStreetWise report . And if you think only bigger companies are at risk of a cyber attack think again. Cyber criminals and hackers take the least line of resistance. They may attack a weaker businesses as a way into other firms their targets do business with.

The consequences of a cyber attack

Many of the costs of being hacked or attacked are hidden but can outweigh some of the more direct ones.

Direct costs include:

- having to stop operating following a breach

- fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office

- breaches of contracts with suppliers and customers leading to loss of business

- informing customers and suppliers of data loss and protecting them after a breach

- regulatory compliance costs

- public relations and crisis communication costs

- litigation and legal fees

- cyber security infrastructure improvements

- cost of subsequent investigations into the breach

Hidden costs include:

- Insurance premium increases

- Increased cost of borrowing money

- operational disruption or destruction

- damage to customer and supplier relationships

- damage to reputation, loss of brand equity, and intellectual property

- health and well-being of business owner and staff

Don't bury your head in the sand - turn adversity into opportunity

Many firms simply don't have the resources or experience to monitor their computer network properly. Those that do have someone often find they lack the experience to do it effectively. It is even worse if you are a sole trader, because IT security comes down to you. However, investing in a NYtech Cyber Health Check could be one of the best ways to ensure your company's long term prosperity. Although, no one can guarantee your business will be completely safe online, a NYtech Cyber Health Check could make your businesses harder to attack than those who haven't had one. A check  may also give you the edge over some of your competitors who are more complacent about their IT security.

A Cyber Health Check from a NYtech consultant can help you to identify and prioritise any IT security risks faced by the business, and help you to understand where your vulnerabilities lie so that you can do something about them.

A NYtech Cyber Health Check gives you additional peace of mind, and shows the world you are a company who is takes cybersecurity more seriously.

So whether you are a sole trader or small to medium sized business, give us a call on 01609 534800, and find out how we can help make you more resilient to cyber crime.

Cyber security breaches survey main report - http://bit.ly/2xjwvmo
Small business reputation and the cyber risk - http://bit.ly/2yZlVxW