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Why SMEs must be ready to combat cyber crime

08 Feb 2017
Animated picture of cyber space

Cyber security experts will gather together at the IoD’s summit in March. Here they explain why the threat of a data breach has become a big issue for small businesses…

Why SMEs need to prepare for the worst

“The TalkTalk hack offers a classic case study for what can go wrong for a firm. But would a small business survive the same nightmare? Most SMEs could only last for a day or two if their website or IT system went down before being pushed to the verge of bankruptcy. That’s why I think it will become increasingly important in our fast-developing digital economy for small businesses to buy cyber insurance."

Professor Richard Benham - Independent Global Cyber Security Adviser, ‎The National Cyber Research Centre

How to prepare for a data breach

 “We should dispel the myth that this is just a ‘big business’ problem. We know that more than 70 per cent of small businesses suffered some form of data breach during 2015 and that the average cost of the worst hack for SMEs was between £75,000 and £310,800. “Every business, even the smallest businesses, should make sure that they have done everything possible to prepare for a data breach. For example, you should think about what information is critical to your business. What databases do you have? Where do you store information? Many problems arise because businesses aren’t always clear about what information they have and where it is stored.” 

Matthew Webb - Global Head of Security, Hiscox

Upcoming data protection law reforms – and what they mean for you 

“Reforms to data protection laws will mean that businesses need to take a hard look at how they are currently managing their data. The General Data Protection Regulation (which comes into effect on 25 May 2018) will lead to a number of new requirements for companies, including the need notify the national data protection authority about a data breach within 72 hours of the business becoming aware of it. Failure to comply with these changes could lead to fines of up to four per cent of worldwide turnover.” 

Emma Carr – Head of Technology, Hanover Communications

Cyber security relies on your people, not your tech

“Systemic cyber risk is an issue that every organisation – large or small, public or private – needs to address for themselves, their customers and to improve the digital world we all live in. Cyber security is a ‘trust’ issue, and trust is what customers, regulators and citizens want. And cyber security is not a ‘tech’ issue that can be solved with more firewalls or anti-virus products. Contrary to a technical outage that can be mitigated by flying in a new device to replace the broken one, cyber incidents are manmade.” 

Troels Oerting – Group Chief Information Security Officer of Barclays and Chairman of the Global Cyber Alliance


The IoD Cyber Security Summit 2017

All of these experts in cyber security will be guest speakers at The IoD Cyber Security Summit on 27 March at 116 Pall Mall. This morning briefing will cover not just the emerging global and national trends in the cyber crime arena, but provide practical steps on what you can do for your business straight away to meet what might be the defining business challenge of the 21st century. 

Book tickets

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