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09 Aug 2021

21% of West Midlands businesses report cyber attack

West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre Stand: 3/C20

Small businesses are collectively subject to almost 10,000 cyber-attacks a day, according to new findings from the UK’s largest business group, the Federation of Small Businesses.

 

Victims are most frequently subject to phishing attempts, with 530,000 small firms suffering from such an attack over the past two years. Hundreds of thousands of businesses also report incidences of malware (374,000), fraudulent payment requests (301,000) and ransom-ware (260,000). 


Those based in the North West, South East and West Midlands are most likely to be the victims of cyber-attacks, with 25%, 23% and 21% of small businesses in these areas reporting cyber incidences respectively.

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to ensure your employees are using systems and devices safely, whilst protecting your customers data from the likes of phishing attacks or data breaches.

In this blog, we share some simple top tips that you can follow to help strengthen your business’s cyber resilience.

Top tips for Email:

  • Require strong, unique passphrases on email accounts.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication on sensitive accounts.
  • Encrypt sensitive emails and use digital signatures.
  • Do not use personal email accounts for company business.
  • Recognise phishing emails and avoid suspicious links or attachments. 

Top tips for Mobiles:

  • Delete unnecessary apps and update the rest regularly. 
  • Only download apps from trusted sources and check reviews.
  • Secure with passcodes/biometrics, such as fingerprint recognition.
  • Turn off Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi whilst not in use. 
  • Turn on remote wipe in case device is lost.
  • Configure app permissions after downloading.
  • Do  not connect to unknown public networks - use a VPN or mobile data. 

Top tips for Wi-Fi

  • Keep home Wi-Fi equipment out of sight from outside the property. 
  • Change default admin password, SSID name and SSID passwords. 
  • Restrict remote administrative management. 
  • Be mindful of the signal radius. 
  • Keep firmware updated.
  • Use separate Wi-Fi for guests, customers and business operations. 

Top tips for Software

  • Automatically update the operating system, browser and applications. 
  • Get rid of unused software.
  • Review software that can be installed. 
  • Equip all machines with regularly updated antivirus software. 
  • Ensure regular backups are tested, encrypted and stored offline. 

Businesses in the West Midlands can sign up for a free Core Membership online and receive a welcome pack full of practical resources and tools that will help you identify your risks and vulnerabilities and the steps you can take to increase your levels of protection.  

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