Technology is advancing at lightning speed and in turn so is cybercrime. With online footprints covering more ground than ever – no business, big or small, is immune from the threat.

Many small businesses believe that they are not targets of cybercriminals, however a staggering 74% experienced a cyber security breach last year.[1]

Small businesses provide hackers with the perfect gateway into larger corporations, so if you run a small business, now’s the time to prioritise cyber security. Our A-Z is the first step in making your business safer, by understanding the threats that are out there. Smaller companies can be attractive to hackers as targets for ‘easy money’. It’s becoming increasingly common for cyber criminals to hold SMEs to ransom for cash. All they need to do is steal confidential data and threaten to release it, otherwise known as an extortion hack. Or they could just as easily lock you out of your entire business network, leaving you unable to trade until you pay a sum of money.

Despite the risks, it’s taken the recent spike in high profile cybersecurity breaches – Sony, Talk Talk, Ashley Madison and eBay are just a few of the big hacks to have taken place in the past couple of years – to really bring home the case for proactive online security.

Understanding the risk and how to manage it

Most high-profile hacks we see in the news have been the result of a smaller business being compromised[2]. And it doesn’t end at money-making. There’s a more sinister side to hacking, with entire nations coming under threat because of hackers gaining access to their critical national infrastructure[3]. As a small business, you’re undoubtedly part of a supply chain, meaning your company could act as a way in for hackers.

Managing cybercrime doesn’t have to be complicated though. Once you’ve gained an understanding of cyber threats and how they can work together to form an attack, you’ll have an infinitely better chance of protecting yourself against them.

An essential tool for small businesses

A lot of the jargon around cybercrime can be difficult to understand, making the subject seem hard to grasp. This A-Z is designed to give you guidance on the main cyber security threats used today, with the aim of explaining them in depth so you can become familiar with both the terminology and methodology behind them. In it you’ll find:

  • names and commonly used nicknames of threats
  • relevant case studies
  • protection tips from cyber security experts
  • cyber security best practices

The guide was compiled by a number of top cyber security experts, with a foreword by Andrew Rogoyski, Vice-President of Cyber Security at CGI. Contributors include:

Protecting yourself with cyber insurance

If you own a small business, it may be easy to treat cyber insurance as an optional extra. But it’s worth considering what you would do if all of your confidential data was leaked, if your next big idea was stolen, or if you were held to ransom for more money than you could afford.

Business networks are widening in size and reach, meaning it’s not just expert hackers that form the risk. Any one of your suppliers, business partners or even staff could use cybercrime against you if they had reason to. It’s just as important to insure yourself against this as it is to insure your business equipment against damage and theft.

No one is immune to cybercrime

It’s important to realise that no one is immune to hacking. Whether it’s seen as a gateway into a supply chain, or as one potential hack in hundreds of cash-motivated attacks, an SME can be a very attractive target for cybercriminals. By adding this guide to your cyber security resources, you’ll be taking an important step towards protecting yourself against cybercrime.

Find out more about Hiscox cyber and data risks insurance 

[1] Hiscox Cyber Security Hub, Government Report on Information Security Breaches Survey 2015

[2] https://www.hiscox.co.uk/business-blog/guides/future-hacking-small-businesses-taking-seriously/

[3] https://www.hiscox.co.uk/business-blog/guides/future-hacking-small-businesses-taking-seriously/