Small business cyber security

Although it shouldn’t be, Cyber security is quite a challenge for small businesses. Be it be remote working staff, third parties relationships, budgets for enterprise products or the right advice – there are compelling reasons for practical and pragmatic security. Cyphere is a cloud computing and IT service provider based in Manchester, UK, that caters to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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Importance of SME cyber security

It is not the question of ‘we are too small’ or ‘only bigger players are the target’ anymore. Cyber criminals look for valuable information and ease of opportunity to make quick gains with majority of the cyber attacks launched with known attack vectors.

For non-revenue generating tasks, SME owners usually outsource to a freelancer or an admin. There are also instances where IT service providers take the onus of delivering security just to win initial contracts however lacking the specific skill-set. It is the subject of small business cyber security where immediate ROI might not be possible, however, pays off in the long run. 

A business can be hit by a cyber attack around the key cyber threats shown in the image on the right-hand side. SME News website reports these five reasons why IT security for small businesses is a must:

  1. Business disruption
  2. Reputational damage
  3. Data loss & regulatory fines
  4. Intellectual Property
  5. Third Party Relationships

There is no absolute failsafe.  If anyone says there is, they don’t understand risk management.


SME cyber security

Why is cyber security a challenge for businesses?

Although technological advancements such as the latest network topologies without perimeters are making our lives easier, multiple security challenges are posed to endpoints, internet traffic, added software and cloud capabilities. The following are the main security challenges faced by small organisations:

  • Lack of Preparedness –  All businesses will experience security incidents in one form or another at some point. It’s not ‘if’; it’s ‘when’. Therefore, preparation is key to resilience, acknowledging the cyber threats, preparing for a cyberattack and ensuring that the business can respond and recover as fast as possible.
  • Overreliance on IT Service Providers – IT service providers solve all technological challenges for SMB as they are ‘go-to’ people for anything IT related. IT security is a different ball game because no one solution can protect your small business. Whilst it is possible your IT service provider is good at security offerings, the majority of the small business IT service providers are no more than product resellers for firewalls and antivirus solutions. These cyber security solutions for small businesses sold as the one-stop solution do not make an informed choice.
  • Budget Constraints – Budgets are indeed limited in small organisations. It is equally true that senior management is sometimes unaware of the technological edge of the business and how SMEs are an easy target for cybercriminals. This should not be a tick in the box approach if security did for service in the case of GDPR, ISO 27001 or PCI DSS.
  • Sensitive Information Theft (Insider Threats) – This could be information belonging to personnel or a business’ IP. Loss of compliance due to sensitive information theft or leakage could add to financial and legal risks for a small business. Therefore, relevant controls with business context ensure that small business network security and web protection are enablers for growth.
  • Mobile Workforce – Although every organisation wants to use the latest gadgets in the market, SMBs don’t have the resources and processes to think it through from a risk perspective. Therefore, mobile devices, BYOD policies may present a wide gap in the IT risk posture.

Security services for small businesses

IT security solutions for small businesses should be affordable, relevant and accessible. Unfortunately, buying products after products would only exacerbate the problem for small businesses. More data due to security solutions in use is equivalent to more chaos with fewer resources ending up with increased security risks. Small business owners have faced dire situations due to ransomware attacks,  sensitive data theft and data breach situations despite these products. 

We justify your business case for data security by ensuring constant growth with our reliable and team expertise from delivering security consulting for more than 10 years. 

We help small and medium-size businesses to minimise risks to people, processes and technology in use. We also provide cloud computing for small businesses, located in Manchester and all around the world, which has a lot of benefits. These could be SME web protection, SME email security or overall managed security services for small businesses. There is no security checklist you can tick off and be ready for a tsunami! Every business has its own context. Therefore, big products do not justify their investment here.

Basic Hygiene

We review all your most valuable assets, identify the areas of greatest risk and prepare you for the most common cyber attacks.

  • Help with Cyber Essentials Certification
  • Prepare against common attacks
  • Ideal for 1-5 employees

SME Health Check

We review your major assets and the security of your communication controls, helping you to achieve your own Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

  • Cyber Security Health Check and onsite debrief
  • Help achieve Cyber Essentials Plus
  • Phishing Testing

SME Managed

We review all your most valuable assets to identify your highest risk areas and determine the right approach to optimise your security, with an IT Health Check and Managed Services quarterly.

  • SME Health Check included
  • Managed Phishing and Open Source Intel
  • Managed Services – Network and Applications

Trusted partner providing small business cyber security services

Cyber Security Improvement

SME Basic Hygiene

This is the most basic and stepping stone to start securing your business. It covers the basic minimum five control areas ideally suited for small businesses. These are also the pre-requisites for Cyber Essentials certification. A one-off exercise based around self-assessment questionnaires followed by an assessment for Cyber Essentials certification prepares your business for the most common cyber attacks.

Many small businesses that do not have their IT teams, rely on cloud services and basic setup opt for such continuous security measures. This ensures you have sufficient cyber hygiene to protect your business.

SME Health Check

Cyphere’s assured SME services includes a security health check around your business’ major assets as well as checks around secure communication controls. This is a one-off exercise performed during agreed timescales, with an onsite visit to customer premises. For email-based phishing or external network checks, we work remotely.  With the aim of Cyber Essentials Plus certification, we will assess your controls around the following five areas:

  1. Perimeter Firewall & Internet Gateway
  2. Secure Configuration
  3. Access Control
  4. Malware Protection
  5. Patch Management

Cyber Essentials Plus certification is awarded upon passing the checks in all the key areas above.

Business owners with growing teams and products requiring cyber assurance chose this type of continuous cyber assurance.

SME Managed

SME Managed

For customers looking for reliable partners, we offer a fully managed option that offers:

  • Security Awareness Workshop
  • Phishing campaigns quarterly
  • Open Source Intelligence Gathering (OSINT) quarterly
  • Scanning of internet-facing infrastructure and applications quarterly

Cyber Essentials is a cost-effective assurance scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises which is backed by the UK government.

Organisations must be prepared to tackle such threats, with handy plans on what to do if this happens and accountability allocated via people, processes and technological controls. See our detailed post on ransomware and what to do if a business is hacked that helps SME customers.

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