"Hacker" (CC BY 2.0) by  The Preiser Project

Don’t Let Hackers Taint the Golden Age of Business

There’s never been a better time to start a new business, that’s the line often recited by politicians, entrepreneurs and tech experts.

When you look at the facts, it’s certainly hard to argue that this isn’t the case. Thanks to government initiatives like StartUp Britain more than 580,000 companies were formed in the UK back in 2014 and a further 600,000+ were started in 2015. This recent rush of activity means that 95% of all UK companies are now classed as ‘micro’ or ‘small’ businesses.

Naturally, given an increased level of knowledge about the Internet and greater access to online facilities, it’s little wonder that more people are setting up shop on their own. Indeed, anyone with a website, some social media accounts and a bit of determination can now start an enterprise that’s just as capable of capturing the public’s attention as anything a major corporation can conjure up.

Business Boom Prompts Increase in Cybercrime

cyber crime
However, just as the number of small businesses in the UK is increasing, so too is the number of cyber attacks on said businesses. Although it’s now extremely simple for the average Internet user to start a business and get it online, there are certain issues that need to be addressed. In today’s virtual world, the issue of security, especially for small businesses, is more important than ever.

According to the government’s latest statistics, small businesses are now prime targets for cyber criminals, with 74% of the companies questioned reporting security breaches in 2015. Backing up this data with its own research, Symantec found that 52% of spear phishing attacks carried out in the UK in December 2015 were aimed at small businesses.

With government experts explicitly stating that small organisations are now being “pinpointed” by hackers, the issue of website security is one that any aspiring entrepreneur needs to consider. Indeed, just as it’s now easier than ever for someone to set up their own business, it’s now easier for criminals to exploit said businesses, if they aren’t properly protected.

Security is Now More Advanced and More Affordable

"firewall" (CC BY 2.0) by  xmodulo 

One thing that many new business owners wrongly assume is that high-level security is expensive. While it’s true that website owners need multiple layers of protection, it’s simply not the case that it’s expensive to guard against the elements. Modern web application security options like web application firewalls utilise cloud-based technology and offer the perfect complement to any hardware web security.

By acting as a filter that can work in real time to recognise malicious visitors, monitor IP addresses and identify irregular visits, web application firewalls can guard against SQL injection, cross-site scripting and more.

Of course, alongside the necessary software, small business owners also need to educate themselves about the risks to their business. While a minor security breach may not seem like a huge issue, it can actually cost a lot of money.

Don’t Let the Business of Cybercrime Ruin Your Business

When you consider that access to more than 70,000 servers, including government-owned servers, can be bought and sold for as little as $6 online, it becomes obvious that cybercrime is an enterprise and there are people making a living by stealing data. So, while there’s no doubt we live in a golden age of business, where practically everyone and anyone can set up their own company, it’s important to remember the risks you’ll be exposed to in the virtual arena. Fortunately, if you’re able to walk into the situation with your eyes open and take advantage of the website security that’s available for a fraction of the cost that you might expect, you shouldn’t have any issues.