Six in 10 small Northamptonshire firms have been hacked online

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Small Northamptonshire businesses are hacked on average twice a year, a cyber crime report by the Federation of Small Businesses says.

Its research shows that six out of 10 small firms have been a victim of cyber crime in the last two years.

On average they have been hacked on four occasions, costing each one almost £3,000 in total.

What is more, the FSB said small firms are unfairly carrying the cost of cyber crime and is putting on a Cyber Security event to help small businesses navigate these threats.

David Nicholls, an IT specialist and the FSB chairman for Northamptonshire, said: “Small firms take their cyber security responsibility very seriously, but often they are the least able to bear the cost of doing so.

“Smaller businesses have limited resources, time and expertise to deal with ever-evolving and increasing digital attacks.

“We’re calling on Government, larger businesses, individuals and providers to take part in a joint effort to tackle cyber crime and improve business resilience, and have created this event to help that.”

Phishing emails are the most common attack, followed by spear phishing emails then malware attacks.

However, only one in four smaller businesses have a strict password policy and a fraction of them have a written plan of what to do if attacked online.

Measures the FSB is calling for include:

- Better incentives for small businesses to encourage them to invest in cyber resilience measures and adopt best practice.

- Significant simplification and consolidation of cyber security information provided by Government. The National Cyber Security Centre should become the hub for this.

Adrian Hicks, a cyber security consultant and FSB member added: “Small firms are understandably focussed on building their businesses and creating the jobs which drive

economic growth.

“The vulnerabilities of the digital world affects everyone and the responsibility for improving resilience should not be left to the group with least resource to do something about it.”

-To book a place at the FSBs Cyber and Curry evening (6pm, June 28, at Westone Manor Hotel in Fir Tree Walk) visit: www.FSBCyber.eventbrite.co.uk or call 01162 793 181.