Cybercrime: protect your SME with free resources

Cybercrime: protect your SME with free resources
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Cybercrime is a huge issue in the UK, with up to 70% of SMEs experiencing an attack last year. The UK’s community bank, Metro Bank, has joined the fight against cybercriminals and wants to help SMEs stay safe. Here’s what you should know about the new anti-cybercrime initiative.

What is the anti-cybercrime initiative?

In response to the growing cybercrime problem, the UK’s National Crime Programme (NCP) is rolling out 10 police-led “Cyber Resilience Centres” across England and Wales. These centres are designed to help SMEs improve their cybersecurity by helping them access support they couldn’t otherwise afford. Thanks to the initiative, SMEs will be able to access free resources to help them with:

The hope is that the scheme will help businesses move forward with the confidence they need to keep their assets safe.

Mark Hanvey, a cybersecurity expert with Metro Bank, has already joined the advisory board for the South East Cyber Resilience Centre. The bank is also assisting on the advisory group for the Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales. 

How can I access the free resources?

It’s simple enough to access the resources. First, simply check out your nearest Cyber Resilience Centre online. Then, take a look at the resources and guides available. You can also check out the services pages to learn about the security awareness training on offer.

Want to contact your nearest centre first to learn more about the resources available? Simply contact them to book a chat or ask for more details on the training materials you can access. 

If you need any more help, reach out to your local centre in the first instance. 

How else can I protect my business from cybercrime?

Reaching out to a local CRC is not the only way to safeguard your SME from cybercriminals. Here are some other tips for keeping your data and IT systems a little safer: 

  • Keep any firewalls and antivirus software up to date. If you use network monitoring tools, make sure they’re updated, too. 
  • Use strong passwords and change them every few months. Even better, use multi-factor authentication (e.g. typing in a password plus logging in with a fingerprint). 
  • Encrypt files on devices such as laptops and mobile phones. That way, even if someone steals the device, they can’t access any data stored on it.
  • Store private paperwork like cashflow statements and business plans safely behind locked doors or cabinets.
  • Set access privileges so that only authorised staff can view certain files or make changes to the network.
  • Don’t work on a public unsecured network. Instead, make sure you’re using a private network with password protection. 
  • Keep business credit cards locked away and make sure there’s restricted access.

Takeaway

Cybercrime is a major worry for SMEs across the UK. But with the right support, you can safeguard your business data and protect your business from cybercriminals. Just remember to stay vigilant, keep your security software up to date, and ask for help from an IT specialist if you’re unsure about the security you need.

Do you need to report cybercrime against your SME, or an attempted phishing attempt? You can either report the incident to Action Fraud or the National Cyber Security Centre. However, if you’re in any doubt over what to do, just reach out to your local Cyber Resilience Centre for the most up-to-date advice.

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