Are SMEs at risk of a cyberattack?

are smes at risk of a cyberattack
By Anthony Wolny | 9th March 2020 | 4 min read

Recent studies have discovered that small-to-medium-sized organisations are most at risk of cyberattacks.

In particular, Verizon found that 58% of data breach victims are small businesses.

This creates quite a lot of concern for an SME’s payroll function as there will be a lot of sensitive and personal information stored that is potentially at risk.

Is my SME at risk of a cyberattack if I use passwords?

80%-90% of breaches are credential theft-hackers guessing passwords.

This is because it’s incredibly common for people to use the same password for their personal and business applications.

The impact this has on businesses is that if a hacker compromises your personal password, your business will most likely also be at risk.

Additionally, a significant number of organisations also share the username and password for internal applications.

The concern this creates is that if someone leaves the organisation, in most cases they can still access and tamper with files.

What can happen if your data is lost in a cyberattack?

If your business faces a loss of employee and customer data, it can have two major consequences.

Fines: If you have suffered a data breach, you must report it to the ICO which can result in a fine of up to €20 million.

Reputation damage: You risk damaging your reputation with both employees and customers, potentially impacting future business opportunities and talent prospects.

What can you do to reduce cyberattacks?

The first and simplest change you can make is to ensure your employees are using different passwords for their various applications.

By making this a mandatory policy, you can reduce the risk of a single password breach impacting your entire organisation.

Additionally, implementing a clean desk policy that requires employees to clear their desk at the end of each working day can reduce the chances of sensitive information theft and subsequent security breaches.

However, while these steps are a good starting point, they only offer basic protection which is why we recommend you invest in a comprehensive solution.

What solutions are available to protect against a cyberattack?

The most effective way to protect your data is through a hosted platform such as IRIS Payroll Hosting.

Our highly secure solution adds an extra layer between your data and hackers, providing security as strong as your online banking with two-factor authentication.

IRIS Payroll Hosting also utilises sophisticated firewalls that are capable of intensely interrogating every bit of traffic to your payroll software, investigating and blocking where necessary.

To find out how you can improve your security and for more information on how IRIS Payroll Hosting can protect your organisation, click here to download our infographic.