Over the last year, the idea of business resilience – how we can plan for the unexpected and mitigate the risks that are an inherent part of running a business has become a major topic of conversation for the business community across Wales. SME businesses have been at the sharp end of the impact of the pandemic, and FSB has been working hard to engage with those businesses who are building back after an incredibly difficult year and are looking at how they can be even more resilient in the future.
Whilst there are many risks that are difficult to anticipate and therefore hard to plan for – the onset of the pandemic being one such obvious example – there are many that we can take pre-emptive action on. Business owners might be already considering the risks posed by flooding, climate change and the ongoing impact of the pandemic – but is cyber resilience on that list?
For many, the perception might be that its only the headline-grabbing, larger businesses that are at risk of the kind of cyber attacks that are hugely costly and are massively disruptive to a business, but smaller firms are just as at risk. Many would-be cyber criminals might presume that a smaller business is less likely to be fully protected and would therefore afford them more opportunities to gain entry and disrupt. This can cost a business financially, can cause days – or weeks – of disrupted work and potentially even an inability to trade, and may tie up staff resources in dealing with the hack.
In addition to this, we have all seen examples of how our lives have been moved increasingly online because of the pandemic. It could be that your business has increased online trading, is storing more information online as staff work from home or is increasingly relying on the internet for a number of other reasons. As we increasingly operate in a digital world, we are all creating more of a risk to our cyber security, and it is crucial that we understand both the risks and opportunities of working digitally. If this sounds like your business, then investing in cyber security is a must.
The Cyber Resilience Centre for Wales offers a range of support mechanisms that will enable a business to assess their risk and take steps to mitigate this. There are a range of resources available – it is entirely possible that there are only a few steps needed to secure your business more than you might realise.
Through our work at FSB, we have spoken to hundreds of business owners who are working incredibly hard to protect their future after such an uncertain year – I would urge everybody to consider how cyber security is an integral part of the conversation about how we shore up Wales’ business community, leaving them free to explore the opportunities of trading online.