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Cyber criminals target small firms
9:49am Saturday 1st September 2012 in News
CYBERCRIME costs businesses £21 billion annually and is the fastest growing crime in the UK, according to a new report.
Symantec, the security software company, said it blocked more than 5.5 billion malware - malicious software - attacks in 2011.
Overall, security providers have noted an 81 per cent increase in attacks since 2010, with 403 million new variations of malware created in 2011, an increase of 41 per cent from the previous year.
Half of the attacks were aimed at small and medium sized businesses.
David Ransom, director of the Business Crime Reduction Centre, a partnership between Yorkshire’s police forces and charity People United Against Crime, said it had surveyed a business park in Humberside and found half of the companies had completely open wireless connections for their computer systems, making it straightforward for criminals to steal sensitive data, including details of online financial transactions.
He said: “Cyber criminals are targeting small businesses because they know they are more vulnerable than the large corporates. “Sadly, many small traders are either unaware of the threats or think that they are too small for criminals to bother with.
“This is definitely not the case. Cyber criminals have developed huge illegal networks of computers that allow them to distribute their malicious software very efficiently, therefore they have the capability to attack thousands of companies at the touch of a button.”