Cyber Security for Small Businesses

Last post: Dec 6, 2019

If you run a small or independent business, you might think you’re not worth scamming and that you’ll be passed over by fraudsters in search of bigger fish. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported that 48% of businesses think that they’re too small to be scammed, but the frequency of small business fraud is 28%, compared to the 22-26% of larger organizations.

Many small businesses don't put security measures in place to protect themselves as they don't believe they'll be targeted, but it's important to ensure cyber safety. Cyber security doesn't have to be complex, difficult or expensive, and it can prevent a variety of scams that prey on businesses with poor security, poor technical knowledge, and poor communication. Most cyber security scams are easy to avoid and don't require expensive tech or IT professionals. Having antivirus software of your choice on your computers and keeping records of when it is due for renewal and the company you're with is enough to stump the average cyber security scammer. 

What do Cyber Security scams look like? 

The most common way cyber security scammers present themselves is by pretending to be tech support. They set up pop up messages on sites that aren't secure (which can be avoided with anti-virus software, ad-blocks and using trusted, secure sites) or contact their victims via cold call or email. 

The scammer will pose as someone from a reputable tech support company and warn the victim that they have downloaded malware onto their device. They will then send a link allowing them to control the victim's device remotely and ask the victim to download it so that they can remove the virus. They then use this remote control software to take control of the victim's devices and install real malware in order to access the victim's details including passwords and bank details. 

Digital scammers will also target the web pages their victims visit - not only to set up pop-up messages but also to redirect the users to convincing fakes. This is called pharming, and often targets banking websites or sales pages in order to capture passwords and bank details. Ensuring you're using secure sites helps here. You can check whether a site is secure by looking for the small padlock icon in the top left of the search bar, or by checking that the web address starts with "https" rather than "http". 

Protection against digital attacks

Whilst having decent antivirus software will go some way to preventing digital attacks, it's important to use discretion and caution. Keeping thorough records about suppliers and subscriptions, using different passwords for everything, not storing these passwords digitally, and using secure sites for any transactions will be a big help, and any staff who may be involved with computers or banking should be briefed to do the same. Staff should also be trained to not visit certain kinds of sites on company computers, and to avoid saving passwords or login details. 

At Choice Business Loans, we care about businesses and their finances. We know how hard you work for the money you make, and how devastating it can be to lose it. That's why we want to educate businesses both large and small on the threat of scams and how they can safeguard themselves. Business fraud is becoming more and more sophisticated, so it's really important to be aware and up to date on all the latest scams and how they work.

We deal with a wide range of lenders and specialist brokers and have the knowledge and experience to examine different finance options and make suggestions to suit our clients. We can look at anything from a traditional bank loan, to Crowdfunding, Fintech lending, Merchant Cash Advances and similar innovative options.

Drop us an email at or call us on 01494 410 125 to speak with one of our team about what kind of help we can offer you.