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This is the answer to rising cyber-security costs

If the pressure on SMEs to improve their cyber-security wasn’t already great enough, it has been announced that companies may face fines if their measures aren’t strong enough.

Business news sites haven’t been short of stories on the dangers of cyber-attacks in recent months. Articles warning that small business owners that they aren’t doing enough to protect their companies and offering tips on improving cyber-security have been similarly abundant.

And with good reason: surveys have detailed some significant shortcomings with regard to cyber-security and attacks have revealed the scale of the damage that can be wreaked on businesses, especially small ones.

So, the pressure on small business owners to invest in cyber-security is already considerable. However, it is set to get even greater. It has been revealed that the government is considering introducing legislation that will fine organisations if their cyber-protection measures aren’t up to scratch.

In addition, a new report from behavioural science based cyber-security e-learning platform Cybsafe shows that larger firms are increasingly assessing smaller suppliers on cyber-security measures before signing contracts and doing business.

The message is clear: if your business doesn’t have the right level of cyber-security, you’re going to suffer, whether as a result of a fine or a loss of business. Given the current climate, either hit could spell serious trouble for small businesses.

The big problem for small business owners is the cost of enhancing their cyber-security. Such a step doesn’t come cheaply and with numerous other demands on capital and cashflow, such as business rates, pension auto-enrolment and living wage regulation, affordability becomes an even greater issue.

So, how can it be afforded? Alternative finance has a role to play. The likes of peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding can help generate start-up funding or investment funding, while invoice finance and asset finance can be used to maintain cashflow. Used alone or as part of a wider financial planning strategy, these non-bank finance services are proving a lifeline for SMEs.

The alternative finance sector has witnessed extraordinary growth in recent years as small businesses have had to manage uncertain market conditions and prolonged caution from traditional lenders. With no end in sight to the challenges facing SMEs, including cyber-attacks, it is clear that business owners will need to make use of all the options available to them.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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