Jump to MenuJump to Main ContentJump to the SidebarJump to About A&T Business AssociatesJump to How A&T Business Associates are DifferentJump to How A&T Business Associates WorkJump to Our LinksJump to our Industry NewsJump to Legal InformationJump to Viewing OptionsJump to SearchJump to Site MapJump to Contact Page

How small business can afford a WFH cyber-security upgrade

The widespread switch to remote working has led to a spike in cyber-attacks and the arrival of a second lockdown is putting more pressure on businesses to make sure that stronger cyber-security measures are in place. The question is, how can smaller firms afford this upgrade?

News that almost half of SMEs regularly share confidential files via email, including financial and employee information, underlines the importance of cyber-security at a time when the number of employees working from home is higher than ever. The study from the Lanop Accountancy Group also revealed that 60% of the SMEs that it questioned had not upgraded their cyber-security systems since the shift to remote working caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharp rise in home working creates cyber-security challenges for SMEs

The move to home working has created a host of cyber-security-related challenges for small firms, with many struggling to put sufficient cyber-protection measures in place or to provide employees with the necessary cyber-security training. As a result, there has been a surge in the number of cyber-attacks as the use of personal devices and open networks has left employees and businesses vulnerable to various forms of attack, mostly notably phishing and ransomware attacks.

There is an obvious solution to this problem and this is the upgrading of cyber-security systems with a particular focus on ensuring that employees working from home are doing so in a cyber-secure way. However, while larger companies have the resources to take these steps quickly, small businesses, which are fighting for their survival, are finding it much harder to afford.

So, how can small businesses afford a cyber-security upgrade and help ensure that they can ride out the Covid-19 storm and come out the other side in good shape? Alternative finance can help.

Surviving and investing: how alternative finance can help

Right now, maintaining cashflow and finding capital for investment is extremely tough for small firms. Yet, businesses owners need to invest, including in cyber-security, and to do so, they need to be aware of all funding options available to them, from the government’s emergency loan schemes to the services of alternative lenders.

With regard to the latter, in the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, alternative finance facilities such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are proving a vital source of capital for small businesses, both for maintaining cashflow and for essential investment. These facilities, which offer a more personalised approach to lending, are helping small businesses survive and target regrowth.

Notably, alternative lending is playing a prominent role in the government emergency support schemes, in particular the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which is connecting firms and the self-employed with loan, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. This profile is helping cement the reputation of alternative finance in the business sector.

What small businesses need to know about funding options

As the country enters another lockdown, planning for the future is becoming even harder for small businesses, and understandably so. But this planning has to be done and cyber-security should be a priority. The cost of failing to put proper cyber-protection in place could be very high. To this end, owners needs to make use of all the funding options open to them, including alternative finance.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Tony Hedger on 01903 602211 or tony.hedger@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

Return to the News Page