The ICAEW-funded Fraud Advisory Panel has warned that small businesses are increasingly in danger of becoming cybercrime victims.
The Panel has produced a set of guidelines to emphasise the risk to small companies and to advise them on measures that they can take to avoid becoming victims of cybercrime.
According to the guidelines, SMEs suffer from theft of proprietary information and financial fraud which can come as easily from inside the company.
The Panel said that the risk to British businesses from crimes such as hacking and credit card fraud has risen in the last two years with half of companies reporting them in 2002 compared to just a quarter in 2000.
A Panel spokesman said SMEs should focus on implementing policies such as employee guidelines for internet and email use and on developing a culture of awareness in order to really increase security.
The guidelines recommend staff training sessions to keep personnel up to speed with the latest news and developments and regular infrastructure reviews to identify areas potentially vulnerable to security lapses.
SME IT managers should install encryption software and know what to do if cybercrime is detected
The Fraud Advisory Panel report Cybercrime, practical guidelines for the SME is available for £3.00 – cheques should be made payable to Fraud Advisory Panel and sent to:
The Fraud Advisory Panel
Chartered Accountants Hall
PO Box 433
London EC2P 2BJ