The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned small businesses in the UK to take urgent steps to protect from a cyber ransomware attack this week, following specific concerns it has received from the National Cyber Security Centre. As well as following its cyber protection advice, FSB says smaller businesses should put in place specific cyber protection insurance.

Dave Stallon, commercial director at FSB, said “We are raising the alarm with the UK’s 5.5 million-strong small business community. It is vital that small businesses and the self-employed prioritise this, and that they do it today. These businesses have limited resources, time and expertise to deal with the current and growing cyber crime threat but there is specific assistance available. They should follow our guidance, and do it right now.”

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “The National Cyber Security Centre has warned us that a new working week may bring more cyber ransomware outbreaks. We are urging all small businesses to take steps to reduce the risk of an attack. Businesses should immediately check for updates to their operating systems and anti-malware software and download them where needed. We advise small firms to make sure their data is backed up – if the worst happens, data cannot then be held to ransom. Small firms should also keep an eye on the NCSC website and Twitter feed to stay up to date with the latest advice. FSB members have access to specific cyber advice and insurance protection as part of their membership.”

Small businesses and the self-employed are urged to make use of the expert cyber advice line offered to FSB members along with cyber protection insurance.

FSB figures, 2016, show that on average, a cyber crime incident costs a small business victim nearly £3,000, and takes 2.2 days to recover from. FSB figures show that a staggering seven million cyber crimes are committed against smaller businesses in the UK every year. That’s 19,000 every day. The risk of cyber crime attack is rising. Attackers are becoming more effective, whilst victims are becoming less able to discover attacks. Cyber crime is one of the fastest growing risks to small businesses, and one of the fastest growing areas of crime globally.