“30% of consumers surveyed said they would never again use a small business that suffered a data breach”

Continuing the trend of 2020 being a challenging year, prominent figures including Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Elon Musk had their Twitter accounts hacked into. The perpetrators initially contacted Twitter employees
posing as IT workers. They coerced them into offering up their login details by claiming they were fixing a problem affecting the social network’s internal tools.

Once they gained access, the hackers then sent fraudulent Tweets from these high-profile users’ accounts asking for donations to charities, claiming that the user would then double the amount.

Considered one of the biggest breaches of data security in current times, the scam netted around $118,000 in bitcoin for the hackers as detailed in the The National Law Review1.

Never mind one of the largest companies in the world being breached, how would a crime like this affect an SME?

An incident such as this would be alarming for anyone, but for a small-to-medium enterprise, breaches in data security can be especially difficult to recover from.

A report by TechRepublic2 illustrates just how devastating an impact a data security breach can have.

“Smaller companies often face greater challenges recovering from breaches, both financially and in terms of customer loyalty...  Some 30% of consumers surveyed said they would never again use a small business that suffered a data breach,” it states.


How can SMEs protect themselves?

Small businesses can be targets because they often lack the resources and finances needed to defend themselves against an experienced attacker.

Below are tools that will assist in keeping your company safe:

  • Have reliable software in place – this includes firewalls, antivirus software, encryption, and endpoint detection response solutions. It is helpful to invest in a system that you can adjust as your business grows.  
  • Ensure you have a tight system in place when off-boarding employees – their accounts should be deleted immediately.
  • Train your staff. According to a guide here at Business Today3, companies should “conduct regular training – either through your IT department or through an external consultant who can show them what potential threats look like, and how to be smarter when interacting online.”
  • Appoint a managed IT service - they have the experience, staff, and knowledge to recognise major threats.

Protecting against cyber-crime has become imperative, but with a 360-degree view of their IT landscape, SMEs can ensure they are safeguarded against harm to protect their business.

What can you implement today?


1/DA George, The National Law Review, 22/10/2020
2/L Whitney, TechRepublic, 12/09/2019
3/W Ritson, Business Today, 19/10/2020