Barclays launches major drive to help SMEs tackle cybercrime 25 Apr 2018 08:00 New research shows frauds against small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cost £35,000 on average Suggests impact of fraud has resulted in over 50,000 job losses at Britain’s SMEs Barclays partners with England football legend Sol Campbell to raise awareness Barclays has launched a nationwide campaign to help small businesses tackle cybercrime and fraud, with new research suggesting that online fraud has resulted in the loss of more than 50,000 British jobs to date as SMEs had to make redundancies to recover costs.i The findings were unveiled at a cyber-skills masterclass for Barclays Business Banking clients hosted by football legend and business owner Sol Campbell. The research for Barclays by YouGov showed that almost half of SMEs surveyed (44 per cent) had been targeted by fraudsters, with approximately one in four (23 per cent) of those targeted having fallen victim. The average cost of a fraud to a business was almost £35,000.ii If these figures were applied to the nation’s more than five million SMEs, the total cost would equate to £40bn to date. In two thirds of cases, the businesses had to cover these costs themselvesiii – money that could otherwise have been invested in jobs, training or new equipment. Barclays has seen a rise in sophisticated fraud with criminals targeting SMEs. This includes using “social engineering,” with emails or phone calls impersonating people such as suppliers, staff members or even the CEO, tricking victims into giving out information or making payments. The research also reveals that only half of small business victims (54 per cent) reported the crime to the police, and over a quarter (28 per cent) do not even tell staff when a breach has happened. Barclays has stepped up its mission to educate customers, including SMEs, about the growing risks of fraud and cybercrime, investing over £18 million during the past 24 months on its national Digisafe campaign, which has already engaged five million people. The bank has also prevented over £857 million of potential fraud and scams (more than £35 per customer) in the last year. In 2017, Barclays also hosted webinars attended by almost 7,000 SMEs to help keep them safe, and aims to raise that figure to 30,000 this year. It also hosts workshop events across the country. Sol Campbell, England football legend and business owner, said: “With a rise in online crime, it’s more important than ever that businesses keep an eye on the ball when it comes to cyber security. “In business as in football, you have to be strong, versatile and flexible - and as a defender, you need to trust your natural instincts. If an email or call sounds fake, check it. “Playing as a team and training are vital in business as well as sport. Managers should invest time letting staff know about the dangers of scams. “As an owner of a small business that has fallen foul of cyber criminals, I’m particularly keen to raise awareness and show fraudsters the red card.” Ian Rand, CEO of Barclays Business Banking, said: “We’re on a mission to educate all small businesses of the growing risk of cybercrime and fraud. “The staggering cost of these crimes can stop a small business from investing in new jobs, training or equipment, in turn boosting local economies. “Fraudsters are targeting hard-working entrepreneurs, in some cases impersonating suppliers and staff, intercepting emails and sending fake invoices. “However, the good news is that the vast majority of fraud against businesses can be easily prevented. Simple steps to increase security, such as having strong passwords and increased staff awareness, can all help combat fraud.” Sol’s top tips to help SMEs show fraudsters the red card: Strong defence: The best way to keep attackers out is a strong password. It's much harder for fraudsters if you use lower and upper case letters, along with numbers and symbols Build a wall: Protect your computers with anti-virus software, as well as a good firewall, and keep software updated regularly. Delete unsolicited emails with links and attachments as these could allow fraudsters to infect your device Call offside: If something feels wrong speak up and check it. Don’t assume a call, text, email or invoice is genuine, fraudsters can sound convincing. Always check requests using known contact details and never move funds to a ‘safe account;’ even if the request appears to have come from your bank or CEO Pay by the rules: Have a clear procedure for making payments in your firm. Always check email requests to make payments or to change payment instructions by calling a trusted number, not by return email. Unexpected calls, particularly from fraudsters claiming to be from telecoms providers and retailers are on the rise – so make sure you stay alert Team talk: Every team is only as strong as your weakest link. Boost tactical knowledge and share guidance with your team. Find out more on the Barclays fraud awareness site Customers should get in touch immediately with Barclays if they feel they have been the victim of a scam on 0800 3891 652. Find out more on the Barclays fraud awareness site: www.barclays.co.uk/business-banking/manage/security Notes to editors [i] 10.6 per cent of all SMEs surveyed had suffered a cyber-attack. 8.58 per cent of these had made staff redundant to cover the cost of cybercrime. There are 5,687,000 small and medium-sized businesses in the UK (source: researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06152/SN06152.pdf) meaning a minimum of 52,120 business have made at least one redundancy as a result of cybercrime [ii] Average cost per affected company was £34,942 [iii] In only 33 per cent of cases was the cost of the crime covered by either a bank, credit card provider or insurer Case-studies, interviews and images are available upon request Research was conducted by YouGov between 29th January and 9th February 2018 amongst 1,060 SME decision makers. The full research is available upon request. About Barclays Barclays is a transatlantic consumer and wholesale bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 80,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.home.barclays .