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Protecting your business against cyber crime

Published on 15th May 2017 - Last update on 4th December 2019

As an SME owner, you’ve put in vast amounts of time and effort in order to see your business proposal become a successful business. Spending long hours and sleepless nights, you can be proud of what you’ve already achieved and are yet to accomplish. There will be hurdles and obstacles in your way, but you must remain steadfast in your resolve. However, what you must forever be wary of is cyber crime.

Cyber crime is every business owner’s worst nightmare. Depending on how sophisticated the malware, virus, worm or ransomware is, there’s no telling just how much harm can be done to your business. Plus, factor in what damage could be sustained to your brand if your customers to fall prey to cyber crime whilst shopping on your website? The negative repercussions could be crippling for your business’ revenue and long-term sustainability.

Prevention is better than cure

In an ideal world, cybercrime would be something that no one would have to live in fear of. Alas, it is not so. As business owners, we must do everything in our power to protect both our businesses and our customers. Although cybercrime is constantly evolving, there are measures that we can take to protect ourselves. Sometimes it is just a case of resetting passwords periodically, installing antivirus software and downloading important operating system updates.

However, the challenge for many SME business owners is the time and cost, which can be overwhelming when faced with more complex threats. Take, for instance, the ‘Wannacry’ ransomware which befell the NHS and over 200,000 businesses globally. As damaging as it may be, we must never give in to the malware’s demands. Doing so will only send a green light to the criminals, encouraging them and other associated groups to attack you again further down the line.

The best way to deal with such situations is by being prepared beforehand. After all, prevention is better than cure and may even reduce your losses significantly. Many businesses owners fall victim to cybercrime because they’ve failed to upgrade and update their system. If you’re using an out of date operating system you’re unnecessarily putting your business at risk. Cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways to attack your devices whilst, at the same time, software developers are battling to stay ahead. Make your business a less attractive target by updating your systems to the latest versions.  

Regularly backing up your data onto both cloud servers and external hard drives is yet another excellent means of safeguarding your business’ data. Should one of your devices get hacked or taken over by ransomware, you can wipe your system or transfer your data to a new device in complete confidence. Hiring security consultants can also prove useful, helping you to identify and plug potential weaknesses in your devices. However, doing so can prove costly initially but may save you a fortune in the long run. Understandably, as an SME business, money can often be tight, making it much harder for you to adapt. That is where Rangewell can step in and grant your business access to an extensive array of business finance solutions, including, but not limited to, Business Loans and Merchant Cash Advance.

Business Loans

Business Loans are an excellent way of acquiring a lump sum or cash injection for your business and can be used in any way you see fit. Loans typically arrive secured or unsecured and come as either short or long-term solutions that last between 1-3 years or 3-6 years and beyond. Throughout the term, you will be required to make fixed monthly repayments, plus interest. Repayments are calculated using capital, term length and interest.

  • With an Unsecured loan, your business could gain a sum in the region of £5,000 to £250,000. Should your business fall behind in making repayments, lenders can’t seize assets. However, it would affect your credit score making it harder and more expensive to secure finance in the future.

  • On the other hand, Secured loans can grant you access to a larger sum ranging from £5,000 to as much as £1,000,000. However, should you fail to keep up with the fixed monthly repayments, the lender can seize assets to recover the remaining amount.

Merchant Cash Advance

With this option, your business could receive a lump sum within 48 hours of applying, based solely on your monthly credit and debit card sales. In order to qualify, your business must support card-based sales and be able to produce, on demand, 3 or more of your latest consecutive sales reports. Plus, what makes this such an appealing finance solution for many business owners is that there’s no need to produce your credit score as this isn’t taken into account. Merchant Cash Advances work with a lender offering to purchase your expected takings for one month, otherwise known as ‘receivables’, at a discount. But what makes this product truly unique is the repayment scheme. Unlike a typical business loan, where you pay a fixed lump sum each month, Merchant Cash Advance takes a percentage of your potential monthly sales. For example, a lender could propose a percentage in the region of 18% for each of your card sales, which can also be described as 18p from every £1 your customers spend. Because of this, the repayment scheme is one of the most flexible in the finance market and means that if your sales go down during a particular month the amount you have to repay for that month is reduced, and vice versa.

Why Rangewell?

Our values are simple – We’re on your side. Our services are clear and transparent. We support a wide range of SME businesses of every shape and size, for finding every type of finance. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for business tips and tricks, and feel free to call us on 0203 637 2340 if you’d like to chat about what we can do for you.

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David Harrison

David Harrison

Content writer
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