According to research, a combination of inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, high energy costs and ongoing supply chain issues are all having a significant impact on the financial viability of many businesses. But cyber security should not be overlooked...especially when it's free!
It’s been reported that more than a quarter (28%) of mid-sized businesses in the East Midlands have restructured their operations to meet these challenges, with a further 48% planning to do so.
Due to the impact of those rising costs and inflationary pressures, 30% of regional business leaders have already reviewed their headcount, with an additional 36% looking at the same structure.
Many businesses in the region are having to secure additional funding to deal with the market's rising costs, with 36% already having done so and 38% reviewing the situation.
The funding crunch has also resulted in a significant drop in investment expectations across the region. The most significant decreases were seen in skills development (-33pp), recruitment (-27pp), and employee wellbeing when compared to the previous round in August 2022 (-23pp). The number of businesses planning to increase investment in plant, machinery, and new buildings fell by -19%.
The number of East Midlands businesses that are optimistic about the UK economy's prospects has also fallen by -30% since August 2022.
Those are the statistics, and they make for bleak reading for businesses. But as bleak as the stats are, there are positives, and one of those is free cyber security - at its base level anyway.
Cyber security is often overlooked or regarded as something of an afterthought for many businesses. It's seen as an expensive, non-essential option, and many businesses would rather take their chances and carry on without giving it much thought.
Detective Inspector Colin Ellis of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), and the Police Delivery Lead at the EMCRC, said:
"A cyber-attack can cripple a business financially. Loss of revenue through service disruption, the huge costs of recovery and then potential reputational harm mean that any business - regardless of its size - should take the threat seriously and do what they can to protect themselves.
"Taking simple cyber security steps can be the difference between staying afloat and potentially going out of business at any time, not least in this difficult financial climate.
"That is why we’re here to help by offering free cyber security tools and to raise awareness of current cyber threats and fraudulent scams."
We have affordable options available, too, and they can be adapted to suit individual businesses. But our main focus is free membership.
We recognise the difficulties that businesses are facing - the stats tell us that. So, by signing up to our free membership, we can either sit happily in the background giving you peace of mind that you’re affiliated with cyber experts, or we can work with you to help make your business as secure as it possibly can be.
Take a look at what’s on offer, and take advantage of something that’s free in these challenging financial times.
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).