‘Don’t underestimate the threat of cyber-crime’ warns internet entrepreneur

“Cyber crime will restrict business growth and in the worst cases put firms out of business. This will inevitably impact of the financial growth of the whole country,” said Mr Adams-Mercer who is the founder TheSnugg.com – an international retailer of high-quality iPad and SmartPhone covers.

“We are constantly being told that the police service is facing cuts and some of these cuts are in cyber protection units. We need to be told what services they can provide in the future because the threats from cyber criminals will increase.

“The Police have to make it clear what their cyber units can and can’t offer in terms of protection for business and so that online security investment can be directed to the correct areas,”

A new report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called ‘Cyber security and fraud: the impact on small businesses’ concludes that small companies are currently losing £785 million to cyber crime each year and each FSB member lost an average of £4,000.

41 per cent of all FSB members have become victims of cyber criminals in the last year. About 30% of them have lost money through fraud perpetrated by a customer or client or by ‘card not present’ scams.

Businesses also face problems caused by virus infections as a result of crime and hacking and online security problems.

“Companies that trade online are now at the heart of our communities and every small business that is forced out of business by cyber crime will have compound negative effects locally,” said Mr Adams-Mercer.

“We must publicise the problem and urge everyone trading online to maintain vigilance at all times. It may seem time consuming, but businesses must report every incident of cyber crime to the government’s Action Fraud Service.”

31 per cent of FSB members reported that they wanted a more positive police response to incidents of cyber crime.