The data protection lead at a major technology company has called on businesses to fight back as cyber criminals increasingly target work emails.

Almost half (43 per cent) of all UK businesses reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months, according to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey.

These data breaches have resulted in lost files, software, system or website corruption, and even loss of assets or intellectual property.

Scott Bordoni, operations manager and data protection lead at GBM Digital Technologies and Sync, says businesses of all sizes must act now to protect themselves.

“One of the most rampant and personal threats to cyber security is data leaks,” he told BusinessCloud. “All businesses hold a range of data, from customer insight to employee data which often contains sensitive information which can easily be put at risk if businesses don’t take a number of steps to protect it.

“The number one way that businesses can ensure their data is protected from any leaks is by limiting the amount of personal information available in the public domain.”

The survey found that the average financial impact for businesses in the last 12 months came at a cost of over £3,000, which can have a substantial effect on a small business’ revenue.

“The most common cyber security threats include scammers impersonating a business, the sending of fraudulent emails, and viruses and malware,” Bordoni continued.

“Businesses can minimise their personal risk of exposure by setting up a ‘burner email’, which is essentially a dummy email account that businesses can use when signing up for a site or service that they don’t want to give their real email address too. 

“The bonus of a burner email is it can be set up so that any replies are forwarded automatically onto the real email address, but it gives businesses the security that their email address isn’t being shared around.

“If a business is concerned their email account may have been compromised, there is an online tool called ‘Have I been Pwned’ which allows users to search across multiple data breaches to see if an email address has been compromised.”

Manchester-based GBM is the largest Apple Service Provider in the North of England. The company has been featured in the Tech Track Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the UK on three occasions.