What small businesses need to know about cybercrime in 2017

Cyber attacks can happen to anyone and attackers can strike at any time. It can be challenging for small businesses to deal with cyber attacks as they lack the resources and appropriate security to keep themselves protected. Creating a business online can have its vulnerabilities and keeping your data protected is crucial for all businesses.

Premierline turned to some cyber security experts and their top three cybercrimes to look out for in 2017 were:

  1. Ransomware
  2. Internet of Things (IoT)
  3. Spear-phishing

These will continue to grow especially the internet of things.


Ransomware is literally a software that holds the user at ransom by encrypting files on their device and delivering a ransom note asking for payment (usually a fairly low amount, via bitcoin) to unlock the files. Of course, paying the ransom does not guarantee the files will actually be unencrypted, however it can identify you as a target for future attacks and only encourages more proliferation of the crime.

Stephen Wright from Cyber Skills Centre added that “2017 will likely have greater sophistication and possibly move to also targeting households, individuals, and mobile devices.”

Internet of Things (IoT)

With greater connectivity, comes greater vulnerability. We will see more attacks targeted at the Internet of Things, including a shift from ransomware largely targeting computers and smart phones to targeting consumer products. We’ve already seen some examples of this, such as ransomware targeted at smart TVs but as

It’s been predicted that 96% of senior business leaders will be using IoT by 2020.


In 2015 / 2016 we saw a huge number of attacks carried out via spear-phishing emails. These emails look like they come from a legitimate source, for example a trusted institution, colleague or friend, they are tailored for the recipient and some appear very convincing and sophisticated.

According to Dr Jessica Barker, “spear-phishing emails will focus on so-called ‘CEO Fraud’ in which a member of the finance department receives an email that appears to come from the CEO requesting an immediate transfer of funds to a bank account.”

So how can you protect your small business from being under threat and what precautions should you take?

You can read all about it here: https://www.premierline.co.uk/knowledge-centre/cybercrime-in-2017.html