Protecting Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Protecting Your Business

Anyone with half an eye on the news in recent months will have noticed the increased spate of cyber attacks taking place. A recent report from the Association of British Insurers noted that 74% of SMEs are reported to have suffered a security breach in the past 12 months alone.

What does this have to do with me, you might ask? You work for yourself. You don’t have to worry about multinational IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Individual workers are often the weakest link in the security chain. A recent IBM investigation noted that 95% of cyber security breaches are down to human error. With cyber crime quickly becoming a multifaceted, dynamic and constantly evolving threat to security it’s imperative that you protect yourself.

Most small business owners don’t take cyber security seriously. They think that their business is too small to attract the attention of a hacker. That laissez-faire attitude, however, is exactly the reason why 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses – hackers are aware that most SMEs don’t invest in cyber security. How can you protect your business from attacks? Here are a few of our top tips:

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A Brief History of Cyber Attacks

Cyber Liability

When it comes to cyber attacks, it’s often only the big corporation on the receiving end of the breach that makes the headlines. What people don’t often consider is the long chain of risk that generally allows such attacks to happen in the first place.

Although the entry point for any breach often remains undisclosed, it is generally an individual at ground level who is most fallible. In fact, a recent Verizon study identified that 77% of data breaches involved an insider, whilst a recent IBM investigation noted that 95% of cyber security breaches are down to human error.

That’s why we always recommend that you take out adequate insurance cover if you work in any area that could be digitally vulnerable.

Don’t take our word for it though. Read on below for some examples of the most notorious cyber attacks to happen in the 21st century.

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5 Tax Planning Tips for Contractors and Freelancers

Tax Planning Tips

As a contractor or freelancer, just hearing the word tax can fill you with panic – but there’s really nothing to worry about! We’ve outlined some basic tips for new contractors and freelancers below. They should help you prepare and manage your taxes easily and efficiently.

1. Set up a business bank account

Having a separate business bank account may seem like something that doesn’t really apply to you as a contractor or freelancer – why can’t you just use your current account? Having a business bank account means you can work out what money is coming in for your business and what money you’re spending.

Who has time to trawl through their personal bank account sifting through your supermarket purchases to try and find all business-related transactions? It makes working out your income and expenditure sheets so much easier.

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5 Essential Skills Every Contractor Should Have

5 Essential Skills

Don’t panic if you don’t have all of the skills below yet. These are just a few of the many qualities that help to secure work and deliver the project on time, as well as helping to deliver the best possible results for your clients.

Become a great communicator

You need to be a great communicator when you’re a contractor. Now that you’re wholly and solely responsible for your income you need to step up your confidence level when it comes to communication. If you don’t communicate regularly with your clients they can feel as though they’ve slipped through the net.

Keeping your clients engaged and informed as often as possible means less mistakes get made whilst also ensuring that you’re setting realistic expectations for throughout the project.

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Kingsbridge 10th Birthday Party

Party 1

When it comes to getting older, it’s generally not the ticking clock of time itself you remember but the way you celebrate another year passing by. A great party (whether real or fictional) will go down in history, remembered by all who attended. See Trimalchio’s Dinner Party from Petronius’ Satyricon. Or Jay Gatsby’s infamous Saturday Night Parties. Or Paris Hilton’s 21st birthday. All landmark celebrations, and all residents in the great pantheon of having a good time.

When it came to throwing our own party, our goals weren’t quite as lofty. We wanted to celebrate our 10th birthday with the people who made Kingsbridge the company it is today. We wanted good food, good music, and fun for all. And a falconry display.

Rather than regale our readers with stories from the day, we thought we’d simply stick to showcasing a few of our favourite images. Many thanks to our esteemed colleague Liam for providing the vast majority of the photos, and apologies to anyone who might not be too happy with any less-than-flattering images now living on in perpetuity on the Internet. A huge thank you also to our hosts Steve and Janet, and to Kelly for organising everything. See below for bucking broncos, karaoke, an array of face paint and much more.

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Kingsbridge at National Freelancers Day 2017

On 8th June we attended this year’s National Freelancers Day. We couldn’t have been prouder. Although we’ve attended several in the past, IPSE’s flagship event was bigger and better than ever before. In tandem with the ever-growing number of contractors and freelancers in the UK, NFD has grown from a relatively small gathering to a multi-site behemoth with over 20 events across the UK this year.

As vocal and avid supporters of the self-employed ourselves, we’re strong advocates of the excellent work IPSE put in to get their voices heard. This year’s NFD welcomed over 400 attendees, a testament, as IPSE note, “to the growing strength and importance of the freelancing community.”

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10 Years of Contracting

Kingsbridge 10th Anniversary

A lot can happen in 10 years. Unexpected champions emerge. Countries can rise and fall. Our world gets smaller and our borders close as our horizons expand. But what about closer to home? As regular readers of this blog will know by now, Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Whilst we like to think of ourselves as a company with an eye very much on the future we, like everyone else, enjoy the chance to revel in nostalgia every now and then.

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General Election 2017: Party Manifestos and the Self-Employed

General Election

The Importance of the Self-Employed

We’ve already taken a broader look at what might lie ahead for contractors after Thursday’s General Election. But what about the vote itself? With the polls opening nationwide tomorrow join us as we breakdown the manifestos of each major party (Church of the Militant Elvis Party, this doesn’t include you.)

Before we begin it’s worth noting that the self-employed are likely to have more clout in certain areas of the UK. IPSE recently put together their election breakdown, using constituency data and ONS population statistics to work out where the voice of contractors and freelancers will matter the most.

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2017 General Election – What Should Contractors Expect?

General Election

In light of recent events in London and Manchester talking about politics seems rather redundant. But as we have heard time and again over the last few days and weeks, we must persevere. The UK moves forward scarred and damaged but defiant. At the time of writing this it appears that Thursday’s General Election is very much on.

As Simon McVicker, IPSE’s Director of Policy, pointed out back in April, no one outside of Mrs. May’s immediate cabinet saw an election on the horizon. Back then a Conservative walkover appeared to be a formality but, 6 weeks later, it seems far from a foregone conclusion.

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National Freelancers Day 2017

National Freelancers Day 2017

As champions of contractors, freelancers, and the self-employed we’re delighted to announce that we’ve joined the list of sponsors for National Freelancers Day 2017. With the number of self-employed workers in the UK increasing year on year their contribution to the economic landscape of the UK continues to grow.

Thursday 8th June will mark the 9th annual NFD celebration. Curated and hosted by our good friends at IPSE, this year’s event will take place at King’s Place in central London (right next to King’s Cross station). Whether you’re a student designer or a veteran engineer, there’ll be something for you.

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