Zurich: ‘16% of SMEs fall victim to cyberattacks’

A report by Zurich has revealed that in the last year 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have fallen victim to a cyberattack.

The report amounted to over 875,000 nationwide businesses being affected by cyberattacks, with 23% companies from London suffering breaches.

More than 21% of participants admitted that their cyber attack cost them more than £10,000, with 11% saying it cost over £50,000.

“While the rate of attacks on SMEs is troubling, the report shows that there is an opportunity for businesses with the correct safeguards and procedures in place to leverage this as a strength and gain an advantage,” commented Paul Tombs, head of SME Proposition at Zurich.

Despite the volume of potential loss and attacks, the survey showed that business leaders don’t want to commit to investing in cyber security for the coming year, with 49% of SMEs admitting that they plan to spend £1,000 or less on cyber defences next year.

‘Taking a comprehensive and strategic approach to cyber security’

Gordon Morrison, director of Government Relations at McAfee, added: “No matter how big the business, no organisation is too small to be a target for cybercriminals. For many large enterprises, with the IT and security support in house, taking a comprehensive and strategic approach to cyber security is often high on the priority list.

“For SMEs, knowing where to start is often one of the greatest challenges. For others, who don’t have substantial budgets for enterprise security products, there’s a lack of understanding for how valuable just introducing the basics is.

“The government’s Cyber Essentials scheme has helped many UK SMEs make huge strides in their cyber defences. Achieving this basic level of cyber security is claimed to prevent up to 80% of cyberattacks, to which organisations would otherwise be vulnerable.

“The scheme represents a brilliant resource for SMEs who want to take their first steps into better cyber hygiene, and ensure that they’re putting their efforts and budget into the most effective defences.”

The results also showed that 25% of medium sized businesses reported that customers have asked what cyber security measures they have in place, with 5% claiming that they have gained an advantage over a competitor because of stronger cyber security credentials.

Written by Leah Alger