Risky business: UK SMEs would rather risk customer data than slow-down growth
October 2021 by Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, CEO at Defense.com
Over half (54%) of small and medium sized businesses say their investors only care about growth and not cybersecurity, with 51% preferring to take risks than invest in cyber security
New research commissioned by Defense.com, an SME cybersecurity specialist, today reveals that British small businesses are more willing to put their customer data at risk than impact growth, despite a rise in business critical cyberattacks such as ransomware in the past 12 months.
The research finds that many small businesses are failing to prioritise cybersecurity, with almost a quarter (24%) spending nothing on cybersecurity and a further 25% spending less than £1,000 a year. When it comes to the pandemic, 35% of SMEs believe it has increased their exposure to cyber risk meaning many small businesses are leaving themselves open to attack. Despite this, 40% of SMEs say the pandemic didn’t encourage them to invest more in cybersecurity.
There are a number of reasons that British SMEs are failing to prioritise investment in their cybersecurity defences. Many small businesses believe they won’t be the target of cyber attacks and that they aren’t under threat: 34% of SMEs say one of the main reasons they don’t invest more in cybersecurity capabilities is because their business is too small and 19% of SMEs don’t invest because they believe their business data is not a target. On top of this, one quarter (25%) of small businesses say one of the main reasons they don’t invest more in cybersecurity capabilities is because of the cost.
In response to this growing problem, Defense.com will be providing access to its Essential package for the first 100 small businesses for six months for free. SMEs will be able to benefit from a range of powerful cybersecurity tools, including a unique Threat Recon scan that shows SMEs what their business looks like to a hacker. SMEs that want to take advantage of this offer during Cybersecurity Awareness Month should visit the Defense.com website.
Oliver Pinson-Roxburgh, CEO at Defense.com said: “These findings clearly show that British SMEs are not taking cybersecurity seriously, often through no fault of their own. The pandemic has led to a massive increase in remote working, with many small businesses operating a distributed workforce for the first time. In this time of heightened threats and remote work, a low-security budget and lack of cyber skills can seriously impact the competitiveness of SMEs. A successful cyberattack has the potential to put an SME out of business, resulting in lost jobs and livelihoods".
Pinson-Roxburgh continued: “For too long, cybersecurity has been inaccessible to small companies who often see it as too complicated and too expensive. At Defense.com, it is our mission to bring enterprise-grade cybersecurity to the SME in a way that is easy to understand and affordable. This is why we are offering 100 small businesses the opportunity to trial our essentials package for free for six months this Cybersecurity Awareness Month. When implemented correctly, a cybersecurity strategy can enable business growth.”