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Guest Blog – Cyber Challenges Facing SMEs

As we speed into 2018, the volume and ferocity of Cyber Attacks and those criminals responsible, show no sign of slowing their assault, whilst at the same time the number of new innovative Cyber Security start-ups is at an all-time high and looks set to continue.

With the ever-increasing Threat Landscape and 2018 marking a major milestone for organisations in the UK with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect on 25 May 2018 – organisations have never faced such a hazardous outlook with any one security breach having a potentially fatal outcome through significant financial losses either as a direct result of cybercrime, or heavy fines being incurred through non-compliance.

In 2017, figures published in a report by the House of Commons maintain that there were 5.7 million SME businesses in the UK. • Over 99% of businesses are Small or Medium Sized businesses – employing 0-249 people.  Of this number as many as 875,000 UK SME’s suffered a cyber security breach in the last 12 months.

Despite these figures and the threat continuing to grow, results of a recent UK survey conducted among 1,000 UK SME’s by yougov plc in 2017 suggests that business leaders are not committing to investing in cyber security in the coming year. Almost half (49%) of SMEs admitted that they plan to spend £1,000 or less on their cyber defences in the next 12 months, while almost a quarter (22%) don’t even know how much they will spend.

This presents the SME community with three fundamental issues:

1. Whilst commitment to spend on cyber security is so low or not yet determined, the UK’s security network of resellers, consultants and Cyber vendors will continue to focus solely on the Enterprise market leaving the SME market exposed and left to fend for themselves with a lack of awareness and security solutions/services on offer to rectify the situation.

2. With many having significant restraints on resources and particularly budgets in the SME market, trying to put a security posture in place that provides a good blanket awareness of the current threat landscape as well as making the right decisions on what security solution and/or services to implement for the protection of their organisation (data, brand, customers & employees) is an impossible task without help from specialist organisations.

3. For those people not investing, it gives their competition a unique edge in business with many business leaders reporting that having a strong cyber security posture is providing an opportunity to stand out from competitors because of stronger cyber security credentials.

For any questions please email Steve Mullan and to join us at our upcoming Cyber Threats & GDPR seminar please email Sophie Essex-Masmoudi.