UK startups more afraid of cyber-threats than they've been in a long time

For the first time in 12 months, concern amongst UK SMEs about security risks is on the rise.

The Zurich SME Risk Index, which measures British SMEs' perceived levels of business risk, has shown that figures have risen from 41.68 in Q4 2013 to 43.19 in Q1 2014.

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This suggests that SMEs are feeling more threatened than ever by cyber-threats.

A massive 45 per cent of business decision makers surveyed as part of the study said that they were concerned about technological vulnerabilities, with is a 12 per cent mark-up year-over-year.

What's more, 37 per cent of the SMEs involved in the study identified the threat posed by cyber-attacls as one the biggest dangers faced by business. In the entire history of the index, this figure has never been higher.

However, the ultimate concerns amongst SMEs are data loss and privacy breaches, with over a third of respondents recognising this as enemy number one.

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"With concern about risk rising amongst SMEs for the first time in 12 months in the wake of a number of high profile security threats, worries about tech vulnerabilities are increasingly an issue for business owners," said Zurich Insurance's Richard Coleman.

According to Zurich's separate Risk Nexus research, 2013 was the most devastating year for data breaches ever, with 740 million cases of compromised files reported worldwide.