SMEs are 'very attractive' cyber-attack targets

In the last two years, two thirds of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK have been victims of a cyber-attack. Every year, SMEs are losing £5.3 billion because of this, highlighting the size of the problem.

Commenting on the news, David Navin, Head of Corporate at Smoothwall says the main problem here is that SMEs don’t consider themselves an attractive target, thinking they’re too much in the shadow of the big players.

“They are wrong,” he says. “SMEs are a very attractive target to a hacker. Not only are they often part of supply chains and could therefore provide hackers with a way in to attack larger companies, but they also don’t tend to have the same level of security in place as their larger counterparts. This means SMEs are not only an appealing option to hackers, they are often an easy one.”

In order to protect themselves, they must take a proactive stance, and should comply with regulations, building ‘layered security defences’, including encryption, firewall, web filtering and ongoing threat monitoring.

“Not only will it protect them now – but if they are seen as a security weakness, they will be a less attractive partner for large companies. Suddenly, security impacts SMEs bottom line and growth prospects. In taking a smarter approach to cyber security, SMEs protect their future – readying themselves for growth and making themselves a watertight part of a cyber-defence strategy.”

The Federation of Small Businesses, whose study unveiled the scope of these attacks, says the lack of a proper cyber-security approach could stifle the chance SMEs have for growth.

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