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Security now the biggest concern among SMEs

Small-to-medium enterprise (SME) owners have admitted that they feel their businesses are at risk this year than they were throughout the duration of last year.

This is according to research by insurance firm Zurich, which quizzed 513 participants connected with SMEs, as parts of its quarterly Zurich SME Risk Index.

Data was also gathered from the company’s Risk Nexus polls and claimed that cyber risk is one factor that is causing concerns for SMEs.

According to Zurich, 45 per cent of respondents are concerned about tech vulnerabilities in their business, a 12 per cent increase from January 2013.

“Increasing concerns about cyber threats are major factor in this rise. 37 per cent of SME respondents now class the threat of cyber-attack as one of three biggest technology risks to their business,” the firm claimed.

Besides this, those polled reported feeling worried about data loss and privacy breaches, with the former overtaking concerns about LAN outages – the most concerning factor last quarter.

Technology not only cause for concern

As well as more technological challenges, participants also reported that they worried about business regulation and workforce challenges, including losing key staff and not being able to replace them.

“Key person dependency remains the biggest workforce risk, as identified by 40 per cent of SMEs when asked to pick their top three,” the insurer claimed.

On the other hand, technology also provides opportunities for SMEs – 24 per cent of respondents cited web trading and online marketing as a top opportunity, with 21 per cent voting for teleworking and mobile technology.

Despite these worries, other research has revealed that many smaller businesses feel optimistic about the coming year.