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Half of SMBs in the UK fail to properly defend themselves with security tools

A new piece of research has pointed out that half of small to medium-sized businesses in the UK don’t use any sort of internet security tools to protect themselves from potential hackers and other online miscreants.

The survey of some 500 business owners and decision-makers, published by Trend Micro, found that 50 per cent of SMBs were guilty of risking their precious data (and indeed their customers’ details) by failing in this respect, and that wasn’t the only concerning statistic the research revealed.

When asked whether they knew how to check if their computer or mobile device was infected by malware, only 44 per cent of respondents were confident they could do this. Also, two thirds of SMBs admitted they didn’t fully understand the financial implications of an online security breach.

And only 18 per cent of those surveyed believed their business data was worth stealing, which might account for the lack of effort on the online security front for many.

Yet these small businesses are being increasingly targeted by cybercriminals precisely because they are soft targets, and a successful infiltration could result in some juicy leads to help crack into a bigger organisation.

Bharat Mistry, Cyber Security Consultant at Trend Micro, commented: “One of the main things that SMBs need to be aware of is their regulatory and legal obligations with regards to data security. It’s important to have breach response plan that tells staff what to do in the event of a data breach – the process to follow, who to contact etc.”

One last nugget from the survey – despite the ignorance which abounds in terms of basic security such as checking for malware, only 24 per cent of respondents said they believed online threats are too complex to deal with.

Image credit: Shutterstock/Tashatuvango