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SMEs fear cyber-attacks, but are doing little to prevent them

More than half (54 per cent) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK fear being attacked by cyber-criminals, yet just a fifth (20 per cent) consider cyber-security a top priority, a new report by Barclaycard suggests.

The report is based on a poll of 250 UK’s SMEs.

A cyber-attack can cost an SME anywhere between £75,000 and £311,000 in sales, business disruption, asset recovery, fines and compensation.

Besides 20 per cent considering cyber-security a top priority, 10 per cent have never invested in keeping safe, and 16 per cent admitted to reviewing their defences only after being attacked.

Almost half (48 per cent) admitted being attacked in the past 12 months, with 10 per cent being hit four times, or more.

“Businesses of all sizes face a constant and growing threat from cybercrime. As our research shows, many small businesses are failing take the necessary precautions, either because they don’t know how to protect themselves or, more worryingly, because they don’t think they need to. At Barclaycard we work with our customers to ensure they are aware of the growing threats they face and understand how they can protect themselves from cyber threats,” says Paul Clarke, Product Director at Barclaycard.

Yes, it’s often SMEs don’t know how to tackle the problem. Just 13 per cent are confident they know enough about cyber-security, and just 15 per cent believe they have adequate measures set up.

Still, almost half (44 per cent) understand it’s their responsibility to stay safe. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) believe it is their provider’s responsibility, and 12 per cent think it’s the responsibility of the payment provider.

“Cybersecurity is not a one-off investment that can then be forgotten about, especially as criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way they target businesses. For fifty years we’ve been working in partnership with customers to ensure they are not only putting the right measures in place from the outset, but are also continuously reviewing their policies to keep up with the latest industry developments.”

Image Credit: Maksim Kabakou / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.