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UK small businesses are flirting with the “security poverty line”

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/everything possible)

A third of UK small businesses are risking their online safety by operating at or below the “security poverty line,” according to new research from Duo Security

The cybersecurity company partnered with YouGov to survey 1,0009 senior decision makers across the UK to determine how much they are spending on cybersecurity and whether government initiatives such as Cyber Essentials and Cyber Risk Aware have been effective at protecting SMBs from cyber threats. 

The survey found that 38 per cent of small businesses had spent nothing at all to protect themselves from cybersecurity threats this year and 30 per cent of respondents said that less than three per cent of their overall budget was allocated for cybersecurity

Duo Security's survey also revealed that 36 per cent of UK small businesses are operating at or below the security poverty line and are close to being unable to effectively protect their organisation from cybersecurity threats.  Despite this though, 45 per cent of those surveyed do not consider themselves to be possible targets for hackers. 

Principal Security Strategist at Duo Security, Wendy Nather shed further light on the cybersecurity situation currently faced by small businesses, saying: 

“When an organisation is IT-poor, it is subjected to a number of complex dynamics that keep it from implementing effective security. Simply lowering the price point on security products is not enough; they need expertise, resources, and influence on the vendors that supply their systems and software. Moreover, small businesses may not be able to tell whether they’ve been breached if they don’t have proper security monitoring in place; this prevents them, and us, from grasping the full scope of the problem.”   

Image Credit: Everything Possible / Shutterstock

After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.