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November 2, 2015

Cyber risks could see UK SMEs frozen out of contracts

News: A poor cyber security profile could see big firms hit SME suppliers where it hurts.

By Charlotte Henry

UK SMEs are being asked to prove their cyber credentials with the vast majority of UK procurment managers (84%) admitting they would consider leaving an SME supplier if they suffered a data breach.

According to new figures published by KPMG 70% say that SMEs could do more to protect valuable client data.

George Quigley, partner in KPMG’s cyber security practice, commented: "Cyber security is not just a technical issue anymore; it has become a business critical issue for the UK’s SMEs. Larger companies are placing an increased emphasis on the cyber security of their suppliers and increasingly the onus is on SMEs to show that they are tackling this issue head on."

Nearly all UK procurement managers, 94%, agree that the cyber security standards are important when they are awarding a contract to an SME supplier.

Quigley said that "many SME still take a blasé approach towards cyber".

Procurement managers are beginning to check the cyber hygiene of their supply chain, with two thirds now asking suppliers to demonstrate cyber accreditations, and 47% of contracts already saying that suppliers must reveal if they have been hacked.

Despite the added importance placed on cyber security in the supply chain, Tripwire recently found that nearly a quarter of firms do not have sufficient resources to check the security credentials of their suppliers.

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KPMG surveyed 175 procurement managers in firms of over 250 employees across a variety of UK sectors.


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