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July 31, 2017updated 08 Jul 2022 4:27am

Half of UK SMEs to spend under £1000 on cybersecurity

If business cannot get to grips with the severity of cyber risk, they will learn the hard way when GDPR arrives.

By Tom Ball

The threat landscape is more hostile than ever before, yet around 49 per cent of SMEs in the UK will spend under £1000 on cybersecurity in the next year.

Incongruent with this relaxed approach, research indicates that as many as 875,000 UK SMEs were affected by cybersecurity breaches in the last twelve months, equivalent to 16% of all UK businesses in this category.

These revelations were made within the most recent Zurich SME Risk Index, which also singled out London as being the area most heavily affected, with 23% of SMEs having been hit by a breach in the same twelve month period.

Perhaps what should be an even more powerful driving force for businesses to take a pro-active approach to cybersecurity is the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is coming into force in under a year’s time.

Half of UK SMEs set to spend under £1000 on cybersecurity

GDPR will deliver punishments to organisations that are failing to meet the required standards for the protection of customer data; it is thought that in some circumstances, fines could result in an extinction event for a business.

While headline grabbing events such as the WannaCry ransomware attack have raised the general awareness of cybersecurity, it is apparent that smaller businesses must realise that no one is exempt from the major risks.

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Paul Tombs, Head of SME Proposition at Zurich, comments:  “While recent cyber-attacks have highlighted the importance of cyber security for some of the world’s biggest companies, it’s important to remember that small and medium sized businesses need to protect themselves too. The results suggest that SMEs are not yet heeding the warnings provided by large attacks on global businesses.

“While the rate of attacks on SMEs is troubling, it also shows that there is an opportunity for businesses with the correct safeguards and procedures in place to leverage this as a strength and gain an advantage,” said Tombs.

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