Almost half of SMEs unprepared for ‘inevitable’ cyber attacks

A new study suggests that almost half (43 per cent) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have no strategic plan in place to deal with a cyber attack – despite the fact that a third of small business believe than an eventual attack on their systems is an inevitability.

The research, which was carried out by insurance company PolicyBee, found that 33 per cent of SME owners believe that their business will be targeted by hackers at some point or another, while 18 per cent are worrying about the possibility of a cyber-hack every single day.

Despite this, only 14 per cent of small businesses told the survey that they have a ‘tried and tested’ plan in place to rectify their systems after a cyber attack – while almost three quarters (74 per cent) said that they had set no budget aside whatsoever to deal with a ransomware attack or hacker-related disaster.

Sarah Adams, of PolicyBee, warned: “Large corporates will all have a ‘what if’ plan in place that has been stress tested via a crisis simulation or role play exercise. They will know exactly what to do in the event of a cyber-attack.

“However, small businesses seem to be chancing their luck and despite expecting to be hacked, aren’t preparing to be prepared.”

The far-reaching survey quizzed business owners of all ages from different parts of the country.

It found that, as they get older, entrepreneurs appear to start thinking that their business is less likely to be targeted by hackers.

22 per cent of 18 to 34-year-old entrepreneurs said that a cyber attack on their business was unlikely, compared to just 41 per cent of 35 to 54 year-olds and 56 per cent of SME decision makers aged 55 or above, the study found.