Almost three quarters of SMEs ‘unprepared’ for cyber attacks

A worrying new study suggests that almost three quarters (74 per cent) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not put any money aside to deal with a cyber attack.

The research, which was carried out by insurance company PolicyBee, comes at a time when the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is warning SMEs to make sure they have adequate cyber protection in place, as a potential attack could prove incredibly costly.

In fact, a recent Government survey found that the most severe kind of attack could cost a small business anywhere between £65,000 and £115,000 to put right.

This is largely due to the amount of time, money and effort business owners and decision-makers would need to expel in order to recover from the attack, which can range from identifying and rectifying the attack itself, to replacing damaged software and hiring IT professionals for assistance.

In some instances, a business might also be forced to hire a PR or marketing firm in order to help rebuild their damaged reputation, it has been warned.

PolicyBee’s survey found that the majority of small firms were worried that the issue of suffering a cyber attack was, for them, a matter of ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’.

This is perhaps because cybercriminals appear to be increasingly targeting smaller businesses, which they often consider to be ‘easy targets’.

According to research by tech firm Beaming, approximately 230,000 SMEs were targeted by hackers in 2016 – a figure which continues to rise year-on-year.