SMEs not doing enough to fight off cybercrime

A worrying new study has found that almost 900,000 UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been hit by at least one cyber attack in the last 12 months, yet a large number of small businesses have no plans whatsoever to invest in or improve their cyber security.

The figures come from insurance company Zurich, which quizzed hundreds of thousands of small businesses all across the UK.

It found that, of all the businesses hit, 21 per cent had to pay out £10,000 or more in order to rectify the damage caused by a security or data breach.

Worse still, 11 per cent of respondents told Zurich that the cyber attack they suffered cost £50,000 or more to put right.

Despite these figures, almost half (49 per cent) of SMEs said that they would be spending £1,000 or less on improving their cyber security systems in the next year – while 22 per cent said that they did not have plans to invest money at all, or that they were unsure how much they would like to spend.

Paul Tombs, of Zurich, warned that British SMEs were not “heeding the warnings provided by large attacks on global businesses” in recent months.

He said: “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.”