Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are falling for dangerous myths about cybercrime and its impact, according to a new survey.
The government campaign Cyber Streetwise released new data last week (February 25th) that suggests almost four-fifths (78 per cent) of SMEs hold at least one misconception about their exposure to cyber risk.
For example, over a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents were under the impression that only companies who take payments online are vulnerable to hacking threats.
A further 22 per cent held the view that cybercriminals are simply not interested in smaller businesses, tending instead to target large enterprises. In reality, a third (33 per cent) of SMEs were the victims of cyber attacks last year.
Based on the results of a previous government survey, in which researchers estimated the cost of a data breach at between £65,000 and £115,000 plus as many as ten wasted days, Cyber Streetwise concluded that the average UK SME’s negligence is putting 32 per cent of its revenue at risk.
Commenting on the data, John Allan of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warned that business owners and managers “need to see and understand this threat clearly, and take the steps necessary to protect themselves”.
Mr Allan added, however, that separate FSB research had given a more positive picture of SMEs’ awareness levels. On that occasion, 61 per cent of small businesses admitted to being worried of the threat of data theft or loss.
“We need to give these businesses the knowledge and tools they require to prevent this from happening,” the FSB chairman concluded.
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