Hundreds of thousands of SMEs hit by cyber attacks

Recent attacks have highlighted the importance of cyber security. Picture: Contributed
Recent attacks have highlighted the importance of cyber security. Picture: Contributed
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Almost 900,000 small and medium-sized businesses have suffered a cyber security breach in the last 12 months, a new report suggests.

The latest Zurich SME Risk Index reveals that almost one in six UK SMEs has fallen victim to an online attack in the last year, equating to more than 875,000 firm nationwide.

Businesses in London were found to be the worst affected, with almost a quarter reporting that they have suffered a breach within this period.

Of the businesses that were affected, more than a fifth reported that it cost them over £10,000 and one in ten said that it cost more than £50,000.

Yet, despite the volume of attacks and potential losses, the poll of more 1,000 SMEs showed that business leaders are not committing to investing significantly in cyber security in the coming year.

Almost half admitted that they planned to spend £1,000 or less on their cyber defences in the next 12 months, while almost a quarter don’t even know how much they will spend.

Paul Tombs, head of SME proposition at Zurich, 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.

“The results suggest that SMEs are not yet heeding the warnings provided by large attacks on global businesses.”

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