According to the recently released Small Business Reputation and the Cyber Risk report released by the UK Government's Cyber Streetwise campaign, SMEs are underestimating the impacts a cyber-attack could have on their operations.
The survey shows that 93% of the SMEs surveyed don’t consider how a cyber-attack could impact upon their reputation. Less than a third of small companies who reported that they haven’t suffered a security breach said that the potential harm caused by an attack is an ‘important’ consideration.
This large number of SMEs need to start taking the issue of cyber security more seriously. 83% of consumers who took part in the survey said that they are now concerned about the businesses that have access to or store their data. More than half said that a cyber breach would cause them to stop using the business in the future.
The complacency shown by SMEs shows that many do not realise just how valuable the data they store is. 95% of those surveyed said that they hold data in their IT systems. This data ranges from customer to financial. Just one in five (19%) small businesses said they would be immediately concerned about competitors gaining advantage if they were breached.
Supply Chains a Major Concern
Another survey published by KPMG Supply Chain research shows that 86% of procurement departments of larger organisations would consider removing an SME from their supply chains if it suffered from a breach. As awareness of the cyber threat grows 94% of procurement managers said that the standard of cyber security at an SME supplier is a major factor when it comes to awarding a contract.
The survey also showed that one if four of the SMEs surveyed who had suffered a cyber security breach had experienced reduced growth as a consequence. 31% said that it took them six-months for their business to get back on track.
A good way for SMEs to ensure that they take the matter of cyber security seriously is to obtain the Cyber Essentials accreditation. By doing so they will improve their reputation as a well defended supply chain partner and will be seen as a safer partner for larger organisations to work with. For more information on the scheme click here. You can find PGI’s Cyber Essentials Portal here