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Don't forget SMEs remain a cyber attack target

The recent focus on how cyber attacks hurt enterprises might have take the focus off what's happening at an SME level but the channel has been quick to remind users of the threats

When the government came out with its cost of cyber attack research recently the focus was very much on the impact it had on large enterprises.

The threat of a security breach is very much an issue for SMEs and on the back of the latest warnings from the goverment some in the channel have been quick to highlight the dangers to firms of all sizes.

The mantra of the day is that a cyber atack is inevitable and any sized firm is in the firing line but perhaps after the recent government research that needed to be stated again.

"Some SMEs are finding out to their cost is that when they’ve been hit with a cyber problem that disrupts and threatens their business, their comms/IT supplier doesn’t always have the capability or the will to put it right.  Often, the supplier can’t respond anywhere near quickly enough, or in the worst cases, as we’ve discovered, walks away, completely abandoning their customer," said Emma Carter, slaes ad marketing director at IT and comms player Excalibur.

"Government figures put the cost of a data breach to SMEs at around £310,000 per incident.  And almost two out of three consumers say they would be discouraged from using a company who had been hit by a data breach. Ninety per cent of enterprises say they have suffered at least one data loss through unsecured printing, whilst sixty five per cent of breaches are accidental employee negligence or IT business process failure," she added.

Underlining just how many SMEs face problems recent CompTIA research found that the vast majority of UK businesses faced a data breach in the past year, with 11% having to cope with more than 10 attacks.

Graham Hunter, vice president, skills certification, Europe and Middle East at CompTIA, said that there were reasons to be worried about the current state of security protection.

“It is alarming to see that so many UK organisations are facing security attacks. Companies are becoming ever more reliant on computer systems and data, and hackers are aware of this, which is one of the reasons that attacks are increasing. There is valuable data here that attackers can exploit and businesses need to ensure that this information is secure," he said.

NTT Com Security has also done its own work trying to get a picture of what is going on and it also found plenty to give it concern.

“Prevention and planning for cyber security incidents seems to be stagnating,” said Garry Sidaway, VP Security Strategy & Alliances, NTT Com Security.“This is a real concern and could be down to a number of reasons, not least the possibility of security fatigue – too many high profile security breaches, information overload and conflicting advice – combined with the sheer pace of technology change, lack of investment and increased regulation."
“Facing security challenges that didn’t exist last year, let alone a decade ago, and struggling with a shortfall in information security professionals, many organisations no longer have the necessary skills or resources to cope," he added.

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