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UK SMEs lack capacity to fend off cyber attacks

Three-quarters of UK SME leaders would not have sufficient capacity or expertise to deal with a cyber attack, according to a report

Small business leaders across the UK are struggling to deal with the volume of security alerts and fear their organisations lack the capacity or expertise to withstand a cyber attack, according to a report produced for Arctic Wolf – a supplier of cloud-native security operations services which is in the process of launching in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Sapio Research polled 505 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners and leaders across the UK on Arctic Wolf’s behalf at the beginning of June 2021.

The researchers found that just under three-quarters – 73% – of respondents thought their workforces could not fend off a cyber attack; just over one-third – 39% – felt overwhelmed by the volume of alerts received from their existing security solutions; and just over half – 55% – said they regularly deprioritised cyber issues in favour of continuing core business activity.

“Cyber attacks, such as ransomware, are growing more advanced by the day, and organisations that fall victim are experiencing not only short-term financial and operational impacts, but also long-term impacts from customers and partners losing their trust,” said Christina Richmond, IDC programme vice-president for security services.

“Being able to identify and mitigate cyber security risk has become an essential function for all organisations, but finding the talent, tuning the tools and developing the internal process is a significant challenge for even the largest well-resourced organisations.

“These operational challenges are why organisations across the UK must leverage the outside security expertise offered by cloud-hosted security services.”

Minnesota-based Arctic Wolf will officially expand its operations into EMEA during 2021, with its regional headquarters to be located in the UK and a planned security operations centre (SOC) to open in Germany later in the year. It is also targeting the Benelux and Nordic markets.

The firm, which specialises in managed detection and response (MDR), managed cloud monitoring and managed security awareness services, recently secured a $200m funding injection at a valuation of $1.3bn.

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Clare Loveridge, the firm’s vice-president and general manager of EMEA, said: “While the industry sells more and more point products and niche solutions, companies continue to get breached. The EMEA market has recognised that cyber security has an effectiveness problem and the security operations space is ripe for disruption.”

Loveridge said the firm’s offerings made it “quick and easy” for less well-served organisations to get their hands on the technology – and talent – that is needed to establish a world-class security posture within the business.

Arctic Wolf president and chief revenue officer Nick Schneider added: “The investments we are making in the EMEA region, both in our go-to-market functions and security operations, will fuel our ability to end cyber risk for the customers and partners in a way that is tailored to the unique needs of the European market.”

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