Small businesses are being hit by more cyber attacks than ever before, according to new research that claimed data breaches have affected a majority of companies across the UK.
A report from Kaspersky Lab found that almost half (42 percent) of SMBs experienced at least one data breach during the whole of 2017, showing the scale of the threat.
A further 27 percent of companies said they had experienced multiple data breaches, with the personal data of customers being affected in more than 40 percent of attacks.
The scale of the attacks is perhaps surprising given that the vast majority of SMBs surveyed by Kaspersky Lab claimed that they were protected against such cyber attacks.
Over two thirds (72 percent) said they were confident of being well or ‘perfectly’ equipped to protect their customers’ data – a claim that seems over-exaggerated by some degree.
This was particularly alarming given the valuable data stored by many SMBs, with 94 percent storing financial reports as well as personal customer data, with account numbers (80 percent of SMBs), and bank card data (78 percent) being held on employee devices, internal servers and in public clouds.
Security must be seen as a priority
“Digital transformation gives small and medium sized companies new opportunities for growth,” said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab UK.
“But to ensure they are not adding a layer of vulnerability and risk into the organisation, it is vital to think about their security and that of the data they hold. As IT infrastructures become more complex, businesses can lose control over their data. To prevent growing organisations from falling victim to accidental breaches or planned attacks, IT security needs to become just as much a key to success as financial, legal and personnel considerations.”