BT estimates thousands of the UK’s smallest firms could be leaving themselves open to cyberattack because they have little or no business-grade cybersecurity measures in place, according to new research it has commissioned.
The survey of 1,000 decision-makers at UK businesses has found that many thousands of small firms may be at risk – despite having security measures in place – because they are relying on security products which are not designed for business use.
With the majority of small firms moving online during the pandemic, opportunistic cybercriminals have also stepped up their efforts to target them. The government’s recent Cyber Security Breaches survey found that almost half of all UK small businesses suffered a cybersecurity breach or attack last year.
However, despite the increased threat, BT’s latest research reveals more than half (51%) of the micro-business sector, which makes up the bulk of the UK’s 5.5 million SMEs, do not have the right level of cyberprotection in place and are relying on security products which are designed to protect consumers rather than businesses.
The research also found that 4% of SME businesses aren’t using any cyberprotection at all, with this figure being even higher (17%) for micro-businesses, i.e., those with one to five employees. From this data, BT estimates thousands of businesses across the UK do not have any cyberprotection in place and require more support to help keep them safe online.
BT has enhanced its cyberprotection for small businesses by introducing new online tools and advice led resources to help small businesses better protect themselves from online attacks. The development comes as its research found that over half (55%) of SMEs that lack cyberprotection believe their business isn’t big enough to be targeted by cybercriminals, revealing that many remain complacent around the risk of attack.
“There has been a huge shift over the past two years in the number of small firms moving their business online,” said Chris Sims, Managing Director for BT’s SoHo (Single Office/Home Office). “While that’s a really encouraging trend, being an online business can also bring its challenges, particularly around cybersecurity.
“Any digital business – large or small – can be a target for cybercriminals and this is something we’ve seen during the pandemic. And whilst consumer-grade products are great for protecting you while surfing the web, accessing emails and other personal use, they’re not designed for running a business that requires more robust protection and safeguards.
“It’s clear that the UK’s smallest firms need more support in this area, so today we’re launching new free cybersecurity tools for our BT business broadband customers, together with free online advice to help upskill small businesses on how to stay safe online.”Click below to share this article