SMBs aren't doing enough to protect themselves from cyberattacks

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New research from the cybersecurity company BullGuard has revealed that an alarming number of small businesses in the UK and US are not properly prepared for a potential cyberattack or data breach.

The firm surveyed 3,083 small business owners in the UK and US to learn that one third of companies with 50 or fewer employees are using free, consumer-grade cybersecurity products while one in five companies use no endpoint security software whatsoever.

BullGuard's study also found that 43 percent of SMB owners have no cybersecurity defense plan in place which leaves their most sensitive financial, customer and business data at significant risk.

CEO of BullGuard, Paul Lipman provided further insight on the results of the study in a press release, saying:

“Small businesses are not immune to cyber attacks and data breaches and are often targeted specifically because they often fail to prioritize security. Caught between inadequate consumer solutions and overly complex enterprise software, many small business owners may be inclined to skip cybersecurity. It only takes one attack, however, to bring a business to its knees.”

Myths vs reality

BullGuard's study also highlighted some glaring discrepancies between what SMB owners believe versus what is actually occurring in the market.

Of those surveyed, almost 60 percent of SMB owners believe their business is unlikely to be targeted by cybercriminals. However, the results of BullGuard's survey show that 18.5 percent of SMB owners have suffered from a cyberattack or data breach within the past year.

Companies that did fall victim to a cyberattack often experience significant downtime which seriously impacts productivity, data privacy and even revenue. Once breached, 25 percent of SMB owners said that they had to spend $10,000 or more to resolve the attack and this can be devastating for a small company. When it came to time lost, 50 percent of SMB owners said it took 24 hours or longer to recover form a breach or cyberattack while 25 percent reported they lost business as a result and almost 40 percent said they lost crucial data.

Despite these numbers, many SMB owners are overly confident when it comes to the safety of their company and customer data with one in five respondents stating that their organization has zero vulnerabilities. To make matters worse, 50 percent of SMB owners stated that their employees do not receive any cybersecurity training.

Putting the right security measures in place is an essential step to protecting any business no matter how big or small it is and BullGuard's survey shows that SMBs need to do more when it comes to securing their organizations against potential cyberattacks and data breaches.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.