Many SMBs really don't know exactly what security tools they need

business screens view
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Many small and medium businesses haven’t quite figured out how to stay on top of the evolving cybersecurity landscape, a new report has claimed.

The research from Sage, conducted across a global pool of SMBs, found that a number of factors are impacting cybersecurity effectiveness, including the cost of living.

Over half of businesses (55%) in the UK are calling for the government to be more proactive in its support, education and training in cybersecurity.

A worrying outlook

Trust in cybersecurity is high among SMBs with 72% of respondents expressing confidence in managing their security, reflecting the level of concern held by many of them. 70% listed cyber threats as a major concern within their business.

Smaller businesses fall behind the knowledge and expertise afforded by larger enterprises, and so are left to fend for themselves against constantly emerging and changing threats. Given the current economic turmoil that many businesses are combating, it’s no surprise that less than half (48%) of UK SMBs are looking to increase their cybersecurity budget next year and nearly a third (29%) stated that the cost of living has reduced their budget.

“Navigating the fast-paced world of cybersecurity can be overwhelming for SMBs, who often lack dedicated IT expertise,” said Ben Aung, EVP Chief Risk Officer at Sage, “While our research highlights their genuine concern for cybersecurity, they seek guidance to comprehend and mitigate risks beyond the misconception of it merely relying on firewalls and tools.”

Among the biggest challenges facing SMB cybersecurity, 43% are struggling to understand exactly what is needed in their cyber defense, 44% are concerned on how to educate their employees, and 45% face challenges in ensuring employees know exactly what is expected of them.

Most concerning is the level of defense that some SMBs are implementing, with 46% of businesses not employing firewalls and 42% neglecting to backup their critical data. Moreover, a quarter of respondents acknowledged that their cybersecurity process was not adhered to when tackling cyber threats.

More from TechRadar Pro

Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.