Intelligent Issue 20 - Page 59





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 microbusiness 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 while consumergrade 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 .” �
Intelligent SME . tech
. tech