New research commissioned by and published today by cyber security company, BullGuard, revealed an alarming number of small businesses in the UK and US are not prepared for a potential cyber attack or breach. One-third of companies with 50 or fewer employees report using free, consumer-grade cyber security, and one in five companies use no endpoint security whatsoever.

Cyber-attacks and data breaches

Additionally, worrisome, the study found 43% of SMB owners have no cyber security defense plan in place at all – leaving their most sensitive financial, customer and business data, and ultimately their companies, at significant risk.

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

Lost business and crucial data

The study also revealed some glaring discrepancies between what SMB owners believe versus what is actually occurring in the market. Nearly 60% of SMB owners believe their business is unlikely to be targeted by cyber criminals, however the results revealed that 18.5% of SMB owners have suffered from a cyber-attack or data breach within the past year.

Unfortunately, while securing data can be simple, remediation is not. Companies that fall victim to a cyber-attack often experience significant downtime that seriously impacts productivity, data privacy, and even revenue. Once breached, 25% of SMB owners stated they had to spend $10,000 or more to resolve the attack, which could be devastating for a small company.

The right solution makes it simple and extremely cost-effective for SMBs to manage their own cyber security

As for time lost, 50% of SMB owners said it took 24 hours or longer to recover from a breach or cyber-attack, while 25% reported they lost business as a result, and almost 40% stated they lost crucial data.

Company and customer data

Despite these numbers, many SMB owners are overly confident in the safety of their company and customer data. One in five SMB owners surveyed stated their organisation has zero vulnerabilities, however 50% of SMB owners stated their employees do not receive any cyber security training.

A significant number, 65%, of SMB owners report managing their cyber security in-house, but less than 10% say they have a dedicated IT staff member. The right solution makes it simple and extremely cost-effective for SMBs to manage their own cyber security, ensuring their business is secure and protected.

Conducted in January 2020, the BullGuard-commissioned survey queried a total of 3,083 small business owners in the UK (1,532) and the US (1,551) with 50 employees or less.

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