Nearly half of UK SMEs spend less than £1,000 on cyber defences

Almost 50% of UK small to medium enterprises plan to spend £1,000 or less on cyber security in the next year and 22% do not know how much they will spend. As many as 875,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK – 16% of the total – have been hit by a cyber attack in the past 12 months.

Businesses in London are the worst affected, with almost a quarter (23%) reporting suffering a breach within this period.

Of businesses that were affected, more than one-fifth (21%) said it cost them more than £10,000 and one in 10 (11%) said it cost more than £50,000. 

Yet despite the volume of attacks and potential losses, the survey of more than 1,000 UK SMEs showed that business leaders are not committing to investing significantly in cyber security in the year ahead.

The lack of planned investment in cyber defences is also surprising in the light of the fact that business leaders report that strong cyber security is giving them an opportunity to stand out from competitors, with as many as one in 20 claiming to have gained an advantage over a competitor because of stronger cyber security credentials.

 The survey results suggest that SMEs are not yet heeding the warnings provided by large attacks on global businesses.

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