SMEs have a 50% chance of being targeted by cyber crime

In our latest blog post, Geoff Keig, Regional Director at Stackhouse Poland, writes about the increasing risk of cyber attacks for SMEs in the UK.

I was reading yet another article about Cyber from the Insurance Industry press yesterday when two things contained in the article literally took my breathe away.

The first was a statistic – the Insurance Age story contained the statistic that an SME will have a 50 / 50 chance of being targeted by cyber crime this year. We have of course seen scary figures before – the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s 2018 Cyber Survey reported that 4 in 10 businesses had already suffered a breach or an attack in the last year (only 2 in 10 charities – but that is frightening enough). The numbers should make anyone sit up and take note.

However, the 50 / 50 statistic is different. There is something about the random nature in the way that it is expressed, the one in two chance of an SME being hit, that is different. It is also only one percent from more likely to happen than not. This shifts the risk from being something that might happen to someone else to something that might happen to me.

Despite these statistics, there remains a lag between the risks businesses face and their preparedness for them. That same Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport study showed that despite 4 in 10 businesses suffering a breach or attack, less than 3 in 10 have a formal cyber security policy or policies.

This really does indicate a disconnect between the risk businesses face and their perception of that risk. There may be several factors why this is the case, but one will certainly be the advice these businesses are getting.

Which takes me back to the second thing that took my breathe away: three years after the journalist had starting reporting on Cyber risk in the UK many insurance brokers had failed to educate themselves sufficiently on the topic. As their SME clients are just as likely as not to be targeted for cyber-crime this year that may be the most startling stat of them all.

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