Half of UK SMBs Don’t Use Security Tools to Fend off Attacks

Research reveals lack of security know-how leaving UK PLC exposed 


London, 1st September 2015 - Only 50% of the UK’s small and medium sized business owners use internet security to protect their organisations from cyber attack, exposing them to data loss and disruption which could even threaten their survival, according to new research from Trend Micro.

As a trusted advisor to the UK’s SMBs, Trend Micro decided to take a closer look at their attitudes to online threats, polling 500 decision makers and business owners as part of UK Small Business Week.

The results were shocking. While just half said they used internet security products to stay safe online, only 44% claimed they knew how to check if their PC, tablet or mobile had malware on it.
This is despite the fact that only one quarter (24%) of respondents said they thought online threats are too complex to deal with. A further 99% claimed they understand how important it is to spend money on internet security software. Also of concern was the fact that 67% of SMBs admitted they didn’t fully understand the financial implications of an online security breach – a figure which rose to 74% hen considering the legal implications of a successful attack.

Worryingly, just 18% said they thought their business data was worth stealing. Yet cybercriminals have proven that they are increasingly willing to target smaller organisations, in the belief that these firms are usually less well defended. Even the UK government has recognised the problem, launching a £1m “vouchers scheme” in July designed to offer micro, small and medium-sized businesses up to £5,000 for specialist advice to improve their defences.

It’s right to do so. Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) SMBs said an attack would impact their business straightaway while almost half (46%) said it would do so within the day, according to the Trend Micro research.

Small and mid-sized businesses are the life-blood of the UK economy, according to the CBI.
They account for 99.9% of the private sector and provide 60% of jobs in the sector. What’s more, the combined annual turnover of SMEs was £1.6 trillion as of last year, 47% of turnover in the private sector, according to BIS.

“One of the main things that SMBs need to be aware of is their regulatory and legal obligations with regards to data security”, said Bharat Mistry, Cyber Security Consultant at Trend Micro. “It’s important to have breach response plan that tells staff what to do in the event of a data breach – the process to follow, who to contact etc”

Note to editors
The research was conducted on behalf of Trend Micro via Vital Statistics – sampled 500 UK business owners and decision makers in August 2015.

Small Business Advice Week runs from 31st August -6th September 2015. More information can be found here: www.smallbusinessadviceweek.co.uk

About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704), a global leader in security software, strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our solutions for consumers, Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ provide layered content security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. Leveraging these solutions, organizations can protect their end users, their evolving data center and cloud resources, and their information threatened by sophisticated targeted attacks.

All of solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™, and are supported by over 1,200 threat experts around the globe.

For more information, visit www.trendmicro.com/en_gb/. Or follow our news on Twitter at @TrendMicroUK.