Research shows that SMEs are unprepared when it comes to cybersecurity

Cybersecurity – and consequently cyber insurance – is something that not many SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) spend time thinking about. The startup world is so fast-paced and hectic that often business owners don’t have time to consider the ramifications of a data breach or malware problem. That said, they’re quick to embrace cloud technology and its many benefits, so why aren’t they thinking about cyber safety?

Let’s look at the facts.

New research from MYOB has shown that the majority of small businesses surveyed (87%) consider themselves safe because they have antivirus software installed to prevent cyber attacks. A further 72% also believe that their information is safe when it’s stored within the cloud.

It’s concerning that such a vast majority consider themselves safe from cyber attacks simply because they have antivirus software. While this software is a great step in the right direction, it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all of cybersecurity.

So what can be done? For starters, there needs to be an increase in awareness. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to put their faith in the cloud because there’s been a misunderstanding about its purpose and its standard of security. The cloud is not foolproof, but not everyone knows this.

SME networking and B2B events should consider turning their focus towards cybersecurity. There is a plethora of small businesses out there that likely have no idea of the risks facing their organisation if something goes wrong. Startups often can’t afford to rectify a data breach, so it’s important to inform them of the risks of not protecting themselves in order to prevent the problem from even happening in the first place.

Something that’s often underestimated as a safety net is cyber insurance, though this should be considered a fallback option rather than something to rely upon.

That said, cyber insurance can help business owners avoid a financial nightmare and provide compensation to businesses that see data breaches in areas such as:

  • Personally identifiable information
  • Government ID numbers
  • Medical records
  • Payment data
  • Customer databases

Cyber insurance is worth considering for those who are concerned about the safety of their website, their data or their business. Because more often than not, the cloud just isn’t enough.

 About the Author

Richard Laycock is an insurance expert at finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website.

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Tags antivirus softwaredata breachcyber insuranceFinderdata protectioncyber securitySME's

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