Cyber Risk Awareness Rises for SMEs

08/12/2016 12:38

An increasing number of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are realizing that no company is too small be victimized by hackers, according to a recent report.


Just 10 percent of SMEs surveyed this year thought their businesses were too insignificant to be targeted by hackers. The percentage thinking this has almost halved since last year (17 percent in 2015), according to Zurich Insurance Group, which conducted the survey of 2,600 C-suite executives and managers across 13 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific.


SMEs are vital to the global economy and dominate the business landscape. Estimates suggest that 95 percent of all businesses in the world are classified as SMEs. In addition, these companies account for nearly 60 percent of all private sector jobs. The economic contribution from SMEs is substantial but varies widely, from 16 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in low-income countries to 51 percent in high-income countries.


The biggest fears resulting from cybercrime among those surveyed were the theft of customer data (27 percent) and reputational damage (20 percent). Those fears were followed by monetary theft (15 percent), business disruption (15 percent) and malicious identity appropriation (12 percent). The fastest-growing cybercrime concerns came in the areas of reputational damage and monetary theft, both rising 4 points compared with last years’ survey, Zurich said.


SMEs also appear to be less confident that they have enough protection in place to thwart cybercrime, as confidence in IT systems fell to less than 5 percent from 8 percent last year.


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