According to 2017 SME cybersecurity survey released by Norton, “Almost a quarter of Australian SMEs have experienced a cyber attack or hacking attempt compared to only 19 percent in the previous year”.
In a national survey of over 1000 business owners and operators, Norton found cyber attacks against SMEs are showing no signs of slowing down. More importantly, this growth in the cyber threat is causing financial loss for SMEs.
In addition, the perceived threat of cybercrime has also increased with 25 percent of survey respondents noting an increase in cybersecurity threats. In contrast, only, seven percent of respondents reported a decline in cyber risk.
Moreover, the survey results about the negative impacts of cyber attacks were as follows: downtime was ranked number (39 percent), followed by inconvenience (27 percent) and additional time and expense spent on recovery (25 percent).
Cybercrime effects are not limited to the financial aspect. Cyber-attacks have the potential to significantly affect how a business operates. And how it is perceived by customers particularly in the event of a data breach.
Cyber-attacks have the power to cripple SMEs, irrespective of which industry they belong to.
Valuing data more than ever before
SMEs have become more aware of the risks of exposing the data of their company, employees and customers. Hence, many have started taking a proactive approach to protecting themselves and their valuable IP from being compromised.
SMEs are now backing up their data more frequently to protect their data in case of a cyber-attack.
Furthermore, SMEs signing up for Internet security solutions have also jumped to 87 percent (from 68 percent in 2016). These businesses are being extra careful to protect themselves against potential threats.
In view of the cyber-attacks becoming more and more dangerous, business owners are getting the basics right – from using passwords, two-step verification and back up, to the more complex tasks of regulating access to company data.
We expect more Australian SMEs to regard cybersecurity as a critical piece in the future success of their business.