Why SMEs Shouldn’t Wait for Trouble With Their Cybersecurity

Why SMEs Shouldn’t Wait for Trouble With Their Cybersecurity

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the target of cyber atacks more frequently than you
might think. SMEs are o en seen by scammers and hackers as easier targets than larger businesses,
as there is a (not unreasonable) assump on that they have fewer resources to invest in cyber

Additionally, with smaller staff numbers, there’s a higher chance that there’s nobody on the team
who has an in-depth awareness of cyber threats.

These are all reasons to take your business’s online security seriously. Cyber crime can have a
devasta ng impact on a business, leading to financial losses, data breaches, reputa onal damage,
and down me.

According to IBM, “UK organisa ons pay an average of £3.4m for data breach incidents”, so this is not
an insignificant problem. Some companies simply would not be able to recover from that kind of
financial hit.

So being proac ve (preven ng an atack) rather than reac ve (dealing with an atack when it
happens) is par cularly important for SMEs.

It is always worth remembering, too, that the threat of cyber atacks is constantly evolving. Hackers
are always developing new ways to atack digital targets so businesses need to be constantly vigilant
and proac ve in their cyber security efforts.

The benefits of a proac ve cyber security approach

The key benefit of being proac ve with regard to your cyber security is that it will help to prevent
cyber atacks from happening, saving you a significant amount of me, money and stress.
It can also mean that, if you are unlucky enough to be atacked, you will be in a beter posi on to

What are the biggest cyber security threats to SMEs?

Scammers and hackers are ge ng ever more crea ve with their methods of atack, however there
are some themes in the ways that SMEs are most vulnerable to cyber crime. Five of the top ways
SMEs can be targeted by online atackers include:

  • Password security: It’s known to be one of the basic forms of protec ng yourself online, but
    Cyber News reports that 123456 is s ll the most common password in 2023. Follow
    password security best prac ces and consider inves ng in password management so ware
    for your team
  • Phishing scams: Astra reports that “Phishing scams account for nearly 22 percent of all data
    ” so train your staff to never be complacent about clicking a link in an email that
    purports to be somebody trusted
  • Human error: If your team carries laptops around with them, use post-it notes to remind
    themselves of their passwords, or use their own phones for work, complacent behaviour can
    lead to inadvertent security breaches that can be significantly improved by proac ve staff
  • Malware: Hidden, harmful code, such as viruses and trojan horses, is designed to steal or
    corrupt your data and can cause havoc within an SME
  • Ransomware: Known amongst scammers to be lucra ve, ransomware atacks seize your
    digital assets and refuse to give you access to your data again (or threaten to release your
    data publicly) un l you pay them huge amounts of money

How to be proactive with your online security

A great place to start is with a digital security risk assessment. This will help you to iden fy what you
are doing well and where you need to improve. If you understand where your weak points are, you
will know what to work on and where to educate your staff.

Training and cer fica ons like Cyber Essentials can help you to thoroughly understand where to aim
your efforts and put cyber security policies and procedures in place. These should cover topics such
as password management, data security, and how to respond when your online security is

Outsourcing your IT to dedicated professionals at a Managed IT Support provider can also be a great
answer, as they should always be on top of the latest threats and best prac ces to keep your systems
safe against common cyber threats, such as phishing scams and malware atacks


I'm a technology content writer with a solid track record, boasting over five years of experience in the dynamic field of content marketing. Over the course of my career, I've collaborated with a diverse array of companies, producing a wide spectrum of articles that span industries, ranging from news pieces to technical deep dives.