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How SMEs can protect against a £90bn cyber-attack sting

Cyber-attacks could cost the global economy billions and one of the most vulnerable business groups are SMEs. How can small businesses afford to protect themselves? Alternative finance has a role to play.

Recent figures from the Guardian put the cost of cyber-attacks at an eye-watering £90 billion, while cyber-security experts have stated that SMEs are particularly exposed to the damage such an assault could wreak. While large corporations have the resources to absorb a cyber-attack, smaller firms don’t and can easily be put out of business.

Worryingly, according to a new study from Beaming, attacks on SMEs rose by over 50% in Q2. At the same time, there has been a spate of attacks on larger corporations, including the NHS, whose operations were severely disturbed, and drug company Reckitt Benckiser, owner of the Nurofen and Durex brands, which has been left with a potential bill of £100 million. No SME can survive a £100 million hit.

As a result, the call for small businesses owners to better safeguard their operations continues to rise, along with the frequency of studies that reveal that SMEs are startlingly under-prepared for cyber-attacks. There may be no end of advice available but putting this guidance into practice comes at a price and current market conditions mean finding the extra cash for such investment is far from easy.

Aside from cyber-security, small business owners are having to find capital to cover a range of other costs, including those relating to compliance with pension auto-enrolment, living wage and apprenticeship directives. At the same time, they have to navigate a market place hobbled by Brexit and the process of leaving the EU.

This is where alternative finance can help. Raising capital and maintaining cashflow remains a challenge for SMEs, with subdued economic performance encouraging traditional lenders to remain cautious. By making services such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding part of their wider financial strategy, small businesses can improve access to funding and benefit from greater flexibility and affordability.

With little to suggest that the current economic malaise will end anytime soon, it is important that small business owners are fully aware of all the services on offer to them.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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