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How SMEs can meet the cost of critical cybersecurity

News that nearly one in two small businesses believe they couldn’t survive a major cyberattack underlines the pressure that these firms are under to invest in cybersecurity. But such a move comes with at a significant cost. Alternative finance can help.

According to a new study, almost 50% of SMEs believe that a major cyberattack could force them to close their doors. The research also revealed that around the same amount are having to prioritise cybersecurity over business development projects and that cyberattacks have led to the loss of clients.

It is clear that cyberattacks can be devastating, but while attacks on big businesses are the ones that grab the headlines, it is smaller companies that are most vulnerable. This is primarily because these firms don’t have the same capacity to invest in prevention and managing attacks and their consequences.

Data from the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer survey underlines the growing pressure on small business owners. According to the new research, over two thirds of SMEs said that they are more worried about cybersecurity threats now compared with a year ago. In addition, the survey revealed that almost two thirds of SMEs are spending more on protection measures than they were a year ago.

Small businesses have little choice but to invest. For these firms, it is not just a case of protecting customer and company data, but with an increasing number of larger firms insisting on certain standard of cybersecurity infrastructure before signing contracts, for many it is a matter of survival.

And at a time of market stress, with the economy hamstrung by Brexit, and with a raft of other business costs to be met (from pension auto-enrolment to the digitalisation of tax returns), managing this extra demand on company resources is far from straightforward.

So, how can SMEs afford the cybersecurity that they need?

Alternative finance can help.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, services such as invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are offering SMEs an alternative means of raising capital for essential investment, such as enhanced cybersecurity.

This is how a Sussex small business used peer-to-peer lending, through a commercial finance broker that specialises in alternative finance, to raise the money to buy new equipment.

The need for SMEs to invest in cybersecurity has never been so urgent. However, to put this protection in place at a time when margins are being stretched ever thinner is hugely challenging. This is why business owners need to be aware of the all the funding options available to them, including alternative finance.

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

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