Jump to MenuJump to Main ContentJump to the SidebarJump to About A&T Business AssociatesJump to How A&T Business Associates are DifferentJump to How A&T Business Associates WorkJump to Our LinksJump to our Industry NewsJump to Legal InformationJump to Viewing OptionsJump to SearchJump to Site MapJump to Contact Page

How SMEs can finance cybersecurity strategy enhancement

A new study shows that cybercriminals are targeting small businesses like never before. This makes it imperative that these firms enhance their cybersecurity defences. But upgrading comes with a price tag. Alternative finance can help small businesses afford the costs.

New data from the annual Beaming survey show that small businesses are hit hardest by cyberattacks. According to the survey, most of the cyberattacks carried out on businesses in 2018 were targeted at small businesses. Two-thirds of firms with 10-49 employees suffered a cyberattack during the year.

The cost of repairing the damage is eye-watering. The Beaming study claims that on average, restoring and securing systems after a cyberattack costs a business a whopping £65,000. While the bill is unlikely to be quite so high for small businesses, it is still no doubt significant.

As a result, there is a lot of pressure on small businesses to strengthen their cybersecurity defences. However, research from Business in the Community suggests that these firms are dragging their heels. According to the study, 30% of small businesses don’t have any cybersecurity strategies in place.

Furthermore, it also found that only just over a third have a basic data protection policy and less than a quarter have a policy for controlling access to their systems.

These numbers suggest that small businesses aren’t prioritising cybersecurity and if this is true, the cost of upgrading systems has to be a factor. This is hardly surprising given the state of the market and the raft of other policy and non-policy costs to be managed.

Even alternative means of improving cybersecurity systems – the government is currently encouraging businesses to empower staff to become cybersecurity champions – come with cost implications. While creating cybersecurity champions is a good idea – a recent survey showed that over 50% of cyberattacks on business are picked up by employees rather than software – it requires investment in training.

So, what is the solution for under-pressure small businesses? Alternative finance can help. It can help them afford the better cyber-protection that they need.

Traditional lenders have long shown caution with regard to small business lending and there is little to suggest that this attitude is going to change any time soon. As a result, alternative finance has emerged as a key small business funding source. Invoice finance, asset finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding are providing small business owners with an alternative means of accessing capital for essential investment, such as in new software and staff training.

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 capital to invest in new equipment.

Given the clear threat that cyberattacks pose to businesses and the growing expectation for significant cybersecurity strategies, small businesses simply cannot afford to skimp on cyber-defence. Alternative finance services can help owners manage the costs of this essential protection.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Steve Bowles on 01903 602211 or steve.bowles@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

Return to the News Page