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 small firms can meet rising cybersecurity costs

News of a 100% rise in ransomware attacks on UK businesses is a timely reminder of the importance of ensuring that cybersecurity systems are up to scratch, in particular for smaller firms. But with operating costs rising, how can these companies pay the bills?

According to new data from RPC, the number of ransomware attacks on businesses doubled in 2021 to 654. The most commonly targeted sectors were finance, insurance and credit, and education and childcare.

At the same time, a new report from Picus Security shows that the number of cyber incidents reported to the Financial Conduct Authority rose by over 50% in 2021 to 116. A fifth of these incidents involved ransomware.

Why investment in cybersecurity is vital for small businesses

These new figures underline the vulnerability of businesses not just to ransomware incidents by cyberattacks in general. Critically, while attacks on well-known large companies are the incidents that make the national headlines, it is smaller firms that are most at risk as cyber criminals increasingly turn their attention to companies that often don’t have the strongest cybersecurity measures in place.

Notably, cyberattacks can have much more severe consequences for smaller firms as disruptions to services and operating capability can have a much greater impact, with fewer resources in place to remedy any problems.

And with the workplace becoming increasingly digitalised – SMEs have recently predicted more hand-on artificial intelligence in the workforce – this is an issue that will only grow in importance going forward.

Tightening cybersecurity and how alternative finance can help

So how can cash-strapped smaller firms, which are already struggling to stay afloat as the tide of operating costs rises, afford to review and upgrade cybersecurity systems and safeguard against potentially ruinous cyberattacks?

When it comes to managing cashflow and facilitating investment, alternative finance can help.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, which is an issue that has returned during the pandemic, services such as invoice finance, asset finance and peer-to-peer lending, are proving a vital source of capital for small businesses, both for maintaining cashflow and for essential investment.

These facilities, which offer a more easily accessible and personalised approach to lending, are helping small businesses survive and target recovery and regrowth.

Furthermore, alternative lending is playing a prominent role in the government’s headline emergency support scheme, the Recovery Loan Scheme (open until the end of June 2022). Invoice finance and asset finance between £1,000 and £10 million per business are available under the initiative. This profile is helping cement the reputation of alternative finance in the business sector.

Affording cybersecurity systems and small firm finance options

Small businesses need little reminding about the dangers of cyberattacks, but it is clear that these firms need to ensure that their cybersecurity systems are strong enough to afford them proper protection. For many this means investment and to afford it, owners need to be aware of all the small firm finance options available to them, including the services of alternative lenders.

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