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 afford cyber-security investment

As two major cyber-security services are launched for small firms, new research shows the growing threat that cyber-attacks pose to these businesses and the importance of strengthening protection. However, how can under-pressure firms afford to invest?

Small businesses have become an increasingly popular target for cyber-criminals as firms have struggled with cyber-protection resources, know-how and costs, and the launch of the Cyber Action Plan and Check Your Cyber Security tools from the National Cyber Security Centre is clearly aimed at addressing these issues surrounding cyber-security.

New studies underline the importance of such development. According to the National Cyber Security Centre, more than a third of small businesses were hit by a cyber-attack in 2022, with research from Vodafone Business painting a similar picture.

The survey from Vodafone Business shows that cyber-attacks against SMEs rose by 15% in 2022, with over half of companies experiencing some form of attack during the year. Tellingly, almost 20% of firms revealed that they were not protected by cyber-security software. The average cost of an attack for one in five businesses was estimated at £4,200.

At the same time, a new report from Forbes has revealed that nine out of 10 SMEs with an annual turnover of more than £5 million have been hit by a cyber-attack. Again, the number of companies without cyber-protection is eye-opening, at 11% of the participants in this survey.

SME cyber-security and how alternative finance can help

While it is understandable that small firms are struggling to find the capital to increase spending on cyber-security at a time when the pressure on cashflow is extraordinary, it is vital that they have proper cyber-protection in place.

The consequences of a cyber-attack can be severe and highly damaging, and given the current climate, easily fatal to a business. Therefore, investment in cyber-security is critical. This is where alternative finance can help.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, which is an issue that has returned during the pandemic and amid challenging post-COVID-19 market conditions, services such as invoice finance, asset finance and peer-to-peer lending are proving a vital source of capital for small businesses.

These facilities, which offer a more easily accessible, affordable and personalised approach to lending, are helping small businesses survive and target recovery, stability and growth. Notably, alternative lending played a prominent role in the government’s headline emergency support schemes in 2022.

This profile has helped cement the reputation of alternative finance in the business sector, with a recent study showing that more than 50% of small businesses are looking to use finance to achieve growth in 2023.

Stronger cyber-protection and SME finance options

The new services from the National Cyber Security Centre are a clear indicator that small businesses need to strengthen their cyber-protection. But such steps come at a cost and at present, raising capital for investment is highly challenging. This is why it is essential that small businesses are aware of all the funding 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