Three-Quarters of SMBs Can't Repel Cyber-Attacks

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Millions of the UK’s small businesses aren’t confident they can withstand a cyber-attack, with resources frequently diverted to other areas, according to new research from Arctic Wolf.

The security operations vendor polled over 500 decision-makers in the UK working at firms with fewer than 250 employees to better understand their cyber challenges.

It found that three-quarters (73%) believe their organization lacks the in-house expertise and capabilities to defend against cyber-attacks. The figure could amount to as many as 4.5 million of the UK’s SMBs, the vendor claimed.

More than half (55%) of respondents said cybersecurity issues are regularly deprioritized in favor of other business goals.

This is having a major impact on security operations (SecOps): two-fifths (39%) of respondents said their teams are overwhelmed by security alerts and a similar number (34%) don’t have time to investigate every alert.

The findings chime with a recent Trend Micro study that revealed that over half of SecOps teams in global organizations are drowning in alerts and 55% aren’t confident in prioritizing and responding to them.

As a result, 70% admitted feeling emotionally distressed by the continuous pressure. This can impact both productivity and staff churn at a time when it’s already difficult to fill key security analyst positions.

Christina Richmond, program vice president, security services, at IDC, argued that SMBs should consider outsourcing such capabilities to cloud-hosted security service providers.

“Cyber-attacks, such as ransomware, are growing more advanced by the day, and organizations that fall victim are experiencing not only short-term financial and operational impacts, but also long-term impacts from customers and partners losing their trust,” she explained.

“Being able to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risk has become an essential function for all organizations, but finding the talent, tuning the tools, and developing the internal process is a significant challenge for even the largest, well-resourced organizations.”

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