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74% of small organisations reported a security breach in the last year

The Guardian newspaper has reported assertions of the British Standards Institute (BSI) that SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) have not historically been the primary target of cybercrime, but that this changed significantly in 2015.

The latest UK Government Security Breaches Survey found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of small organisations reported a security breach in the last year; an increase compared with the 2013 and 2014 surveys.

According to the latest statistics released by security firm Symantec, more than half (52.4%) of spear phishing attacks were against SMEs. November 2015 showed a massive spike in the number of attacks per day.

The issue of cyber security for small businesses is made even more pressing by new European regulations aimed at protecting customer data. The EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation will come into force in 2018 and could result in companies being fined up to EUR20m or 4% of their annual revenue, whichever is greater, for allowing any security breaches to compromise their customer data.

Sources:
Huge rise in hack attacks as cyber-criminals target small businesses, The Guardian, February 2016
Government urges business to take action as cost of cyber security breaches doubles, UK Government, June 2015

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