Scottish small businesses ‘most vulnerable to cyber threats’

Scottish small businesses are the least likely of any across the UK to have taken steps to protect their data, according to new research.

Many small businesses north of the border are “unprepared and unconcerned” when it comes to cyber-attacks, research published by KPMG and Cyber Streetwise has claimed. 

One in five (19%) Scottish-based small businesses and consumers who responded to a UK-wide survey admit that they have failed to take any steps to protect their data.

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The figure is the lowest of the ten nations and regions across the UK surveyed, with the UK average sitting at 11%.

It comes despite more than half of consumers (51%) surveyed in Scotland voicing concerns about using small businesses and whether they are as safe as bigger ones.

Just over half (53%) of small businesses based north of the border consider it unlikely or very unlikely that they would be a target for any such attack, with only 23% admitting that they feel completely prepared for a cyber security issue.

George Scott, director of cyber security for KPMG in Scotland, said: “It’s clear that the cyber-attacks of late are creating growing concern in the minds of customers over the security of their information.

“These concerns risk threatening the success of many of the nation’s small businesses unless they can demonstrate a clear commitment to security and retain the trust of their customers.”

Small businesses are being urged to make passwords stronger by using three random words, to install security software on all devices, and always to download the latest software updates.

The survey findings are based on responses to an online survey from 1,000 small business and 1,000 consumers across the UK.

Colin Marrs

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