Poor cyber security putting one in ten at risk

One in ten small and medium sized businesses are at risk of data breaches due to a lack of cyber security, according to a new study.

Based on a survey conducted by Reckon, the study found that 10 per cent of SME owners and employees are putting their company at risk of attack by regularly handling sensitive data on their personal accounts and devices.

Furthermore, the research revealed that a quarter of small businesses allow documents to be saved on individual computers rather than on a central cloud server or database, which threatens its security should the machine suffer a technical failure or a cyber criminal target the firm's machines.

The results were also similar in larger companies, with 25 per cent of firms turning over more than £10 million each year found to be sending documents to personal accounts, while a third saved them on their individual computers.

According to Mark Woolley, commercial director for Reckon, these findings should be particularly concerning for SME owners who are placing their sensitive data and business success at risk through poor cyber security practices.

Mr Woolley added that much of the risk was the result of bad habits and unclear policies, and urged companies to set out guidelines to ensure all sensitive data is kept safe.

"Sending and saving documents incorrectly and to personal devices breaches basic data security guidelines and could even put employers and employees at risk of breaching data protection laws," he said.

Mr Woolley continued: "Incorrectly managing data and information in this way can pose financial, reputational and security issues to a business – something that no business owner wants to have to deal with."

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