23 November 2016
Reporter: Becky Butcher

Increased concern for SMEs over cybercrime

The risks posed by cyber crime are a fast-growing concern for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to Zurich Insurance Group’s annual global SME survey.

Just 10 percent of SMEs said that they were too small to be at risk of “falling victim” to cyber crime, compared to 17 percent of those that thought that they were “too insignificant to attract the attention of cyber criminals” in 2015.

Respondents revealed that theft of customer data (27 percent) and reputational damage (20 percent) are feared as the biggest potential impacts of cyber crime activity.

The survey noted that only 5 percent of SMEs are confident they have sufficient and up-to-date IT measures in place to protect against cyber crime, compared with to percent last year.

The survey revealed that each region showed a difference in attitude towards cyber crime.

European SMEs typically fear global trends, while US businesses are more concerned about cyber theft.

Those surveyed in Latin America said they were worried about the lack of awareness around cyber risk, while in the Asia Pacific region respondents suggested that cyber crime awareness is on the rise.

Zurich surveyed 2,600 C-suite executives and managers at SMEs in 13 countries across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

Lori Bailey, global head of special lines at Zurich, commented: “With the number of high-profile cyber security breaches in the media over the last year, it is not surprising that the risk awareness amongst SMEs has grown significantly, yet alarming that the vast majority of SMEs do not have the appropriate cybercrime protection measures in place.”

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