A cyberattack would kill an SME within 5 days

Irish SME owners said their business would only survive for 4.8 days on an average without access to systems or data after a successful cyberattack.

The study commissioned by Irish managed IT and cybersecurity players Typetec and conducted by Censuswide found that business owners believe it would take longer than this (5.6 days on average) to get all of their systems back up and running in the event of such a cyberattack.

Despite these findings, 37% of Irish SMBs admitted they don’t have an effective disaster recovery plan in place.

“It’s straightforward to calculate the financial cost of a cyberattack but how do you measure the loss of reputation and brand recognition, post breach?”

The research also found that 35% of Irish small and medium-sized businesses would not immediately notify all affected customers, employees, and relevant parties about a security data breach.

Risky business

As most Irish employees continue to work remotely, 63% of business owners said that some of their employees are less thorough about cybersecurity when working from home.

Furthermore, 42% revealed that they have not carried out a full security audit since the pandemic started more than 18 months ago.

Despite the ongoing risks, only 5% of Irish SMBs provide cyber security training to their employees at least once a quarter.

“There is no doubt that cyberattacks and data breaches have become more widespread and disruptive since the start of the pandemic,” said Trevor Coyle, CTO of Typetec. “Cyber criminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to penetrate increasingly distributed working environments.

“The consequences of a successful cyberattack can be devastating. Business owners evidently understand how quickly their businesses can fail without any access to their systems or data. However, many are still failing to take the proactive steps needed to help combat these growing threat levels.

Coyle said the survey has revealed that security audits and regular staff training are being neglected, with a significant minority of small and medium-sized businesses not even having an effective disaster recovery plan in place.

“We would urge businesses of all sizes to put the necessary security procedures and processes in place to protect their businesses, employees and customers. It’s evident that without industry- leading expertise to assist business owners with their ongoing security battle, they become easy prey for cyber criminals,” Coyle urged.

“It’s straightforward to calculate the financial cost of a cyberattack but how do you measure the loss of reputation and brand recognition, post breach? Businesses need to communicate immediately with all affected parties, should a data breach happen. We all need to play our part in this growing battle against cybercrime.”

Main image: Trevor Coyle, managing director, Typtec