SMEs: Concerned about cybersecurity

SMEs: Concerned about cybersecurity

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In a survey of German SMEs, only a third said they trust their company's cybersecurity measures. Companies cited dwindling customer trust as their biggest concern after an attack.

Global crises, tense economic conditions, shortage of skilled workers – the list of challenges, especially for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Germany, is long. Above all, the topic of cyber threats and their potential impact on company processes, reputation and sales are a headache for SMEs. This is the result of a current study by Sharp among more than 500 IT decision-makers and procurement managers from SMEs in various industries throughout Germany.

Over a third of SMEs have already fallen victim

Among other things, they were asked about their trust in their company's IT security measures and the obstacles to IT security investments in the next twelve months. The results are part of a large-scale Europe-wide study* by Sharp.

Almost one in two (40 percent) of respondents are more concerned about cyber threats than last year, with more than a third of companies saying they had experienced some form of cybersecurity breach in the past twelve months. These breaches primarily involved phishing (37 percent), malware (34 percent), network vulnerabilities (32 percent), and data loss and cloud vulnerabilities (31 percent each).

Little trust in IT security measures

Two thirds of those surveyed (66 percent) also have no confidence in their company's ability to adequately deal with security risks or reduce them preventively. What is worrying is that even low-threshold security measures are not yet ubiquitous: only around every second company (58 percent) stated that they had firewalls, and less than half (43 percent each) confirmed that they had stringent password guidelines or a VPN. to use access. Given this fact, what is surprising is that more than half (58 percent) of the companies surveyed have no plans to increase their IT security budget this year.

Modern work concepts increase concerns

When it comes to the possible impact of an IT security breach on their company, respondents said that declining customer trust (42 percent), financial losses (41 percent) and reputational damage (38 percent) were their biggest concerns. These are further reinforced by trends such as hybrid working models (33 percent) and BYOD approaches for employees (30 percent).

“Companies of all sizes operate in an increasingly complex digital environment. As a result, they are faced with ever greater, constantly changing challenges when it comes to IT security. “These risks feel even greater and more threatening, especially for smaller companies without comprehensive IT resources,” says Kai Scott, Managing Director of Sharp Business Systems Germany, commenting on the results of the survey. “Nevertheless, it is essential that every company, regardless of size, protects its data as best as possible and ensures that all networks and devices are as secure as possible.”

About the Study

The survey was conducted by Censuswide between February 01.02.2023st, 13.02.2023 and February 5.770th, 501 among XNUMX IT decision-makers and IT procurement managers in European SMEs, XNUMX of whom were from Germany. The companies surveyed come from eleven markets: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Belgium.

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About Sharp Business Systems Deutschland GmbH

Sharp Business Systems Deutschland GmbH (SBSD), headquartered in Cologne, is part of Sharp Europe and therefore also part of Sharp Corporation, a global technology company that is an expert in innovations in the business-to-business and consumer sectors.

Sharp offers a portfolio that ranges from desktop printers to multifunction printers, interactive monitors and displays, and collaboration platforms. The optimally coordinated solutions enable networked collaboration and help organizations make their business processes more efficient.

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