SMEs still not taking the threat of cyber crime seriously 

Only 9% of SMEs are teaching staff about IT security risks

Only 9% of SMEs run training courses or email updates teaching staff about IT security risks, reveals new research from an international cyber crime observatory in Milan.
This number rises to 20% of medium-small firms and 24% of larger firms.
The researchers analysed the information security systems and expenditure breakdown of 803 SMEs operating in Italy last year.
Alessandro Piva, Director of the research observatory run by international business school Politecnico di Milano School of Management, said: “Cyber crime has grown dramatically over the past months, alongside a continued rise in ransomware, where hackers demand payment of a ransom to release data, and attacks on products linked to the Internet of Things.
“Yet despite this, SMEs are not taking the threat seriously, with only 9% running training courses or merely emailing information to their employees. Although 93% of SMEs report that they allocated a security budget for 2016, this does not necessarily mean that it was spent in a well-informed manner. In fact, the top reported reason for security expenditure was to comply with legislation (48%).”
Companies are struggling to look beyond the short-term and are failing to create robust, future-focused cyber security plans, says Piva.
He added: “The need for a long-term approach to how information and privacy are managed and the organisation’s data is kept confidential should be a top concern of a company’s upper management.
“It seems that smaller organisations don’t anticipate that they will be targeted as victims of cybercrime in the same way as, say, Yahoo in 2013, where a hack left over one billion users’ information publicly available. Yet without a contingency plan or any preventative measures, these companies are leaving themselves wide-open for potentially devastating cyber-attacks.”
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