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Hacker performing cyber attack on laptopResearch from Barclaycard claims cyber security is not being prioritized by small businesses, putting numerous organizations at risk of attack.

The findings state only 20% of the organizations surveyed believe cyber security is a top business priority, with 10% claiming their team has not invested in cyber security at all. The average attack costs UK businesses between £75,000 and £311,000 according to HM Government’s 2015 Information Security Breaches report, as more than 50% of the respondents believe their organization is at risk of a breach within the next 12 months.

“Businesses of all sizes face a constant and growing threat from cybercrime,” said Paul Clarke, Product Director at Barclaycard. “As our research shows, many small businesses are failing take the necessary precautions, either because they don’t know how to protect themselves or, more worryingly, because they don’t think they need to. At Barclaycard we work with our customers to ensure they are aware of the growing threats they face and understand how they can protect themselves from cyber threats.”

Worryingly for business owners throughout the UK, only 13% of those who completed the survey believe they have the relevant skills to adequately protect themselves online. This statistic, combined with the lack of prioritization around security, may indicate decision makers believe their organization is safer, as cyber criminals would target the larger and more data heavy businesses in the UK.

While this may be considered a perception held by small businesses, the findings claim just under half have been hit by at least one cyber-attack in the past year, with a tenth experiencing more than four attacks.

“Cybersecurity is not a one-off investment that can then be forgotten about, especially as criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way they target businesses,” said Clarke. “For fifty years we’ve been working in partnership with customers to ensure they are not only putting the right measures in place from the outset, but are also continuously reviewing their policies to keep up with the latest industry developments.”

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