Poor tech leaves small businesses open to attack

Technology is one of the biggest worries for small businesses in the UK and could leave them susceptible to stealthy attack, according to a YouGov survey.

The Trend Micro commissioned research said that almost half (42 per cent) of small business decision makers felt that technology not working was their biggest headache. It matched the percentage who thought difficult clients caused the biggest problems.

Heavy workloads, tight deadlines and long hours followed behind as small business issues. Around one in ten small business respondents ranked business crime as a top three concern, which increased in London, where this figure increased to 13 per cent.

The majority of respondents (83 per cent) said they had not been a victim of electronic crime in the last 12 months. However Trend Micro said that this was worrying as the recorded level of electronic crime was known to be on the increase.

It said that small businesses, when they did become victims, would not have resources, systems or experience to protect themselves. It was also worried that attacks could be hidden and small businesses would not be aware they had been targeted.

Paul Burke, SMB product manager at Trend Micro said: "The survey also suggests that we need to do much more to better inform and help the small business community about the new generation of security threats.

"[They] are attacking their IT infrastructure silently and with potentially devastating effects to their reputation and finances."

Trend Micro said that an example of this was when a SQL attack infected over half a million websites with malicious code . It said that most of the websites affected were small business websites made up of unsecure coding and running on older or unpatched web servers and operating systems.

UK businesses affected were relying on their web presence for revenue. A successful attack of this kind could easily cripple many business websites and leave them targets for cyber criminals looking to hijack them for financial gain and identity fraud.