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Cyber attack warning for SMEs as risks heighten amid Covid-19 pandemic


Jewellery retailers, designers or any small and medium enterprise (SME) could be at greater risk of cyber attacks since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is according to a new report from global recruiter Robert Walters and data provider Vacancysoft, which claimed that the number of cases of cyber attacks may have grown in the last five months.

It said that pre-Covid there were around 65,000 cyber attacks on SMEs daily, with about 4,500 of those successful, but this number may now be higher.

Vacancysoft’s report, ‘Cybersecurity: Building Business Resilience’, also warned of the severe negative effects such an attack can have on an SME.

As well as the obvious costs incurred – around £2.48 million per instance, according to the report – attacks also affect customer confidence.

Vancancysoft reported that 44% of public would not use brand again if there data was to be breached.

Meanwhile, 48% of UK companies do not have adequate cybersecurity to support homeworking, making this a particularly dangerous time for SMEs.

The growth in e-commerce has likewise given rise to an increase in cyber attacks.

Darius Goodarzi, principal of information security and IT risk at Robert Walters, commented: “Cyber attacks rose to an all-time high in the last few years causing a great deal of media attention. As the general public became increasingly aware of personal data and privacy issues – including the introduction of GDPR – cyber security increasingly became a ‘differentiator’ for brands in a market where customers demand more transparency.

“The tech industry has set the tone, with brands such as Apple and Whatsapp putting security at the centre of their marketing message.

“For e-commerce, on the other hand, the pace at which the sector grew during Covid-19 raises questions as to whether their cyber security has been up to par with the sharp increase in traffic to online sites.

“With consumers being hyper-sensitive about their personal information in a rapidly evolving digital world, e-commerce sites cannot afford to lose the trust of customers in what is becoming a very competitive space.”


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