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Crisis awareness among SMEs rising but preparedness gaps remain
Written by staff reporter
UK SMEs are under prepared to respond to a crisis scenario, despite their awareness that security threats are rising and 44% expecting to face some form of attack in the near future.
This is the key finding of research commissioned by Arthur J. Gallagher, focused on evaluating business resilience, which identifies a perception gap between the level of preparedness of UK SMEs and the growth in security threats.
Some 43% of the 1,000+ SME business leaders surveyed by YouGov admitted to having no contingency plans for a crisis or not knowing what those plans were. Furthermore, only 30% have insurance in place that would respond to a security crisis -- such as terrorism, cyber extortion, sabotage, product tamper or emergency repatriation -- with a further 40% unaware if they have insurance cover.
The research also highlighted a very clear gap in perception between the threats SMEs face and their level of preparedness. More than two thirds (68%) of SMEs questioned believe they are resilient and well-equipped to deal with a security crisis despite their planning and insurance protection levels showing otherwise.
There is, however, a widespread understanding that threat levels are growing, with one in five (19%) UK SMEs having faced an external security threat in the past two years while more than double that number (44%) believes they could face a threat in the coming 12 to 18 months. More than a quarter (27%) of those asked say they specifically expect to suffer cyber extortion in the near future