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Written by Brit Williams
Posted on 11/06/2014

Security threats prove worrisome for UK start-ups

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Cyber threats are typically a bigger concern for large organisations, but start-ups are more afraid of online security breaches than ever. According to the Zurich SME Risk Index, a quarterly report that measures British SMEs’ business risk perceptions, security worries are on the rise. 

Between Q4 of 2013 and Q1 of 2014, the risk index rose by 1.51 points. A shocking 45 per cent of executive respondents confirmed that technological vulnerabilities are a key concern – a 12 per cent increase from the same period last year. 

Compared with other risk factors, 37 per cent of decision makers feel that cyber-attacks pose one of the biggest dangers to modern businesses. This is the biggest response since the index began in 2012. 

Privacy less certain for modern businesses 
The most feared cyber-attacks involve data loss and privacy breaches, with one in three respondents confirming these as enemy number one. 

Commenting on these findings from the last quarter, Richard Coleman, head of personal lines in Zurich’s broker division said: 

“With concern about risk rising among SMEs for the first time in 12 months in the wake of a number of high-profile security threats, worries about tech vulnerabilities are increasingly an issue for business owners.” 

This research comes as 2013 was recognised for its devastating data breaches. In its review of last year, Zurich’s separate Risk Nexus survey identified 740 million compromised files across the globe. 

British firms take action 
The financial sector has particular cause for concern, with many major banks preparing for new threats over the coming months. Risk information technology is becoming more prevalent across several sectors, and investing early could help you avoid costly security breaches down the line.