At Commercial Domestic Investigations we always have our finger on the pulse of the latest UK SME news.

This week we learned of a new survey from Experian which suggests that a lack of awareness surrounding data breaches is putting SMEs at risk financially.

It has been revealed by Experian that almost a third (29 per cent) of UK small and medium enterprises don’t have a plan in place to deal with security breaches that could come at any time.

Spiralling costs

It seems they also underestimate just how much it could cost them too. When asked how much they thought a data breach would cost their business, the SMEs surveyed fell short by about 40 per cent on their estimations.

The firms surveyed said that they expected data breaches to cost just short of £180,000, which is £130,000 less than the actual cost according to government figures, putting the cost at an average of £310,000.

This is without factoring in other knock-on costs, such as damage to a SME’s reputation. 64 per cent of consumers said they would be put off using a businesses if it had been the victim of a data breach, but only 23 per cent of SMEs saw this as a risk.

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75 per cent of SMEs said that they had experienced some kind of data breach in 2015.

‘It’ll never happen to us’

Shockingly, three quarters (75 per cent) of SMEs surveyed said that they had experienced some kind of data breach in 2015. However, 51 per cent said that data breaches still weren’t a priority, and 40 per cent said they didn’t feel at risk.

Jim Steven from Experian said: “Our study has uncovered an ‘it’ll never happen to us’ attitude among Britain’s most vulnerable businesses.

“While it’s understandable that smaller businesses may feel they lack the resource or expertise to prepare for a data breach, they are also the most vulnerable.

“Whether due to sophisticated cybercrime or basic human error, the true cost of a breach is far worse than companies are imagining, and for small companies especially, businesses need to ask themselves whether their business could survive if two thirds of their customer base were to disappear overnight.”

Steven added: “Our research has uncovered a vast gulf between how ready SMEs think they are for a data breach and the stark reality.

“With high-profile data breaches becoming an almost-monthly occurrence, and European legislation that’s likely to fundamentally change requirements of companies around customer notification, we urge companies of all sizes to expect the unexpected and put solid plans in place.”

About Commercial Domestic Investigations

Commercial Domestic Investigations are regarded within the debt collection and credit control industry as one of the best credit management companies in the UK. Established in 1988 to support and service all sizes of companies in the field of Credit Management.

Commercial Domestic Investigations have recently featured in the press in The Guardian. To keep up to date with the latest debt collection news make sure to follow Commercial Domestic Investigations on twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

We now boast a national client base in excess of 30,000 companies. Commercial Domestic Investigations has grown by listening to clients’ requirements and adapting our services to meet all companies’ needs from Sole Traders, SMES, Ltd and Plus. Please contact us on 08444 159200 for more information.