Remote work brings increased risk for SMEs

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Remote working is leading to increased cyber risk for smaller enterprises according to new research from data center specialist ServerChoice.

New working patterns brought about by COVID mean that many technical staff at SMEs are now based remotely and 77 percent see remote working as an increased risk to their business.

The survey of 1,000 SMEs shows 66 percent now say they find it harder to monitor their infrastructure, while 25 percent have opted to leave infrastructure unmonitored altogether, posing a large risk if they should fall victim to a cyber-attack in future.


Adam Bradshaw, commercial director at ServerChoice, says:

Although it may not appear on a balance sheet, data is one of the most valuable assets for any business. Offices and laptops can be replaced, but a company’s proprietary data cannot.

Our research has found that remote working is exposing SMEs to additional risk of compromise and some businesses are being forced to leave infrastructure unmonitored. This is a big risk. It could lead to data breaches that expose sensitive data or even leave systems open to encryption and ransomware attacks.

It is imperative that SMEs treat their data and IT infrastructure like any other asset and properly secure it. If SMEs are unable to secure their infrastructure due to remote working or a lack of expertise, they must find a custodian who can do it on their behalf, or run the risk of having their data comprised in the future.

The healthcare industry has been impacted most by remote working, with 89 percent of healthcare leaders stating that remote working has added extra risk for their infrastructure. anufacturing has been the least affected, with 29 percent of leaders saying that there has been no effect on infrastructure risk as a result of remote working.

Despite believing that there is an increased risk brought on by flexible working practices, one in five retail and education SMEs still leave their infrastructure unmonitored, while 16 percent of healthcare businesses and 18 percent of financial services businesses also do the same.

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