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Third of UK SMEs have no security measures to deal with the cyber threat ‘hidden in plain sight’

Research commissioned by Sharp, a major provider of business technology products and services to SMEs, has revealed that one third (33%) of UK small businesses have no IT security measures in place to cover printers, despite 16% admitting to being impacted by a printer security breach. 

The pan-European research surveyed 5,770 professionals responsible for purchasing IT in their SMEs, on confidence in IT security capabilities and barriers to IT security investment over the next 12 months. 

Increased security threats such as phishing or ransomware attacks are a very real concern for UK’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Particularly as the exploitation of new vulnerabilities make networked devices, such as MFPs and printers, prime targets for IT security breaches. Yet, despite SMEs admitting to increased concerns surrounding IT security risks, the research found that less than a quarter of SMEs educate their employees about scanner (23%) and printer (23%) IT security. 

Colin Blumenthal, Vice President, IT Services at Sharp Europe, comments: “Big stories about cybercrimes enabled by complex security technology earn the most media attention, it’s the more everyday business functions that can be the issue in SMEs. More often than not, day-to-day security essentials and potential weak spots such as printers are overlooked in their document, device, and network security. These are threats hidden in plain sight.” 

“For smaller businesses without large IT resources, the reality of the ever-expanding threat landscape and challenges presented by hybrid working can feel daunting. SMEs can start by keeping software for scanners and printers updated, regularly backing up data, and encouraging a consistent security policy across teams working from multiple locations to ensure they’re protected. Seeking expert advice can help ensure the right IT security decisions are being made, a holistic security view is being taken, and that solutions are always up to date.”

With hybrid working, seen as a security concern for 38% of SMEs, potentially leading to more remote use of these devices, surprisingly just 4 in 10 (41%) cover hybrid working as part of their current IT security training.

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