28 Oct 2021

Smaller businesses triple investment in cyber security - survey

6:28 pm on 28 October 2021

Cyber security continues to be priority one for most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as the number of security breaches continue to grow.

Hacker, cyber attack, (File photo)

Photo: 123RF

HP New Zealand's IT Security 2021 survey indicates 41 percent of SMBs saw evidence of a security breach in the workplace over the past 12 months.

Businesses with more than 20 employees nearly tripled their IT investment in security over since the survey was last conducted in 2018.

The survey also found three-times more businesses, who fell victim to a cyber-attack, saw legal and compliance implications than in 2018.

HP New Zealand enterprise sales leader Mike Jamieson said mid-sized businesses spent an average of $280,000 a year on IT security, while small businesses averaged $41,000.

"The average cost of business that experiences an attack is actually around $159,000 per attack," Jamieson said, adding that was twice what it was costing businesses in 2018.

About four out of five businesses had staff working from home, which increased the risk of security breaches.

"As a result of this, a third of businesses in 2021 now have restrictions on the data that can be accessed from personal devices and 37 percent of NZ businesses have increased their investment in cybersecurity since the start of the pandemic," the report says.

"Respondents identified employee carelessness (44 percent) and unprotected internet connected devices (43 percent) as significant threats, falling just behind having outdated software (49 percent)," the survey says, noting more than half of the businesses responded by spending more on staff training.

"In the mid-market the uptake is even higher at 78 percent."

Big businesses invest more in security

A separate survey of big international businesses by consultancy Deloitte Global Deloitte Global has found 72 of businesses had experienced between one and 10 cyber incidents and breaches in the last year alone.

"Almost 75 percent of respondents who had more than US$30 billion in revenue said they will spend more than US$100m on cybersecurity this year," the Deloitte survey said.