65% of UK SMEs unprepared for disruption

65% of UK SMEs unprepared for disruption [Image: Pekic via iStock]

Some 65 per cent of the UK’s small businesses are largely unprepared for the disruption risks they face from internal and external threats, including cyber attacks.

This is according to new research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which found that 17 per cent of these organisations are at risk of cyber attacks. Meanwhile, general IT problems were found to be a threat to 29 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: “Small businesses face a number of threats on a regular basis and it is vital they are prepared to deal with them. By implementing continuity plans, small firms can prepare for many of the sudden changes that can impact on them directly and their supply chains.

“One key step towards ensuring a business is prepared for any supply chain difficulties is continuity planning. This includes identifying the most significant risks to a business’ commercial operations and creating a plan to mitigate those risks should any of them materialise.”

He added that the costs businesses face when their supply chains are impacted can be severe, making it vital that his organisation stresses the importance of planning for the future.

Mr Cherry said that as there is a likelihood that an SME will encounter some sort of business interruption issue more than once in their life, businesses should consider all the potential risks they could face.

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for techUK said that smaller businesses are more vulnerable to such risks due to their size and lack of resources.

Following the report, the FSB has called for more to be done by larger companies in supply chains to support small business, and to support channels backed by central government and local authorities that emphasise the need for smaller firms to have continuity plans in place as a routine measure.