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Protecting SMEs from business and supply chain disruption.

65% of UK Small Businesses do not have plans in place to deal with potential supply chain disruption, including cybercrime. New research has been conducted by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) looking widely how the UK can better use supply chains identified some of the biggest risks facing UK SMEs. There were key vulnerabilities identified in the IT space, with general IT problems being a risk to 29% of UK SMEs and the impact of cybercrime rising to 17%.

The report found that just 35% of SMEs have plans in place to deal with any potential disruption to there business or supply chain. Key threats include late payment from customers (51%) or disruption caused by changes amongst key staff members (37%). Further risks identified included general IT problems (29%), the impact of cybercrime (17%), severe weather (13%) and terrorism (1%).

Smaller businesses are the most 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 which emphasise the need for smaller firms to have continuity plans in place as a routine measure.

Obviously in the cyber arena SMEs face particular challenges due to limited resources. These companies cannot be expected to employ full time cyber professionals or the latest technical solutions and innstead they must rely on partnering with larger organization and the implementation of off the shelf software.

There are a large number of excellent cyber practitioners who can offer advice and guidance, both within the techUK membership and more widely. Cyber Exchange is an excellent resource for companies looking into this area. The free tool can be accessed here.

Furthermore NCSC provides some excellent guidance for small businesses which focuses on key areas outlining simple steps towards good practice. This can be accessed here.


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