SME news in brief: cybercrime, tech,stress, HR

SME news in brief
SME news in brief

Cybercrime trends data

The top cybercrime, data breach and security threat trends from 2015 have been released.

The 2016 Trustwave Global Security Report highlights include:

Weak application security: 97% of applications tested by Trustwave in 2015 had at least one vulnerability, and 10% of the vulnerabilities discovered were rated as critical or high risk.

Who criminals target: Retail was the most compromised industry, making up 23% of Trustwave investigations, followed by hospitality at 14% and food and beverage at 10%.

Data most targeted: In 60% of investigations, attackers were after payment card data, split about evenly between card track (magnetic stripe) data (31% of incidents), which came mainly from POS environments, and card-not-present (CNP) data (29%), which mostly came from e-commerce transactions.

Self-detection of breaches: The majority of victims, 59%, did not detect breaches themselves. The report reveals that self-detection leads to quicker containment of a breach. Self-detection increased from 19% in 2014 to 41% in 2015.

New advice from EU Commission for businesses embracing tech

The EU Commission has published details on how businesses across the EU, including those in the UK, can get better access to the technologies that will help them to modernise.

The package includes improving access to cloud computing and services, data analytics and the Internet of Things. It will improve the way the UK does business in the research, technology and industrial sectors, and enable UK companies to compete globally.

Business Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “The fourth industrial revolution will fundamentally change the way we do business in this country. As with previous industrial revolutions, the expectation must be that the net effect will be positive for almost everyone.

“The package set out by the European Commission contains stimulating ideas about how businesses can embrace new and interesting ways of working.”

One in four employees has taken time off for stress

Around a quarter of UK employees, equivalent to 6 million people, have taken time off work in the last 12 months due to stress brought about as a consequence of doing their job. This is according to the latest Britain at Work report from reputation management consultancy Lansons, and insight agency Opinium.

In addition to this, the report reveals that more than one in five (21%) of employees surveyed said they do not receive any health or wellbeing benefits from their organisations. Less than half (45%) say their organisation is supportive of those with mental health problems (a scant improvement from 44% last year), and one in six (14%) claim their organisation is actively unsupportive in this area.

Lansons’ Change & Employee Engagement director Scott McKenzie said: “A quarter of people off because of stress is staggering, and that’s just in the last year. Not only does this affect the wellbeing of the employee and their families, but employers will eventually feel the impact both on business performance, and on other employees who need to pick up the workload. Employers have a duty of care to provide appropriate support to their employees in order to address these issues.”

New recruitment tool for SMEs

LinkedIn is rolling out a new recruitment tool for SMEs that allows them to replicate their best hires.

Users will be able to type in the name of top employees into the Recruiter tool and its smart matching algorithms will find a list of candidates with similar qualifications and experience.

Employers using the tool have seen some initial success:

  • Recruiters are needing to do around 17% fewer searches as the new search experience helps users surface the right talent, faster
  • Recruiters are viewing 42% more profiles per search
  • Recruiters are saving 23% more of candidates that they find, signifying they're finding more relevant candidates.

UK SMEs hesitant to make long-term commitments in the face of EU uncertainty

Uncertainty around the outcome of the EU referendum is leaving UK SMEs reluctant to commit to long-term contracts, leaving £35.6bn in international payments potentially exposed to currency swings.

This is according to World First’s inaugural quarterly Global Trade Barometer, which combines World First’s own data and a YouGov survey of 730 UK SMEs. The report reveals how exchange rate fluctuations affect UK businesses with 1 in 4 reporting a negative impact in Q1 2016 and 15% stating that volatility has impacted investment decisions to support growth.

Historically, UK SMEs have enjoyed the protection of longer-term forward contracts to hedge against currency movements for an extended period. However, World First data from Q1 shows a bucking of this trend due to fears over a so-called Brexit. Despite the 75% increase in sterling volatility, SMEs have only extended the length of protection by 35% across the same period, leaving many SMEs unhedged during a time of considerable volatility in the wake of the EU referendum.