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ESET releases new SMB research, finds businesses lose hundreds of thousands of euros in data security breaches

Created: 2022-11-10 12:27:21

BRATISLAVA, Nov. 10, 2022 ESET, a global leader in cybersecurity, today released its 2022 SMB Digital Security Sentiment Report, which surveyed over 1,200 cybersecurity decision-makers from small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Europe and North America. The report explores cybersecurity sentiments within the broader context of recent security developments and world events shaping SMBs’ perceptions of security.

According to the new data, over two thirds of SMBs have experienced a data security incident in the past 12 months, incurring an average estimated cost of nearly €220,000. Yet the top concern over the business implications of a cyberattack named by SMBs was loss of data (29%). While these decision-makers are concerned about the possible implications of an attack, 70% of businesses surveyed admitted that their investment in cybersecurity has not kept pace with recent changes to their operational models (e.g., hybrid working).

The latest ESET Threat Report data shows a 20% year-to-date increase in 2022 in threat detections compared to last year. As many as 83% of the polled businesses believe that “cyber-warfare is a very real threat that can impact everyone,” suggesting that the ever-growing threats are significantly affecting SMB sentiment. Also, 74% of SMBs in North America and Europe believe that they are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than enterprises.

Respondents identified the following top cybersecurity concerns for the next 12 months:

  • Malware (70% in total, statistically significant difference recorded in Sweden 50%)
  • Web attacks (67% in total, statistically significant difference recorded in Spain 87%)
  • Ransomware (65% in total, statistically significant difference recorded in Denmark 80%)
  • Third-party security issues (64%)
  • Distributed denial-of-service attacks (60%)
  • Remote Desktop Protocol attacks (60% in total, statistically significant difference recorded in Spain 79%

It is no surprise, therefore, that SMBs’ overall confidence in cyber-resilience for the next 12 months remains low, with only 48% of the respondents claiming to be moderately or very confident in their cyber-resilience. It is worth noting here that the confidence among the respondents from Scandinavia (32%) was significantly lower than the rest of Europe and North America (both at 49%).

Despite major global developments such as the war in Ukraine and continuing remote work arrangements post-COVID-19, SMBs identified the number one factor significantly increasing the risk of cyberattacks as the lack of cyber-awareness among their employees (43%). Other major factors include nation-state attacks (37%), vulnerabilities in the partner/supplier ecosystem (34%), continued hybrid working (32%), and use of Remote Desktop Protocol (31%).

ESET partnered with the independent UK-based research company Insight Avenue to conduct the survey for the ESET 2022 SMB Digital Security Sentiment Report by targeting 1,212 IT security decision-makers in the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. The respondents represent businesses ranging in size from 25 to 500 employees and with varying IT security maturity and budgets.


About ESET
ESET develops software solutions that deliver instant, comprehensive protection against evolving computer security threats. ESET pioneered and continues to lead the industry in proactive threat detection. ESET NOD32 Antivirus, its flagship product, consistently achieves the highest accolades in all types of comparative testing and is the foundational product that builds out the ESET product line to include ESET Smart Security. ESET Smart Security is an integrated antivirus, antispyware, antispam and personal firewall solution that combines accuracy, speed and an extremely small system footprint to create the most effective security solution in the industry. Both products have an extremely efficient code base that eliminates the unnecessary large size found in some solutions. This means faster scanning that doesn’t slow down computers or networks. Sold in more than 160 countries, ESET has worldwide production headquarters in Bratislava, SK and worldwide distribution headquarters in San Diego, U.S. ESET also has offices in Bristol, U.K.; Buenos Aires, AR; Prague, CZ; and is globally represented by an extensive partner network. For more information, visit our local office at

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