Lancaster firm gives advice on top business ‘headaches’

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More than half of small and medium-sized business owners count internet issues as one of their biggest bugbears heading into 2019.

Phishing emails from overseas ‘billionaires’ meanwhile, still top the list of the strangest mailbox scams from the past 12 months.

In a recent survey, 52 per cent of company bosses complained that problems with their internet were responsible for some of their firm’s biggest technology-related headaches.

An additional 41 per cent of respondents said that six months on, GDPR compliance was still causing confusion within the workplace.

The research, commissioned by Lancaster IT support provider Q2Q, also found that phishing emails – including those masquerading as financial information requests from the CEO and communications purporting to be from a foreign billionaire looking to pass on significant sums of money – made up 38 per cent of the most common scam communications.

Cyber-security was responsible for 36 per cent of management stress, with 22 per cent of respondents citing emerging online risks as one of their biggest IT challenges heading into the New Year.

The research also found that around 64 per cent of SMEs choose to outsource their IT support, while, shockingly, 10 per cent of company owners didn’t have any sort of technical provision.

Andrew Stellakis, managing director at Q2Q, based in Dalton Square, said: “Hearing that internet issues are still responsible for over half of SME’s IT-related headaches is simply inexcusable in this day and age. There are plenty of things which can cause a slow connection, but understanding the root cause is key to getting the most out of our systems, employees and the working day.”

“As an accredited virtual data protection officer, it’s also rather worrying that – six months on – 40 per cent of SME’s are still unsure about the rules and regulations surrounding GDPR.

“Over the past 18 months, I’ve spent a lot of time working closely with SMEs to ensure they are fully compliant – and it isn’t as daunting as it may seem.

“The appointment of a dedicated IT provider or GDPR officer – either in-house or externally – is often left until something goes wrong. But, as the news has been filled with reports of cyber-attacks and GDPR fines over the past few months, it should be all SME owners’ New Year’s resolution to ensure their company – and reputation – remains intact in 2019.”