More than one in four British businesses suffer from security breaches

Survey reveals British businesses at risk as they report loss, disruption and inconvenience from physical security breaches or cyber attacks - while they report nearly three times as many physical breaches in security at their workplace than cyber attacks

A comprehensive study conducted across four European countries by YouGov for Vanderbilt reveals that more than one in four (28%) of small and medium sized British businesses have suffered loss, disruption or inconvenience as a direct result of physical or cyber security breaches.

Yet while cyber security arguably gets the lion’s share of media and business attention, British businesses report nearly three times as many physical breaches in security at their workplace (23%) than virtual, or cyber, attacks (8%).  This is particularly true of small businesses, where 20% have suffered a physical breach, yet only 6% have experienced cyber security attacks.  However, medium-sized businesses reported higher number of physical breaches in security (32%) and cyber attacks (13%).

 The survey forms part of Vanderbilt’s 2015 European Security Barometer, which tests the climate of the electronic security market in Europe. The research provides valuable insight into consumer and business attitudes towards security, and reveals the efforts they make to keep their homes and businesses safe from harm. 

As part of the survey, senior decision makers at small to medium sized businesses with up to 249 employees in Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain were asked about the loss, disruption of inconvenience caused to their businesses by breaches in security.

“The fact that many of the British businesses we surveyed do not have electronic security products like access control, CCTV or remote monitoring is a cause for serious concern,” noted Joe Grillo, Managing Director of Vanderbilt International.  “This is especially true given the number of security breaches that businesses report – and the loss, inconvenience and disruption that these cause.”

The survey found that, where businesses do install electronic security equipment, it is to meet practical concerns.  Equipment is installed to prevent theft, vandalism and unauthorised access, yet considerations such as duty of care to employees, regulatory compliance, lowering insurance premiums and maintaining business continuity do not seem to factor anywhere near as highly.

British businesses confirm that, when it comes to specifying and purchasing electronic security products, brand loyalty is a minor concern. The survey reveals they value quality, price and features above customer service, integration and the brand. 

Consumers were also questioned as part of the survey.  A key discovery was the fact that 59% of British adults believe Great Britain is more at risk from terrorist threats, crime and violence than a year ago.

The survey also reveals overwhelming support for the use of CCTV in combating crime, with nearly nine out of ten (89%) British adults supporting its role in preventing crime and providing evidence to the Police.  In addition, 68% of British adults do not believe CCTV represents an infringement of civil liberties, or that it invades their privacy.

The belief that Great Britain is more at risk than a year ago may be influenced by memories of recent terrorist events across Europe, and the fact that terrorist attacks (even if most are thwarted) are now sadly a regular feature in the news.

“The concern voiced in the survey is interesting when placed in the context of a downward trend in the number of recorded crimes”, noted Joe Grillo.  

The Crime Survey for England and Wales revealed 11% fewer crimes in in 2014, while European Union figures show that violent crime declined across the EU by 6% between 2007 and 2010 - much of it explained by fewer crimes in England & Wales.

Despite their fears, few British households have installed electronic security products in their homes to better protect their families and property.  Indeed, only a minority of households have an intruder or burglar alarm (28%), an access control system with keypad or swipecard (5%), or CCTV (7%). British households have more intruder or burglar alarms installed than their counterparts in France, Germany, Spain or Sweden, however.

The survey revealed considerable interest amongst householders for advanced security technologies.  A third were interested in an integrated security system that combined CCTV, intruder alarms and access control; while 35% were interested in security products that can be linked with, and made to work alongside, other appliances in the ‘connected home’ of the future. 

Crucially, this interest is not restricted to those that own their own homes: 36% of those that rent their home from a private landlord are interested in an integrated security system, compared to only 28% of those who owned their home outright.

ENDS

Methodology

The 2015 Vanderbilt Security Barometer draws on research conducted by YouGov for Vanderbilt in April 2015. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th - 15th April and the survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of business size, or all adults in each respective country (aged 18+). All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  The sample size of 7,539 was comprised as follows:

  • Great Britain: 662 senior decision makers in small and medium sized enterprises (businesses of up to 249 employees) and 2,020 UK adults
  • France: 261 senior decision makers in small and medium sized enterprises (businesses of up to 249 employees) and 1,025 adults
  • Germany: 250 senior decision makers in small and medium sized enterprises (businesses of up to 249 employees) and 1,017 adults
  • Spain: 276 senior decision makers in small and medium sized enterprises (businesses of up to 249 employees) and 1,008 adults
  • Sweden: 1,020 adults (no suitable business sample was available to survey)

Research areas

Consumers were asked a series of questions about the risk that society faces; the role and acceptability of CCTV; the type of electronic security products they have in their own homes; and the products they would like to see in their homes in the future.

Businesses were asked about the number and type of security breaches at their premises and they were also questioned about the types of threat for which they require protection. Respondents were surveyed on the type of electronic security products installed in their workplace, and were questioned about how buying decisions are made.

Note to Editors:

Vanderbilt is a global provider of state-of-the-art security systems. Based in New Jersey, USA, the company is active in 95 countries and has its European headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany. 

Having acquired Security Products from Siemens in June 2015, it is now the largest independent business of its kind in the security industry.  Its portfolio comprises over 2,000 products and it currently supplies and supports in excess of 9,000 customers.

Vanderbilt designs, manufactures and distributes systems which make environments in organisations of all sizes safe, secure and easy to maintain, complemented by an agile and flexible service that always meets its customers’ needs.

 

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Vanderbilt is a global provider of state-of-the-art security systems. Based in New Jersey, USA, the company is active in 95 countries and has its European headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany. Vanderbilt designs, manufactures and distributes systems which make environments in organisations of all sizes safe, secure and easy to maintain, complemented by an agile and flexible service that always meets its customers’ needs.

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Quick facts

28% of small and medium sized British businesses have suffered loss, disruption or inconvenience as a direct result of physical or cyber security breaches
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British businesses report nearly three times as many physical breaches in security at their workplace (23%) than virtual, or cyber, attacks (8%)
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59% of British adults believe Great Britain is more at risk from terrorist threats, crime and violence than a year ago
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