Internet issues cause the most stress for SME owners

A new survey shows that internet issues are the largest management stressor among SME owners, followed by GDPR and cyber security.

Internet issues top the list of the biggest bugbears for entrepreneurs.

Over half (52 per cent) of small business owners complain that these problems were responsible for some of their firms’ most major tech-related headaches, according to IT support provider, Q2Q.

Even though it was introduced six months ago, a further 41 per cent of survey respondents say that GDPR compliance is still causing confusion in their companies.

The research also reveals that phishing emails from foreign ‘billionaires’ is the strangest mailbox scam of 2018. These, along with fake financial requests from CEOs, make up 38 per cent of common scam communications.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that cyber security accounts for 36 per cent of management stress, with 22 per cent saying that emerging online risks will be one of their largest IT challenges in 2019.

At the moment, 64 per cent of SMEs choose to outsource their IT support while a worrying ten per cent have no technical provision at all.


Andrew Stellakis, managing director at Q2Q, says hearing that internet issues are still responsible for over half of SMEs’ 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.’

He’s worried that, six months on, so many SMEs are still unsure about the rules and regulations surrounding GDPR. ‘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 cyberattacks 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.’

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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