59 per cent of UK SMEs are not taking their security seriously enough and are at huge risk of a security breach, according to new research.

The research which found 23 per cent of businesses have very little visitor security and 36 per cent have no visitor security processes at all.

When asked what security measures they did have in place, of the 59 per cent, most only had locks or security lights, with nearly two thirds of them admitting they were not in use during working hours.

Only 41 per centhad more complex security measures in place with ID cards and restrictive access gates being the most popular.

Despite one in five of SMEs experiencing a security breach in the past year, SMEs seem ignorant about the effects it can have to business. As well as having a financial impact, security breaches can have an impact on staff moral and customer trust.

Adam Bennett, digital marketing manager at Digital ID, said: “At the very least, small businesses should have cyber security in place, but construction sites or building firms for example, should make sure there’s a level of access control in areas where items or equipment could be stolen. It’s surprising how much we hear of this kind of security breach, with a lot of it happening in broad daylight.

“It’s not just equipment that can be lost too, but important data, such as payment details and intellectual property, costing a business its reputation as well as money. Although every business has different needs, it’s still unfortunate to see so many businesses with little to no security, yet more than two thirds said they would be prepared to invest up to £10,000 in building security.”