Phishing, unreliable internet, cyber security and GDPR compliance top the list of the most common technology-related challenges for UK small businesses.
A poll of SMEs by IT support provider Q2Q has found that 52% of company bosses say that an unreliable internet service is one of the biggest technology-related headaches they face as they head into 2019.
And, months after its introduction, 41% small business owners say that GDPR compliance is still causing confusion within their workplace.
"It's rather worrying that - six months on - 41% of SMEs are still unsure about the rules and regulations surrounding GDPR," said Andrew Stellakis, managing director of Q2Q.
"The appointment of a dedicated IT provider or GDPR officer - either in-house or externally - is often left until something goes wrong," he said. "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."
When it comes to phishing emails, those masquerading as financial information requests from the ceo and emails purporting to be from a foreign billionaire looking to pass on big sums of money make up 38% of the most common scam communications.
Unsurprisingly, the findings show that cyber security is responsible for 36% of management stress; and 22% of respondents said emerging online risks are one of the biggest IT challenges heading into the new year. The research also found that while 64% of SMEs outsource their IT support, 10% of company owners still don't have any technical support at all.
However, the biggest issue of all remains the reliability of the internet. "Hearing that internet issues are still responsible for over half of SME's IT-related headaches is simply inexcusable in this day and age," said Stellakis. " 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."