Cardiff Metropolitan University
Nisha Rawindaran-st20040147-PhDThesis- Final.pdf (5.3 MB)

Impact of cyber security awareness in small, medium enterprises (SMEs) in Wales

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posted on 2023-06-30, 07:55 authored by Nisha Rawindaran


The rapid growth of digital technologies and how data is managed has transformed the way businesses operate, presenting countless opportunities and challenges. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Wales are increasingly reliant on digital systems to manage their operations, making them attractive targets for cyber threats. The particular importance of having the appropriate cyber-security in place to protect and secure their data, has become paramount within the SME sector. As cyber threats continue to evolve in sophistication and frequency, the importance of cyber security awareness for SMEs cannot be overstated and brings increased costs to SMEs. This research investigates the current state of cyber security awareness amongst Welsh SMEs, identifies the challenges they face in implementing effective security measures, and examines the potential benefits and outcomes of improved awareness. The research also assesses the existing support mechanisms available to SMEs in Wales to enhance their cyber security posture. Whilst SMEs are constantly being challenged by their own cyber regimes or to some, lack of them, the constant changes to governance and regulations, shows how SMEs can quite easily fall behind in keeping up to date.  Technology can offer the protection and security of data, provided SMEs are able to understand the requirements of using the appropriate intelligent software packages to protect their growing data and the environment in which the data lives in.  Through a mixed methods approach, data is collected from SMEs across various industries in Wales to tackle and answer the research question presented. The implications of this research will provide valuable insights for SMEs in Wales to understand the importance of cyber security awareness and the measures needed to protect their digital assets plus offer recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders to develop tailored support mechanisms that address the specific needs and challenges faced by SMEs. The research will explore the adoption of intelligent software and the current support structure in place for SMEs in Wales. The research will conclude by exploring various mechanisms in place for SME operations and sensitive information from cyber threats and provide a simplified framework in which SMEs can use to cope with the ever changing landscape. This research contributes to the existing body of knowledge by shedding light on the impact of cyber security awareness initiatives and informing strategies for enhancing cyber resilience amongst Welsh SMEs through this framework. The research will aim to foster a cyber-secure environment for SMEs in Wales, enabling them to thrive in an increasingly vulnerable digital landscape.


Knowledge Economic Social Scholarship Fund ( KESS2 )

Aytel Systems Ltd



  • School of Technologies

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD

Publication year