Small businesses in the UK are the target of an estimated 65,000 attempted cyber attacks every day, according to new figures from specialist global insurer Hiscox.
The estimates are based on tests undertaken by the insurer which monitor, in real-time, the total number of attempted attacks on three ‘honeypot’ computer systems which are typical of those used by small firms across the country.
- The total number of attempted attacks ranged from 900 to 359,000 per day, averaging 65,000
- While most attempts are unsuccessful, almost one in three (30%) UK small businesses are successfully hacked every year
- That’s equivalent to over 4,500 successful attacks per day, or one every 19 seconds
- 66% of those that suffered an attack last year admit to making no changes to their policies or systems to help prevent further breaches in the future
- This is perhaps one of the key reasons why over half (56%) of those who’ve suffered a breach, are the victim of multiple attacks
- Cyber security incidents cost the average small business £25,700 last year in direct costs (e.g. ransoms paid and hardware replaced)
- Indirect cost such as damage to reputation, the impact of losing customers and difficulty attracting future customers, remains unmeasured but is expected to significantly exceed this
- Only half (52%) of UK small businesses have a clear cyber security strategy in place to manage the impact of an attack
- And only 56% of those hit say they fully disclose details of a cyber attack to the relevant internal and external stakeholders
In order to raise awareness of this issue, Hiscox is live streaming the number of attempted attacks to its website and also broadcasting the figures live on over 100 billboards across the UK.
According to the insurer, almost one in three (30%) UK small businesses suffered a cyber breach last year – equivalent to over 4,500 successful attacks per day or one every 19 seconds.
Cyber security incidents cost the average small business £25,700 last year in direct costs (e.g. ransoms paid and hardware replaced) but this is just the beginning. Indirect cost such as damage to reputation, the impact of losing customers and difficulty attracting future customers, remains unmeasured but is expected to significantly exceed this.
James Brady, Head of Cyber, Hiscox UK & Ireland commented: “We know small businesses in the UK are hot targets for cyber criminals and these figures highlight the alarming extent of this. Most small businesses recognise the threat that cyber criminals pose on a global scale, but are less convinced of the risks facing their own operations, considering themselves ‘too small’ to be worthy targets, but this just isn’t the case.
“Hackers are prolific and sophisticated which makes staying on top of cyber security a challenge for all organisations. With many small businesses lacking credible cyber security strategies to help manage and prevent such attacks however, the impact when they do occur can be disproportionality severe.