A recent report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) explains the results of a survey of 1,135 small businesses in the UK. Findings show that one-fifth said they have been the victim of cyber-attack in the past two years, which the research equates to nearly 10,000 cyber-attacks a day for small businesses collectively. It also reveals that for 2019, 55% of UK firms generally reported cyber-attacks. This is up from 40% last year according to Hiscox.
Casting its net wider, Hiscox’s survey of 5400 firms in the UK, the US, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands evaluated cyber security readiness, and found that despite a surge in cyber-attacks (with 60% of companies reporting one or more attacks, up from 45% last year) the amount of firms reporting cyber threat preparedness has dropped, with UK firms having the lowest cyber security budgets, spending several hundred thousand pounds less on average than the other six countries. In line with the rise in attacks, average losses to businesses have also risen, up by up by a massive 61% from £176,000 to £283,722.
The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report explains that while hackers formerly focused mainly on larger companies, small and medium-sized firms are now equally vulnerable. As the frequency and associated costs of attack have grown, so the degree to which firms are prepared has stalled. Unfortunately, risk appears to be indiscriminate when it comes to size of firm, type of industry or sector.
Awareness of cyber risk is growing and more and more firms are looking to cyber insurance. As the small business community, on an average, is estimated to be hit with an annual cost of £4.5bn by cyber-attacks, and the average cost of an individual attack on a small firm is about £1,300, more businesses are planning to invest to cover costs. These include the use of expert services like lawyers to notify data protection regulators and defend claims, IT professionals to investigate breaches and restore IT systems, and PR consultants to manage communications with the media and wider world, not to mention third-party claims.
Also worth reading is Cybersecurity Market Analysis, Top Suppliers, and Strategy for Navigating the Market, which highlights a list of the top key providers. And Addressing Cybersecurity Threats for State, Local Governments. And useful advice from the end of last year is obtained from Tips for Buying Cybersecurity Products and Services.