The number of UK businesses that have fallen victim to cyber attacks has doubled since 2015, with small businesses speared on the end of the sharpest spike in incident rates.
According to a study by business ISP Beaming, Five Years in Cyber Security, 25% of UK businesses were victims of cyber crime in 2019. This equates to 1.5m businesses, up from 755,000 (13%) in 2015.
Concern about cyber crime has grown among senior business leaders over the same time period, the study found. More than 20% of small (20%), 24% of medium, and 36% of large companies now discuss a range of cyber threats at board and c-suite level. The proportion of businesses taking additional steps to mitigate a range of cyber risks has increased from 16% in 2015 to 37% in 2019, Beaming reports.
The total cost of cyber security breaches over the last five years – inclusive of damaged assets, financial penalties and lost productivity – is believed to be more than £87bn.
“What used to be seen as a big-business problem has become a serious concern for every company director, manager and IT professional out there,” says Sonia Blizzard, Managing Director at Beaming. “It is small businesses that are now on the front line in the battle against cyber crime.”