70 per cent of businesses have suffered a cyber security breach

Government is committed to investing £1.9 billion to protect nation from cyber-attacks, as more than half of UK businesses suffer a cyber security breach.

New government statistics reveal half of UK businesses suffered a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months; rising to two-thirds among medium sized businesses (66 per cent) and large businesses (68 per cent.) In fact, the ‘Cyber Security Breaches Survey, 2017’ claims nearly seven in ten businesses have identified a breach on some level. Firms holding personal data are more likely to face an attack (51 per cent); compared to 37 per cent of business who do not hold personal data.

Rebootonline.com sought to discover what the most common attacks experienced by businesses are. Fraudulent emails (72 per cent) was the highest, followed by viruses, spyware and malware (33 per cent.) A further quarter suffered temporary loss of files, whilst one fifth had software or systems corrupted.

One in ten lost access to third party systems they rely on, and one in ten had their website taken down or significantly slowed. Subsequently, three in five (58 per cent businesses have sought information, advice or guidance on the cyber security threats facing their organisations over the past year.

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre adds, ‘Most successful cyber-attacks are not that sophisticated, but can cause serious commercial damage. By getting the basic defences right, businesses of every size can protect their reputation, finances and operating capabilities.’

Per research carried out by PwC, 76 per cent of UK CEO’s believe cyber risks to be a significant threat to business in 2017. Consequently, 97 per cent of British CEO’s are currently addressing possible cyber breaches in their organisation; far higher than the global average figure of 90 per cent.

The findings – based on a research sample of 1,379 global leaders, including 126 UK CEO’s – show UK leaders are significantly more concerned about cyber threats than many of their global peers (UK 76 per cent; global 61 per cent) who do not consider cyber security breaches to be a heightened threat to business.

Richard Home, UK cyber security partner at PwC comments, ‘Most business boards now recognise that cyber security is a complex risk that requires their attention. The most successful leaders will be those who define a comprehensive, broad approach to governing cyber security.’

Reboot Online Marketing looked to analyse exactly how much each UK industry is willing to spend on their cyber security measurements.

Over the past year, 67 per cent of businesses have spent money on cyber security; which tends to be far higher among medium firms (87 per cent) and large firms (91 per cent.) Sectors such as information, communications and utilities are spending the most on cyber security protection at a cost of £19,500.

Finance and insurance come second with an investment of £9,650. At the end of the spectrum is hospitality and food, with a spend of just £620. Interesting to note, that education, health and social care – has the 2nd lowest spend for cyber security (£1,810), which is concerning considering this industry is data heavy and must do more to safeguard personal data. Reboot Online also considered the main reasons businesses choose to invest in cyber security, by selecting the top ten responses made by 930 businesses across the UK.

Understandably, it seems businesses are most concerned with the protection of customer data (51 per cent) and the loss of high-value assets, such as trade secrets, intellectual property and cash (28 per cent). The prevention of fraud or theft (17 per cent) and the protection of reputation or brand (10 per cent) were comparatively lower.

Areas of least concern were complying with laws and regulations (7 per cent), the protection of staff and systems (4 per cent) and improving overall efficiency of the business (4 per cent), indicating a definite disparity between business factors and how much each means to – or may cost – a company to rectify.

Further reading on cyber security

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

Related Topics

Cyber Security