All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Security breaches cost UK SMBs up to £65,000 per incident

23 Apr 2013

Hackers are increasingly targeting small to medium-sized businesses, costing them as much as £65,000 per attack, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

BIS reported a marked increase in the number of attacks targeting smaller companies in its 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey, with a 10 percent increase in the number of SMBs suffering a data breach - with 87 percent confirming being hacked in the past year.

The attacks are also more severe costing the businesses up to six per cent of their turnover with average attack causing £35,000 to £65,000 worth of damage.

BIS confirmed it will be extending its Technology Strategy Board's Innovation Vouchers scheme to small and medium enterprises to fight the growing threat facing them. The scheme will allow SMBs to bid for up to £5,000 worth of funding from a £500,000 fund to invest in cyber security.

BIS will also publish new guidance designed to help small businesses improve their cyber defences. UK government minister for universities and science David Willetts praised the scheme, saying it will help the country's ongoing Cyber Strategy.

"Companies are more at risk than ever of having their cyber security compromised, in particular small businesses, and no sector is immune from attack. But there are simple steps that can be taken to prevent the majority of incidents," said Willets

"The package of support we are announcing today will help small businesses protect valuable assets like financial information, websites, equipment, software and intellectual property, driving growth and keeping UK businesses ahead in the global race."

The UK cyber strategy was announced in 2011 when the UK government pledged to invest £650m to improve the country's cyber defences. The strategy has seen the government announce a raft of strategies including the creation of new best practice guidelines for businesses and a Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP).

BIS also reported seeing a marked spike in the number of attacks targeting larger enterprises, with 93 percent reporting breaches in the past year. Each incident cost the company between £450,000 and £850,000 in damages.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) information security director Andrew Miller said the problem will continue until businesses of all sizes rethink the importance of cyber security and start making smarter investments.

"Organisations also need to make sure that the way they are spending their money in the control of cyber threats is effective," said Miller.

"Spending on cyber control as a percentage of an organisation's IT budget is up this year from an average of eight percent to 10 percent, but the number of breaches and their impact is also up as well so it is clear that there is work to be done in measuring the effectiveness of the security spend."

BIS findings mirror those of the UK's National Audit Office, which warned that even with the new spending the ongoing cyber skills gap will last a further 20 years costing nation £27bn a year.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Tech gifts for Christmas 2014

Is a new tablet on your wish list this festive season, or have they become yesterday’s fad?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
iPhone 6 is available in silver gold and space grey

iPhone 6 video review

The best iOS handset to date

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Network Security Analyst - (CISCO, Security, Juniper)

Network Security Analyst - (CISCO, Security, Juniper...

It Support Technician (Windows, Help Desk, Customer Service)

It Support Technician (Windows, Help Desk, Customer Service...

Support Engineer - 1st line, Linux, Systems, Python, Support

Support Engineer - 1st line, Linux, Systems, Python...

C# Full Stack Developer (SQL, WCF, MVC, TDD, Middleware)

C# Full Stack Developer (SQL, WCF, MVC, TDD, Middleware...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.