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Businesses do not believe they are at risk of cybercrime
Just a quarter of businesses are taking steps to protect themselves against cybercrime

Two in five businesses don’t feel they are in danger and more than a third of businesses would not know what to do if they became the victim of a cybercrime, research finds. 

More than a third of business owners say they have been the victim of cybercrimes like hacking,  phishing and pharming, according to a study by Aviva.

For those who suffered a cybercrime 75 per cent say it cost up to £1,000 to put things right.

More than two in five (44 per cent) businesses believe they are unlikely to be a target for cybercrime, with almost a quarter (23 per cent) admitting that while they are worried they are not sure what to do to protect themselves and 8 per cent haven’t thought about the risk at all.

In fact, just a quarter of businesses (24 per cent) are taking steps to protect themselves from being the victim of a cyber attack despite the Office for National Statistics revealing that there were 2.5 million incidents of cybercrime just between May and August of this year.

When asked which types of cybercrime they had heard of, the top answers were phishing (77 per cent) phishing, identity theft (69 per cent) and hacking (66 per cent).

Less than half of businesses surveyed were aware of ransom demands (43 per cent) being made to them by criminals to get information or access back, pharming (46 per cent) where internet users are directed to a bogus website mocked up to look like a genuine one, or cyber attacks that prevent access to  a business’ systems (38 per cent) and yet, these are also real threats to online safety.

When asked if they would know what to do if they became a victim of cybercrime more than a third (34 per cent) admitted they didn’t and more than a quarter (27 per cent) were not sure.

Angus Eaton, managing director of commercial lines at Aviva says, 'As we know from the media stories recently there have been a number of high profile attacks where business systems have been hacked or systems disabled however it is a mistake to think criminals will only target big business.

'These criminals operate in ever more sophisticated ways using malious codes to search out vulnerabilities online so anyone could become a target.'

Protecting your business from cybercrime is good business because your customers want the reassurance that their data is safe in your hands, Eaton adds.

'If you haven’t done so already now is the time to put cyber risk on your agenda and take action to help prevent your business becoming a target.'

More than a third of business owner say they have been the victim of cybercrimes such as hacking, phishing and pharming, with three quarters of those businesses estimating the recovery outlay cost their business up to £1,000 – for 6 per cent it was up to £5,000 and for 4 per cent it was up to £10,000.

For more than a quarter of those victims of cybercrime the costs related to loss of money and the same figure for the fixing the problem. After that costs were incurred for reputational damage (11 per cent), loss of assets or intellectual property (10 per cent) and payment of ransom demands (7 per cent).

Further reading on cybercrime

See also: Businesses must tackle health and safety risk

Related topics: Data protection

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1 comment

Simon Freeman

A nice overview of the stats summing up the problem. This is our experience also at Fresh Skies. We are finding that lots of people simply do not understand the risk or the levels cyber criminals will go. The other observation is that we do not have the culture in place to value the systems and data. Businesses understand the value of their stock and the protection (alarms and security etc) that they put around it. But their less tangible assets are rarely valued in the same way. Prevention is better than and cheaper than cure. If more businesses valued their systems and data more highly then the costs associated with protecting them would not seem so disproportionate.


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