The threat of cyber attacks on UK businesses is rising steeply, a government report has warned.
Over the last year, the total cost of malicious attacks on business software and cyber breaches by employees came to £1.46m – over twice as much as the £600,000 they cost a year earlier. Nine out of 10 companies reported at least one cyber attack or breach over the 12-month period.
While this is partly the result of more businesses being the victims of attacks, it is also because each attack or breach is becoming more expensive to deal with. For small and medium sized businesses, the most severe breaches' cost can now reach as high as £310,800, up from £115,000 in 2014.
Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey, who was behind the Information Security Breaches Survey, said the cost was rising “dramatically”, and that businesses taking the threat seriously are “not only protecting themselves and their customers’ data but securing a competitive advantage.”
Andrew Miller, Cyber Security Director at PwC, said:
With nine out of 10 respondents reporting a cyber breach in the past year, every organisation needs to be considering how they defend and deal with the cyber threats they face. Breaches are becoming increasingly sophisticated, often involving internal staff to amplify their effect, and the impacts we are seeing are increasingly long-lasting and costly to deal with.