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Cybercrime costing UK economy £5.26 billion, according to FSB

Smaller businesses are collectively attacked 7 million times per year by cyber criminals, which is costing the UK economy £5.26 billion, according to a report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The report, Cyber Resilience: How to protect small firms in the digital economy, showed that despite over 90 per cent of smaller businesses taking action to prevent digital threats, over 60 per cent have fallen victim to cybercrime over the past two years.

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The research found that businesses that have been affected by cybercrime have been targeted four times on average, which has cost each business around £3,000.

Small businesses are faced with more responsibility when it comes to taking steps to prevent cybercrime as they are less able to cope with the cost of cyber-attacks than larger businesses.  

Research showed that smaller businesses rely on the internet for operating their business, which could make them more susceptible to attacks. Nearly all of the 5.4 million small businesses in the UK believe that the internet is “highly important” for their business, whilst 66 per cent offer, or are planning to offer, online services.

Vital

Commenting on the issue, FSB Development Manager Neil Eames said that the digital economy is “vital” to small businesses and presents a “huge opportunity” to reach new markets and customers.

However, he added that these benefits are “matched by the risk of opportunities for criminals to attack businesses.”

He stated that small businesses take cyber security responsibility very seriously but are the least able to bear the cost of doing so as they have “limited resources, time and expertise.”

The FSB is now calling for smaller businesses to receive more support when it comes to cybercrime as attacks could affect business growth or even cause businesses to shut down.


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