Every cyber attack costs businesses £1.46m, says report

Every cyber attack costs businesses £1.46m, says report

Businesses see costs of cyber attacks more than double to £1.46 million on average in the past year.

Cyber security breaches in UK businesses are rising once again and the average costs incurred by a break-in continued to soar. In fact, the average starting costs of the worst single breach suffered spiked higher for all sizes of businesses and more than doubled for most, according to a government-commissioned report from PwC.

Large organisations bear the brunt

Figures from PwC showed that 90 per cent of large organisations suffered a security breach last year, up from 81 per cent in 2014 and reverses the slight decrease reported last year. Moreover, nearly three-fifths of respondents (59 per cent) expect security incidents to rise in the next year. 

Meanwhile, these firms saw the starting point for breach costs - which covers elements such as business disruption, lost sales, recovery of assets, and fines and compensation - now stands at £1.46 million in 2015, over double the £600,000 from last year.

The higher end of the range also more than doubled to £3.14 million this year from £1.15 million in 2014. 

At the report’s launch, Ed Vaizey, digital economy minister, commented: “The UK’s digital economy is strong and growing, which is why British businesses remain an attractive target for cyber attack and the cost is rising dramatically.

“Businesses that take this threat seriously are not only protecting themselves and their customers’ data but securing a competitive advantage.”

Small firms fare little better

Smaller organisations recorded a similar picture than their larger counterparts, but fared a little better on the overall figures. Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of small businesses had a security breach this year, up from 60 per cent a year ago. 

Meanwhile, their average starting point for breach costs rose to £75,000 in 2015, an increase of £15,000 when compared to last year. But the higher end of the average range also increased by more than double, much like the larger organisations. Costs rose from £115,000 in 2014 to £311,000 this year. 

“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,” said Andrew Miller, cyber security director at PwC.

The report also revealed that our increased reliance on smartphones and tablets is creating another potential avenue of attack for hackers. Data showed that the number of companies reporting security breaches from mobile devices more than doubled to 15 per cent this year, up from seven per cent in 2014.

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