By all accounts, 2016 was the year of highly publicised hack attacks. Not only did hackers allegedly attempt to interfere with both the US presidential election and the Brexit vote but many British businesses have also experienced breaches. In fact, a new report has revealed that 20% of UK businesses have fallen prey to digital attacks in the last 12 months.
Having surveyed 1,285 UK business representatives, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that big businesses are more likely to be victims than SMEs. According to the report, 42% of companies with more than 100 staff members have been breached in the last year, compared to 18% of companies with fewer than 99 employees. And hack attacks aren’t cheap, with 21% of businesses believing the threat of cybercrime is preventing their companies from growing.
However, it seems as if not all companies are doing as much as they could to keep themselves safe from future breaches. For instance, barely a quarter of businesses have cybersecurity accreditations in place that would help them better protect their IT infrastructure and recover after an attack. This was despite the fact that 49% of businesses believe that having accreditations would give them a competitive advantage and 33% saying it’s important to create a more secure trading environment.
The report also revealed that only 2% of businesses would turn to law enforcement and the police to help them after a breach while 63% would rather seek help from IT providers and 12% would turn to banks and financial institutions. Commenting on these stats, Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC, urged the government to do more to make it easier for businesses to find support and guidance when it comes to dealing with a breach. He said it should “increase clarity around the response options available to victims, which would help minimize the occurrence of cybercrime”.
This report certainly highlights the need for businesses to take cybersecurity seriously. Thankfully, there’s a slew of tech startups at the ready to help SMEs fight off digital threats, with the government having backed a new British cybersecurity accelerator earlier this year.