Cyber Crime continues to be big news throughout the UK, but it is no longer a problem just for large corporates and multi-nationals. Businesses of all sizes are at risk, and independent SME businesses have suffered as a result.
In November, telecoms provider TalkTalk warned that the cost of dealing with their recent cyber attack – one of the most high-profile attacks against a British company – could rise to £35m. They also admitted that they could not yet fully estimate the impact on their business.
Whilst the mainstream media normally focus on attacks against large companies, Cyber Crime is a very real problem even for small independent businesses. Whilst such companies may feel that they have little to lose, hackers and criminals will see them as a more realistic opportunity, given that their networks and systems are likely to be less secure.
Why do cyber criminals target a business?
There are a variety of reasons why a business might fall prey to cyber criminals:
- Vandalism – Hackers have been known to hack websites purely for the fun of it. For example, they may be aware of the software used to build a particular website and know vulnerabilities in it and hack the website just to prove a point. This can harm the credibility of the site owners.
- Discovering trade secrets – If a hacker can find out information about your business, such as your rates, product information or financial information, they may be able to put this information to use within their own business.
- Selling information on – If they don’t have a business of their own, they may instead try to sell your information on to a competitor for financial gain.
How many businesses are affected by Cyber Crime in the UK?
Compared with other crimes like theft or vandalism, cyber crime can much more easily go undetected, so the real figures may be even higher than those reported. The following are a selection of statistics about Cyber Crime:
- 80% of UK Cyber Crime incidents could have been avoided by simple ‘network hygiene’ (National Audit Office)
- 43% of UK companies have suffered a Cyber Security breach (Experian Data Breach Resolution survey)
- 51% of individuals will take their business elsewhere if their information is compromised (InfoSecurity Magazine)
These statistics are taken from our Free Guide to Cyber Crime for UK businesses which you can download for free.