Many businesses ‘underestimate the risk’ involved with cybercrime, report finds


A large proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the general public ‘underestimate the threat of cybercrime’, a new report from the government’s Cyber Aware Campaign has found.

The report suggested that the average cost of a cybersecurity breach for a small business is £1,570, increasing to £19,600 for a larger business.

The report also identifies three ‘main myths’ in relation to cybercrime:

  1. Cybercrime isn’t something an individual needs to be concerned about
  2. Cybercrime isn’t a ‘real’ crime
  3. There is nothing an individual can do to protect themselves.

It suggested that many businesses feel ‘powerless’ to safeguard against cyber threats. The report also revealed that consumers believe it is up to a business to prevent cybercrime.

In response to the report, the government is encouraging businesses and individuals to safeguard themselves. Businesses are advised to use a strong password for their email account; install any security updates on computers and mobile devices; and ensure that essential data is backed up to a computer or to cloud technology.

Commenting on the matter, Ben Wallace, Minister for Security and Economic Crime, said: ‘Cybercrime has been identified as one of the biggest criminal threats to British business and I am determined to help our businesses disrupt this illegal activity and protect the public.

‘Raising cyber awareness is important if we are to take advantage of investment in capability currently taking place by both the public and private sector.’