Small business cybercrime costs $6,000 a year, says British group

Small business cybercrime costs an average of £4,000 ($6000) a year, according to the British Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

A report by the group found that 41 per cent of the FSB’s membership have been a victim of cybercrime in the past year. The most common threat is virus infections, with 20% of small businesses falling victim – while 8% have been victims of hacking and 5% have suffered security breaches.

In total, cybercrime costs small business £785 million ($1.1 billion) a year. But the Federation of Small Businesses says the cost to the wider economy could be even greater, as small businesses avoid using the internet for fear of cyber attacks. Previous FSB research shows that only a third of businesses with their own website use it for sales.

Small businesses are responding to the threat – 36% of respondents regularly install security patches, and six out of ten claim to regularly update antivirus software. Only 20% say they have taken no steps to protect themselves against cybercrime.

Mike Cherry, the National Policy Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Small business cybercrime poses a real and growing threat and it isn’t something that should be ignored. Many businesses will be taking steps to protect themselves but the cost of crime can act as a barrier to growth.

“For example, many businesses will not embrace new technology as they fear the repercussions and do not believe they will get adequate protection from crime.”

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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