Cost of UK cybersecurity breaches double, government commissioned survey finds

The average ‘low-end’ cost of a major cybersecurity breach has more than doubled from £600,000 (~$917,000) to £1.46 million (~$2.2 million) in the last year, reports The Telegraph.

Companies with more than 500 employees found that the average cost of a breach went all the way up to £3.14 million (~$4.8 million). The number of large companies that were the victim of some kind of data breach also hit 90 percent – up from 81 percent, last year.

Small medium enterprise (SMEs) companies were also targets, with 74 percent reporting a breach, up from 14 percent year-on-year. These SMEs’ average costs were naturally lower, but still serious at between £75,000 (~$115,000) and £310,800 (~$474,766) – up from a ‘worst case scenario’ of £115,000 (~$176,000) in 2014.

These figures are a combination of disruption to business, lost sales and the cost of recovering assets, and come from a government commissioned cybersecurity survey, undertaken by PwC, which is based on 661 responses.

The report was announced at the Infosecurity Europe event in London where Forbes reports UK Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey introduced the findings, writing “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.”

There was some good news in the report, particularly when it comes to cybersecurity awareness for businesses. A third of UK businesses are now following the government’s ‘Ten Steps to Cyber Security’ advice, up from a quarter last year. On top of this, 49 percent have earned a government endorsed ‘Cyber Essentials’ badge, or plan to get one in the next 12 months.

“The UK has come a long way over last few years, in the public sector and private sector, and a lot born out of great partnership work over last few years. There’s still work to do, but working together, we can get there,” said Giles Smith, standing in for Mr Vaizey at the event.

Author , ESET

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