One in five businesses have been targeted by cyber criminals in the past year
One in five British businesses has been hacked by cyber criminals in the past year, research suggests.
Larger companies, defined as those with at least 100 staff, are more susceptible to cyber attacks, according to the report by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
It found that 42 per cent of big businesses had fallen victim to cyber crime, compared with 18 per cent of small companies.
Despite this, only 24 per cent of the 1,200 firms surveyed had security measures in place to guard against hacking.
Web giant Yahoo, telecoms firm TalkTalk and controversial dating website Ashley Madison are among the high-profile businesses to have suffered cyber attacks in recent years, with the loss of millions of customers’ account data.
Adam Marshall, BCC director-general, said: ‘Cyber attacks risk companies’ finances, confidence and reputation, with victims reporting not only monetary losses, but costs from disruption to their business and productivity.
‘Firms need to be proactive about protecting themselves from cyber attacks.
‘Security accreditations can help businesses assess their own IT infrastructure, defend against cyber-security breaches and mitigate the damage caused by an attack. It can also increase confidence among the businesses and clients who they engage with online.
‘Businesses should also be mindful of the extension to data protection regulation coming into force next year, which will increase their responsibilities and requirements to protect personal data.
‘Firms that don’t adopt the appropriate protections leave themselves open to tough penalties.
‘Companies are reporting a reliance on IT support providers to resolve cyber-attacks.
‘More guidance from government and police about where and how to report attacks would provide businesses with a clear path to follow in the event of a cyber-security breach and increase clarity around the response options available to victims, which would help minimise the occurrence of cyber crime.’