The alarming reality of cyber attacks on small businesses, told in 19 stats

Worries over cyber attacks have risen from 40% to 57% since 2020, according to recent research by Aviva. While larger businesses generally have security measures in place to deal with a cyber attack, small businesses typically are not prepared for an attack, leaving them at risk of going out of business if targeted.

We’ve compiled 19 stats about cyber attacks on small businesses to help you get glued up on the topic…

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Key stats on the reality of cyber attacks on small businesses

  1. A survey by the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology showed that one in two businesses reported a cyber breach or attack in the last 12 months, while almost a third of charities (32%) reported the same
  2. When it comes to small businesses, Aviva research reveals nearly one in 10 (9%) small businesses experienced this in the last year
  3. According to the Cyber security breaches survey 2024, the increase in prioritisation of cyber security is found across all sizes of businesses with 73% of micro businesses saying it is a high priority (vs. 68% in 2023)and 84% of small businesses say it is a high priority (vs. 83% in 2023)
  4. When it comes to which industries are most at risk, research reveals that the healthcare industry is most at-risk for cyber attacks.

How are SMBs being targeted?

  1. Phishing is the most common type of cyber attack reported by UK businesses – accounting for 83% of all cyber attacks in 2022. Phishing involves tricking business employees into sharing security information, such as passwords and usernames, allowing criminals to access computer systems and networks.
  2. The UK Official Statistics Cyber Security Breaches report backs this up, showing the most common type of breach or attack is phishing (84% of businesses and 83% of charities). This is followed by others impersonating organisations in emails or online (35% of businesses and 37% of charities) and then viruses or other malware (17% of businesses and 14% of charities).
  3. Research also shows employees of small businesses experience 350% more social engineering attacks than those at larger enterprises.

What’s the impact?

  1. According to the Cyber security breaches survey 2024, they estimated that the single most disruptive breach from the last 12 months cost each business, of any size, an average of approximately £1,205
  2. Research shows only 15% of UK businesses have a formal cybersecurity incident management plan
  3. UK businesses take an average of 38 days to identify a cyber-attack and 43 days to recover fully, according to twentyfour research
  4. When it comes to data protection, research shows that 87% of small businesses have customer data that could be compromised in an attack
  5. And, it’s not just the financial cost. A report by Aviva shared that almost a third (32%) of businesses that experienced an attack in the last year suffered operational disruption, with one in five (21%) hit by a loss of data and being locked out of systems.

Are small businesses equipped properly?

  1. Data shows 47% of small businesses claim they have no understanding of how to protect themselves against cyber attacks
  2. The Cost of Cybercrime: Annual Study by Accenture revealed that only 14% are prepared to defend themselves
  3. 43% of small businesses don’t have a networked firewall – making them an easy target, according to a report by Hiscox 
  4. While the trend for working from home continues, research by Deloitte reveals that 47% fall for a phishing scam while they’re working from home.

How can small businesses mitigate risk?

  1. Conducting continuous cybersecurity training – research shows only 48% of organisations train employees on security measures
  2. And, with research revealing only 10% of workers remember all their cyber security training, it’s important this is consistent as users quickly forget
  3. With the 2024 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report sharing 465,501 never-before-seen malware variants detected last year, an average of 1,279 per day, it’s key training is updated regularly to stay on top of new threats

Looking for more advice?

If you’re navigating a digital marketing strategy for your small business, find more thoughts and advice from Embryo’s blog page

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