UK businesses lost over £30 billion in 2023 from cyber crime, crushing small businesses

February 13, 2024
1 min read

In 2023, cyber crime cost UK businesses over £30.5 billion, with small businesses being the hardest hit. There was a 42% increase in breaches since 2019, and the costs of cyber crime for small businesses increased four-fold. The total cost of cyber security breaches was 138% higher than in 2019, with the average cost of an incident being £5,500. Small businesses employing between 11 and 50 people showed the steepest rise in victims, up 42% since 2019, with costs up 396%. Cyber crime rates were highest in Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the South West of England, and the cost was highest in London. Manufacturing and finance firms were the most frequently affected by cyber crime. Phishing was the most common type of attack, followed by malware. Social engineering attacks, ransomware, and DDoS attacks also increased. 412,000 businesses suffered from employee or contractor-related cyber security issues, costing an estimated £1.6 billion. The emotional impact of cyber crime on business leaders was significant, with virtually all leaders suffering some form of emotional distress and four-in-ten expressing concern about losing customers. However, businesses of all sizes have increased their investments in cyber security and are providing cyber security training to their employees. The adoption of sophisticated tools and technologies such as network perimeter firewalls, site-to-site VPN technology, and unified threat management devices has also accelerated.

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