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Firms at Increased Risk of Cyber Attack

Published: 28/05/13

According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) “More small businesses than ever are facing the threat of losing confidential information through cyber attacks”

They tell us that their recently published 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey* has shown that 87 per cent of small businesses across all sectors experienced a breach in the last year. This has risen more than 10 per cent and costs small businesses up to 6 per cent of their turnover.

BIS is preparing guidance to help small businesses put cyber security higher up the agenda and make it part of normal business risk management procedures.

BIS also said the survey showed:

  • Large organisations are also still at high risk with 93 per cent reporting breaches in the past year
  • The average cost of the worst security breach for small organisations was £35,000 to £65,000 and for large organisations was between £450,000 and £850,000. The vast majority of these were through cyber attack by an unauthorised outsider
  • The median number of breaches suffered was 113 for a large organisation (up from 71 a year ago) and 17 for a small business (up from 11 a year ago), meaning that affected companies experienced roughly 50 per cent more breaches than on average a year ago
  • Several individual breaches cost more than £1 million
  • 78 per cent of large organisations were attacked by an unauthorised outsider (up from 73 per cent a year ago) and 63 per cent of small businesses (up from 41 per cent a year ago)
  • 81 per cent of respondents reported that their senior management place a high or very high priority on security, however many businesses leaders have not been able to translate expenditure in to effective security defences
  • 84 per cent of large businesses report staff-related cyber breaches (the highest figure ever recorded) and 57 per cent of small businesses (up from 48 per cent a year ago)
  • 12 per cent of the worst security breaches were partly caused by senior management giving insufficient priority to security.


Help is possible via the Technology Strategy Board who has extended its Innovation Vouchers scheme to allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to bid for up to £5,000 from a £500,000 pot to improve their cyber security by bringing in outside expertise.

Make sure you’re covered
Cyber attack is something that we’ve featured in past editions of this newsletter and it is undoubtedly an increasing threat to businesses and according to this research carried out by an unauthorised outsider, which can mean anything from your own service providers to hackers.

Our message is clear make sure you are properly covered and know the risks. Good risk management, as in every area of insurance is essential; particularly data-management and security. There are a number of stand alone policies on the market and some with modular structures so that firms can buy only relevant cover. Policies especially for SME’s are also available; so companies of all sizes can be protected. If you are unsure about any aspect of cyber liability and how to protect yourself contact us for more information.

Call Tony Crackcroft on 0845 371 1452 or email tonycracroft@flintinsurance.co.uk


*This annual survey is carried out to increase understanding and transparency of the cyber security landscape in the UK. The survey is anonymous, enabling government and businesses to benefit from accurate information on the cyber risks that businesses are facing, and how businesses are managing them.



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