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Financial help for SME’s in combatting cyber attacks


More small businesses than ever are facing the threat of losing confidential information through cyber attacks, according to research recently published by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS).
The 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey has shown that 87% of small businesses across all sctors experienced a breach in the last year. This is up more than 10% and costs small businesses up to 6% of their turnover, when they could protect themselves for far less.

This comes as the Technology Strategy Board extends it's Innovation Voucher Scheme to allow SME's to bid for up to £5,000 from a £500,000 pot to improve their cyber security by bringing in outside expertise. BIS is also publishing guidance to help small businesses to help put cyber security higher up the agenda and make it part of their normal business risk management procedures.

The survey also showed that:

  • large organisations are also still at high risk with 93% 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% more breaches than on average a year ago
  • several individual breaches cost more than £1 million
  • 78% of large organisations were attacked by an unauthorised outsider (up from 73% a year ago) and 63% of small businesses (up from 41% a year ago)
  • 81% 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% of large businesses report staff-related cyber breaches (the highest figure ever recorded) and 57% of small businesses (up from 48% a year ago)
  • 12% of the worst security breaches were partly caused by senior management giving insufficient priority to security

For more information please view the BIS Press Release

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