Cyber Crime on the increase in the UK

Cyber crime is on the increase. Almost two-thirds (60%) of businesses have reported an attack in 2019, compared to fewer than half (45%) last year, according to research from Hiscox.

If you think your business isn’t at risk, think again.

Cyber crime on the rise

The Hiscox research surveyed more than 5,400 businesses of all sizes, across seven countries – the UK, the US, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain – and found that there had been a ‘sharp increase’ in the number of cyber attacks in the first quarter of 2019.

The research also revealed that the cost of these crimes is also on the rise, with the average losses of a cyber breach now costing £284,000, up from £176,000 – that’s an increase of 61%.

Why is cyber crime on the increase in the UK?

Although there is a greater awareness of cyber crime than ever before, it seems standards are falling when it comes to cyber security, as are budgets – UK businesses spend less on cyber security than their peers in other countries, forking out less than £700,000 compared to an overall average of just over £1  million.

UK firms are also the least likely, along with those in the US, to have a ‘defined role for cyber security’.

Gareth Wharton, head of Cyber at Hiscox, believes the low UK spending could be driven by the large number of small businesses in Britain. He said: “They may feel like they won’t be targeted, as we tend to only read about large breaches in the press. If they incorrectly feel that they won’t be targeted, they may be less likely to spend on cyber security.”

On the plus side, the EU data protection laws that came in last year prompted firms to up their cyber security game, with 80% saying they had made changes since GDPR came into effect.

How to improve the cyber security of your business

As a business owner, you should treat cyber security as a top priority – all businesses are at risk from hackers, particularly those that take online payments and handle customer data. If you don’t ensure the security of these systems, you could find yourself in breach of compliance regulations.

Here are the ten elements you need to consider when bringing your cyber security up to scratch.