In a new report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), small businesses are identified as: “unfairly carrying the cost of cyber crime in an increasingly vulnerable digital economy.”
It is estimated that cyber crime costs the UK economy more than £5 billion every year, with smaller firms being collectively attacked as many as 7 million times each year.
In the report, which is titled: ‘Cyber Resilience: How to protect small firms in the digital economy,’ the FSB calls for “more support to be given to those smaller firms least able to bear the burden of the increasing global cyber threat.”
Although 93% of smaller firms are taking steps to protect their businesses from online threats, two thirds (66%) have fallen prey to cyber criminals in the past two years. On average, those who have been affected have cost business almost £3000 each in total.
Despite high profile cases of hacks and cyber crime such as the TalkTalk or Sony hacks, the costs of cyber crime disproportionately affect SMEs rather than big businesses when adjusted for organisational size.
Almost all of the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses describe the internet as “very important” to their business, with two in three offering or planning on offering eCommerce or online platforms.
FSB London Policy Chairman, Sue Terpilowski, said: “With the average cost of crime to a business now at £5,898, and instances of cyber crime on the rise, there is a real need to get a handle on this.
She adds: “FSB members call on the Mayor of London to ensure that combating business crime is a central theme in his long-term plans.” To do this, the FSB is asking Sadiq Khan’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, to continue “to support of the work of the London Digital Security Centre and promote practical methods of dealing with the risk of cybercrime.”