Cyber crime affects 1 in 5 UK businesses

In what will come as not-so-shocking news of the day, a survey of 1,200 companies by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has found that almost 1 in 5 have been victims of cyber attacks in the past year.

Th survey, conducted digitally found that 21% of businesses feel their growth is being hampered because of the threat of cyber-crime. Furthermore, almost 20 percent had been attacked in the past year. Companies with over 100 employees were found to be more likely to be targeted than smaller ones. 42 percent of medium to large-sized companies were affected as compared to 18 percent of micro- small enterprises.

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Of the businesses surveyed, 96 percent were SMEs, 22 percent operate in the manufacturing sector, and 78 percent operate in the services sector. Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 'Companies are reporting a reliance on IT support providers to resolve cyber-attacks. More guidance from government and police about where and how to report attacks would provide businesses with a clear path to follow in the event of a cyber-security breach, and increase clarity around the response options available to victims, which would help minimize the occurrence of cybercrime.'

Owing to a lack in understand on how to best protect their interests, the survey found that almost 63 percent depend on their IT providers to get them back up and running after experiencing a breach.

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The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, slated to come into effect in May 2018 will force business owners to take cyber security more seriously. This is because of the stringent rules that businesses that hold customer data will have to abide by.

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Other worrying statistics thrown up by the survey include: only a quarter (24%) of businesses have cyber security accreditations in place. Of the businesses that do have accreditations, half (49%) believe it gives their business a competitive advantage over rival companies, and a third (33%) consider it important in creating a more secure environment when trading with other businesses.

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