Can you afford to lose £4.1m? That's the cost of cyber crime to business

Cyber crime

Cyber crime is costing the average UK business 4.1 million a year - an amount has been steadily increasing over the last three years, according to research.

In fact, cyber crime-related costs have increased by 14 per cent in the last 12 months - the steepest cost curve yet, the research by A report by HP and Ponemon claimed. The average cost was ascertained by finding the mean spent, which ranged from 628,423 to 16 million each year per company.

The research also revealed that smaller companies are suffering the most, with much larger outlays when a crime is committed. This converts to a whopping 1,014 per capita, compared to 232 lost per employee for the larger businesses.

These costs don't just apply to the cash value lost, but also relate to time, which converts to significant wastage for the company. For example, this year so far, the average time it took to resolve a cyber attack was 31 day. This equates to a total cost of around 358,796 - a 33 per cent increase on the 295,624 it was costing companies last year. It took just 25 days to resolve problems in 2014.

The industries hit hardest are financial services, energy, utilities and communications companies, showing those holding the more sensitive data have a seemingly higher value to criminals.

The most costly type of attack was revealed to be Denial of services (DDoS) attacks, followed by malicious insiders and web-based attacks. These three crimes accounted for almost half of all attacks on UK businesses over the last 12 months.

"With cyber attacks growing in both frequency and severity,understanding of the financial impact can help organisations determine the appropriate amount of investment and resources needed to prevent or mitigate the consequences of an attack," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.