According to the latest Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, 20% of businesses across eight countries said that a cyber attack almost rendered them insolvent, a 24% increase compared to last years report.
The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, now in its sixth year, surveyed over 5,000 businesses in the US, UK, Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
The report also highlighted that the frequency of cyber attacks has increased by 12% year-on-year, with 48% of businesses saying that they have suffered a cyber-attack within the past 12 months, compared to 43% last year. At the same time, over 87% of businesses in the survey ranked a cyber attack as being the number one threat to their business.
In addition, the report showcases that cyber criminals are using speed and sophisticated means to identify vulnerabilities in businesses’ networks, driving a 29% increase in the median cost of attacks per company to just under $17,000.
The report also showed that for the third year running, the UK has the smallest proportion of firms being attacked, at 42%, but the median costs of attacks has doubled to $28,000. However, US firms reporting a cyber attack has jumped sharply in the past year (+7%), while attacks costing $25,000 or more have also increased from 34% to 40%.
Furthermore, 62% of respondents agree that their business was more vulnerable to an attack as a result of employees working from home. This rose to 69% in companies who employed more than 250 people. Additionally, the report noted that COVID-19 also caused companies to accelerate their cloud journey, which lead to a big jump in attacks via cloud servers.
Meanwhile, the average cyber security spend per company is also up 60% in the past year to $5.3 million; an increase of 250% since 2019.
Gareth Wharton, Hiscox Cyber CEO, commented: “Business owners will have spent years growing and investing in their business, but one cyber attack could reduce what they have built to financial rubble. The threat of insolvency for many is very real given the increasing costs of an attack – the median cost of an attack has risen sharply by nearly a third to just under $17,000, and for some of the worst hit businesses costs topped $5 million.
“Remote working is not going away, and has impacted the volume of cyber attacks as cyber criminals gain access via cloud servers, so it is vital that businesses take the necessary steps to protect themselves against the complexity and speed of cyber attacks. In particular, the success cyber criminals continue to have in breaching systems via the use of phishing emails means one of the most effective defences a business can have is continuing to raise staff awareness of the risks.”