A fifth of British businesses have been hacked by cyber criminals in the last 12 months – with larger firms the most at risk.
A survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found 42% of big businesses had fallen victim to cyber crime, compared with 18% of small companies.
Only a quarter (24%) of those questioned said their business had security measures in place to guard against hacking.
Adam Marshall, BCC director-general, said: Cyber attacks risk companies’ finances, confidence and reputation, with victims reporting not only monetary losses, but costs from disruption to their business and productivity.
While firms of all sizes, from major corporations to one-man operations, fall prey to attacks, our evidence shows that large companies are more likely to experience them.
Firms need to be proactive about protecting themselves from cyber attacks.
Security accreditations can help businesses assess their own IT infrastructure, defend against cyber-security breaches and mitigate the damage caused by an attack. It can also increase confidence among the businesses and clients who they engage with online.
Yahoo, telecoms firm TalkTalk and dating website Ashley Madison are among the high-profile businesses to have been subject to cyber attacks in recent years.
A Government spokesman said: It’s essential businesses take responsibility for their cyber security risks and we urge them to take advantage of our free advice, online training and Cyber Essentials scheme to protect against attacks.