New research from the UK government claims that the average cost of a data breach to a large UK enterprise has more than doubled since 2014, underlining the growing impact of cybercrime on the British economy.
Carried out in collaboration with PwC, the 2015 edition of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Information Security Breaches Survey estimated that major firms incur costs of between £1.45 million and £3.14 million per cyber attack or accidental data disclosure incident.
In the 2014 report, the range was just £600,000 to £1.15 million. Data breaches have also become more frequent since then, with nine out of ten large enterprises (90 per cent) having now fallen victim to such an incident compared with just 81 per cent a year ago.
For small businesses, the outlook is no less grave. The government and PwC said the average cost of a data breach for these organisations now lies between £75,000 and £311,000, up from £65,000 to £115,000 in 2014. Furthermore, some 74 per cent of small businesses have now fallen victim to such incidents themselves – up from 60 per cent last year.
The rising costs show how over time, data breaches have become more disruptive to their target, incurring losses as a result of both reputational damage and the difficulty of recovering key data and returning to work.
Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey commented: “The UK’s digital economy is strong and growing, which is why British businesses remain an attractive target for cyber-attack and the cost is rising dramatically.
“Businesses that take this threat seriously are not only protecting themselves and their customers’ data, but securing a competitive advantage.”
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