Small Firms Under Attack from Cybercrime

Cybercrime is on the increase according to The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The organisation, which represents the interests of the UKs small businesses, is alerting business owners to the growing risk posed by cybercrime after research showed that small companies in the UK are collectively subject to almost 10,000 cyber-attacks a day.

In a report, the FSB said that one in five small firms had been the victim of a cyber-attack in the two years to January, with an average of 9,741 incidents reported daily in that period.

Cybercrime is the umbrella term for a number of different forms of attack from phishing attempts – trying to elicit secure information or data voluntarily – to computer-based attacks such as Malware and Ransomware. The FSB report shows that Phishing attempts are the most frequently reported form of cyber-attack, affecting 530,000 small firms over the past two years. Malware affected 374,000 firms, fraudulent payment requests hit 301,000 and ransomware was reported a total of 260,000 times. These figures are purely based on reported incidents and there is every chance the figure is much higher, with many companies not reporting attacks due to embarrassment or because the impact or sums involved were negligible.

Whilst these attacks rarely target a particular group, the reality is small businesses are often more susceptible because they do not have the budgets, policies or technical know how of blue chips and major corporates. In response to this the FSB is calling on the Government, banks and software companies to do more to build in added layers of security and pursue those responsible without fail.

Full details of the report, including the estimated costs and impact on companies can be viewed on the FSB website here.