A previous UK Government report, estimating the total annual cost (to business, individuals and to government) of online fraud at £27 billion pounds was criticised by some for being an exaggeration. Regardless, we believe a revised figure would remain a worryingly huge number and that the most cost effective action for businesses is to be suitably protected and prepared.
The 2011 ‘Cost of Cyber Crime’ report from Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA) and BAE Systems Detica concluded that the majority of the the £27Bn was derived from industrial espionage and IP theft.
IP theft was reported as the greatest impact of any cyber crime, estimated at £9.2 billion per annum, with pharmaceuticals, biotech, technology and chemicals being hardest hit.
However, a recent UK Government sponsored report ‘Cyber security and fraud:
The impact on small businesses‘ suggests that the annual collective cost of cyber-crime (including viruses) incurred by Small businesses in the United Kingdom is still a staggering £785 million GBP ($1.2 billion US Dollars).
The annual cost of cyber-crime to SMEs in the UK is £785 million.
20% of those surveyed had no protection against cyber crime.
The study found that, of 2,667 members of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) surveyed, 41% were hit by cyber-crime over the previous 12 months, whilst 22% of the businesses were affected by virus infections, at an estimated average cost per business of £4000.
- 20% said business had suffered as a result of virus infections
- 8% had been victims of hacking
- 5% had been affected by security breaches.
- 20% had no protection against cyber crime.
- Of those (SMEs) affected, 1% had lost £50,000 or more.
Accurately estimating total direct and opportunity costs of cyber crime is notoriously difficult but there is no doubt that the most cost effective action is to be properly protected.
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