U.K. Small Businesses Lose $1.2 Billion Annually to Cybercrime and Online Fraud

June 3, 2013

Online fraud costs British small businesses more than $1.2 billion per year according to the Federation of Small Businesses in a new report. Forty-one percent of the FSB’s 200,000 members have been a victim of cybercrime in the last 12 months resulting in a total loss per small business of nearly business £4,000 ($6,072) per year. Of the organization’s members that partook in the survey, 20 percent have had their systems infected by a virus or malware, 8 percent had been hacked and 5 percent suffered security breaches.

“Many businesses will be taking steps to protect themselves but the cost of crime can act as a barrier to growth,” said Mike Cherry, national policy chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses. “For example, many businesses will not embrace new technology as they fear the repercussions and do not believe they will get adequate protection from crime. While we want to see clear action from the Government and the wider public sector, there are clear actions that businesses can take to help themselves.”

In conjunction with the survey results, the FSB released a list of 10 tips its said small businesses can adhere to for protection. Among them: Carry out regular security risk assessments to identify important information and systems, carry out regular security testing on the business Website and check provider credentials and contracts when using cloud services.