10,000 cyber attacks a day on small firms

The UK’s small companies are collectively subject to almost 10,000 cyber attacks a day, according to new findings from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

FSB policy and advocacy chairman Martin McTague said the findings 'demonstrate the sheer scale of the dangers faced by small firms'. Picture: contributed

One in five small businesses said it had been the victim of a cyber attack in the two years to January, with an average of 9,741 incidents reported daily during the same period.

The FSB is calling for the UK government, banks and software providers to take “meaningful steps” to safeguard the small business community from cyber crime, with such attacks estimated to cost £4.5 billion each year.

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Phishing attempts are the most frequently reported form of cyber attack, affecting 530,000 small firms over the past two years.

Malware (374,000 firms), fraudulent payment requests (301,000) and ransomware (260,000) incidents were also frequently reported.

FSB policy and advocacy chairman Martin McTague said: “These findings demonstrate the sheer scale of the dangers faced by small firms every day in the digital arena.

“The government should be doing more to tackle this scourge by enhancing the current policing response – including investing more in cyber upskilling for police personnel as part of its wider recruitment push.

“Banks have a role to play. They should be building in as much resilience as possible into banking and payments systems, and made liable for the losses of business – not just consumer – customers when they fall victim to cyber crime. Software providers could also be doing more.”