43% of Cyber attacks are Aimed at Small Business & Start-Ups: Accenture Cost of Cyber Crime Study

Small & Medium Sized buisness and Start Up’s are most vulnerable to cyber attack in 2024.

The threat landscape for Start-Ups and small business is ever growing and specifically in the last 3 years it has reached staggering heights. If we look back we witnessed that Cyber attacks have increased by 43% aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves as per study from Accenture’s Cost of Cyber Crime study.

The Accenture study further finds that in 2024, IoT cyber attacks alone are expected to double by 2025. Plus, the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risk Report states that the rate of detection (or prosecution) is as low as 0.05 % in the U.S.

The threat landscape for  all business is ever changing in todays arena when there ahs been significant surge in cyber crime and cyber attacks specifically after the pandemic.

How  do Start-Ups prepare for their data security in 2024 protect the assets of the organization as average cost of a single ransomware attack is $1.85 million.

Get a free quote today to learn how much a cyber insurance policy could save you.

The Costs of Cybercrime worldwide is estimated $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015. At a growth rate of 15 percent year over year. And reports suggest that cybercrime represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history.

What must the Small and Medium Businesses do in such a situation?

According to Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime Study, 43% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves. Cyber attack disrupt normal operations, but it may cause damage to important IT assets and infrastructure that can be impossible to recover from without the budget or resources to do so.

According to Ponemon Institute’s State of Cyber security Report, small to medium sized business around the globe report recent experiences with cyber attacks:

Reasons include insufficient security measures: 45% say that their processes are ineffective at mitigating attacks. The frequency of attacks: 66% have experienced a 69% say that cyber attacks are becoming more targeted towards small businesses and that include:

  • Phishing/Social Engineering: 57%
  • Compromised/Stolen Devices: 33%
  • Credential Theft: 30%

By understanding the targets of attacks and consequences, as a business leader one can minimize the potential, gain value in your cybersecurity efforts, and even prevent future attacks.

Longtail Cost of Cyber Attacks

The long tail costs of a data breach can extend for months to years and include significant expenses that companies are not aware of or do not anticipate in their planning.

These costs include lost data, business disruption, revenue losses from system downtime, notification costs, or even damage to a brand’s reputation. In the visual below, we outline the impacts a business may face from the first year up to the third year.

Impact and Severity of Cyber Attacks

On small business and start up any type of cyber attacks cause minor disruptions in operations to major financial losses regardless of the type of cyber attack, every consequence has some form of cost, whether monetary or otherwise.

Consequences of the cybersecurity incident may still impact your business weeks, if not months, later. Below are five areas where your business may suffer:

  • Financial losses
  • Loss of productivity
  • Reputation damage
  • Legal liability
  • Business continuity problems

In 2022, 70% of businesses fell victim to ransomware attacks. This is expected to rise to every 11 seconds by 2021, according to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures. This cyber attack occurs when malicious software is used to restrict access to a computer system or data, until the victim pays ransom requested by the criminal.


Breach Discovery

Breach discovery is when the company or business becomes aware that the incident occurred. According to IBM, it takes a company 197 days to discover the breach and up to 69 days to contain it.

Companies that contained a breach in less than 30 days saved more than $1 million compared to those that took more than 30 days. A slow response to a data breach can cause even more trouble for your company. It can result in a loss of customer trust, productivity, or major fines.

A data breach response plan is a proactive way to be prepared in the event that a breach does occur. Having a risk management strategy in place to combat incidents such as breaches can minimize the impact on your company and bottom line. An incident response plan, for example, provides guidance for your team during the phases of detection, containment, investigation, remediation, and recovery.

Information Security Spending

Statista Market Report’s revenue in the Cybersecurity market is projected to reach $162 billion in 2023. It is expected to show an annual growth rate from 2023 to 2028 of 9.63%, resulting in a market volume of $256.50 billion by 2028.

Global Security Spending

Let’s take a look at how cybersecurity spending has grown around the globe — broken down by product or service.

of boring documents, but hackers know the hard truth about that hard drive.

According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, the majority of cyber attacks are triggered by outsiders, insiders, company partners, organized crime groups, and affiliated groups. We break down the percentages of each:

How to Reduce the Risk of Cyber Attacks

  1. Reduce Data Transfers

Transferring data between business and personal devices is often inevitable as a result of the increasing amount of employees who work remotely. Keeping sensitive data on personal devices significantly increases vulnerability to cyber attacks.

  1. Download Carefully

Downloading files from unverified sources can expose your systems and devices to security risks. It’s important to only download files from sources and avoid unnecessary downloads to lower your device susceptibility from malware.

  1. Improve Password Security

Password strength is the first line of defense against a variety of attacks. Using strings of symbols that don’t have a meaning, regular password changes and never writing them down or sharing them is a crucial step to protecting your sensitive data.

  1. Update Device Software

Software providers work hard on continuously making their software more secure, and regularly installing the latest updates will make your devices less vulnerable to attacks.

  1. Monitor for Data Leaks

Regularly monitoring your data and identifying existing leaks will help mitigate the potential fallout from long-term data leakage. Data breach monitoring tools actively monitor and alert you of suspicious activity.

  1. Develop a Breach Response Plan

Data breaches can happen to even the most careful and disciplined companies. Establishing a formal plan to manage potential data breach incidents, primary cyber attack response plan, and cyber attack recovery plan will help organizations of any size respond to actual attacks and contain their potential damage.

It’s clear that businesses are under a constant threat of cybercrime and must take steps to defend their data.

(Image courtesy: www.enisa.europa.eu)

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