According to new research, one in five UK businesses has been affected by a cyber security breach in the last twelve months.

British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) carried out a poll of 1,200 firms nationwide and suggested that the threat of being targeted has often proven an obstacle to commercial growth.

In addition, the BCC suggests that despite greater awareness about cyber-attacks on businesses; a significant number of business owners are still failing to take adequate precautions to protect themselves.

Only a quarter of respondents to the BCC’s poll claimed they had cyber security accreditations, and the proportion was even smaller when sole traders and small businesses were looked at in isolation.

Whilst big businesses are more likely to be targeted for cybercrime, the fact 18 per cent of smaller firms have encountered problems proves there is no room for complacency.

Dr Adam Marshall, the BCC’s Director General, said: “Cyber-attacks risk companies’ finances, confidence and reputation, with victims reporting not only monetary losses but costs from disruption to their business and productivity… Firms need to be proactive about protecting themselves from cyber-attacks.”

“Firms that don’t adopt the appropriate protections leave themselves open to tough penalties…. Accreditations can help businesses assess their own IT infrastructure, defend against cyber security breaches and mitigate the damage caused by an attack.”

Cyber security breaches cost British businesses approximately £30 billion last year, and clearly the importance of investing in cyber defences and ensuring adequate cyber security technologies are in place, must not be underestimated.

Link: One in five businesses hit by cyber-attack in past year